Daryl Kramp – Conservative Party
By Alexa Hansen Forson
Q: What are some of the issues you would like to address if you are re-elected?
A: We recognize that we have to have a strong economic base. As I mentioned, you can’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg. You need income coming in, in order to be able to fund our social programs, our education, our health. So my role has been to try and find that balance between creating employment and ensuring the money is spent the way it should be. Quite frankly, I wish we weren’t having this election. We have projects underway at the airbase that are on hold because we can’t get a decision out of the Ministers Office. The cost of that across our economy is huge. That’s a pile of people that aren’t working, that could be and should be. I understand the process and I just have to go out and earn the support of the people. And demonstrate that a) I care and b) that I can deliver results for them. As I mentioned in my comments I don’t consider any issue to be a Conservative, or a Liberal or a New Democratic issue. Whether it’s an environmental issue or it’s a economic issue, my responsibility is to deal with it in a manner in which I can get results, and not get caught up in blind party ideology.
Q: When you go door knocking, what are some of the issues that people have brought up?
A: The biggest issue I get at the doors is a very simplistic one. ‘We don’t need an election, what are you doing?’ That’s the number one issue I got, so that tells me that people are disturbed. They want a clear sense of direction. I think they would like to give us a majority. Simply because, they want us out of their lives. They want us to run the country and not bother them for a while. This is my fourth election in under seven years. That’s a waste of time, effort and money, but it is our democratic process and I do respect each and any party or individual who wants to pursue a particular agenda. I just don’t think it’s productive for our country right now, I’m disillusioned from that, but I’ve always been an optimistic positive person. So I just deal with it and move on and try and continue making a difference.
Q: What are you doing to encourage young voters, and student voters?
A: That’s been a passion of mine. I’m so proud that I have more young people come to Ottawa then any other Member of Parliament in Canada. I contact all the schools. I say ‘come up, take some ownership of what we have. Understand that this country is not what other people make it, its what you can make it.’ Try to make an informed decision that’s going to provide a long term future for you, and for our country. Use your skills and use your energy and get involved. I’m highly optimistic that the young people of today are really going to energize and start to change the direction of this country and I think it will be great.
Q: Why do you think young voters and students aren’t voting
A: There is a real disconnect. A lot of the events that are held are not what I call ‘youth-friendly’. Young people have a number of responsibilities like school, and studying. They can’t just drop and go and they really aren’t in the environment where they are meeting their members of parliament all the time. I invite students to Ottawa, but I try to go to the schools. Loyalist College, I’ve probably been in there half a dozen times in the last while. I’ll go in, I might watch the girls volley ball tournament. But I talk to people. I’ve spoken at different events there. It’s important that I make myself available. I encourage the young people that know who I am to please approach me, discuss the issues that matter to them. All I carry forward are their thoughts and their wishes but if I don’t know what they are it’s a challenge for me to do so.
Patrick Larkin – Green Party
By Laine Sedore
Q: What are some of the local issues you’ve seen that you would like to address?
A: I think the fore front issue with most people at this point in time in the local area is the national economy. A lot of people are concerned about jobs, money and how they are going to deal in the near future. I would also say that green energy is probably at the for front of a lot of peoples minds in the riding, I’m certainly hearing quite a bit from people in Prince Edward County regarding wind farms and the like.
Q: What are you doing to encourage young voters to go out and vote?
A: Personally I have engaged in some very good conversations with people in the younger age groups to try and find out where they fit. A lot of the people that I am talking to, even though they have been through a couple of elections, have stated quite plainly to me they just haven’t voted because they haven’t been interested in it and they haven’t found a voice for them. My message back to them is, they really are the voice of Canada. Funnily enough, the young vote if they were to actually turn up could really sway this election at this point. One of my other hopes is that I can get up, to Loyalist College, to try and get that message out, not necessarily from the Green Party perspective, but more from the pure perspective of please get your vote into this election so we can get a good democratic result out of it.
Q: I f you are elected what are your plans for the future?
A: I’m going to work as hard as I can to get the vision of the Green Party of Canada implemented. I fully do support it and the wonderful things about it is, it’s available for the Canadian public to view at any point in time online, that’s something no other political party has out there. In our platform for instance we have put together a five-year budget to show people that we are very transparent. In my mind that’s what Canada needs right at this point and time, so I would work as hard as I could to get that stuff moving.
Michael McMahon – NDP
By Evan Cooke
Q: What are some of the local issues you’ve seen that you would like to address?
A: We’ve got problems with employment, we’ve got problems with people that can’t afford a place to live, we’ve got people that need a place to have their children safely stay when they go to work. We’ve got problems with our elderly, who don’t have enough money to buy food or pay the rent – that’s an issue that needs serious work. And we have problems with our Quinte Healthcare system that’s underfunded, and we don’t have enough doctors in the area to serve all the people. Those are all immediate issues that come to mind that the New Democrats are trying to solve.
Q: When you’re going door-to-door, what are people talking to you about?
A: People are concerned about money. The economy hasn’t really recovered from the recession, household and personal debt is at an all-time high. We want to make sure credit cards stop gouging people, and we have to get people working. Instead of giving tax cuts to huge, multinational corporations, oil companies and banks, we need to make it easier for an entrepreneur – a small business.
Q: If elected, what’s the first thing you would change on a local level?
A: Well, in our platform we’ve got a national minimum wage of $12, that would be a help. We’re going to renew the Canada Health Act to include prescriptions and homecare. Waiting all day in an emergency ward is just intolerable, we’ve got to fix that. And immediately, we’re going to boost the guaranteed income supplement to lift all of our seniors out of poverty. It’s a disgrace that our seniors who’ve worked all their lives and paid into the national pension plan don’t have enough money to live on, that’s just wrong.
Q: Why do you think young people aren’t voting and what should be done to change that?
A: Young people wouldn’t allow their grandparents to choose their dates, right? Well why do they let their grandparents run the country? It’s time for young people to get involved again. The government serves the people who are voting for it. Why do you think tuition rates are so high? Look at who’s voting. When I went to university, one summer job would pay the cost for the school year. That doesn’t happen anymore, and it’s not fair. We need to make it easy for our young people to afford going to college or university. They should graduate with a debt they can pay off in a short period of time so they can consider big issues like buying a house, it’s just not fair the tremendous debt load that students are saddled with. And we have the resources in this country to solve that problem. Students and young people voting would see that problem solved fairly quickly.
Peter Tinsley – Liberal
By Leah Vandenberg
Q: What are some of the local issues you would have liked to see addressed?
A: There was so little time tonight to cover what could be such a rich discussion. I believe I mentioned about the rural program, which the Liberal party would intend to level the playing field between urban and rural environments. That extends to such basics as Broadband Internet and cell phone service. The more significant of such matters is health care. Raising the standard and the availability of health care. Twenty per cent of Canadians live in rural jurisdictions; only 10 per cent of practitioners are in these jurisdictions as well. The efforts will be made through significant financial assistance to doctors and nurses to locate in these areas. Part of this will come through the encouragement of young people form these areas to go to medical school or nursing school. Logically there will be a far greater chance of them coming back to an area they want to live in.
Q: When you go door knocking what have people said to you?
A: Some of the things I wouldn’t repeat. Door knocking is really a satisfying experience. When you get people coming to the door and wanting to engage and talking about such things. I’ve been surprised by people in their late 30s saying they’ve never voted or haven’t voted since I was 18. Then when we engage they will indicate that they’ve been following issues and they’ll probably start voting again. That’s really important. Issues such as health care and the creating greater financial security whether it be for young families or seniors.
Q: If you’re elected what are your plans for the future?
A: I would look forward to representing this riding in Ottawa. I would never intend to be a representative of the edict of the government of the day in the riding. It’s the representation of the people here and their interests that is of interest to me.
Q: What are you doing to encourage the younger voters?
A: We’ve tried to breathe life into a young Liberal organization and include them in our events, and insure they know how important they are, not just to the party’s future, but to Canada’s future.