2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: Meet the candidates for the North Island-Powell River riding

In an effort to inform the North Island-Powell River riding constituents, we have supplied all candidates with a series of questions. Each week, we will publish their answers to questions pertinent to this riding.

In this article, the five North Island-Powell River candidates have been given the opportunity to introduce themselves to the riding.

(Order of placement was done at random. Order will be rotated in each subsequent article.)

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PETER SCHWARZHOFF, Liberal Party of Canada

I grew up in a typical Campbell River pulp mill family. Working at the mill, I was able to pay for a university education that led to my becoming a scientist.

Peter Schwarzhoff is the Liberal Party of Canada candidate for the North Island-Powell River riding. Photo supplied.

My career in public service, in the Canadian Forces and Environment Canada, has taken me across this land and to Europe. I am proud to have spent all my adult years serving my country.

I am one of those scientists who were muzzled by the Harper government. That government rolled back many of the environmental protections and would pay no attention to climate change. That betrayal of the environment is what caused me to take an active interest in politics.

Upon retirement I felt a need to be useful to my community. I’m a volunteer ESL teacher, board director for Community Living, member of Greenways and proud member of the Legion colour party.

These are very rewarding, but I feel I have something even greater to offer. And I haven’t forgotten the Conservative’s betrayal of our environment.

I want to be part of the team that will continue to fight climate change while making sure our economy works for everyone.

I want to work to ensure that our kids have a real chance to succeed in a safe, healthy environment – the same things my generation took for granted.

The Liberal Party is the only one that has both the will and capacity to keep us on track. I don’t want to go back to the Harper days.

I choose forward.

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SHELLEY DOWNEY, Conservative Party of Canada

Canada deserves better. We have been underserved by our current government. We have lost credibility on the world stage in terms of foreign affairs.

Shelley Downey is the Conservative Party of Canada candidate for the North Island-Powell River riding. Photo supplied.

Our sovereignty in the Arctic is being challenged. Immigrants who have entered Canada legally have family members being delayed in joining them as illegal border crossers cause backlogs and delays for the entire refugee system. Taxes have increased for 80% of Canada’s middle class. Poor management of fisheries is affecting livelihoods all across the riding. Four years of deficits during a time of no wars or recession is irresponsible and increasing the debt of our nation.

While brainstorming with family about what the major issues are for this upcoming election, my son cut the conversation short and said, “It’s about the economy. I have a good job and should be able to support my family. Instead, my taxes have increased along with the cost of living. We are being squeezed at both ends”. This conversation took place in January. Since that time, I have heard those same sentiments across the riding and from every demographic.

Governance isn’t a popularity contest with magazine covers and nice hair. It is a responsibility to allocate resources and provide services for the betterment of our citizens and country as a whole. We can do better. It requires long term planning and commitment with honesty and integrity. It’s time for Canadians to get ahead, not just get by.

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RACHEL BLANEY, New Democratic Party

I was born the daughter of a logger and nurse in Terrace, BC.

Living through several boom and bust times, I saw the challenges my family and community faced.

Rachel Blaney is seeking re-election in the North Island-Powell River riding. Photo supplied.

When I moved to Campbell River over 21 years ago, I again lived through this cycle in our region. I have raised my children here and see the same now that they are working in the forestry and service industries. My own career has been dedicated to non-profits because I value community development, collaboration and locally-based solutions.

I enjoy fighting hard for the communities in this area and I love being a voice for us in Ottawa. I work with all levels of governments, Indigenous leaders and stakeholders to raise our concerns and needs. Collaboration, I believe, leads to success. Between 2006 and 2015 our riding saw just over $2 million dollars annually in infrastructure funding and since 2016, our riding has seen almost $12 million allotted each year to our communities. I am grateful for everyone who fought so hard for this and am proud to work with such incredible community partners.

As the Seniors and Veterans Affairs Spokesperson for my party, I have worked closely with Seniors and Veterans throughout the riding and across Canada. I was also the Vice-Chair of the Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs and on the Executive of the NATO Parliamentary Association. Towards the end of the last session in Ottawa I was fighting for Seniors to have better access to the Guaranteed Income Supplement, pushing to end Veterans homelessness, fighting for equal funding for Indigenous children in care and assisting families in keeping their children, and having mefloquine toxicity screening added to Military and Veterans health plans. With the NATO Parliamentary Executive I was advocating for Nuclear Disarmament and getting resources that our men and women in uniform dearly need.

Constituency work is not always easy, I have spoken with many constituents who are sometimes on different sides of a debate and agree or disagree, I am open to discuss. I have sat with people going through terrible times knowing I can advocate for them but will not find a quick fix. I have worked to break through the stereotype of what it is to be an elected official. I am determined to bring the needs of this region to the forefront and will not stop fighting for the people of this riding.

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BRIAN RUNDLE, People’s Party of Canada

I am not a professional politician and have spent my working life as an accountant and business owner. I have a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan and several accounting designations.

People’s Party of Canada North Island-Powell River candidate Brian Rundle. Photo supplied.

I have worked with First Nations governments in BC and for the federal government. Most recently for the last seven years I have been working in the construction industry supplying flooring and window coverings to international markets. I am married to Cynthia and I am based in Comox.

I have not been politically active until the last two years and have voted Conservative in the past few elections. I love this country and feel that we are at a crossroads whereas Canada is at risk of being changed so that our core values, history, culture, prosperity and cohesiveness will be lost and disrespected. All of the other political parties have changed so that now there is no one that is standing up for true Canadian conservative values except the PPC.

A globalist agenda has been used to run this country for the last four years where the onus has been to benefit the goals of elites, the United Nations and the third world at the expense of every day Canadians.

The platform of our party is to put Canada and Canadian people first, respect our heritage and culture that includes allowing individual freedom, responsibility, fairness and respect.

We believe in science-based truth, common sense and the sovereignty of Canada. We will act to ensure basic constitutional freedoms, equal rights and the rule of law will be respected.

Our platform can be found on our campaign website www.rundle2019ppc.ca

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MARK de BRUIJN, Green Party of Canada

I am your North Island-Powell River candidate for the Green Party of Canada.

I love this place. This riding has been my home since 1997.

Mark de Bruijn is the Green Party of Canada candidate for the North Island-Powell River riding. Photo supplied

We are neighbours, and I want to be your MP to work hard for our coastal communities. Whether it’s support for small business, affordable housing, food security, the health of wild fish, or the increasing floods, fires and droughts caused by global warming, Greens have sound and practical policy to chart a new path to resilience, prosperity and health. Our budget has been vetted by the Parliamentary Budget Office to ensure it is achievable. And our commitment is to do this with integrity, decency and the values that so many of us long to see restored to politics.

As a trained biologist, a professional educator and administrator, and a small business owner I have the qualities, skills and experience to help tackle the many social, environmental and economic issues facing our riding. Having served on boards focused on sustainable living in community, I know the importance of collaboration, cooperation and commitment – teamwork – to justly transition Canada to an exciting future of great opportunity.

Election after election, like so many Canadians I have felt betrayed by broken promises and distressed by Canada’s repeated failure to live up to our internationally agreed-to climate targets. The politics of the past are incapable of providing the leadership needed to ensure a liveable future for our children and grandchildren.

The Green Party is different. Greens work collaboratively with all parties and levels of government. Green MPs are never told how to vote. They are free to represent their constituents and their conscience. Greens never accept corporate or union money. We will not make promises we cannot keep. Our policies are science based.

Our party is rooted in 6 core principles and values shared by Greens globally, which we do not abandon to chase votes or gain power. In a time when our biggest challenges are global, these alliances will be of great importance worldwide.

Our leader Elizabeth May, by her own peers in Parliament, has repeatedly been voted the most ethical leader and the hardest working MP in Ottawa. It will be a great privilege and pleasure to represent the people of North Island-Powell River, and to work hard for you as part of a strong team of Green MPs.

For more information, visit www.markdebruijn.ca

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