BC VOTES 2020: A Q&A with North Vancouver-Seymour candidates

Voters in the North Vancouver-Seymour riding have reliably voted in the Liberals – and before that, Social Credit – in every provincial election since 1975.

Jane Thornthwaite, the incumbent Liberal MLA, has represented the riding for three terms already, since 2009 when she won with 59 per cent of the vote. Since then, the Liberal’s vote share in the riding has slipped.

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Look for challengers, including Susie Chant of the BC NDP, Harrison Johnston of the BC Green Party, and Libertarian Clayton Welwood, to try and chip away at this Liberal stronghold this election.

The top issues in the riding include housing affordability, transportation, and the challenges posed by COVID-19, from health care to business. You can read a more in-depth profile on the riding by clicking here.

Like we do every election cycle, we asked the four candidates running in the North Vancouver-Seymour riding a series of key questions about how their parties would govern and what impact they could have on the community.

Their responses are below:

NDP

BC VOTES 2020: A Q&A with North Vancouver-Seymour candidates_3

Name: Susie Chant

Age: 59

Do you live in riding? For how long?
Yes. For 34 years.

What should be done to address housing affordability?
The BC NDP would continue to stabilize the housing market, establish an income-tested renters rebate, reduce construction costs on affordable builds, scrap outdated and expensive parking requirements, and continue the builds of supportive housing.

How would your government combat climate change?
Protect more old-growth forests and clean water sources, phasing out single -use plastics, make polluters pay for cleanup of industrial waste.

What specific action would your government take to help your constituents with the economic impact of COVID-19?
One-time $1,000 recovery benefit for households, rent freezes until the end of 2021, rental caps after that, and an income-tested $400 rental rebate.

How would your government deal with traffic congestion and support expanding transit?
Support alternate commuting options such as bike lanes and car share, and promote affordable housing where people work.

How would your government resolve the crisis in long-term care?
Already working on increasing workforce by 7,000, looking at improving wages and promoting full-time employment, increased oversight of care facilities, enhanced services in the home.

What should be done to reduce poverty?
Review and revise income levels for folks on welfare, disability, and employment insurance. Increase availability of supported/subsidized housing stock. Subsidized training programs.

Do you support decriminalization of all drugs as a strategy to resolve the opioid crisis?
A strategy that has been suggested is that of decriminalizing the possession of drugs in a quantity that is clearly for personal use only.

Find out more about Susie Chant HERE or follow her on Twitter or Facebook

Green Party

BC VOTES 2020: A Q&A with North Vancouver-Seymour candidates_1

Name: Harrison Johnston

Age: 21

Do you live in riding? For how long?
Yes, I moved to Lynn Valley when I was three years old.

What should be done to address housing affordability?
As a young person who is being priced out of the North Shore, this is very important to me. We need to ensure nobody has to spend more than 30 per cent of their income on housing.

How would your government combat climate change?
I will listen to scientists instead of making political decisions. End all subsidies to the fracking industry. Stop forcing pipelines through unceded Indigenous territory.

What specific action would your government take to help your constituents with the economic impact of COVID-19?
Renters, students and essential workers all need more support from the government. If they have money to spend, small businesses and the broader community will benefit.

How would your government deal with traffic congestion and support expanding transit?
I will prioritize investments in public transit infrastructure in North Vancouver. We need rapid transit across Burrard Inlet as soon as possible.

How would your government resolve the crisis in long-term care?
Private companies have shown they will always prioritize their profits over our seniors. We need to bring long-term care back into the public health-care system.

What should be done to reduce poverty?
Safe housing, healthy food and public transit should be guaranteed to all British Columbians. The government should provide these things to everyone in need.

Do you support decriminalization of all drugs as a strategy to resolve the opioid crisis?
Yes, I support the safe decriminalization of drug users as recommended by Dr. Bonnie Henry. Criminalization of drug users does not solve anything!

Find out more about Harrison Johnston HERE or follow him on Twitter or Facebook

Liberal

BC VOTES 2020: A Q&A with North Vancouver-Seymour candidates_2

Name: Jane Thornthwaite (incumbent)

Age: 62

Do you live in riding? For how long?
Yes. For 31 years.

What should be done to address housing affordability?
We need to reduce skyrocketing strata insurance premiums and incentivize municipalities to build diverse needs-based housing by reducing red tape.

How would your government combat climate change?
Re-establish B.C. as a climate emissions reduction leader. Focus on clean choices in transportation and commit to a revenue-neutral carbon tax.

What specific action would your government take to help your constituents with the economic impact of COVID-19?
Commit to a small business income tax cut and a PST cut to give small businesses the chance to recover and once again become competitive.

How would your government deal with traffic congestion and support expanding transit?
Transportation options remain a priority. Finish the Lower Lynn interchanges and invest in rapid transit for the North Shore.

How would your government resolve the crisis in long-term care?
Create a Seniors’ Home Care Tax Credit to help provide the care they deserve and invest in building private-room care homes.

What should be done to reduce poverty?
Develop a comprehensive mental health and addictions strategy to combat poverty and provide rent assistance. Reduce the tax burden on small businesses and families.

Do you support decriminalization of all drugs as a strategy to resolve the opioid crisis?
Decriminalization alone will not fix our overdose crisis. We need prevention, more treatment beds, and ensure people are diverted into the health system.

Find out more about Jane Thornthwaite HERE or follow her on Twitter or Facebook

Libertarian

BC VOTES 2020: A Q&A with North Vancouver-Seymour candidates_0

 

Name: Clayton Welwood

Age: 42

Do you live in riding? For how long?
Yes. Seven years.

What should be done to address housing affordability?
Increase housing supply and reduce its cost by reducing the property transfer tax, making the BC Building Code simply a guideline, and converting some Crown land near cities to private ownership.

How would your government combat climate change?
Eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. Scrap the Clean BC Plan and create an Innovation Fund that would pay B.C. producers for CO2 capture and sequestration.

What specific action would your government take to help your constituents with the economic impact of COVID-19?
End the state of emergency (except for health orders for long-term care homes) and allow business to return to normal.

How would your government deal with traffic congestion and support expanding transit?
End the Passenger Transportation Board to allow private bus service and deregulate taxis and ride-hailing. Toll bridges and traffic choke points to reduce congestion.

How would your government resolve the crisis in long-term care?
Modernize B.C.’s wrongful death laws so families who lose loved ones due to sub-standard care can hold care home owners liable.

What should be done to reduce poverty?
End state of emergency, allow people to get back to work. Triple the basic income tax exemption. Eliminate claw-back of welfare for recipients who work.

Do you support decriminalization of all drugs as a strategy to resolve the opioid crisis?
Yes, the BC Libertarian Party has advocated this for 34 years. We would authorize non-profit Compassion Clubs to serve opioid addicts, subject to municipal approval.

Find out more about Clayton Welwood HERE or follow him on Twitter on Facebook

 

The election is set for Oct. 24.

Click here for more North Shore News provincial election coverage.

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