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.
These are the answers provided by Judy Forbes, Liberal Party
- Tell us a little bit about you and your family.
I grew up in a small agricultural town in southern Ontario where your reputation meant everything. We had fun, worked hard, spoke kindly, told the truth, and helped our neighbours. Throughout my family and career life, I have carried those values with me.
I have been married to Dave for over 30 years and we are the proud parents of children (Shaun, Ashley, Amanda, Michael) and grandparents to (Bennett 3, Daniel 5 months). I was a successful businesswoman in banking, Dave and I currently operate a Bed and Breakfast in Beaverton. I am also an engaged and passionate volunteer in my community
2. What made you decide to run in this election?
I have been fortunate in life and have been given many opportunities. I want to make sure ALL Canadians have access to and can take advantage of the opportunities I had.
My life experiences have given me a well-rounded perspective that I will bring to the role of Member of Parliament in the Riding of Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock.
OUR Riding has been left behind. When I see the progress that has been made in neighbouring Liberal-held Ridings with strong MPs such as Maryam Monsef I am dismayed that we have not taken advantage of all that has been offered by the Federal Liberal Government. I want to be the voice in Ottawa on the team that will continue to lead the next government.
3. If elected, what will you do to improve the lack of affordable housing in Kawartha Lakes?
The Liberal Government’s Housing Plan is extensive. There are many initiatives that could easily be implemented in Kawartha Lakes and in other parts of the Riding The City of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County already have a joint housing initiative, but the waiting-lists are far too long. We need to greatly boost the supply.
Some of my favourite initiatives in the Liberal Housing Plan are:
- Building 1.4 million homes. This will increase supply and drive down prices.
- Helping to bring Different Generations under One Roof. Multi-generational homes work well for many families: how wonderful for a child to grow up with their grandparents living so close!
- Reducing Closing Costs for First Time Buyers by doubling the tax credits
- Renting to OWN
Rising housing costs have put a tight squeeze on middle-class Canadians and many young people are worried that they will never be able to own their own home.
Please refer to our full platform on Housing on pages 11 to 15 here: https://liberal.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/292/2021/09/Platform-Forward-For-Everyone.pdf
4. If elected what will you do about the opioid epidemic?
The opioid crisis across Canada is real – over 4500 people died accidentally from opioid overdoses and opioid-related health problems last year alone, and the numbers are increasing in 2021. Opioid use – and the use of drugs in general – is a very serious concern in our Riding. My heart goes out to our front-line service providers who are seeing the costs of this epidemic first-hand, as well as to those affected, be they family, friends, or neighbours. They need our compassion, not our judgment. We must end the stigma attached not only to opioid/drug/substance addictions, but also the stigma attached to mental illness. The two often go hand-in-hand.
Since 2015, the Liberal government has invested more than $600 million to address the opioid crisis, including $182 million for the Substance and Addictions Program
Although mental health services are primarily a Provincial responsibility, this government has — a first for any government — set aside $5B in mental health-care funding for the Provinces to support communities.
.I can promise that I will always work with people who have solutions, and I will fight for our community’s share of funding on this and related initiatives such as housing, child care, poverty reduction, and economic growth.
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?
When visiting seniors’ homes, they tell me their stories about how this governments’ seniors’ programs have helped make a difference.
Haliburton County, in our Riding, has one of the highest (if not THE highest ) seniors’ population in Ontario.
Canadians are living longer than ever before, but as we age, we face higher health care costs. Many are worried about the adequacy of their pensions, and about their savings running out.
For 10 years, the Conservatives cut spending on seniors and raised the eligible age for Canadians’ hard-earned OAS and GIS from 65 to 67. This government reversed those cuts.
As more people lose their workplace pension benefits, this government has:
- increased the GIS by up to $947, helping 900,000 vulnerable, single seniors gain greater financial security and lifting 57,000 vulnerable seniors out of poverty.
- established a Minister for Seniors (Minister Deb Schulte) and the first National Dementia strategy
- provided $11B for better home-care and mental health care services
And our plan moving forward for seniors includes:
- initial steps toward a universal Pharmacare program – an agreement has already been signed with PEI
- increasing the personal income tax exemption
- lifting 20K seniors over 75 out of poverty by increasing OAS by an extra $729
- increasing the CPP survivor’s benefit by 25%
- Increasing CPP from 1⁄4 of earnings to 1/3 of earnings
6. If elected will your party continue with vaccine passports or mandates of any kind?
Across the country, we wore – and still wear — our masks to keep ourselves and others safe. We cheered on our frontline workers. And, when it was our turn, we rolled up our sleeves to get our vaccines. The overwhelming majority of us did our part. We stayed true to who we are as Canadians. And so did the Liberal government by heeding the advice of scientists and medical specialists, holding daily press conferences to keep the public up-to-date, and by:
- procuring the most diverse vaccine portfolio in the world.
- receiving two months ahead of schedule more than 66 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines—enough to fully vaccinate every eligible person in Canada.
- providing Provinces and Territories with $1 billion to support vaccine rollout campaigns across the country, including Indigenous communities, so that Canadians could get their first and second doses as quickly as possible
Now it is time to help finish the fight against Covid-19 by:
- making vaccines mandatory on planes, trains, and in the federal public service.
- supporting proof-of-vaccination credentials the Provinces are rolling out.
- creating safer indoor spaces, like schools and businesses, with better ventilation.
- offering free vaccine boosters, for everyone.
7. What is your party platform when it comes to climate change?
The Liberal Party has the ONLY fully costed, ambitious and sustainable plan to fight Climate Change. The Conservatives have NO plan – they will actually pay people to burn MORE fossil fuel. The NDP plan has been described by the Washington Post as “Fantasy Land” ~J.J. McCullough.
Here’s what respected authorities have said about our strengthened climate plan…
- “As a climate scientist and as someone with a background in climate policy, I have been impressed by Jonathan’s [Wilkinson – Minister of Environment and Climate Change] leadership on the environment. The climate plan he recently developed and introduced is bold and thoughtful. It is the only credible plan put forward by any party at the federal level. We are at a critical time. We cannot afford to move backwards on climate action. I hope the voters of North Vancouver will send Jonathan back to Ottawa to continue this critical work.” – Andrew Weaver, former Leader, Green Party of British Columbia
- “Mr. Trudeau had a climate plan last week that was absolutely marvellous. I mean, if they ever put that in place, that would actually put Canada on track to respect our Paris accord obligations.” – Tom Mulcair, former NDP Leader and MP for Outremont
- “This newly strengthened climate plan—combined with recent #NatureBasedSolutions commitments to invest $3B for increasing carbon stores in trees and other natural sources—has Canada showing real leadership in confronting our climate crisis.” – Megan Leslie, President and CEO, World Wildlife Federation Canada, former Deputy Leader of the Federal NDP and MP for Halifax
- “After decades of Canada chronically missing its emissions reduction promises, the plan was celebrated by environmental groups as the first time a federal government has introduced a policy that will meet its stated ambition.” – Marieke Walsh, Parliamentary Reporter at the Globe and Mail.
- “Today’s announcement places Canada among the most ambitious countries in clean energy that not only sets a gold standard for other countries to follow but enables us to exceed our Paris agreement commitments.” – Dr. Kate Moran, President and CEO, Oceans Networks Canada
- “Canada has a climate plan. It is credible. It is grounded in evidence. And for the first time, Canada is on track to achieve its 2030 target, a critical first step on the way to 2050.” – Dale Beguin, Economist at Climate Choices
- “This is leadership. And courage. For 30 years Canadian climate politics has entailed parties all pretending their policies will meet bold targets. Next election other parties will have to compare their plans to credible policies.” – Dr. Kathryn Harrison, Professor, University of British Columbia
Please refer to our full platform on climate on pages 41 to 52 here: https://liberal.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/292/2021/09/Platform-Forward-For-Everyone.pdf
8. Will your party implement any kind of tax on a principal residence?
NO!!!! This is Misinformation on Social Media or some fallacy that other parties are pushing forward to scare voters. Shameful…
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?
We will continue to:
- confront the legacy of residential schools.
- work to eliminate all long-term drinking water advisories.
- take action to confront systemic racism against Indigenous peoples, especially in the justice system and health care.
- launch an Indigenous Urban, Rural, and Northern Housing Strategy.
- protect the wellbeing of Indigenous children and families
For our full platform see pages 55 – 62 here: https://liberal.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/292/2021/09/Platform-Forward-For-Everyone.pdf
10. What do you think is the most important issue facing residents of Kawartha Lakes and how would you tackle fixing it?
Most importantly, we must get through this pandemic. We cannot move forward in any substantial way until that is done. We Liberals have a plan for that!
Secondly – the most pressing global problem is Climate Change. We have seen it in the wildfires in BC and Northern Ontario and in severe storms right here in our Riding. We Liberals have a plan for that!
In Kawartha Lakes and in our Riding generally, we need to help our businesses and Arts communities recover. We need to connect people who want to work with the right jobs. We need to retrain workers, so they have good, well-paying positions in the new cleaner, greener economy. We need to bring those jobs to Kawartha Lakes! We Liberals have plans to help! !
I will work to create and promote Vibrant Rural Communities by:
- Continuing to push through Broadband
- Taking advantage of the $2 Billion Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to support local businesses and the Arts communities
- Building public transit that works
- Continuing to build and refurbish Community Centres
- Ensuring we have sufficient skilled workers in our communities through expanded training/re-training programs
- Providing tax advantages to doctors and health care professionals who set up practice in our rural communities
- Continuing to support our dairy, poultry and egg farmers with compensation as a result of trade agreements
Conservatives want to take Canada backwards, to eliminate $10/day childcare, to roll back climate initiatives, to introduce a two-tier health-care system, to reduce taxes for the rich, and cut or reduce services for everyone else. We have seen that happen here in Ontario with our Provincial Conservatives. We can’t and mustn’t let it happen across Canada. We must move forward in a better way for everyone!
The federal election is September 20th, 2021.