The Kamloops Connector invited local candidates to submit a brief outline of their platforms especially with respect to seniors. We are publishing these verbatim and in no particular order. We hope these will help readers decide who to vote for in the upcoming federal election on October 21. If you need help getting to the polls, be sure to contact the various resources available to assist you. There are many volunteers eager to get out the vote so don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Conservative Party of Canada
I would like to thank The Kamloops Connector for the opportunity to present the Conservative Party’s vision for seniors.
First and foremost, we recognize that all Canadians, specifically those on fixed-incomes are finding it more difficult to get by financially under the Trudeau government.
Justin Trudeau and the Liberals created a cost-of-living crisis for seniors in our country. They’ve hiked taxes and made everyday essentials like gas, home heating, and groceries more expensive. Our seniors helped build our country - we owe them so much better. They have devoted their lives to work, to families and to their communities.
Historically, the Conservative Government introduced the largest increase to the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) for low-income seniors in 25 years. We also increased the GIS earnings exemption so that low-income seniors would not lose their GIS benefits if they decided to take a job.
Andrew Scheer and the Conservative party have a plan to make life more affordable. We will: scrap the carbon tax, take the GST off home heating and increase the Age Credit by $1,000 per year, per senior. Further, we will introduce the Green Public Transit Tax Credit and implement the Universal Tax Cut which will put $850 more in the pockets of Canadians.
Mr. Scheer stated that as Prime Minister, he would make the well-being of those who built our country a priority. Our goal is to put more money into the pockets of Canadians and live within our means. From balancing the budget responsibly to keeping our promise to maintain and increase transfer payments to the provinces for health and social transfers. Our commitment is clear, it’s time for you to get ahead!
If anyone requires assistance to cast their vote before October 21 or on election day, please don’t hesitate to contact my campaign office at 250-828-0512. I want to thank each of you for the wonderful relationships that we have enjoyed. I hope I can count on your continued support.
Liberal Party of Canada
Terry Lake is a dedicated local community leader and volunteer with a proven record of community service, and he knows what it’s like to run a business and raise a family. As former Mayor, MLA, and BC Cabinet Minister, and now as our Liberal candidate, he is dedicated to making sure that the seniors who have shaped our country get the support they need in Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo. As BC’s Health Minister, Terry created Canada’s first Seniors’ Advocate responsible for ensuring seniors needs are a priority for government.
Terry and his wife Lisa have three daughters who grew up in Kamloops. A veterinarian by profession, Terry has called Kamloops home for more than 20 years, and his previous experience in politics and government have given him a solid understanding of what it takes to create and keep good, well-paying jobs in our region.
Terry served as the MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson from 2009-2017, Mayor of Kamloops from 2005-2008, and as a city councillor from 2002-2005. He is a former Vice-President of the Union of BC Municipalities, a former member of the BC Transit Board of Directors, former Vice President of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association and has been involved in Rotary International. In each of these roles, Terry fought hard to keep the needs of local residents and British Columbians front and centre -- something he will continue to do as a Member of Parliament.
The seniors of Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo need a trusted voice in government who will be a champion for secure retirement. An MP in a government that has boosted the OAS and GIS. Lowered the age of eligibility for CPP from 67 to 65 and a government that invests in affordable housing, homecare, accessibility and a plan to reduce costs of medicine for all Canadians.
Green Party of Canada
Seniors comprise a growing proportion of Canada’s total population, a majority of whom are women. They built the society we now enjoy, have a wealth of experience and continue to contribute to the economic and social life of our communities and country. Many seniors are today among the most concerned citizens when it comes to the future of the climate, economy and democratic institutions being inherited by younger generations, and want to be part of the solution.
An essential duty of the social contract between government and citizens is to make sure people can live fulfilling and dignified lives in their senior years. Green Party pledges such as the Guaranteed Livable Income, Pharmacare, public transportation, home retrofits and affordable housing all contribute to seniors’ quality of life.
A Green government will also develop a National Seniors Strategy with the following priorities:
• Ensure the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) remains robust and adaptive to changing needs and circumstances by increasing over time the target income replacement rate from 25 per cent to 50 per cent of income received during working years.
• Regulate the CPP Investment Board to require divestment of coal, oil and gas shares and ensure that all investments are ethical and promote environmental sustainability.
• Support innovative home-sharing plans and other measures to allow people to stay in their own homes as long as possible. Create more long-term care beds in neighbourhood facilities.
• Protect private pensions by amending the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to establish the preeminence of pensioners and the pension plan in the creditor hierarchy during company insolvency proceedings.
• In collaboration with health professionals and provincial/territorial governments, develop and fund a national dementia strategy. Within 25 years, the number of Canadians living with a form of dementia could reach 1.3 million, imposing the highest economic, social, and health costs of all diseases. The strategy would support research, improve quality of life for patients and care givers, and educate the public to increase awareness and reduce stigma.
• Amend the Medical Assistance in Dying legislation to ensure that everyone has the choice of dying with dignity. This includes allowing advance directives and guaranteeing the right to draw up a “living will” that gives individuals the power to limit or refuse medical intervention and treatment.
Communist Party of Canada
Peter Kerek is the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo candidate for the Communist Party of Canada.
He is a 39-year resident of Kamloops and an Honours Grad of Norkam Secondary.
The 46-year-old father of four has been a labour activist for over 20 years including twice holding the Presidency of the largest democratically organized NGO in the Kamloops area: the Kamloops and District Labour Council (13,000 members). He has spent most of his working life in the fields of labour relations, community social services and transportation while also attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree from UBC (1997) and a Bachelor of Journalism Degree from TRU (2003).
Peter is committed to fighting for a just society where the needs of people are placed before the needs of corporations and profit. The Communist Party has a long history in Canada of being at the forefront of the struggle to improve the living conditions of the working class.
“Capitalism remains reliant on institutionalized poverty, underemployment, unemployment, exploitation and desperation. I am the only candidate, in my riding, to be fighting for an end to all these social and economic ailments. As we’ve seen, since the downturn of the international communist movement some 30 years ago, unfettered capitalism has only led to greater and greater hoarding of wealth and an ever-expanding pool of impoverished working people. We’re giving this riding’s residents a chance to vote their conscience and demand better on October 21st ,” says Kerek.
“Our platform includes a massive restructuring of Canada’s tax system in order to ensure all people’s needs are met, tax gifts to the super rich are ended, and corporations are made to pay their share. The profit motive shouldn’t exist in the delivery of people’s fundamental rights – that includes housing, healthcare and environmental protections.”
“I had my eyes opened early when, as a kid, I got to travel to the old Soviet Bloc, and realized that a lot of what I was told about how awful life was there, was a total fabrication. The fact was that my working class Hungarian relatives were living more comfortably than my working class family in Canada. It was a time when I started questioning a lot of what we were being told by Canada’s ruling class and their propaganda outlets – both in our media and our schools.”
Editor’s Note: No response was received to our request for a profile by press time from the People’s Party of Canada. The NDP will apparently be announcing a candidate as we go to press so unfortunately we won’t have a profile from them either.