Questioning the candidates - Day 1

Yorkton This Week sent a list of ten questions to each of the five candidates running in the Yorkton-Melville riding in the 2019 Federal Election. Every day for the next ten days, we will post their answers. Yorkton-Melville heads to the polls on Oct. 21.

What are you hearing from voters is the key issue in the riding, and what is your party’s position on that issue?

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Carter Antoine, New Democratic Party:

Affordability is an issue that has come up a lot. For many people, wages are not meeting the basic cost of living even for those who are working full time. This is why the NDP have committed to making life cheaper by investing in affordable housing, implementing a national pharmacare program and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Connor Moen, Liberal Party:

People are concerned about the cost of living, the environment, and raising their families. The Liberal party will raise the basic personal income amount to $15,000 so that no income tax is paid on the first $15,000 earned. The Liberals are also looking to cut phone and internet bills by 25%. We're moving forward with an ambitious plan for the environment to ensure that future generations are able to enjoy the quality of lives in natures as we have been able to. The Canada Child Benefit, now tax-free under the Liberal Government helps more families get ahead by giving individual families the opportunity to decide the best way to spend money where they need it to raise their family. 

Ryan Schultz, People's Party of Canada:

Cost of living is the major issue caused by overtaxation. When you add up all the taxes Canadians pay from the GST, PST, Carbon Tax, Income Tax, Property Tax and so on; Canadians pay an effective tax rate between 45-50%. That is far too high. Ryan's position is that the Cost of Living can be reduced by reducing taxes.

Cathay Wagantall, Conservative Party:

Affordability and opportunity are two of the most common concerns I hear about as I travel throughout the riding this campaign.

There’s a great deal of angst about the carbon tax. One farmer from Foam Lake sent me current gas bill with a carbon tax charge plus GST of $944.80 – an increased cost of 18.5% . His RM alone is sending $27,000/month to Ottawa in grain drying carbon tax. In addition - railway freight rates have increased 18% due to the carbon tax.

With Trudeau’s increased taxes on small businesses – impacting their ability to have resources to fight a downturn and to save for their own retirement farmers and other job-creating businesses are feeling abused and unappreciated for what they bring to the Canadian economy.

In the midst of the uncertainty they see Justin Trudeau spending so foolishly that the interest alone on Canada’s debt rivals what the federal government provides annually to the provinces and territories in each of health and education transfers – 30 Billion/ year.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer confirms that 80% of the middle class are now paying higher taxes and yet the Liberal leader still claims he has lowered their taxes. There is a real sense amongst the constituents of Yorkton – Melville that if the Liberals stay in power life will become even more unaffordable as taxes rise and our agriculture, manufacturing and mining resources continue to face roadblocks because of his failures on foreign policy and trade. He has raised taxes, racked up debt and deficits, and made life more expensive for them.

At the doors every single person resonates with me when I share what Andrew Scheer is prepared to do to make life more affordable for them and their children in the future. Our entire platform has been fully costed and weighed in light of the annual deficits inflicted over the past four years with the measures in place to return to a balanced budget in five years. The Conservative Party led by Andrew Scheer has a positive vision for Canada’s economy. Our government will live within our means and leave more money in Canadians pockets so they can get ahead by:

· Taking GST off home heating bills.

· Scrapping the carbon tax.

· Making parental benefits tax-free.

· Balancing the budget in 5 years.

· Attracting better, higher-paying jobs by restoring Canada’s reputation on the world stage.

· Provide a Universal Tax Cut to all hard-working taxpayers with the highest break to low income earners.

· Make transit passes more affordable with the Green Tax Credit for Public Transit.

· Restorethe Children’s Fitness and Children’s Arts & Learning Tax Credit.

· Boost the Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP).

· Cancel $1.5B in corporate welfare and redirect savings to Canadians.

· Help homeowners pay for energy-saving renovations through the Green Homes Tax Credit (GHTC).

Stacey Wiebe, Green Party:

Carbon tax.

The Green Party’s Position on a Carbon tax: Greens support a Fee and Dividend model. All emitters, large and small, across the country pay the same fee on fossil fuels at the source and all revenue from the carbon fees goes directly back to Canadian households on an equal basis, making it more equitable. A 2018 study commissioned by Clean Prosperity showed that: “the vast majority of households, regardless of income level, would receive more money in the form of carbon dividend cheques than they would pay in carbon taxes.” Carbon pricing is widely considered the most efficient way to quickly reduce carbon emissions because it is market-based and removes well-known distortions in market signals. The carbon price can stay where the Liberals have it at $50/t C02 and work its way up in $10 annual increments to $200/tC02 by 2030 and, under our plan, continue to rise from there until we have reached net-zero emissions. Another major market distortion is fossil fuel subsidies. We will remove these immediately.

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