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ELECTION: Simcoe North candidates weigh in on economy

We have asked Simcoe North candidates questions about five key issues. We start off today with a question about the economy and labour market

Editor's note: Ahead of the Sept. 20 federal election, OrilliaMatters contacted the five candidates in Simcoe North, asking each to answer, in 200 words or less, five key questions. We start today with a question about the economy. Check in tomorrow when the candidates will weigh in on the controversial topic of vaccine passports. For more information about the local election race, visit our CanadaVotes 2021 page.

Question 1: We are facing a massive deficit coupled with a need for a continued economic recovery effort in the wake of the pandemic. On top of that, there is a critical need for more employees in the service sectors. What will you and your party do to address the deficit, stimulate the economy and help address the shortage of workers?

Answer from Liberal candidate Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux:
We will endeavour to create a comprehensive review of how monies are being expended, while ensuring services are not cut to those who need them the most, ensure fair taxation is addressed, ensure large corporations cannot use loopholes to lower their tax responsibilities, ‚Äčand ensure small business is supported.

There is an absolute need for training and retraining programs to be supported as the economy shifts and job availability changes. Technology and automation must be considered in the future for full economic recovery – if the pandemic has taught us anything it’s that we must be prepared for unexpected impacts and that includes the kind of work people will be expected to take up over the coming decade.

The Liberal party is committed to ensuring a living wage for those people working in service sector employment, this is a good step forward.

Answer from Conservative candidate Adam Chambers:
Our primary objectives are growing the economy by helping our constituents get back to work and supporting businesses that are struggling to find workers and having to navigate this global pandemic. 

Government spending must be restrained so that taxes remain low for small businesses and families. We should also be promoting careers in the trades to our young people to ensure they acquire skills in demand in today's economy.

Answer from NDP candidate Janet-Lynne Durnford:

The New Democratic Party is committed to creating new opportunities in every part of the country by investing in retraining for a low-carbon future. We will stimulate the economy by creating a million good jobs in new housing construction, retrofitting of existing buildings, child care, and the manufacturing of essential products, such as personal protective equipment, here in Canada. We will make it easier for Canadians to join unions. 

I will advocate for federally-protected paid sick leave and fair pay for all workers in Simcoe North. 

Answer from Green Party candidate Krystal Brooks:
In my opinion, this is an improperly framed question coming from a conservative viewpoint showing a bias in the media. There is no labour shortage, only a wage shortage. 

If you want a just economic recovery the only solution that will work is a Universal Basic Income. A path that will ensure that those that have no money can not only pay their bills but also put money back into small business. 

We are seeing the end result of predatory capitalism and conservative politics wherein the only ones with any expendable money are the 1%. And now they are wondering how they can make more money. The answer is to tax the 1% highway even at 2008 levels and provide a Universal Basic Income that allows everyone to have a floor that nobody falls below.

Answer from People's Party of Canada candidate Stephen Makk:
Deficits, public debt, and quantitative easing (money-printing) are just taxes on future generations. The PPC would end COVID-related federal spending programs, and not allow any increase in overall spending in its first mandate.  

We would eliminate the deficit within four years through fiscal prudence and spending cuts, including corporate welfare (~$10B), foreign aid (~$5B), cutting CBC and other media subsidies (~$2B), and curtailing flow-through funding to provinces/ municipalities.  

We would simplify the tax system.  

After the budget is balanced, we would stimulate growth by reducing income taxes and capital gains taxes as quickly as fiscal room allows. A PPC government would set the Bank of Canada’s inflation rate target at 0%. Inflation is already rising and if left unchecked will end up being yet another “tax on everything”, and a debasement of our currency. Inflation hurts the poor and those on fixed incomes the most. 

A thriving economy needs LESS government intervention, and a thriving economy creates jobs in all sectors where there is demand.    

Finally, the PPC would start a new ministry, that of Interprovincial Trade. We would eliminate all barriers to trade within Canada. Analysts say that this would be like a 6-7% increase in GDP right there.



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