people

Eight questions for the candidates of Dartmouth-Cole Harbour

 

Image of Candidates

Hello Dartmouth has posed a series of questions on a wide range of topics to the four candidates in Dartmouth-Cole Harbour. Read on, make an informed decision, and be sure to vote on October 19.


 

Robert Chisholm (NDP)

Candidate1

Tell us a bit about your personal life – family/job/hobbies, etc…

I’ve been married to my wife Paula for 35 years. We have a daughter, Jessie, who is currently attending veterinary school in PEI. I earned a BA at Dalhousie and a Masters in Sociology from Carleton University in Ottawa. Before my election as the MP in 2011 I worked in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, including 10 years as an MLA. I enjoy reading, running, golf, and swimming.

 

What is your motivation for running in this election?

I was motivated to join Jack Layton’s team in 2011 because I didn’t like what I saw in Ottawa and I wanted to make a positive difference for Canada, and for DartmouthCole Harbour. After four years of a majority Conservative government, our situation is even more dire. My passion for social justice and my vision of a better Canada are what keeps me working hard every day.

 

In your opinion, what are the three biggest issues for people in Dartmouth-Cole Harbour?

Affordability, health-care, and retirement security. Affordability challenges come in many different forms; affordable housing, affordable childcare, and affordable prescription medication are all serious concerns an NDP government would address. Healthcare concerns include mental health, seniors’ health, and access to doctors and nurses. The NDP has outlined specific commitments and investments we would make in these areas. Retirement security includes protecting pension income-splitting, stronger and more secure pensions, returning the age of retirement to 65, and increasing GIS payments to lift seniors out of poverty. Other important issues that the NDP will address are the environment, jobs, and democratic reform.

 

How do you envision working with other levels of government on issues such as employment and the environment?

Working with all levels of government is very important. As the MP it has always been my practice to meet with, and communicate to, the councillors and MLAs in Dartmouth-Cole Harbour. Examples of this include redeveloping the Shannon Park lands, daylighting the Sawmill River, and cuts to Canada Post. Several key elements of the NDP platform involve negotiating with the municipalities and provinces in areas that will directly create jobs like our plan for universal childcare, infrastructure investments, and transit.

 

What are your party’s plans to initiate and invest in an affordable, accessible, quality child care?

We have a fully-costed plan to work with provinces to create high-quality childcare spaces across Canada. We’ll start immediately and over the next 8 years will create one million new spaces at a cost to parents of no more than $15 a day. This will create jobs, reduce dependence on welfare and increase the pay for ECE workers. Economists say a plan like ours returns more to governments than it costs and educators say it will give our most vulnerable kids the head start they need.

 

What will you do to increase the number of immigrants over and above the current numbers, and to welcome more refugees to Canada?

Our immigration system is a mess. I hear from people everyday who want to live and work here in Canada and they are incredibly frustrated by the way they are treated. We will speed up processing times and reduce backlogs, prioritize family reunification for children and parents, restore $30-million to the Foreign Credential Recognition Program, and create an Immigration Ombudsperson to resolve complaints. On refugees, we will make sure Canada is once again a country that welcomes people with compassion and not suspicion, including an immediate goal to settle 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of this year.

 

Most Canadians believe that the arts are important to the quality of life, yet funding for the arts takes a back seat. How will your party support the arts in Canada over the next four years?

After deep cuts to the CBC, the Department of Canadian Heritage, Telefilm, and the National Film Board, federal investment in our arts and culture is abysmal. The Nova Scotia Liberal’s devastating cuts to our once-thriving Film Industry have made the situation even worse. Arts and culture encourage creativity and innovation and improve our quality of life. An NDP government would support and promote this important sector in a way that reflects its value to our community and our economy.

 

What are you and your party doing to address voter apathy?

Voter apathy happens for many reasons and I’ve always encouraged people to participate in the democratic process. That includes my regular visits to schools, connecting with people any way I can, on the doorstep, through the mail, and on the phone. As well, I stay very active on social media. I think that as the MP, being highly accessible and acting with integrity and compassion is an important way to restore people’s faith in the system.


 

Jason Cole (Conservative)

 

Candidate2

Tell us a bit about your personal life – family/job/hobbies, etc…

I live in Cole Harbour not far from where I grew up. I am in my mid-thirties and have been married to the love of my life for 14 years. We have four amazing, fun and active children that fill our home with much laughter and joy.

 

What is your motivation for running in this election?

I have always been interested in what is happening locally and in our country. I believe that there is no better place to live than in Canada; where one person can make a difference. I am hoping that my community will allow me the chance to make a difference on a much bigger scale.

 

In your opinion, what are the three biggest issues for people in Dartmouth-Cole Harbour?

  • the economy
  • women’s issues
  • health care

 

How do you envision working with other levels of government on issues such as employment and the environment?

The protection of our economy is our number one priority. Amid increasing instability in the global economy, our Conservative Government’s Economic Action Plan is working; delivering new jobs and economic growth through lower taxes and a balanced budget.

Recently, Finance Canada confirmed that under our Conservative Government’s careful economic stewardship, we ran a near $2B surplus in the 2014-2015 fiscal year, one full year ahead of schedule. This is in addition to last month’s news that we have confirmed a five-billion-dollar surplus for the first three months of the current fiscal year.

Our low-tax, balanced budget plan has helped the Canadian economy grow for the seventh straight year and create nearly 1.3 million net new jobs – the best job creation record in the G7.  The Liberals and the NDP are both pledging to raise taxes on families, seniors and small businesses that will endanger job-creation and expose our economy to global instability. The Liberal and NDP plans will kill jobs and destabilize the economy by raising EI payroll taxes by at least $2 billion per year, and imposing thousands of dollars in new CPP payroll taxes on every worker and employer in this country.

The wrong government decision on taxes, spending or deficits can upset the fragile economy, causing business closures, downsizing and job losses in communities across Canada. Now is not the time for long-term deficits or higher taxes. Only our Conservative government has a plan to protect Canada’s economy by ensuring our budget remains balanced and lowering taxes to create new jobs and make life more affordable for Canadian families and seniors.

The Harper Government is taking action to deliver results on energy and the environment by:

  • boosting Clean Energy investments to secure Canada’s position as the world’s foremost clean energy superpower
  • protecting and conserving Canada’s natural heritage and treasures, including preserving record amounts of precious parkland for future generations to enjoy
  • Since 2006, our Government has taken action to add 161,389 square kilometres to Parks Canada’s network of protected areas. As a result, this would increase the total land and water that comes under our stewardship by more than half. This represents a significant contribution to the conservation goals of the National Conservation Plan
  • In 2010, we established an agreement with the Government of Nova Scotia to create a national park in Sable Island. In June 2013, the bill to create the Sable Island National Park Reserve of Canada received Royal Assent
  • In 2015, we extended the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Program by providing $10 million per year for three years, starting in 2016–17, to support the conservation of recreational fisheries across the country.
  • We doubled the carry-forward period for donations such as land to encourage additional donations of ecologically sensitive land.
  • We invested $10 million to improve and expand snowmobile and recreational trails across the country.
  • We invested $3 million over three years to support the Earth Rangers Foundation to expand its existing family-oriented conservation and biodiversity programming.
  • We are expanding tax incentives for clean energy generation to include a broader range of equipment.

Thanks to Harper Government action, Canada is successfully working to secure our position as the world’s foremost leader in clean energy production, while ensuring that Canada’s precious natural treasures and resources are there for our children’s children to enjoy.

 

What are your party’s plans to initiate and invest in an affordable, accessible, quality child care?

The Universal Child Care Benefit was introduced in 2006 and expanded in 2015 to help hard-working families make ends meet by putting more money in their pockets to spend on their priorities.

Our party understands that child care decisions are best left in the hands of the real experts, mom and dad. That is why we introduced the UCCB in 2006 and expanded it in 2015.

The UCCB provides a $160-per-month benefit for children under 6 and a $60-per-month benefit for children aged 6 through 17. All families with children – nearly 4 million – are receiving UCCB benefits.

The choice is clear, only our party will continue to put money back in the pockets of every single Canadian family so they can spend it on their own child care priorities – because mom and dad know best.

 

What will you do to increase the number of immigrants over and above the current numbers, and to welcome more refugees to Canada?

Our country has the most generous immigration and refugee system in the world. We admit per capita more people than any other. Canada resettles more than one in ten refugees world-wide.  Since 2006 Canada has had 2.5 million new arrivals, many of whom come for reasons of family reunification, for humanitarian and compassionate grounds and of course refugee situations as well.

Canada has already accepted tens of thousands of refugees from Syria and the surrounding region, from the Middle East we will accept more.  We have set a target for Canada to accept 23,000 Iraqis refugees and 11,300 Syrians.  Of that number Canada has already resettled nearly 22,000 Iraqis and 2,300 Syrians.  In addition to refugees from Iraq and Syria already here in Canada, and our existing commitments for more, Canada will resettle another 10,000 persecuted religious and ethnic minorities from the region.

 

Most Canadians believe that the arts are important to the quality of life, yet funding for the arts takes a back seat. How will your party support the arts in Canada over the next four years?

Beginning in 2015–16, Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes to provide ongoing funding of $105 million per year in support of core cultural programs. Ongoing federal funding helps support the cultural sector and improves Canadians’ access to the arts and cultural activities in their communities.. This includes funding of:

  • $25 million for the Canada Council for the Arts.
  • $30.1 million for the Canada Cultural Investment Fund.
  • $30 million for the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.
  • $18 million for the Canada Arts Presentation Fund.
  • $1.8 million for the Fathers of Confederation Buildings Trust.

This investment will ensure that Canadians continue to enjoy access to a great diversity of Canadian arts and culture.

The federal government has increased funding for the Canada Council of the Arts to record highs in 2012. Economic Action Plan 2013 maintains this funding of over $180 million, which will provide cultural communities with funding stability. The Canada Council for the Arts is an independent Crown corporation that “fosters and promotes the study and enjoyment of the arts and the production of artistic works.” The Council strengthens Canadian artistic practice and connects the public to the arts at approximately $5.25 per capita.

The Government shows the importance of arts institutions to Canadian social and cultural heritage by continuing to provide funding to the Canada Council for the Arts. For over 50 years, the Council has been the leading supporter of Canadian artists. The Council’s funding for artists and arts organizations ensures the sustainability of a strong and diverse arts sector that enriches the lives of all Canadians, while contributing to the country’s economy and identity.

The Canada Council for the Arts offers a broad range of grants and services in the areas of media arts, visual arts, dance, writing and publishing, music, theatre and multidisciplinary work. Canadian professional artists and non-profit arts organizations, artist collectives, and companies are eligible. The Canada Council for the Arts also awards prizes and fellowships to artists and Canadian researchers for their contribution to the arts, humanities and sciences in Canada.

Every year, the Canada Council for the Arts supports over 20,000 professional artists and arts organizations through its grants, prizes and public lending right payments. In 2011-12, it awarded over $157 million in funding. The financial support provided by the Council has reached over 1,900 communities in Canada. The Council is also home to the Canada Council Art Bank, with over 17,000 works of contemporary art, and the Canadian Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

 

What are you and your party doing to address voter apathy?

I believe that I can be a role model for young people who want to get into the political process. They look at me and don’t see someone who has been around the political block many times. And, they see that it’s a decision that people my age and younger can make – to serve their country and their community in the best way they can in our nation’s capital.

We believe that political parties are the best vehicle to get people voting, and our party is reaching out to Canadians across the country to inform them of the issues in this campaign.  This election is a choice of which government is best to manage and protect the fragile Canadian economy in the face of global economic turmoil.  The economy is our number one priority and that’s why we’re campaigning on a positive plan for the next four years that will create jobs, lower taxes, and balance our budget.


 

Darren Fisher  (Liberal)

Darren Fisher

Tell us a bit about your personal life – family/job/hobbies, etc…

 In my free time my wife, Anne, and I can be found in a local rink following son Bruen, who plays for the Dartmouth Whalers, and daughter Ava, who plays for the Cole Harbour Wings. Our summer months are spent at Lake Banook watching our children paddle for Mic Mac Amateur Aquatic Club.

 

What is your motivation for running in this election?

Prior to being elected to Halifax Regional Council in 2009, I was also an avid fundraiser; working with charities, schools and local sports teams to help them achieve their goals. Having a deep family connection to Dartmouth I hope to continue to serve this community and lead the charge for positive change as the representative for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour in Ottawa.

 

In your opinion, what are the three biggest issues for people in Dartmouth –Cole Harbour?

I can identify three issues that I believe are urgent and provide opportunity to help the people in this community: the redevelopment of Shannon Park, jobs and the economy and the treatment of veterans. Shannon Park represents a tremendous opportunity and I will ensure its redevelopment to the benefit of everyone in the community. Additionally I want to address jobs and the economy right here in Nova Scotia and in Dartmouth-Cole Harbour. Too many people find themselves having to leave our community to search for opportunities and I want to work as part of a government that will do things differently and solve this problem. The Liberal Party stands committed to growing the middle class and investing in infrastructure and this investment will create jobs right here in Dartmouth-Cole Harbour to bring folks home. Finally, the treatment of veterans under the current federal government is disappointing. We need to do more to support our veterans. The Liberal Party and I are committed to providing better support and reversing the cuts that have been made under the Conservative government. These issues are important and I plan to address them as the MP for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.

 

How do you envision working with other levels of government on issues such as employment and the environment?

I see myself bringing local experience to Ottawa and being able to forge relationships that work to address local issues. The Liberal Party has a plan to invest in infrastructure, including green infrastructure, to create jobs and bolster the economy. In doing this, it is important to work with other levels of government, provincial and municipal to be a partner at the table. With my municipal experience I envision myself helping build positive relationships with provincial and municipal governments to solve environmental issues and create jobs here in Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.

 

What are your party’s plans to initiate and invest in an affordable, accessible, quality child care?

The Liberal Party has committed to a new Canada Child Benefit program to better meet the needs of families who are the most vulnerable and in-need. Through an income tested Child Benefit program that will be implemented in the first budget of a Liberal government, families will receive immediate help—up to $533 per child per month, tax free—to afford things like quality childcare. This ensures that the families that need childcare have access now, instead of having to wait years for the help they deserve.

 

What will you do to increase the number of immigrants over and above the current numbers, and to welcome more refugees to Canada?

Justin Trudeau has announced that he would immediately accept 25,000 new refugees over and above those already welcomed to Canada if elected and I fully support this decision. Canada has opened its hearts, it is time we open our doors too. Through proper screening Canada can be a safe home for refugees. On immigration the Liberal Party is dedicated in reforming and providing proper oversight for the Temporary Foreign Workers Program to ensure that immigrants are welcomed to Canada to work in in-need industries such as agriculture.

 

Most Canadians believe that the arts are important to the quality of life, yet funding for the arts takes a back seat. How will your party support the arts in Canada over the next four years?

We support the arts, both as an expression of our culture and as an economic driver for the country. Through proper recognition and funding of indigenous cultures and languages as well as investing in children and educators, a Liberal government would foster learning, including the arts. Indigenous cultures and languages are an important and underrated portion of the arts in Canada, and we want to open the doors for those cultures to express themselves and be a bigger part of Canada’s multicultural society.

 

What are you and your party doing to address voter apathy?

I’ve had the opportunity to meet and talk with thousands of people here in Dartmouth-Cole Harbour both as a municipal councillor and as a candidate to represent this community in Ottawa. Whenever I have knocked on a door during this campaign my first goal has been to encourage voter turnout. The Liberal Party has also committed to a more open government with the goal of restoring faith in our democracy. Justin Trudeau has traveled the country talking about taking change to Ottawa, and restoring people’s interest and faith in our government is the first step to addressing voter apathy.


 

Brynn Nheiley (Green)Brynn Nheiley

Tell us a bit about your personal life – family/job/hobbies, etc…

I’m now in my 7th year of being a proud Nova Scotian, after moving from Ontario in order to live an ocean-lifestyle. Building a life here became inevitable upon meeting my husband, a born and raised Dartmouthian.

I am entering the world of politics with six years experience in architecture and environmental consulting, and two years of urban planning. This diverse background gives me an understanding of business, the importance of developing our city so that it works with our local environment, and what is required to help maintain and enhance vibrant communities.

Born on the shores of Lake Huron, sailing is in my bones. In my spare time I also enjoy camping, hiking and rocking climbing. I love hosting intimate diner parties with close friends and family.

 

What is your motivation for running in this election?

I have become tired of our political representatives disregarding science. No other party is taking the threat of climate change, and the growing disparity of our population seriously. The evidence is in the gimmicky boutique promises that the other parties are promising, but merely touch on these critical issues.

I decided that I was no longer satisfied with venting my frustration. When the Green Party of Canada approached me to step forward as a candidate, after some serious consideration, I decided to take the plunge. As a candidate I’m proud to give residents of Dartmouth-Cole Harbour a real choice in addressing these issues, so important to me and to our national long-term success.

 

In your opinion, what are the three biggest issues for people in Dartmouth-Cole Harbour?

The most acute issues impacting Dartmouth-Cole Harbour are two-fold, and interrelated. They are the wealth disparity across the riding, and the out-migration of our working-age population.

Those most financially vulnerable in our riding need a stable and consistent helping hand, once that doesn’t dis-incentivize those looking for work with threats of a loss of assistance regardless of the wage available. The Green Party of Canada’s Guaranteed Liveable Income will ultimately save Canadians money by eliminating the unpredictable emergency welfare system, alleviating pressures on our healthcare system, and reducing pressure on our criminal justice system.

Wealth disparity in the area will also be addressed while simultaneously creating opportunities for more Nova Scotians to stay in the province with good jobs. This will be accomplished with the Green Party’s Sustainable Generations Fund, which will invest in skills-training and education, local jobs creation through energy efficiency, renewable energy, and emerging technology.

A reorientation of our corporate taxation policies will prioritize the small and medium size business located across the country, and who create 80% of new jobs, rather than multinational corporations that are centrally located and have no commitment to the communities in which they exist.

 

How do you envision working with other levels of government on issues such as employment and the environment?

The Green Party’s proposal to establish a Council of Canadian Governments has the direct objective of having collaboration and communication including federal, provincial, territorial, municipal and First Nations, Metis and Inuit governments. Topics on which to collaborate include the range of national issues, including security, education, healthcare and infrastructure. I take this commitment very literally. In the short term, as an MP I will consult, not only with experts and constituents, but also with local representation when making decisions that impact the riding.

 

What are your party’s plans to initiate and invest in an affordable, accessible, quality child care?

The Guaranteed Liveable Income will go a long way to addressing the affordability of childcare for parents. Additionally we will stimulate an increase in the number of affordable childcare spaces by ramping up to an investment of $1 billion dollars federally, incentivizing businesses to host dedicated spaces for new childcare within their places of businesses. This will have the added bonus of allowing parents and children to spend quality family time during break periods, lunches, and when urgency requires.

 

What will you do to increase the number of immigrants over and above the current numbers, and to welcome more refugees to Canada?

It is heartening to see the upsurge in awareness of the immigrant crisis across Canada. However, this crisis is not new. Essential to addressing this chronic refugee problem, caused by decades of war around the world and increasingly by climate change, is to fix the system in which we process refugees and welcome immigrants.

We must work with professional associations to ensure that professional credentials are recognized and that greater numbers of new Canadians can more quickly begin their lives as productive Canadians.

We must eliminate the Temporary Foreign Worker program as it exploits vulnerable global populations, while simultaneously denying Canadians job opportunities and lowering the bar of Canadian workers rights. Instead we must better identify and communicate the industries that would benefit from an influx of employees, and create more effective paths to citizenship for those who arrive to address the need.

 

Most Canadians believe that the arts are important to the quality of life, yet funding for the arts takes a back seat. How will your party support the arts in Canada over the next four years?

Our first priority for invigorating Canadian culture is a commitment to restoring, and then enhancing funding of the CBC and Radio Canada, to $350 million annually. This will ensure that Canadian content can continue to have an outlet to present our unique cultural landscape.

In the future, Green MPs will build on this re-stabilized platform by implementing our policy 4.16: Arts And Culture: Beauty and Inegrity.

 

What are you and your party doing to address voter apathy?

While the three big parties “strive for the cutting edge of the status quo”, to quote Elizabeth May, simply contributing the Green Party’s fresh approaches to the real priorities of Canadians goes a long way to reduce voter apathy. The election of Elizabeth May’s seat saw Green’s earn votes from all parties, but more importantly Green candidates have attracted new voters to participate. But we must not take this for granted.

Replacing the first-past-the-post system will finally demonstrate to Canadians that every vote truly does matter.

In the mean time the Green Party policy to never whip a vote can assure the citizens of Dartmouth-Cole Harbour that I will make decisions on their behalf. This is unique to the three larger parties, who are beholden to the party line above their responsibilities to citizens.