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.
This is from Jamie Schmale, Conservative Party.
1. Tell us a little bit about you and your family.
I grew up in Bobcaygeon, attended Fenelon Falls Secondary School and I currently live in Lindsay. I started my career in radio and journalism then I followed my heart into politics. Well before and since being first elected in 2015 to represent the people of Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, I worked to make life better for those who live and work here.
A big part of why homes are getting harder and harder for Canadians to afford is because we are not building enough homes to keep up with Canada’s growing population. As a part of our Conservative Recovery Plan, we will:
- implement our plan to build one million homes in the next three years while reviewing the extensive real estate portfolio of the federal government – the largest property owner in the country with over 37,000 buildings – and release at least 15% for homes;
- build more homes near publicly funded transit;
- provide more Canadians with a path to homeownership by making it easier for morefamilies to get a mortgage;
- ban foreign investors from buying homes here if they are not planning to move toCanada, encourage foreign investment in affordable purpose-built rental housing forCanadians;
- stabilize the real estate market by increasing the number of homes being built;
- address unfair and corrupt practices that have driven up prices, such as moneylaundering; and
- address the soaring cost of renting a home by partnering with municipalities and theprivate sector to bring new rental units into the market.
4. If elected what will you do about the opioid epidemic?
Every day, 17 Canadians die from opioid-related deaths. Since the onset of COVID-19, opioid- related deaths have almost doubled. We must recognize that families across this country are mourning lost children, lost parents, lost partners, Canada’s Conservatives will treat the opioid epidemic as the urgent health crisis that it is. To help those struggling with addiction and save lives, Canada’s Recovery Plan will:
- invest $325 million over the next three year to create 1,000 residential drug treatment beds and build 50 recovery community centres across the country;
- enhance the delivery of culturally appropriate addiction treatment and prevention services in First Nations communities with high needs;
- provide $1 billion over five years to boost funding for Indigenous mental health and drug treatment programs;
- partner with the provinces to ensure that Naloxone kits are available for free across Canada; and
- reorient the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy towards ensuring that every person struggling with addiction has the opportunity to recover.As a country, we must recognize that mental health is health. Only Canada’s Conservatives have a plan to make historic investments in mental health and addiction.The cost of everything is going up – grocery bills are up five per cent and gas prices have skyrocketed. With inflation at the highest level in 20 years and rising, families are struggling to make ends meet. Canada’s Conservatives have a plan to help seniors by:
Addressing the GIS ineligibility caused by the Liberals arbitrary penalization of seniors who received emergency benefits from the CRA, and know have found that they are not subject to the same rules as those who received CERB through the EI system.
Canada’s Conservatives will help Seniors Stay in their Own Homes by:
- Amending the Home Accessibility Tax Credit by increasing the limit from $10,000 per dwelling to $10,000 per person; and
- Allowing seniors or their caregivers, including their children, to claim the Medical Expense Tax Credit for home care instead of only allowing them to claim attendant care if they live in a group home.Canada’s Conservatives will help the many Canadians who are taking care of their parents and help seniors avoid having to live in Long-Term Care homes by:
5. 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?
• Introducing the Canada Seniors Care Benefit, paying $200 per month per household to any Canadian who is living with and taking care of a parent over the age of 70.
Canada’s Conservatives will fix long-term care by:
- inviting the provinces to work with us to develop a set of best practices for Long-Term Care homes. Like the National Building Code, this will provide guidance for provinces without intruding on their jurisdiction;
- working with all provincial governments who want to commit to this important project and encourage all provinces to incorporate the results into provincial law;
- devoting $3 billion of infrastructure funding over the next three years to renovate Long- Term Care Homes across Canada; and
- encouraging partnerships with private non-profits that have historically provided a significant amount of Long-Term Care.Canada’s Conservatives will change legislation to ensure that pensioners have priority over corporate elites in bankruptcy or restructuring. Canadian workers should be able to rely on their pensions. But all too often we have seen workers forced to take big cuts to their pension when the company they worked for goes bankrupt. This needs to change. It’s time for the government to stand up for workers and secure pensions.We will also better secure workers’ pensions by:
- Preventing executives from paying themselves bonuses while managing a company going through restructuring if the pension plan is not fully funded.
- No longer forcing underfunded pension plans to be converted to annuities, which locks in losses, and means that workers receive less money.
- Requiring companies to be more transparent by clearly reporting the funding status of their pension plans.We believe that vaccines are the best way to fight COVID-19 get Canada back on track to recovery. As domestic use of vaccine passport falls under the jurisdiction of the provincial government and individual foreign government may request travelers for proof of vaccination, the Conservative Party support a streamlined system that helps Canadians verify their vaccine status when travelling abroad.
6. If elected will your party continue with vaccine passports or mandates of any kind?
We believe that vaccines are the best way to fight COVID-19 get Canada back on track to recovery. As domestic use of vaccine passport falls under the jurisdiction of the provincial government and individual foreign government may request travelers for proof of vaccination, the Conservative Party support a streamlined system that helps Canadians verify their vaccine status when travelling abroad.
7. What is your party platform when it comes to climate change?
Canada’s Conservatives have a serious plan to combat climate change that allows us to meet our targets and reduce emissions by 2030, all while repealing Justin Trudeau’s Carbon Tax.
Independent analysis, conducted by Navius Research, found that the plan would effectively achieve the same emissions reductions as the government’s current plan in 2030, while resulting in a boost to jobs and the economy.
We recognize that the most efficient way to reduce our emissions is to use pricing mechanisms – but not one where the government pockets your money. We know that Canadians can’t afford Justin Trudeau’s Carbon Tax hike which lets the government tax Canadians and drives jobs and investment out of the country. We will fight climate change and protect the environment, but we won’t do it on the backs of hardworking Canadians or by hurting our economy.
The Low Carbon Savings Account will incentivize Canadians to make greener lifestyle choices that reduce their emissions while also allowing them to decide what works best for them and their family. This approach to carbon pricing leverages the fact that Canadians want to do the right thing and are better positioned than governments to decide how and where they can personally invest in reducing their carbon footprints. Not one penny of the price on hydrocarbon fuels for Canadians and small businesses will go to the government. This program will be completely transparent and engage Canadians in the process of building a lower carbon future, with the ability to purchase items like locally grown fruits and vegetables, meats and dairy products, transit passes, bicycles, or home energy efficiency improvement projects.
Canada’s Conservatives will introduce a zero-emission vehicle mandate, based on British Columbia’s, requiring 30 per cent of light-duty vehicles sold to be zero emissions by 2030.
Additionally, Canada’s Conservatives will create a powerful incentive for agriculture and forestry sectors to protect the environment and sequester carbon by allowing for greater creation of land-based offset credits. We will invest an additional $3 billion between now and 2030 in natural climate solutions focused on management of forest, crop and grazing lands and restoration of grasslands, wetlands, and forests. Conservatives will increase the ability of the agricultural and forestry sectors to create land-based offset credits by improving the carbon sequestration of agricultural lands and managed forests, and incenting environmental protection in those sectors. This will generate emissions reductions at lower cost, and protect Canadian jobs. We will work with provinces, territories and the agriculture and forestry sectors to identify and support ways in which the sectors can contribute to enhancing carbon sequestration.
8. Will your party implement any kind of tax on a principal residence?
Canada’s Conservatives will never tax Canadians’ capital gains on the sale of their principal residence.
9. 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?
The Conservative government created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as part of the 2007 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, which recognize that the Indian residential school system had a profoundly lasting and damaging impact on Indigenous culture, heritage and language. The discovery of the bodies of children found in residential schools are a somber reminder of the devastating and harmful effects that residential schools had, and still have, on many survivors today and need to be addressed. Which is why Conservatives have called for a swift timeline and funding to deliver on the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action 71 to 76 involving missing children and providing healing for families.
10. What do you think is the most important issue facing residents of Kawartha Lakes and how would you tackle fixing it
The cost of everything is going up – grocery bills are up five per cent and gas prices have skyrocketed. With inflation at the highest level in 20 years and rising, families are struggling to make ends meet.
If I had to pick a single important issue, it would be to secure affordable and reliable internet for the constituents of Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock.
Through securing Infrastructure, Canada’s Conservatives will take real action to reduce how much Canadians pay for this essential part of life by building digital infrastructure to connect all of Canada to High-Speed Internet by 2025; promoting investment in communications facilities by local and regional communities and businesses. While also fostering competition by bringing in new internet companies and upholding high levels of accountability.