Energeticcity.ca/Moose FM asked the candidates running in Peace River North the same eight questions. Each candidate’s answers have been posted at www.energeticcity.ca/election. Only B.C. Liberal candidate Dan Davies and B.C. Conservative Party leader Trevor Bolin have responded to our questions.
Election Day is Saturday, October 24. Get out and vote. To find where to vote, visit www.elections.bc.ca
Dan Davies’s answers are below.
If elected, what would your main focus be for Peace River North?
It is hard to say one main focus as there are many that are equally connected. We must focus on continued economic growth if we are going to be able to provide good health care, education and look after those most vulnerable. BC has lost its competitive edge over the last three years and we must work to regain that – lowering taxes, reducing red tape and working with industry to bring jobs back to British Columbian using British Columbians!
What do you or your party plan to do to improve the economy in Northeast B.C.?
In North East BC we must get our economy going and get our residents good paying jobs -putting more money in their pockets. By eliminating the PST for one years and then raising it to 3% will be a huge boost to our economy, putting more money in the pockets of every British Columbian. To make this a reality, we must continue to promote and advocate to get our products to the world market. We need to continue on energy literacy to ensure the rest of the province understands the important role northeast BC plays. We need to ensure that pipelines are built and infrastructure is expanded and improved. We must continue to promote the LNG industry allowing more opportunities to tidewater. Forestry is critical – there is no reason the LP OSB is not operating. The reason is from bad forest management, poor policies, tax and red tape from the current NDP. We need to improve forest practices across our province. This again speaks to our competitiveness issues. Over the past couple of years our farmers have been attacked around bill 15 and 52. It has taken many rights away from farmers and landowners. By repealing these bills, this would put control of the land back to the farmer. We need to support famers today as well as the up and coming next generation of the family farm. Finally, small business supports are critical. As the backbone to our economy, now more than ever they need supports in place to help them manage through these trying times.
What would you do to deal with the Province’s overdose crisis?
The overdose crisis is not just a Vancouver issues – we are seeing many overdoses and deaths in the northeast as well. I hosted a roundtable last year with our critic and many local organizations from the RCMP to local mental health and additions staff to firefighters and paramedics. We must do better. We need more wrap around supports for people. We need to ensure that the medical system is closely monitoring the drugs that are being prescribed to patients and that there are check and balances in place there. Our leader, Andrew Wilkinson, as a medical doctor, understands the importance of acting on this crisis immediately.
What are your thoughts on Site C? Do you feel it should continue or should no more money be put into it?
Site C is and will be needed as things electrify across the province (from our oil and gas sector to Electric cars). I do have faith in our engineers on this project (there are many). This project was handed to the NDP on time and on budget as stated by NDP minister Michelle Mungal. However, with the BCUC review, that pushed this project a year behind added a significant increase. This project is already billions of dollars into completion and must be completed. There needs to be more oversight by government and BC Hydro to ensure accountability as well as ensuring contractors are paid in a timely manner. This project is owned by British Columbians and at every stage needs to keep that in the forefront.
How will you advocate for the Taylor bridge to be replaced? When would you like to see it replaced?
First – the Taylor bridge must be replaced – it is at its end of life. I have been advocating for the replacement since getting elected. I have met with the minister on multiple occasions, as well as brought it up at every budget debate in the last three years. I was happy to hear, with our advocaly, that the government has moved into public consultations and early stages of planning for this project. The next steps are getting it onto the provincial capital plan and speaking with the federal government about cost sharing. My colleague, Mike Bernier and I have committed to seeing this project through to replacement. As a major piece of highway infrastructure for residents, industry and commerce, this is a priority.
Do you believe a vote for the B.C Conservative Party or other similar parties will split the vote?
At the provincial level, absolutely. We saw this play out in the 2017 election with the BC Liberal party losing to the NDP in a couple ridings by a handful of votes. In both ridings the BC Conservatives took a small amount of votes that would have more than been enough for the BC Liberal party to win. Courtney Comox 2017 Election Results is one of many examples: BC Liberals – 36.72%, Conservative – 7.55%, NDP – 37.36%, Greens – 18.37%, NDP Won the election by 0.64%, Splitting the right is a very real thing, our free enterprise party lost by one seat on 2017.
The BC Conservatives are only running 19 candidates our of 87 ridings. Even with one or two candidates winning, they would not have party standing in the legislature. They would not be on provincial committees, would not have staff, and be incredibly limited to debating and asking questions about things important to the north. The right was united under the BC Liberal party for a reason, that was to keep the NDP from forming government.
How would you attempt to connect with all constituents, including those that didn’t vote for you?
As I have done for the last 3 and a half years. I have reached out to constituents across the riding from individuals to organizations. I have helped farmers with land issues, people navigate the health system, arrange supports from those in need, advocated for teachers, health providers and people trying to work their way through a WCB claim. It is what the constituency office does. You are not asked who you voted for when you come in the doors. My job, as MLA is to serve and assist every resident in the riding. My office is open to everyone regardless of political leanings and I look forward to continuing to help.
Is there anything else that you would like to share?
This election is really about who can lead the province out of the economic turmoil that it is in. We need to get the province back to work while also supporting the important needs around health care, schools and looking after people. One item that is also of importance is wildlife management. We must come up with a better plan from funding to predator management. Science based decisions must always be the guiding principles, not emotions. I believe that access to land and British Columbia’s amazing back country is a right of everyone’s. We must ensure that this remains. The BC Liberals will Restore Confidence and Rebuild BC.
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