Peace Arch News reached out to the four candidates running for the South Surrey-White Rock riding in the Sept. 20 federal election and asked them each to respond to four questions.
Below are the responses from June Liu (NDP) in her own words:
1) Following another summer of record-breaking heat in B.C., what actions would your party take, if elected, to immediately address the causes and impacts of climate change?
A: The climate crisis has absolutely gotten out of hand and we need to get to net-zero carbon emissions and beyond as quickly as we can.
It is imperative that we set limits for carbon emissions and price them fairly across the board, transition funds from the oil and gas industry into investing in green infrastructure and shift our energy sources to renewable ones. We also need to ensure that the big polluters of our environment are held accountable, whether by way of collaboration on transition to eco-friendly practices or through strict penalties.
2) Canada remains in the grips of a global pandemic. What steps need to be taken to get Canadians safely through this crisis, to facilitate economic recovery and to ensure our nation is better prepared for future public-health emergencies?
A: First and foremost, we need to make sure people can survive the pandemic. Whether that be high-quality health care, economic support or rent relief, it should have been there at the beginning of the pandemic.
As we are now moving forward, it is crucial that we ensure everyone who can get vaccinated has access to immunization and we have public pharmaceutical infrastructure and pharmacare that is accessible to everyone.
It is also important that taxpayer dollars are allocated to ensure that small and medium local businesses can continue to be a part of our community during a crisis instead of bailing out large corporations that are still paying dividends to investors.
3) The price of everything from housing to food and child care is rising rapidly. What steps would a government formed by your party take to ensure all Canadians have access to safe and adequate housing and a healthy diet?
A: When we take a look at cost breakdown of life in Canada over the years, while controlling for inflation, we can see that housing is taking up an increasingly growing chunk of income of Canadians.
A major goal is to stop housing speculation with adequate regulations and appropriate taxation (including a foreign buyer’s tax), incentivize construction of more sustainable, affordable homes, both for sale and in the rental market, and creating room for more CMHC-backed mortgages so homeownership is a possibility again.
Another growing concern is the unaffordability of child care. With our $10 a day child-care plan, we will ensure that families can fit healthy, locally grown food in their budgets which benefits both our environment and local economies.
4) Racial justice and reconciliation are at the forefront of Canadian consciousness. What steps need to be taken to help right past wrongs and ensure that all Canadians are granted equal voice, opportunity and respect?
A: Reconciliation and ensuring that Indigenous people’s rights are respected, their voices are heard and they are safe is the only way forward. Continuing to unearth the atrocities of our past, recognizing our mistakes and understanding that our system is broken is only the beginning.
Racial justice also goes hand-in-hand with education, as hate begins with fear of the unfamiliar.
It is time our education curricula got an update of the realities of our country’s history and so we can learn about what we can do in our everyday lives to help each other.
It also requires us to dismantle racist organizations, address systemic racism in our justice system and fix the racist standards within our health-care system.