The North Delta Reporter sent all six candidates running to represent Delta in Parliament five questions submitted by readers to gauge their positions on some of the big issues for voters in the 2021 federal election. Candidates were given a limit of 1,250 words total to answer your questions. Here’s what Conservative candidate Garry Shearer had to say:
1) Why are you running to be Delta’s MP? Why should voters choose you to be their representative in Parliament?
My wife Colleen and I have lived in Delta for nearly 40 years and raised our family here. The majority of my work life and volunteer activities have been focused here in our community.
As a Rotarian, public service is important to me. I’m running to be your member of Parliament to continue my record of service to Delta, and because I believe bold, new ideas are needed to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
As executive director of the Delta Chamber of Commerce, I helped our small and medium business community pivot through the challenges of the global pandemic. Today, Deltans are dealing with the worst health and economic crisis in a generation.
We need a real plan to address these significant challenges and secure a healthy and prosperous future for all Canadians. Canada’s Conservatives have that plan: Canada’s Recovery Plan.
2) What are your top priorities if you are elected on Sept. 20?
Delta commuters are desperate for a replacement to the aging and seismically unsafe Massey Tunnel. In my work at the Chamber, I have advocated to all levels of government the importance of replacing this crossing, not just for the residents of Delta and Richmond, but to the economy of the entire country. Delta is a port city, and the crossing is a key chokepoint in the movement of goods in Western Canada.
The recently announced tunnel replacement project does not currently have any dedicated funding from the federal government. The Liberals have had six years to show leadership and invest national dollars in this project and have failed to do so, despite having the member of Parliament for Delta sitting at the cabinet table for the entire span of the Justin Trudeau government.
For years, Canada’s Conservatives have also called for the replacement of the Massey Tunnel, but that call has fallen on deaf ears. A Conservative government will immediately move to get shovels in the ground on critical infrastructure projects to create jobs and get the economy moving, and that includes replacing the George Massey Tunnel.
3) The top issue raised by readers was housing affordability, both for owners and renters. If elected, what will you/your party do to bring down home prices, ensure fair home-buying availability and opportunity for Canadians, and make rents more affordable and commensurate with average wages and overall cost of living?
It’s clear that we are in a housing crisis. Under Justin Trudeau, housing has become increasingly more expensive and out of reach for the next generation of home buyers. We are not building enough homes to keep up with Canada’s growing population. This is a big part of why homes are harder and harder for Canadians to afford.
Foreign money is flowing into Canada’s housing market. Some of it is being funded through money laundering and the proceeds of crime, demonstrated by the ongoing provincial inquiry. In other cases, foreign investors are sitting on investments and leaving homes empty. This drives up prices, putting homeownership out of reach for more and more Canadians.
We have a plan to build one million homes in the next three years, incentivize new housing near public transit, ban foreign investors from buying homes without intention to move to Canada, and address unfair and corrupt practices that have driven up prices.
4) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently warned that global temperature rise was reaching a “code red” for humanity, and an Angus Reid poll found climate change was the top issue identified by voters in driving their ballot choice this election. How do you/your party plan to address climate change?
Canada must not ignore the reality of climate change. It is already affecting our ecosystems, hurting our communities, and damaging our infrastructure. As the world continues to mobilize to meet this challenge, it will inevitably lead to change. This will present challenges for Canada but also opportunities if we are smart. If we are to secure our future, we must be prepared for both. Fortunately, Canada is well-placed to compete in this world. All it needs is a government that is focused on helping Canadians succeed in every sector and in every region of the country.
A Conservative government will fight climate change and protect the environment, but we won’t do it on the backs of working Canadians or by hurting the economy. We have a serious plan to combat climate change that allows us to meet our targets and reduce emissions by 2030, all while repealing Justin Trudeau’s Carbon Tax. Independent analysis, conducted by Navius Research, found that the plan would effectively achieve the same emissions reductions as the government’s current plan by 2030, while resulting in a boost to jobs and the economy.
We recognize that the most efficient way to reduce our emissions is to use pricing mechanisms – but not one where the government pockets your money. Instead of sending your money to Ottawa, Low Carbon Savings Accounts help Canadians make greener lifestyle choices, while allowing them to decide what works best for them and their family.
Canada’s Conservatives are the only party with a plan to secure our environment, secure jobs, and secure our future.
5) Do you support the proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Expansion? Why/why not?
British Columbia is the gateway to the Asia-Pacific region, and Delta is a proud port city. The forecasts are clear that we will need additional shipping capacity in the next two decades in order to deliver the goods and services that Canadians need. However, we need to do this the right way.
There are currently two proposals for expansion at the Port of Vancouver. Both proposals should be reviewed thoroughly and undergo complete federal environmental assessments. It is then up to the federal government to show leadership and make a decision on the future of the port in light of local community and environmental implications.
Election day is Monday, Sept. 20.