By Lauren LaFrance
With federal election day fast approaching, four of the five candidates for Charlottetown gathered at the W.A. Student Centre on September 8th to share their party’s plans on several issues including climate change and affordable housing. The candidates who took part were Margaret Andrade (NDP), Sean Casey (Liberal), Doug Currie (Conservative), and Darcie Lanthier (Green). Scott MacPhee (People’s Party) did not attend. The debate was co-hosted by The Guardian and the UPEI Student Union.
The debate began with a question about climate change. Currie stated that he views climate change as the biggest issue candidates are facing. Lanthier brought up that the CPC voted against recognizing climate change as a real issue, and then continued on to say that the other party’s plans for reducing carbon emissions are not enough to truly make a difference in the problem. The liberal candidate explained that the purchase of electric school buses on P.E.I. demonstrates that his party is committed to reducing carbon emissions.
The next question concerned mandatory vaccinations for federal public sector employees. Casey expressed his agreement on this mandate, while Currie was more in favour of “promoting and encouraging” the vaccines. Currie also stated that the CPC plans to make vaccine production in Canada a reality. Andrade agreed, saying that Canada needs to become more self-sustaining by investing in research sectors. Lanthier explained that she is sympathetic towards those who are nervous to get the shot, and therefore agreed that vaccinations should not be mandatory.
While discussing housing in Canada, the NDP, Conservative, and Liberal candidates all focused on how their parties will work to build new homes in the coming years, while Lanthier explained that the Green party will focus on reducing the price of rent. Andrade stated that her party will eliminate federal GST/HST for new construction and also provide rent relief to Canadians. Casey said that the Liberals will help those under forty to buy their first home. Currie explained that the CPC plans to ban foreign investors from buying land in Canada, stating, “If you’re not living in this country and paying taxes and contributing, you will not be able to put property in Canada.”
On the topic of reconciliation, Lanthier said that Canada needs to begin by officially departing from the Doctrine of Discovery. Andrade stated that the NDP party will work with indigenous communities on various affairs. Casey spoke about how the Liberals are still working to remove 32 boil water advisories, and Currie noted that the CPC would work to lift these advisories if elected.
While on the topic of post-secondary education, both the Green and NDP candidates expressed their party’s intentions to work towards free tuition. Currie stated that the CPC will invest in post-secondary institutions, enabling them to lower costs of education. Casey spoke about the continuation of initiatives the Liberals have taken during the pandemic, such as raising the Canada student grant to $6000.
Reference: Robar, Michael. “Charlottetown Conservative, Liberal candidates take heat during debate.” SaltWire Network, 8 Sept. 2021, www.saltwire.com/atlantic-canada/news/charlottetown-conservative-liberal-candidates-take-heat-during-debate-100632043/.
If you have an opinion on any of the topics discussed in this debate and want to make a difference, then vote! In order to vote, go to your assigned polling station on Monday, September 20th, 2021, between 8:30 am and 8:30 pm. If you are unsure where your polling station is, click Here.
To learn more about the Conservative Party, click Here
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To learn more about the New Democratic Party, click Here
To learn more about the Green Party, click Here
To learn more about the People’s Party of Canada, click Here