September 14, 2021 5:28am
Multiple topics were covered during a virtual Huron-Bruce all-candidates meeting.
The meeting was hosted by the Huron Chamber of Commerce and produced by FauxPop Media. The entire event was posted to YouTube.
Different strategies were shared on many topics including mandatory vaccinations.
Liberal candidate James Rice defended his party’s decision to mandate all federal workers be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“These COVID measures are not unconstitutional, it’s not only a legal opinion from a lawyer but something the courts all across Canada have found,” said Rice.
Incumbent Conservative Ben Lobb began by saying he is fully vaccinated and says his party would take a balanced approach.
“We need workers, we’re short a million of employees at least in this country and the last thing we need to do is start firing employees because they are not vaccinated,” said Lobb. “We need to give them time if they can prove that they have a negative test, that should be good enough for the work place.”
NDP Jan Johnstone says her party is in favour of vaccine certificates and mandates to fight the pandemic.
“We are also looking at quickly implementing a national vaccine passport to allow fully vaccinated Canadians, to not only travel internationally, but also to continue to go to work, school and public spaces.”
The People’s Party of Canada candidate Jack Stecho said his party would repeal any passport or mandate legislation while “protecting the most vulnerable” though he did not say how his party would achieve that.
Another focus of the all-candidates meeting was child care plans.
Conservative incumbent Ben Lobb says his party, unlike the Liberals, is offering tax breaks to families starting next year.
“If you have a child today that is one year old, the Liberal plan, your kid will be in SK before you ever see $10 a day child care ,” said Lobb.
Liberal Candidate James Rice says his party is committed to $10 per day child care for all Canadians to help people, particularly women, join the workforce.
“This is crucial because we know that women are disproportionately impacted by a lack of child care. We’ve seen that in generations and in 2021 it’s time we stopped that,” stated Rice.
NDP Candidate Jan Johnstone called the Liberals’ plan hypocritical.
“Back in the 2015 election, the Trudeau Liberals actual mocked the NDP when were actually running on $10 a day child care,” said Johnstone.
Independent candidate Justin Smith say the way to help families pay for child care is by cutting personal and businesses taxes.
“We would not need a strategy to help child care, if we did not as a government, take so much money from the pay cheques from Canadians to pay for wasteful government programs,” said Smith.
And with many help wanted signs up at businesses across the area, the candidates were asked how their parties would address the shortage.
NDP’s Jan Johnstone says they would make it easier for temporary foreign workers to become citizens.
“Often times people who are coming here and they’re basically contributing to our communities and why they’re here is they would also like to immigrate,” said Johnstone.
Incumbent Ben Lobb says the Conservatives would streamline the process for businesses to hire workers from outside the country, calling the current system broken.
“It starts off with labour market opinions and labour market impact assessments, they take way too long,” said Lobb.
People’s Party of Canada Candidate Jack Stecho says his party would promote economic immigration.
“Right now, only 26 percent of all immigrants that come to Canada every year are directly chosen because they have the right work qualifications that fill economic needs.”
Liberal Candidate James Rice says his party would make the area more welcoming to new Canadians by tackling systemic racism.
“One way that disproportionately affects racialized people is in so called ‘renovictions’. Where a landlord evicts their tenant to do a renovation then puts it back on the market for $2000 more a month higher.”