Candidates make one last pitch

  • May. 1, 2011 12:00 p.m.

Editor’s note: To help voters make a decision in Monday’s federal election, The Morning Star asked each candidate to answer the following question:

 

 

“What do you think is the No. 1 issue for Okanagan-Shuswap voters and why should they elect you to represent them in the House of Commons in Ottawa?”

 

 

GREEN PARTY – GREIG CROCKETT

Voters in Okanagan-Shuswap are concerned about health care. We’re not excited about 65 fighter jets. We’d prefer 65 more beds in the Vernon and Salmon Arm hospitals; better access to doctors and support for regional clinics. The Green Party will work to provide more beds and less bureaucrats.

We will guarantee a universal, single-tier, publicly funded health care system. We are in favour of efficiencies but against privatization that skims profits from services. The U.S. system is the most expensive in the world and excludes many. It’s not the example to follow. Greens propose more funds for doctor and nurse training, home support, complimentary health professionals, and a comprehensive mental health program. We advocate for extended pharma-care, including dental, and bulk purchasing to reduce drug prices.

The Green Party speaks strongly in favour of improving health for our own well-being and to reduce demand on the care system. We advocate for a federal water protection policy, removal of toxins from the soil, and a levy on junk food to help reduce the epidemic of cancers and mounting evidence of immune, intellectual and fertility deficiencies that appear to be associated with the heavy load of chemicals added to our lives. We approach drug addictions as health and social issues and would provide funds for programs and education in this area.

 

 

LIBERAL – JANNA FRANCIS

No. 1 issue – Voters in the Okanagan Shuswap are concerned about the sustainability of our health system and the quality of services we are getting for taxpayers’ dollars.

A Liberal government will implement the following new initiatives.

The Liberal plan for Family Care: investing in health promotion, sport and a National Food Policy; a Canadian Brain Health Strategy; collaborating with provinces and health professionals on quality and innovation; new measures to improve rural healthcare; addressing the gaps in coverage for prescription drugs and the high cost of drugs in general.

Why me? – During this campaign I have met with health care providers, individuals and families about the health care challenges we face in our communities. No level of government acting alone can be as effective as when we collaborate with each other. As your Member of Parliament, in the first six months, I commit to gathering the information needed for a discussion paper on the status of health care provision in our communities. This document will include clear objectives, action steps, time frames and an evaluation framework. As your Member of Parliament I will work tirelessly on your behalf to strengthen health care in our communities.

 

 

NDP – NIKKI INOUYE

There are so many local issues in the campaign that are important to residents in the riding. One that seems to come up again and again is healthcare. Tommy Douglas created universal Medicare in the 1960’s, it has been Canada’s most cherished public achievement. The American for-profit model is not efficient. In Canada, you are never refused basic medical care.

Jack Layton will ensure Canadians have access to health care by funding an increase of 1,200 doctors over the next decade. Over the next  six years, 6,000 new spaces for nurses and health professionals including technicians, nurses’ aides and front line workers. Jack Layton’s plan is an affordable, targeted strategy that starts to address the staff shortage issues and helps everyday Canadians have medical services that they are entitled to have. The people of Okanagan Shuswap should elect me to represent them because I am very passionate about my beliefs, positive energy and integrity. I also have loyalty to this riding. I will work hard and put all my extra energy representing this riding the way it should be.

 

 

CONSERVATIVE – COLIN MAYES

As I have travelled through the constituency this election campaign, the number one issue I hear from voters is: “Why are we having this unnecessary election?  Why couldn’t the Opposition wait 18 months for the scheduled election? This election is costing us 350 million dollars.”

Why should you vote for Colin Mayes and the Conservative government? The reasons why are clear and my record speaks for itself:

Numerous highway upgrades, new aquatic centre in Armstrong, upgrades of seniors’ facilities, investments in Okanagan College, municipal infrastructure and investments in local arts and culture.

I have been an active listener and have addressed the priorities of the voters in our riding.

Seniors support our tough-on-crime agenda and tax benefits such as income splitting, increases to tax credits, and a proposed increase to OAS.

Families appreciate lower taxes, Child Care Allowance, and tax credits for their children’s activities.

Most important to me, voters during this campaign have expressed their appreciation to me for my honesty and core family values.

 

People, of all political stripes, are telling me that they want a majority government, so that we can move forward with the job of governing this nation.