Nelson’s Fridays For Future West Kootenay group hosted an online forum for Nelson-Creston candidates on Oct. 21, where topics such as climate change, tuition and affordable housing were discussed.
More than 50 residents throughout the riding tuned into the webinar, which lasted for just over an hour. A total of six questions were asked, which were generated by a youth forum that was organized prior to the event.
All candidates were present for the event, except for Green Party candidate Nicole Charlwood, who had run into technical difficulties.
What would you say to young people who can’t find affordable housing? What would you offer to them as a solution?
Liberal Party candidate Tanya Finley said that one of her platform plans is to allow builders to construct multi-dwelling homes.
“Removing red tape to make it easier for houses that everyone can live in, rather than massive houses,” said Findley.
Libertarian Party candidate Terry Tiessen said that his party’s solution is to bring free market and economics into the housing picture.
“We have so much land tied up in Crown land that we’re trying to cram a lot of people into a very little percentage of the percentage we have,” he said. “The monopolies, the protectionism, the anti-competition laws and regulations in power are both holding back the housing market and the transportation market.”
NDP candidate Brittny Anderson said that her plan is to increase investments in affordable housing or students, seniors and families.
“We’re also expanding the model to include co-operative housing,” she said.
Would you be in favour of making post-secondary free? Why or why not? If not, what measures would you take to make it more affordable?
Finley said that while she is still only three-weeks into politics and is new to the legislation around education, she plans to explore the possibilities of making post-secondary free.
“This is something that is very near and true to me, so I will definitely be looking at this and looking for a reduced education price,” she said.
Tiessen said that through deep corporate welfare cuts the Libertarians can find room to make post-secondary free.
“I can’t think of a better investment than the next generation that’s going to run this country behind us. I’m all for it,” he said.
Anderson said that in the future, she would love to see tuition eliminated for students.
“It’s something that will have to be an iterative process. What we are seeing is that the BC NDP is strengthening the tuition limited policy so that tuition can’t continue to expand and expand,” she said.
How would you do better to take action on climate change?
Tiessen said that the Liberation party believes that change comes from the bottom up.
“We believe change comes at a very real level, at a paradigm shift level where people are starting to make healthier, greener choices,” he said. “Our methods would be through education and tax cuts. If we leave more money in the citizens’ pockets, we can make those smart decisions ourselves.”
Anderson said that she is deeply committed to climate change, and will push for greener policies if elected.
“We must ensure that industry is accountable, and they are reducing their GHG emissions,” she said. “We’re also trying to electrify our transportation network and invest more in active transportation.”
Finley said that her focus isn’t on a broad spectrum of changes, but rather transitioning into greener policies.
“I’d be looking at you guys for helping me when I have questions. This is something that we need to be looking better for the future,” she said.
What three qualities do you think are most important for a politician to have?
Finley said that we need to have someone who is adaptive, can react quickly, can listen, can learn and who is willing to do the work.
“I plan to hear you, I plan to listen to you, and whatever voice you need me to bring, I plan to take that to Victoria,” she said.
Tiessen quoted a Facebook friend who said we need politicians who draw the line, not tow the line.
“We need someone who is willing to fight for something, be honest and hard-working,” he said.
Anderson said that leaders need empathy, to listen and need to be hard working.
“You need to be hard-working and tenacious, and willing to get in there and fight for what you believe in and really fight for what your community,” she said.
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