— Core Questions —

To The Polls

Who will get your vote on October 19?

You’ve probably already heard their leader’s gospel and how they might tackle the headline issues—a slumping economy, pipelines, ISIS. But what about the Edmonton-Centre candidates themselves? And how will they take issues in your community to the highest office? We surveyed the would-be representatives for Canada’s four major parties (Conservative candidate James Cumming didn’t participate) on three topics you can see out your window.

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Randy Boissonnault, Liberal Party
Business management consultant

Q1: What should be in the federal budget for young adults?

They can fall into several categories: students, parents or soon-to-be, unemployed or underemployed, lower income or middle-class earners, entrepreneurs. We also know that in Edmonton they care about our environment. A well-rounded budget should contain fair policies and investments, such as investment in post-secondary, a tax structure making it easier for the middle class to start families, investments in jobs and training, a reduced carbon footprint, and more.

Q2: Edmonton’s urban aboriginal population may soon be Canada’s largest. What are your ideas for Reconciliation?

I’ll work with my party colleagues to implement all 94 recommendations in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, starting with supporting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Locally we need to develop and fund a robust and detailed urban aboriginal strategy bringing together all orders of government to map out Edmonton indigenous people’s immediate and ongoing needs. We must engage with [them to] understand where healing can begin.

Q3: Light-rail transit is core to sustainable urban growth. How can Edmonton work with Ottawa to steadily serve and expand public transit?

Government should develop a sustainable, predictable and long-term funding model allowing municipalities to plan and develop such critical infrastructure. For situations where offering shorter term, one-time financing makes sense, the federal government must build out reasonable timelines and converse with municipalities well before application deadlines, allowing Edmonton enough time to review its priorities, draft proposals and secure local buy-in.


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Gil McGowan, NDP
President of the Alberta Federation of Labour

Q1: What should be in the federal budget for young adults? 

Since visiting the homes of 15,000 voters in Edmonton-Centre, many parents told me they want proper funding for child care. For some young families child-care costs are comparable to their mortgage. This has to stop. After broken promises and inaction on child care from both the Conservatives and Liberals, it’s time for a government that will actually give families the kind help they need. Only the NDP will introduce an affordable, universal $15-a-day child-care program.

Q2: Edmonton’s urban aboriginal population may soon be Canada’s largest. What are your ideas for Reconciliation?

The NDP is committed to implementing recommendations laid out in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. We’ll engage with the indigenous community and ensure that their perspective is central to our actions. It’s also time for an inquiry on missing and murdered indigenous women, repealing Bill C-51 and its unconstitutional attacks on First Nations activists engaging in legitimate peaceful protests, and to enact Jordan’s Principle.

Q3: Light-rail transit is core to sustainable urban growth. How can Edmonton work with Ottawa to steadily serve and expand public transit?

The Harper government has told cities like Edmonton that they can only access federal funds for infrastructure projects like the Valley Line LRT by using Public-Private-Partnerships. Research shows this form of privatization can lead to slower construction, increased public costs and restrictive contracts benefitting the corporate partners. The NDP is committed to providing adequate and predictable transit funding to municipalities with no ideological strings attached.


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David Parker, Green Party
Engineer and retired college instructor

Q1: What should be in the federal budget for young adults? 

Invest heavily in new industries that will propel us into the new future: Renewables, home retrofits, sustainable farming, alternative energy production, feed-in-tariffs—carbon taxes to be reinvested in all of the above. Restart the Katimavik volunteer service program and other opportunities for youth to aid the less advantaged in Canada and overseas, and give them free education for as far as they wish to go, as I received in the UK back in the 1970s. I’m sure that, if consulted, young people will give even more examples.

Q2: Edmonton’s urban aboriginal population may soon be Canada’s largest. What are your ideas for Reconciliation?

Reconciliation has been long overdue but it is time to put actions into place. Indigenous Peoples are entitled to all the rights that the rest of us are accustomed to—clean water, affordable housing, education. Enhancement and respect for their (almost) lost culture is essential to restoring the pride they have lost from the residential schools experience.

Q3: Light-rail transit is core to sustainable urban growth. How can Edmonton work with Ottawa to steadily serve and expand public transit?

Sadly, the present government does not seem interested in anything progressive in most of its policy projections. Edmonton desperately needs alternative means of transportation especially in times of environmental crisis, as we are in currently. All we can hope to do to influence the feds is increase the support for LRT systems.