Elections

Victoria-Swan Lake candidate Q&A

Victoria-Swan Lake candidate Q&A

Christina Bates - B.C. Liberal Party

electchristina.ca

What specific priorities would you focus on in your constituency?

Victoria-Swan Lake is an area of the province where the average person earns less then the median throughout the province. This is an issue that needs to be addressed.

We have a burgeoning tech sector in Victoria. By providing skills training, expanding the BC Training Tax Credit Program, and expanding the Small Business Venture Capital program, we can encourage this boom in our tech sector, providing much needed jobs and growing the tech industry to perhaps global dimensions.

I understand that income inequality is a multi-faceted issue and jobs in the tech sector is only one part of the solution; however, because the income earnings of tech jobs is higher then an average wage, it is a good first step to addressing the issue.

Another, equally important approach is small business development within the area. Ninety-eight percent of small businesses in BC are small businesses. Small business provides almost 25% of all jobs in BC. That’s a lot of jobs! Keeping corporate taxes low, cutting red tape and making sure British Columbians have more money in their pocket because personal taxes are low are all ways that support small business.

Do you support regional sewage treatment? Why or why not?

The real question is how do we treat our sewage. There is great debate on both sides, supporting or not supporting secondary treatment of our sewage. The facts are: the federal government has mandated secondary treatment, the Province has agreed to cover one third of the costs, and the implementation of treatment is an issue for the Capital Region to decide.

What would be your focus in terms of transportation in Greater Victoria?

If creating jobs for people in Victoria-Swan Lake is my number one concern, transportation is a very close number two. My focus in terms of transportation in Greater Victoria is developing a bigger vision. We need to develop a plan to effectively and efficiently move people and goods around the South Island in an environmentally responsible manner. This plan needs to include road, rail, sea and air. Victorians use all manner of ways to get around, from personal vehicles, to transit, bicycles and walking. Each is equally important and needs fair consideration. We are moving into a modern age. I believe there is about to be a paradigm shift with regards to how people move around. We need to be on top of it, making future forward decisions that are part of the solution, not part of the problem.

What direction should B.C. go in terms of its energy policy? Oil and gas? Renewables?

Of course we all want energy that is renewable, with no carbon emissions, and in good old Tesla fashion - free! However, that isn’t going to happen overnight. We are a province with a resource-based economy and until we have developed our renewable sources of energy, oil and gas play a significant role in our economy and our day-to-day lives.

Now, if I must choose between oil and gas, I choose natural gas. We have an abundance of natural gas in the province (sorry Alberta) and it is a much safer product to transport, both domestically and internationally (sorry again Alberta). Globally speaking, by providing natural gas to China we are helping to reduce carbon emissions as China reduces its dependency on coal. This is important to everyone on the planet. Carbon emissions effect us all.

BlackBerry or iPhone?

iPhone

 

Rob Fleming (Incumbent) - B.C. NDP

Rob Fleming

robfleming.bcndp.ca

What specific priorities would you focus on in your constituency?

Support economic development, small business and opportunities for our young people. We must invest in advanced education, skills training and apprenticeship opportunities. We have to make childcare more affordable for families. We need to help seniors live in dignity with better home care supports. We need to fix the BC Liberal cuts to post-secondary education and invest in the knowledge-based economy. Finally help students and their families with a student grant program to reduce high debt loads upon graduation.

Do you support regional sewage treatment? Why or why not?

Yes. Canada's new national Wastewater Effluent regulations won't permit coastal communities like Victoria to discharge hundreds of millions of litres of raw, untreated sewage everyday into the ocean. Naturally, we don't want to jeopardize the CRD's 1/3rd funding commitment by the federal government. But, current practices are in non-compliance with B.C.'s Contaminated Sites Regulation and water quality guidelines because of excessive concentrations of dozens of chemicals on the seafloor around the outfalls.

What would be your focus in terms of transportation in Greater Victoria?

Improving transportation infrastructure and expanding public transit service is a must.  To reduce traffic congestion, lower greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs, the NDP will support better bus service and build green infrastructure with a portion of B.C.'s carbon tax revenue. I'm supportive of the capital region having its own transportation authority to better plan for our region's future and leverage funding for our region's transportation priorities in partnership with the provincial and federal governments.

What direction should B.C. go in terms of its energy policy? Oil and gas? Renewables?

A new government needs to rescue BC Hydro - one of B.C.'s greatest assets with clean, renewable and affordable electricity. It''s been weighed down in debt from Liberal mismanagement. Conserving energy through retrofits creates the cheapest "new" source of energy ('negawatts') and creates skilled green trades jobs. Wind can complement our hydroelectric dams and there is geothermal potential beneath our feet. In transportation and in countries without clean electricity, B.C. natural gas can help transition to a low-carbon future.

BlackBerry or iPhone?

BlackBerry, still.

Spencer Malthouse - B.C. Green Party


spencermalthouse.com

What specific priorities would you focus on in your constituency?

I would focus on ending homelessness in Victoria by providing affordable housing, which is both cost efficient and humanitarian. I would advocate for amalgamation of the CRD to harmonize services between Saanich and Victoria. I would rethink our transit strategy in order to reduce congestion on our roads. I woul also reinvest in the rehabilitation and maintenance of our parks, particularly Topaz park, to continue to provide clean green space.

Do you support regional sewage treatment? Why or why not?

Our approach to sewage in Victoria must be a long-term community approach. We need to examine each individual community within the CRD and ascertain the best possible sewage treatment for that area before we proceed with a regional treatment strategy. We should not spend $800 million on a plan that uses old technology and poses a danger to Victoria residents.

What would be your focus in terms of transportation in Greater Victoria?

We need an immediate solution to the congestion on our roadways and we must address the issue of declining bus ridership in the CRD. A comprehensive regional transit strategy paired with HOV lanes will help to reduce congestion immediately. Going forward we would provide tax incentives for transit use and location efficient mortgages.

What direction should B.C. go in terms of its energy policy? Oil and gas? Renewables?

The oil and gas industries provide a few, short-term jobs but the real investment returns go to shareholders in the oil companies, most of whom do not live in BC. On the other hand, BC has the potential to be a world leader in the renewable energy sector. The Green Party believes that we should invest in this sector so that all of us share in the profits.

BlackBerry or iPhone?

I'm voting for none of the above. I'm voting Samsung Galaxy S3.

 

 

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