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Oak Bay-Gordon Head candidates Q&A
Andrew Weaver - B.C. Green
What is the most important issue in this election? -- Voters have an historic opportunity to change B.C.’s political landscape. Partisan politics has repeatedly failed British Columbians and we deserve better. This change starts with a credible third option and that’s what the Green Party represents. We’re a party that will cooperate on good policy and promote accountable government.
What specific priorities would you focus on in your riding? -- I would work to: Introduce an independent Legislative Budgetary Officer to offer voters the information necessary to hold their government accountable; Reclaim B.C.’s leadership role in the fight against climate change; Find bold, new ways of enhancing education and health care; and take steps to eliminate poverty.
What would you do to resolve the issue of overpopulation of deer? -- I would work with municipal governments and local communities to realize evidence-based solutions to the issue of overpopulation of deer that are satisfactory for all involved and compassionate to the deer.
What direction should B.C. go in terms of its energy policy? Oil and gas? Renewables? -- B.C. needs to develop a clean energy economy focused on renewables. I wrote about this on my blog. We have a significant economic advantage in clean energy, but we need to first invest in it by using income from non-renewable energies to fund a transition to clean energies.
iPhone or Blackberry? – I have a Blackberry and I like it. It’s a great phone and it’s Canadian – what more could you want? (Although I have to say, iPhones are sure nice too.)
Ida Chong - B.C. Liberal
What is the most important issue in this election?-- British Columbians are facing a choice between the B.C. Liberals’ plan to control spending, create jobs and keep the economy growing, or going back to the NDP who will run up debt and grow the size of government. That’s what truly matters on May 14.
What specific priorities would you focus on in your riding?-- Ensuring the long-awaited redevelopment of Oak Bay High continues is important for this community. Our B.C. Liberal Government established a medical school at UVic so more doctors can be trained here. We also introduced nurse practitioners to meet the demand for new services. With an aging population, I will continue to support innovative health care services.
What would you do to resolve the issue of overpopulation of deer? -- Today’s B.C. Liberals are committed to helping local communities manage deer. I believe that solutions must be specific to local conditions and attitudes. We will help communities manage urban deer conflicts by taking part in planning committees, providing technical advice, developing regulations, and issuing permits to manage urban deer populations.
What direction should B.C. go in terms of its energy policy? Oil and gas? Renewables? -- Today’s B.C. Liberals are championing LNG’s development and believe that British Columbians will benefit for generations to come, which is why we have a LNG strategy and are working to have one export terminal open by 2015 and three by 2020. This opportunity could bring significant revenues to B.C.
iPhone or Blackberry? – Both, although I prefer to use a Blackberry due to the keyboard. In today’s fast-changing world, both of these devices allow you to stay up-to-date and connected.
Jessica Van der Veen - B.C. NDP
What is the most important issue in this election? -- We must restore public assets in Oak Bay, as I have done with school lands and two seniors’ facilities – Oak Bay Lodge and Mount Tolmie Hospital. The NDP will provide more home care, community care and residential care for seniors, and bring new resources into classrooms to focus on students.
What specific priorities would you focus on in your riding? – My top priority is to build a healthy future for our citizens. In addition to restoring services for our seniors, I will work to improve childcare, our schools, trades training and our post-secondary institutions. And we are committed to protecting our watersheds and coastlines from tankers.
What would you do to resolve the issue of overpopulation of deer? – The B.C. NDP believes that the province must work with municipalities to solve the problem of human deer conflicts, and ensure that municipalities have a variety of options. Currently the B.C. Supreme Court is considering whether municipalities have the authority to cull deer, and we will consult municipalities based on that decision.
What direction should B.C. go in terms of its energy policy? Oil and gas? Renewables? -- The B.C. NDP will have to work hard to renew B.C. Hydro after the damage caused by B.C. Liberal policies. We will turn the focus to renewable sources of energy. New Democrats will invest carbon tax proceeds in transit and green infrastructure, and expand energy efficiency retrofit programs.
iPhone or Blackberry? – Did not respond.
Greg Kazakoff - B.C. Conservative
What is the most important issue in this election? -- Restoring faith in government. The Liberals are no longer believable after the HST and B.C. Rail. The NDP will drive the province further into debt and chase investment away. The Green platform is based solely on climate action. Only the B.C. Conservatives offer a fiscally prudent course of action.
What specific priorities would you focus on in your riding? -- Ensuring government acts in a fiscally responsible manner. Conservatives will concentrate on creating economic growth and controlling expenditures to create government surpluses to pay down the province’s $55 billion debt without having to raise taxes. B.C. has suffered years of fiscal mismanagement under successive NDP and Liberal governments. It is time for government to act fiscally responsible.
What would you do to resolve the issue of overpopulation of deer? -- Deer are a nuisance causing a great amount of property damage and constitute both a health and driving hazard. Deer do not belong in an urban environment. I would call for a deer cull using the safest, most humane and expeditious means available.
What direction should B.C. go in terms of its energy policy? Oil and gas? Renewables? -- The province should encourage energy development including oil and gas extraction. Those developments should be done in an environmentally sound manner using the best scientific data available. Renewable energy sources should be encouraged as long as they can be shown to be an economically viable alternative to conventional energy sources. B.C. consumers are entitled to energy at the lowest rates possible.
iPhone or Blackberry? – Did not respond.