KTW presents profiles of those seeking to become Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP in the Sept. 20 federal election.
Name: Jesse McCormick
Party: Liberal Party of Canada
Campaign office address: virtual office
Family: My partner, Brandi, and I have two children, ages two and four
Q: In a nutshell, why should voters cast a ballot for you and your party, as opposed to your opponents and their parties?
A: I believe that Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo deserves a strong voice in Parliament and I am excited to bring forward my commitment to protect the environment, strengthen the economy and advance reconciliation.
I have worked at the heart of decision-making in Ottawa and I know and understand how to ensure that our interests as a riding are prioritized at the national level. I am proud of the work of the Liberal government and, if re-elected, we will ensure that Canada continues moving forward for everyone as we build a strong economy and leave a positive legacy of environmental protection and climate action for future generations.
Q: This summer has seen all-time record high temperatures in Kamloops and elsewhere in B.C., with an unprecedented wildfire season still raging. Do you agree this is due to human-caused climate change? If not, how do you explain the increase in global temperatures and proliferation of extreme weather events across the globe? In either case, what should be done to mitigate the effects of wildfires?
A: Climate change is real and it is caused by humans. The Liberal Party of Canada is committed to climate action and it has been a central focus of our government since 2015.
The wildfires that are impacting so many families and businesses in our riding and province demonstrate the urgency of preparing for and adapting to climate change. I am proud that our party has recently announced a $50-million commitment to help train at least 1,000 firefighters, including Indigenous-led fire crews. A re-elected Liberal government will also invest $450 million ahead of the next fire season to support provinces and territories to invest in the equipment needed to fight wildfires and keep firefighters safe.
Q: What is the most important first step government should do in tackling the climate change crisis?
A: The Liberal government has significantly advanced the important work of fighting climate change and, if re-elected, we will ensure climate action remains a national priority. We will continue work to support the transition to a green economy, put a price on pollution and implement adaptation and resilience strategies to respond to the impacts of climate change.
Q: What would you propose be done to end the pandemic and prevent the next one?
A: A re-elected Liberal government will continue to listen to scientists and keep families safe and businesses working. From day one of the pandemic, the Liberal government provided a suite of emergency programs for individuals and businesses. We have also committed $6 billion in investments for businesses to help them recover, plan for their futures and invest in themselves.
A re-elected Liberal government will continue to support Canadian vaccine production and purchase. We will work co-operatively with the provinces and territories and partner with governments around the world to eradicate the coronavirus. As Dr. Bonnie Henry recently announced, numbers are rising in the Interior Health region. I urge everyone to keep their families and communities safe by getting their vaccines and adhering to public health orders.
Q: Do you support mandatory COVID-19 vaccination of health-care workers and students and staff in post-secondary institutions? If not, why not?
A: As the partner of a Kamloops emergency physician and father of two young children, I personally support mandatory COVID-19 vaccination of health-care workers, as well as students and staff in post-secondary institutions. Vaccinations are effective and we must all do our part to keep our communities safe. We need to finish the fight against COVID-19 so we can safely return to enjoying time together with family and friends, while keeping our economy strong.
Q: Reconciliation with First Nations remains a major issue. What should government’s first step be in addressing the concerns of the Indigenous population?
A: I am Anishinaabe and I am proud to have dedicated many years of my professional career to advancing the rights and interests of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. I believe the first and most important step we need to take as a country is to recognize the right of self-determination. Indigenous Peoples are best placed to determine and implement the solutions needed to address existing challenges and we need to work in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to build a better future.
Q: What is the No. 1 issue being raised with you when speaking to voters in the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding?
A: The impacts of climate change and the need for a strong economy are top of mind for many of the people in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo. Voters know the climate is changing and they want to see effective measures implemented in response, while ensuring the strength of the regional economy.
Q: What is the most important step that needs to be taken to begin reduction of the deficit caused by pandemic-related spending?”
A: Financial investments such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit were critical to helping Canadians follow public health measures while still covering their family expenses.
Those investments will help to ensure that we have a strong economy as we continue our fight against COVID-19. It was a fiscally prudent choice to support Canadians in need during a time of crisis and I am proud of the work of the Liberal government to support Canadians during this time.
Most of the programs are time-limited and the investments have been carefully chosen to maintain the fiscal health of our country. We will work hard to implement deficit-reduction measures once we have secured the health and well-being of Canadians.