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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Chris Stephen (New Democrat)

Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound | by Bayshore News Staff  

2019 Federal Candidate in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.

1) Yes or no: Do you support a carbon tax as a method to address climate change? Why or why not?

Yes. The NDP recognizes the carbon tax as a tool to fight climate change. The effects of climate change have been enormous; we've experienced an increase in global temperatures, natural disasters, and intense, severe weather. We must act to make sure the earth remains habitable, so that our communities can continue to function. We want to live without fear of environmental or economic disaster, so we must reduce our carbon emissions, but to punish families without taxing the biggest polluters would be wrong. The NDP plans to roll back carbon tax breaks previously given to the big polluting corporations.

2) Yes or no: Do you support stricter gun controls? If so, what do you propose? If not, why?

New Democrats have worked to make sure our laws strike a good balance between public safety and the ability for lawful firearm owners to hunt and shoot recreationally. We will work to keep assault weapons and illegal handguns off our streets and to tackle gun smuggling and organized crime, without creating an overbearing burden or cumbersome system on sports shooting, hunting, or other activities that take place in communities across the country. We're committed to sensible legislation that will help keep communities safe, and work for lawful firearm owners.

3) What is your plan to combat the opioid crisis affecting communities in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound?

Every part of our country has been impacted by the opioid crisis. The NDP will declare a public health emergency and commit to working with all levels of government, experts, and Canadians, to end the criminalization and stigma of drug addiction. This will allow people that are struggling to seek the help they need without fear of arrest. We will work with the provinces to support overdose prevention sites, and expand access to treatment. The NDP will get tough on the real criminals - those who traffic in and profit from illegal drugs. 

4) What is your plan to help retain and attract jobs and industry to Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound?

Rural Canada drives at least a third of the country's economy. An NDP government will invest in regional economic development agencies and provide economic support for rural areas to invest in job creation. The NDP will put in place a new tax credit for graduates to work in designated rural and Northern communities, making it easier for communities to retain families and attract workers. The NDP will work with the provinces to put in place more predictable funding for communities, and help to create good local jobs that stay in the community.

5) What is one issue you view of the utmost importance to the people of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound? Will you vow to take immediate action on it if elected?

Inequality. Low wages, not enough access to affordable housing, and limited internet in rural communities. The NDP have plans to deal with all of these issues, and more, making everyday life more affordable for everyone. The NDP will implement a national $15/hour minimum wage. People in rural communities like ours deserve the same access to housing and internet as people living in cities. If elected, I will work to ensure that the voice of BGOS is heard, and that affordable housing and high-speed internet are rolled out as quickly as possible.

6) What is one policy of your party you want to highlight that you feel will help enrich the lives of your constituents, friends and neighbours in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound?

There are two things that I am excited about in our New Deal for People: making life more affordable, and ending the unfair taxation on family farm transfers. The NDP will make life more affordable with Pharmacare and Dental care programs, lowering the costs of cell plans, and eliminating student loan interest, among other things. These are all good plans for everyday Canadians. Farming communities like ours struggle to ensure that family farms can exist. Succession planning and ending the unfair tax treatment of family farm transfers will make it easier for family farms to stay in the family.

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