The Nelson-Creston candidates sum up the race in 100 words or less.

The Nelson-Creston race in 100 words or less…

Brevity isn’t always a strength in politics, but the Nelson Star challenged the three candidates

Brevity isn’t always a strength in politics, but the Nelson Star challenged the three candidates looking for your vote on May 14 to be brief when answering some important questions that should help you make your decision somewhat easier. They succeeded and here are their replies.

 

SJENG DERKX

GREEN PARTY

What are the three main issues in the Nelson-Creston riding and (in 100 words or less for each one) explain why?

1) The biggest issue in Nelson-Creston is our economy. After 22 years of NDP and Liberal governments, we are 84th out of 85 ridings in average family incomes. We suffer high unemployment and a poor business climate. But there are many opportunities for prosperity. Just two examples are: Incentives to retrofit our buildings for energy efficiency will lower our energy bills and create thousands of jobs and business opportunities. More than half of Europe’s renewable energy production is from wood, while we treat it like waste. Biochar production can turn waste wood into oil, gas, soil enricher and carbon credits.

2) Another important issue is the lack of representation. As a Green Party MLA I will put the interests of the constituents first, the province’s second, and my party’s third — even if that means going against party policy. The old political parties accept millions of dollars in donations from big unions and big corporations and force their MLAs to toe the party line. If you want a hard working MLA who will always put the interests of Nelson-Creston before politics, and who will put his heart and soul into getting our economy moving again, you know who to vote for.

3) Our doctors and nurses are overworked which leads to dangerous situations for patients. Home care workers are not allowed enough time to help their clients live quality lives with dignity in their own homes. Cuts to Nelson’s hospital and inadequate ambulance services mean that many people live beyond the ‘golden hour’ from emergency hospital services. We need less IHA bureaucracy and more front-line health care workers. Doctors, nurses and patients need meaningful involvement in local health care decisions. Investments in health and wellness facilities and programs save more than they cost, and will help us become healthier and happier.

 

What is the number-one issue facing British Columbia right now and (in 100 words or less), explain why?

Both the old parties accept generous donations from big oil and gas and in turn, support fracking. Drilling through ancient, unmapped aquifers, turning trillions of litres of pristine water into toxic sludge, using masses of electricity to cool and compress, is irresponsible in the age of global climate change. In Asia, our fracked gas will compete with Russia’s abundant conventional gas, which will be cheaply transported by pipeline. The scheme may work for the industry, but for BC it is an environmental and economic disaster. The Green party is the only party calling for a moratorium on new fracking development.

 

If your party is elected, (in 100 words or less) what will British Columbia look like in four years from now?

In 2013 we said “no” to tarsands pipelines and to massive fracking projects. The activity in the clean economy and on our farms has reduced unemployment and many businesses are thriving. Thanks to the energy savings in the ongoing work of refurbishing our houses we will soon produce more energy than we use. Use of electric coop vehicles and public transportation has increased. Increased health and wellness has reduced the pressure on our healthcare system. A lot of our fresh veggies are grown in local greenhouses powered by waste wood. Life has been getting better and the future looks bright.

 

What is your plan for having ongoing consultation with the people of Nelson over your term in office (in 100 words or less)?

It is disturbing to hear from people who do not even get a reply from their MLA. MLAs cannot solve all our problems, but at least they should listen and take them seriously. I have had more meetings with local representatives in our riding in the past four weeks than the current MLA apparently has had in the past four years. That is important, because local people and local representatives know much better what the important issues are than politicians and bureaucrats in Victoria. As your MLA I will always listen and always take your concerns seriously.

 

GREG GARBULA

LIBERAL PARTY

What are the three main issues in the Nelson-Creston riding and (in 100 words or less for each one) explain why?

The three major issues, according to local citizens, are:

1) Health Care

Numerous health care challenges have presented here. The Kaslo Hospital emergency services, the changing of health nursing on the East Shore, and a physician shortage. People are concerned about access to a doctor and other health services. I believe that we need to get more public input and suggestions to work locally towards solutions. Demands on health services will always increase and together we can ensure that each tax dollar is spent in the best way possible to provide the best service possible.

2) Education

Regionally the main education issue is declining enrolment which reduces funds. In speaking with school faculty they expect another six per cent decrease in enrolment next year. This is due to families with young children moving away to find work — as they are not able to afford the cost of living locally.  In the forum at Trafalgar Middle School I asked the students how many of them had a parent or sibling working in Alberta. You would be amazed how many hands were raised.  Improvement in local economy will bring more families, more children and more funding to our schools.

3) Employment

Our regional economy is struggling. Local business, industry, tourism and agriculture have not had adequate representation.  Ensuring the people of Nelson have a decent quality of life by improving access to employment opportunities through smart, clean development of industry and business is the only way to rectify this problem. As a businessman with networking and management skills I can help businesses HERE and NOW. This is a very serious issue.

 

What is the number-one issue facing British Columbia right now and (in 100 words or less), explain why?

I believe that the economy is our number one issue. When we have job creation and growth everyone benefits; Hospitals and schools receive more funding. Families can afford a good quality of life when decent employment opportunities are available.  Money can be put into environmental programs and parks. Our responsibility to current and future generations demands that we be fiscally conservative.  Today’s BC Liberals have a plan to lead us into a debt-free future, while adhering to the highest environmental standards and creating the climate for well-paid jobs.

 

If your party is elected, (in 100 words or less) what will British Columbia look like in four years from now?

In four years I believe BC will continue as a nation-leading province that not only leads in growth and prosperity, but also in social and environmental policy. With proper balance and strong leadership in economic growth and debt reduction, BC will continue to be the best place to live on earth. Our party will create a legacy for future generations that will be admired both nationally, and globally.

 

What is your plan for having ongoing consultation with the people of Nelson over your term in office (in 100 words or less)?

My plan is to have an open and interactive relationship with residents, business owners, city council, the RDCK and any interested parties. My office is, and will be, centrally located next to the Nelson and District Credit Union, across from the post office, and within 500 feet of City Hall. I have signage inviting citizens to visit and I make myself available to them. I have a positive and cooperative relationship with Mayor Dooley as well as the RDCK area directors. As your MLA it would be my honour, privilege and responsibility to represent YOU.

 

 

 

MICHELLE MUNGALL

BC NDP

What are the three main issues in the Nelson-Creston riding and (in 100 words or less for each one) explain why?

1) Health care – Over the last 12 years, we have seen many of our health services cut, yet healthcare is a core provincial government service. We must do better. That’s why Adrian Dix has spoken with area residents about his Rural Acute Care Initiative that would restore key services like surgery to KLH. The NDP platform places a strong emphasis on the better use of health dollars. We will invest in prevention, and in additional health supports such as nurse practitioners, midwives and rehabilitation professionals. We will work to reduce the cost of prescription drugs.

2) Education – A strong public education system is the most powerful tool we have to ensure that our province provides equal opportunity and the best possible start in life for every child. Over the last 12 years, public education has been neglected in BC. A NDP government will provide students with the classroom support they need and improve learning conditions for our children by hiring new teachers and education assistants and putting additional focus on students with special needs. The NDP will also invest in the people of BC with a plan for early learning and for post secondary education.

3) Environment – We live in one of the most diverse, spectacular and sensitive natural environments on earth. It’s part of our shared heritage, and we need to protect it. New Democrats will invest carbon tax revenues in climate change solutions like transit, retrofits and green infrastructure. We’ll oppose the Enbridge pipeline. We’ll ban the use of cosmetic pesticides. We will ensure that BC has rigorous environmental standards and follows best practices, and we will keep Jumbo Wild!

 

What is the number-one issue facing British Columbia right now and (in 100 words or less), explain why?

BC is facing a major skills shortage by 2016 when 80 per cent of jobs will require some level of post-secondary education. The NDP will focus on the fundamentals that promote private sector growth, entrepreneurial innovation, and a thriving small business sector — fundamentals like a stable and fair tax system, and a skilled and trained workforce. As the NDP’s Critic for Advanced Education and Labour Market Development, I’ve heard from students, and families about the affordability of post-secondary education. The NDP will invest $100 million into financial needs-based grants and improve apprenticeship completion rates so that people can get good jobs that contribute to our economy.

If your party is elected, (in 100 words or less) what will British Columbia look like in four years from now?

Working with British Columbians, and NDP government can create jobs, build a sustainable economy, and give our young people the skills they need to get the jobs of tomorrow. We can reduce growing income inequality and reduce high levels of child poverty. We can fight climate change and invest in green infrastructure. We can improve public health care and provide better care for BC’s seniors. In these economic times, we will face tough choices, but hard work and a generous spirit will get us to where we want to be. That’s change for the better.

 

What is your plan for having ongoing consultation with the people of Nelson over your term in office (in 100 words or less)?

Over the past four years, I have developed successful methods to maintain continuous dialogue with constituents. Social media has been an effective tool that I use daily, but it doesn’t replace face-to-face dialogue. I will continue monthly mobile office services in Creston, Kaslo and Salmo, monthly e-newletters, newspaper columns and community radio reports. My annual Bend-the-MLA’s-Ear tour to smaller communities like Yahk and Ymir, has been popular, I look forward to it every year. On a day to day basis, my community office answers your calls and emails, provides you with information and helps you liaise with government.

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