MyWestNipissingNow.com reached out to candidates for the upcoming election to get their thoughts on important issues. Each week leading up to the election, we will publish stories online which include the candidates’ voices so the riding can hear what they have to say.
This week, we discussed economic recovery.
Here is the question we posed to each candidate:
With lives and livelihoods impacted directly by the COVID-19 pandemic, how will your party lead the economic recovery process in Nipissing-Timiskaming? What actions are you proposing specifically for the riding?
Craig Gravelle, Green Party of Canada
The Green’s Craig Gravelle says the COVID-19 pandemic has had a big effect on our economy, with many businesses having being forced to close due to health protocols, as well as a high unemployment rate. He says it’s important going into the future that the economic recovery is a green one, and works with the working class. He says it must be about investing in people and giving them the resources they need such as a guaranteed livable income.
Marc Serré, Liberal Party of Canada
Incumbent Liberal candidate Marc Serré says the economy has been top of mind with residents he’s spoken to. He says one of the most important things to do is to get vaccinated, so we can have a complete re-opening of the economy. He says over 80% of all COVID-related expenses came from the federal government, including the CERB, as well as wage and business subsidies. Serré also says that last year he was able to bring over $1.2 million in the riding for local businesses alone, working closely with the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Partners. Moving forward, he says we need to make sure more skill development is available, as well as affordable child care, summer jobs for youth, and broadband internet support. He says with FedNor now being an independent agency, we will see more support in the north in all aspects.
Charles Humphrey, Conservative Party of Canada
Nickel Belt candidate Charles Humphrey says his party’s economic recovery plan focuses on targeted investments in the economy. He says that’s in order to get businesses growing and get people working. He says it’s a strong cornerstone in economic recovery; to provide opportunities to Canadians to get meaningful and well-paying employment, as well as have greater security.
He says locally, in order to do that, we need to increase high-speed internet to rural areas. He says the Conservatives are committing to having high-speed internet in all rural areas throughout Canada by 2025. He also says the party will boost infrastructure spending in rural areas, all while tackling rural crime. He says the hallowing out of downtown businesses throughout the country has been going on for a while, but the conservatives would give Main St. businesses loans to make changes, as what is in place now is too small to make a significant impact.
Andréane Chénier, New Democratic Party
NDP candidate Andréanne Chénier says her party would give universal income to all Canadians. She says the NDP believes economic recovery includes growing the middle class, which they’ll do by creating a million new jobs across the country, based on four major pillars. She says they want to build better workplaces and treat workers like they’re essential, all while ensuring the right to collective bargain and removing barriers for workers to join unions. She says developing the new housing plan the NDP will implement will put people to work, and lead to good jobs and stronger communities across Nickel Belt and the country.