NewmarketToday sent a series of questions to each of the candidates in the Newmarket-Aurora riding on a wide range of issues.
Candidates were provided the exact same questions, the same amount of time to respond and a limited word count for each question. None of the candidate's responses have been edited. NewmarketToday will publish each response received by deadline.
Here is how Conservative candidate Harold Kim responded:
1. What do you want voters to know about you? (50-word limit)
My commitment to giving back to the community and country that I love, ensuring the Canadian dream is available to my children, is what drove me to move from being a Town Councillor for Aurora to the federal arena where key decisions affecting my children’s future are made.
2. What’s the most pressing issue in the 2021 federal election campaign and why? (50-word limit)
We need strong leadership with a realistic plan. Never has there been a more critical time for strong leaders to step up and show courage, foresight and demonstrate that they have a plan to navigate through these troubled times. Justin Trudeau chose to call an election instead.
3. What specifically will your party do to improve the post-pandemic economy, and address the cost of living, labour shortages and growing deficit? (250-word limit)
Canada’s Recovery Plan addresses all three issues. We have a plan to address the high cost of living by tackling price fixing impacting food prices, providing options for affordable rental housing, mortgages and banning foreign investors from buying up homes for two years and we will balance the budget in ten years.
We need to keep jobs and company profits in Canada and regain our place alongside other developed countries that are able protect their citizens’ health and safety. We need to restore our emergency plans, invest in pharmaceuticals, manufacture zero emission vehicles, help our small businesses through the Rebuild Main Street program and reject mergers that reduce competition, lead to layoffs and higher prices. And, we will pay at least 25% of the salary of net new hires for six months.
At the same time, we cannot carry financial burdens to the next generation, driving investment and jobs, south. Through targeted programs, a healthy workplace and Canadian jobs, we will get the economy back on track.
On the supply side, our Job Surge Plan will get workers back to work. Not only will we recover the million jobs that were lost due to the pandemic, we will extend sick leave, provide a seat for workers at Board tables and support gig employees.
For those who want to rethink their career direction, we will provide training grants, loans and programs so that Canadians can choose their futures.
Canada’s Conservatives can get this country back on track again.
4. What’s your party’s plan to address the issue of affordable housing? (200-word limit)
Canada’s Recovery Plan will address both the rising house prices caused by lack of supply and the flow of foreign money into Canada’s housing market, in addition to making homes and mortgages more affordable for owners and renters.
We will build a million homes over the next three years, review the federal real state portfolio that holds 37,000 buildings and release 15% for homes that will be built near publicly funded transit.
We will encourage foreign investment in affordable, purpose-built rental housing and will partner with municipalities and the private sector to bring new rental units to market.
We will also make it easier for families to get a mortgage by providing alternatives to the stress test, and ban foreign investors from buying homes here if they are not planning to move to Canada. We will address unfair and corrupt practices that have driven up prices such as money laundering and implement the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia.
And Conservatives will never tax capital gains on principal residences – the very monies that homeowners have invested to be used as down payments on future properties for their families and for their retirement.
5. Multiple election polls show climate change continues to be a ranking concern in this election. What specific actions will your party take to address this issue? (150-word limit)
Conservatives will repeal the Carbon Tax which cuts jobs and drives investment out of Canada.
Instead, we will introduce Low Carbon Savings Accounts, allowing Canadians to choose how they will reduce carbon emissions.
We will develop, manufacture and sell zero emission vehicles and, of particular interest to this Riding, we will invest $3 billion in natural climate solutions focused on forest management and restoration of grasslands, wetlands and forests, and restore funding for the National Wetland Conservation Fund that Justin Trudeau cancelled.
Conservatives will invest $5 billion to accelerate the deployment of Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage technology in the energy sector and will invest in Direct Air Capture, a technology that captures carbon dioxide from the air.
Our Hydrogen Strategy will increase the use of hydrogen and National Clean Energy Strategy will strengthen Canada's energy grid, developing new clean energy technology such as nuclear, hydrogen and renewables.
6. Six years after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its 94 Calls to Action, the majority of them have yet to be fully implemented. How will your party advance reconciliation with our Indigenous peoples? (200-word limit)
First, Conservatives believe that out of all the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a Commission established by the Conservative government in 2007, the national holiday is the only one adopted by the Liberals. Conservatives know this holiday will not provide First Nations people with clean drinking water, provide economic opportunities or support for education, provide better access to government contracts for Indigenous businesses, end human trafficking rings or provide mental health support to these communities.
However, the Conservative plan for Indigenous Communities reflects that Canada’s Conservatives understand the plight of Indigenous peoples in this country. Canada’s Conservatives will put a stop to federal paternalism and instead will partner with Indigenous communities and empower them with the autonomy to meet their own housing needs, under the “For Indigenous, By Indigenous” strategy. The Conservatives commitment to the spirit of reconciliation has been ignored by the Liberals.
In addition, we will provide $1 billion over 5 years to boost funding for Indigenous mental health and drug treatment programs and will implement a Critical Minerals Strategy to use our wealth of minerals to power our clean energy future, creating jobs and supporting the Indigenous economy.
7. Briefly outline your party’s stance on: ensuring there are enough health-care providers; universal pharmacare; and improving access to mental health services. (200-word limit)
The Conservative plan to restore provincial health transfers is anxiously awaited upon by provincial Premiers. Health funding transfers were eroded by the Liberals over many years and the incoming Conservative government of 2006 not only recognized this, but charted a path to gradually restore the 50/50 split. That path was abandoned by Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.
Conservatives have committed to increase provincial transfers by 6% each year, for a total of $60 billion in ten years. While healthcare spending for hospitals and care providers is under provincial jurisdiction, the federal government will restore relationships with Premiers who already know that mental health – at crisis levels now – is a priority. Premiers will be better able to manage the crisis in healthcare experienced across the country with the increased funding.
And, while healthcare staffing is at the provincial level, the federal government will be able to ease the critical shortage of Personal Support Workers who are on the front lines both in hospitals and vulnerable congregate care homes. By promoting these careers through immigration and refugee settlement programs and providing priority in immigration programs to those who can work in long-term care or homecare, the shortage will be addressed.
8. Many young adults in Newmarket-Aurora are unable to find a job that allows them to support themselves, they can’t afford to buy or even rent a home of their own, and they are concerned about the impact of the pandemic on their education, mental health, the economy and their future. What’s your message to them? (100-word limit)
When I was a young person, Canada was a country of promise, but under the current Liberal government we are riddled with debt squandered on corrupt, selfish spending, unfair trade practices, and promises made but never delivered.
Under a Conservative government, we offer principled leadership. Canada’s Recovery Plan addresses the issues that keep you awake at night: Medical care when I need it. Future job prospects. Affordability of food and housing. Attention to the conditions of a care home for my parents. A practical plan for a cleaner environment. And Canadian made medical supplies should another pandemic strike.
9. What leadership quality does the leader of your party have to strongly represent Canada on the world stage? (50-word limit)
Erin O’Toole has the trust and confidence of Canadians to not only represent Canadians selflessly on a world stage, but to deliver on his commitments at home and abroad. It’s at the core of the Conservative philosophy.
10. What is one specific issue you would personally champion, or private-members bill you would introduce, given the opportunity as an MP? (100-word limit)
Ethical, principled behaviour. Canadians have spent millions to pay for lavish spending – deemed by the Ethics Commissioner to be a conflict of interest – for the personal benefit of Justin Trudeau, his family and his Liberal friends.
Political interference in judicial matters purportedly to save Canadian jobs, however since been declared were not at risk, is the tip of the iceberg. The slate of scandals is endless: the WE debacle and payment to his mother of $250K, a $200K New Years party with the Aga Khan never repaid, ‘blackface’ that was condemned around the world and so it goes.
11. What does your party’s campaign slogan mean to you? (50-word limit)
COVID has shone the light on every critical life support that has been shortchanged by the Liberals.
Canadians need more than lip service. Conservatives look to the future and provide real plans to get there. Securing the future for Canadians is the light at the end of the tunnel.