KAWARTHA LAKES-Kawartha 411 News asked each of the 2021 federal election candidates a series of ten questions on issues of concern to local residents. We will be publishing each of these in the order the responses were received. Today we start with Gene Balfour of the Libertarians.
- Tell us a little bit about you and your family. I am a resident of Fenelon Falls and a retired business specialist who worked as a Professional Recruiter in the Information Technology sector for 37 years. I interviewed over 10,000 job candidates for many hundreds of jobs issued to me by employers across all sectors of the economy. I have strong interests in Economics, Science, Technology, Health&Fitness and people. My wife is a retired public school Principal. Her parents were public school teachers. My parents were teachers in the Catholic school system. My two adult daughters are employed in hospitals – one as a staff Pharmacist; the other as a staff Clinical Dietician. Both have direct experience treating Covid patients in addition to many other medical conditions.
- What made you decide to run in this election?
This is my eighth time promoting Less Government ideas in elections. In the 2018 provincial election, I represented the Libertarian ballot choice in this riding. In the 2019 federal election, I represented the Libertarian-Conservative ideas of the People’s Party under Maxime Bernier. In every election, I have promoted Less Government ideas to encourage voters to consider, evaluate and weigh the risks of allowing the size, scope, power and costs of governments to grow virtually unopposed.
“True democracy cannot exist unless a serious Less Government option is presented to all voters on every election ballot in every provincial and federal election.”
Excessive government growth has become a popular discussion topic in the past 2 years. Many citizens are alarmed at how aggressively our federal, provincial and municipal governments took charge of the pandemic. “Never let a good crisis go to waste” was the evident rationale for our political and bureaucratic elites to award themselves an unprecedented increase in their powers. This kind of power grab deserves much closer public scrutiny and more limits must be placed on the elites’ ability to grab more power if the future.
- If elected, what will you do to improve the lack of affordable housing in Kawartha Lakes?
Economics teaches that supply will meet demand when the appropriate market incentives and conditions are met. When government officials and politicians try to “manage” the economy, it becomes crippled and distorted. In Ontario, the housing market is heavily tainted by government interventions which are at the root of the affordable housing crisis.
Consider excessive taxation. The more you tax wage earners, the less after-tax disposable income they have to invest in housing. This puts affordable housing out of reach for many taxpayers.
More critical, however, is the supply problem. Construction costs rise indirect relationship with the additional expenses imposed on builders who must comply with excessive regulations. These include a mountain of onerous building codes, environmental regulations and other policies that severely limit viable building opportunities. In addition, many forms of taxes must also be absorbed by home builders; these too are passed on to their customers – the home buyers. Carbon taxes are just the most notorious.
Libertarians always seek smaller governments because history shows that Big Governments drive up the cost of living in all aspects of our lives. We would systematically identify opportunities to repeal unnecessary laws and regulations that harm and constrain our citizens.
- If elected what will you do about the opioid epidemic?
While the opioid problem existed before COVID19 and has many enablers, our government response to the COVID19 pandemic made matters much worse. Our public leaders introduced draconian lockdown policies that have served to aggravate problems like drug abuse.
Sweden had the best plan to help citizens cope with the pandemic while limiting the collateral damage in many other categories of public and economic health. In effect, Sweden’s government and Public Heath leaders implemented a version of Focused Protection – the excellent plan presented in the Great Barrington Declaration of October 2020 by three of the world’s top Epidemiology experts. Sweden eschewed lockdowns and chose instead to respect their citizens. The Swedes’ public health leaders provided accurate and timely pandemic advice/information to guide each citizen to properly assess his/her risk of a serious COVID19 infection, and to act accordingly. This was a welcome approach to protect themselves and their loved ones compared to the lockdowns imposed by many other nations which showed no such faith in or respect for their citizens. With no mandated lockdowns, Sweden has not suffer nearly as much collateral damage from the pandemic as other nations.
The evidence is clear. Problems like drug and alcohol abuse were accentuated by lockdown policies. Libertarians would follow Sweden’s approach and respect our citizens. Such respect will guide a compassionate approach to helping everyone with issues such as opioid addiction. The help details would depend on the individual circumstances of each person who needs it.
- If elected, how will you help seniors who are struggling to make ends meet and have only had nominal increases to CPP and Old Age Security?
Libertarians are very compassionate people. We have families like everyone else and we take responsible steps to help our loved ones.
This is a challenging topic because the needs of every citizen of every age must be considered in totality in order to formulate fair public policies.
For example, our federal debt is now in the $1.2 trillion range and growing rapidly. Do our seniors wish to increase this burden on their children and grandchildren but introducing more unaffordable spending initiatives? Surely we can help our seniors in more creative and flexible ways by using existing public and private resources more efficiently.
My 89-year-old mother-in-law, for example, lives with my wife and I. We both help her to live a happy life under our care. Every person’s circumstances are different and the “one-size-fits-all” plans and policies of our heavily-regulated seniors’ care services may help some but serve few optimally.
Libertarians believe in helping our seniors without compromising their independence and dignity. Enabling our seniors to take on as much personal responsibility as they can reasonably manage is a great way to help them to get the most out of their senior years.
- If elected will your party continue with vaccine passports or mandates of any kind?
Vaccine passports and mandates are the WRONG public policy. They do not adequately address the “Achilles heel” of the pandemic — IMMUNITY. Protective Immunity in our populations must be the primary goal but our leaders focus on jabs instead. Furthermore, they ignore the Medical Ethics obligation to obtain proper Informed Consent from recipients before consenting to the jab.
Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, MD PhD Immunology expert, elaborates on this topic very clearly in Episode 70 of the Trish Woods Is Critical podcast. He explains that the mRNA molecule in the Covid vaccines is the “most unstable molecule known to science”. These drugs are susceptible to spoilage making them impotent. He urges everyone get the blood test for SARS CoV-2 antibodies to determine if you are already immune from a prior infection; if ‘yes’, then the jab is not needed. Also, if you have already received one or two jabs, take the same test to see if the vaccine actually worked. It is possible that you received a spoiled dose and an immune antibody response did not occur.
Libertarians agree with this Immunology expert. We encourage the widespread use the rapid antibody test to identify those citizens who are already immune and those unprotected citizens who would benefit from the vaccine to establish their Protective Immunity.Armed with this information, every citizen can confidently make an informed decision about “the jab”.
As an additional benefit, Epidemiology experts could track POPULATION IMMUNITY rather than vaccinations. By tracking the proportion of the population that is immune, public health officials can report accurate progress towards herd immunity and be more sure of their public health policy recommendations.
- What is your party platform when it comes to climate change?
Climate Change is not a “settled science”. The 2021 book ‘Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters’ ( https://g.co/kgs/DaEkcn) explains why in great detail.
Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) has been the most divisive public topic in my lifetime. It’s time to take the politics out of Climate Change. This can only be accomplished by injecting Freedom of Choice into this topic. Here’s how.
First, repeal all legislation relating to Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). This will take all AGW responsibility out of the hands of politicians and government officials.
Next: close all related departments, eliminate all carbon taxes and Greenhouse Gas regulations, and cancel all subsidies to ‘Green Economy’ businesses and NGOs.
Finally: encourage all Climate Change Alarmists to invest their own time, money and effort on developing solutions that they believe to be useful. Non-Alarmists will be free to choose how and when to invest their own time, money and efforts to causes and investments they prefer.
This proposal will definitely work because it is fundamentally the same operating model that has served churches successfully for centuries. Every person will be free to choose his/her levels of participation independently and with no obligation to make coerced payments (aka taxes). Name-calling and criticizing community members on the basis of differing beliefs and priorities should stop if everyone chooses to “mind their own business”.
- Will your party implement any kind of tax on a principal residence?
No, definitely not.
If Governments were forced to “live within their means”, their elites would not constantly be dreaming up ways to fund their ambitious plans and expensive bureaucracies through more tax schemes. The public sector is notorious for its terrible record of “investing” our tax money and public debt. Why would any rational citizen wish to forfeit any more of his/her personal earnings to governments? As a Libertarian, I seek Less Government, not more!
- If elected, what will your party do to further truth and reconciliation with our indigenous communities? What about the bodies of children found at residential schools across the country?
I personally believe that too much has already been done to atone for the bad decisions of our ancestors regarding their treatment of aboriginal communities. The bill for those “sins” seems endless and this topic continues to live on for primarily political reasons.
Many citizens want to see a day when the bill has been ‘paid in full’ and this topic will no longer serve as a political football to be tossed into “play” every election season.
I feel no responsibility for the past decisions and actions of people that I never met or knew. As such, I am reluctant to accept any more political narratives that suggest that I carry any “responsibility” for that past.
That said, many Canadians seem all too willing to accept that responsibility. Under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, they are entirely free to invest their own time, effort and money to make restitution to the descendants of aboriginals who suffered losses.
I favour Freedom of Choice for all citizens to act in accordance with their personal convictions regarding aboriginal matters. To accomplish this, we must repeal all laws related to truth and reconciliation with our indigenous communities. Next: Set an end date for closing all related government departments. Finally: encourage all Canadians to get on with their lives by following Maxime Bernier’s Four Principles for a Civil Society: Individual Freedom, Personal Responsibility, mutual Respect and Fairness.
With this approach, the Canadian government can finally stop apologizing on our ‘collective’ behalf and stop forcing us to pay restitution on the misguided belief that all citizens are still guilty for a past they cannot change.
- What do you think is the most important issue facing residents of Kawartha Lakes and how would you tackle fixing it.
In 2019, Jamie Schmale and I (as the PPC candidate) identified the rising cost of living as the #1 election issue. In 2021, that issue is worse.
About ten years ago, I discussed the root causes of inflation with Dr. William Watson, PhD Economics and Head of the Economics faculty at McGill University. Dr. Watson stated that government monetary and fiscal policies were at least 2/3s of the problem. This came as no surprise to me as a lifelong Economics student.
A Libertarian Less Government plan would create the requisite conditions for a more productive and affordable society for all Canadians. We would reduce the excessive tax and regulatory burdens that hobble our wealth-producing enterprises, entrepreneurs and their employees.
This is the right plan. If you spend any time reviewing the last federal budget or navigating the Government of Canada’s home website, you will surely come away with a simple question: Why do Canadians need so much government?
I hope that more of our voters take this issue seriously and only elect politicians who also consider to be the #1 concern of our time.
The election is on September 20th.