ELECTION 2015: Q&A with South Okanagan-West Kootenay candidates

How would you increase opportunities for better paying jobs in this riding?

  • Sep. 23, 2015 8:00 a.m.

How would you increase opportunities for better paying jobs in this riding?

Richard Cannings, NDP

We need to support existing agriculture, forestry, manufacturing, and tourism industries in this riding. The NDP know that small businesses make up 30 percent of Canada’s GDP and create roughly 80  per cent of all new private sector jobs. An NDP government will cut the tax rate for small businesses from 11 to 9 per cent, making it easier for them to grow and provide stable employment.

Many people move to the southern Interior—whether for work or retirement—because of the great lifestyle opportunities here, so an NDP government will ensure that large and small municipalities get the funding they need to build and maintain the infrastructure and amenities that would attract these people.  One project that would quickly bring in hundreds of new jobs is the creation of a national park in the south Okanagan, and we would advance talks with the province and First Nations on that issue.  We are also investing $30 million over three years to Destination Canada’s Connecting America campaign to boost tourism marketing.

Agriculture tourism and the wine industry create many good jobs here, and an NDP government would support research and development at the Pacific Agrifood Research Centre and negotiate with the provinces to remove trade barriers for beer, wine and spirits.

The NDP wants to help Canada transition to a low-carbon future, and will provide incentives to renewable technologies and innovative industries here in South Okanagan-West Kootenay and across the country.


Connie Denesiuk, Liberal

This election is a clear choice between smart investments that create jobs and growth, or austerity and cuts that will slow our economy further.  Competition for local jobs is increasing as there are more workers hoping to find a job in the interior after being laid off in northern Alberta.

Only the Liberals are offering new leadership and a plan that will invest in the future of our country — by doubling the federal infrastructure investments over the next 10 years.  These investments include 20 billion dollars to be spent over the next 10 years on social infrastructure. Affordable housing and senior’s facilities are badly needed in the Southern Interior due to our large and growing senior population. We will also build more early learning and child-care facilities.

Our investment will include $20 billion for green infrastructure, such as local water and waste water facilities and importantly for the bone dry Southern Interior – climate resistant facilities, in addition to clean energy.

The Liberals are also committing an additional 750 million dollars each year for training programs to ensure Canadians can acquire the skills they need to find employment.

Additionally, the Liberals will create 40,000 youth jobs for the next three years through a renewed Youth Employment Strategy.  And don’t be fooled by Mulcair’s minimum wage scheme — 99 per cent of minimum wage earners won’t qualify!

Canadians deserve a government that believes in building the future for all Canadians.


Brian Gray, Independent

To realize a flourishing and productive economy and the accompanying higher paying jobs here in our riding, it is necessary to create a national economic strategy based on high technological, science-driven industrial development.

As goes our national economy, so goes our regional economy. A key component of my platform calls for large scale infrastructure and development projects. Ventures of such magnitude as water management projects, high-speed rail transport, nuclear energy applications and the high-tech sustainable development of our Canadian Arctic requires significant funding. All mainstream parties call for infrastructure programs but fail to understand and address the most effective way to fund such projects. All parties are resigned to either continued austerity measures or deficit spending to meet our nation’s woeful infrastructure deficit. This approach is folly. We must return to a national credit policy issued by our national bank, the Bank of Canada. It was this national credit regime, abandoned by the Trudeau Liberals in 1974, that financed the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Trans-Canada Highway. What have we built since?

It is also necessary for Canada to align with the BRICS nations’ profoundly ambitious infrastructure projects around the globe. One example that this economic policy provides for here in the Okanagan region is that manufacturing operations specializing in modular housing and construction site office units have an opportunity to secure contracts for numerous international programs and the much needed infrastructure projects here in Canada … high paying jobs and the creation of real wealth in our economy.


Marshall Neufeld, Conservative

If elected, I will follow in the footsteps of other Okanagan Conservative Members of Parliament who have successfully advocated for local industries.  For example, the Conservative government introduced an arrangement for the export of BC cherries to China, worth $20 million annually.  The Conservative government also negotiated a trade deal with Korea, resulting in an immediate drop of a 15 per cent tariff on Canadian ice-wine.

I strongly support Prime Minister Harper’s promises to lower taxes on job-creating small businesses from 11 percent to 9 percent and to introduce the Small Business Tax Credit to slash payroll taxes.

Recently, the Prime Minister announced that a re-elected Conservative government will create a new $100 million Manufacturing Technology Demonstration Fund to support large, pre-commercial projects in the advanced manufacturing sector.  A re-elected Conservative Government is also committed to establishing an Investment and Trade Promotion Office, which would help Canadian firms increase market share globally, translating into new, high-quality jobs.

Thomas Mulcair and the NDP have promised massive tax hikes that will make it unaffordable for Canadian manufacturers to operate and drive Canadian manufacturing jobs out of the country.  Their risky plan is estimated to kill up to 250,000 Canadian jobs.  As part of a Conservative government I will be an advocate for a low tax plan to create new, well-paying jobs.


Doug Pederson, Independent

More good jobs is about healing the economy. People who have played Monopoly realize that when all the valuable property is owned “the game is over.”

This is how corporate monopolies are destroying economies worldwide. We don’t need a PHD in economics to know about this problem.

We must reverse these trends of the past few decades by bringing back the first off-shored jobs. Computing support went in the mid-80s. I know because that is my background. Call centres and help desks jobs soon followed. Corporate lives don’t matter.

Canada needs to do a Canuckxit similar to what was proposed for Greece. We are in far better shape than Greece and would quickly be producing everything we need.

And, 100 per cent tariff would be imposed on all imports. Give foreign owned corporations five years to sell and get out or be nationalized. Start with farming giant Cargill. Give young farmers a start. All Candidates should be pressed about this vision.


Samantha Troy, Green Party

Better paying jobs in the South Okanagan — West Kootenay’s would be created by investing in new and developing technologies, such as our growing infrastructure accessing broadband internet.

The Green Party will encourage small business development through their Think Small First Small Business Impact Assessment Act. This act addresses and removes present limitations to profitable small business development. Implementing a guaranteed liveable income, and a national Pharmacare program would enable all Canadians to put their resources into developing innovative new regional businesses. This asset — positive cycle would feed itself!

This region also needs a strategy to ease limitations regarding adding value to our small herd livestock farmers, who are presently restricted from easily and efficiently processing their animals.

Investing in our national and regional railways will facilitate better job opportunities in this riding, and throughout Canada, as people and products gain more efficient and sustainable access to their markets.