BC VOTES 2020: A Q&A with West Vancouver-Sea to Sky candidates

The West Vancouver-Sea to Sky riding has been a Liberal stronghold for almost 30 years.

That said, the Liberal's popularity dipped slightly in the last provincial election, with the BC Green Party in particular making impressive gains.

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Jordan Sturdy, the former mayor of Pemberton, has been the riding's MLA since 2013. He'll be up against NDP challenger Keith Murdoch and Jeremy Valeriote of the Green Party this election.

The top issues in the riding including transportation, housing, the environment and the impacts of COVID-19 on local businesses, specifically the tourism industry. You can read a more in-depth profile on the riding by clicking here.

Like we do every election cycle, we asked the three candidates running in the West Vancouver-Sea to Sky 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

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Name: Keith Murdoch

Age: 39

Do you live in riding? For how long?
No.

What should be done to address housing affordability?
Maintain the speculation tax – because it’s working. Cap rent increases. Invest in new affordable housing projects, like the 25,000 homes that the NDP already started/completed over the past three years.

How would your government combat climate change?
We will commit to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 by requiring greener buildings, reducing industrial emissions, expanding public transportation and investing in carbon capture technology.

What specific action would your government take to help your constituents with the econmic impact of COVID-19?
Invest an additional $3 billion a year over three years to build new schools, hospitals and more — creating 18,000 new jobs a year.

How would your government deal with traffic congestion and support expanding transit?
The NDP are making record investments to improve roads, bridges and transit and will commit to establishing regional public transit along the Sea to Sky.

How would your government resolve the crisis in long-term care?
Continue to act upon the expert advice of Dr. Bonnie Henry. Hire 7,000 health-care workers in long-term care. Build better public long-term care homes.

What should be done to reduce poverty?
We will introduce our Poverty Reduction Plan, continue addressing housing affordability issues, and expand $10/day childcare.

Do you support decriminalization of all drugs as a strategy to resolve the opiod crisis?
We respect the advice of health-care officials who have advocated for the decriminalization of drugs and support decriminalization of possession of small amounts of drugs.

Find out more about Keith Murdoch HERE or follow him on Twitter or Facebook

Liberal

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Name: Jordan Sturdy (incumbent)

Age: 58

Do you live in riding? For how long?
Yes. For 32 years.

What should be done to address housing affordability?
Housing costs are driven by the demand created when over 40,000 people newly arrive in B.C. annually. Increasing supply of developable transit-oriented land, reducing approval costs and timelines and increase resources for BC Housing.

How would your government combat climate change?
Encourage investment/adoption of green technology including Clean Energy Vehicle infrastructure, improve regional transit systems, support energy efficiency building retrofits, manage waste systems for GHG reductions.

What specific action would your government take to help your constituents with the econmic impact of COVID-19?
Support families and employment opportunities, investment in small businesses by eliminating the PST and small business income tax and provide loan guarantees for tourism/hospitality.

How would your government deal with traffic congestion and support expanding transit?
Rapidly refine the Burrard Inlet Rapid Transit crossing concepts to a preferred route and develop the plan to a value for funding stage.

How would your government resolve the crisis in long-term care?
Reduce pressure on care facilities by supporting seniors staying in their own homes longer and upgrade care facilities to single occupancy rooms where desired.

What should be done to reduce poverty?
Grow the economy so everyone has a job opportunity and ensure affordable housing and transportation options are available, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable.

Do you support decriminalization of all drugs as a strategy to resolve the opiod crisis?
Decriminalization of all drugs is not a panacea. Access to the right treatment and recovery options in combination with appropriate housing should be the priority.

Find out more about Jordan Sturdy HERE or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

Green Party

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Name: Jeremy Valeriote

Age: 46

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

What should be done to address housing affordability?
Greens have supported attention to housing after 16 years of BC Liberal neglect. But we need to do better. We propose $500 million for grants to low-income earners paying over 30 per cent of income on rent.

How would your government combat climate change?
End subsidies to fracking, oil and gas including Woodfibre LNG. Transition support to workers in fossil fuel sector for clean energy future.

What specific action would your government take to help your constituents with the econmic impact of COVID-19?
Immediate $300 million rent subsidy for small business and programs to support tourism operators for the next six months, not waiting for NDP task force.

How would your government deal with traffic congestion and support expanding transit?
We need regional transit, and a new MLA to finally make this happen. Collaborate with local government instead of dictating as in the past.       

How would your government resolve the crisis in long-term care?
Shift from for-profit to public, non-profit, community-based and co-op. Integrate residents into communities, connecting youth. Recognize care workers as a profession with equitable wages and benefits.

What should be done to reduce poverty?
We need systemic change. Invest in mental health ($1 billion over four years), affordable housing and livable wages while addressing systemic racism and inequality.

Do you support decriminalization of all drugs as a strategy to resolve the opiod crisis?
Yes. Dr. Bonnie Henry and many experts and front-line workers support this. We need safe, regulated supply to save lives. Look to Portugal for successful model.

Find out more about Jeremy Valeriote HERE or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

 


The election is set for Oct. 24.

Click here for more North Shore News provincial election coverage.

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