Kitchener-Waterloo

Guelph candidates on top issues facing city, cost of living, environment

Candidates in Guelph were asked to fill out a survey of four questions where they were asked about the environment, cost of living and the top concern for the city. These are their responses.
CBC Kitchener-Waterloo asked the candidates in Guelph to fill out a survey on the top issues facing voters in this election. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

Voters will head to the polls on Oct. 21 and in Waterloo, people will have a choice between nine candidates.

The candidates in Guelph are:

CBC Kitchener-Waterloo has asked the candidates to answer a survey. All were presented with the same questions. Clicking the candidate's name above will take you to their survey responses. The candidates were told they had a 200-word limit for answers.

Candidates who did not provide surveys by the deadline are invited to still do so and their responses will be added to this story when they are received.


Lloyd Longfield is the Liberal candidate in Guelph. (Photo provided)

Lloyd Longfield, Liberal Party of Canada

Website

1. What is the top issue facing your riding right now and how would you address it?

The top issue facing Guelph is the threat posed by global climate change.

In the last four years, the Liberal Government put a price on pollution, banned single use plastics, and protected great swaths of our land and oceans. Our carbon pricing system not only reduces emissions but also puts money back in the pockets of more Canadian families. Battling climate change takes courage and planning, grassroots leadership, and government investment. I am proud to represent a political team that is fighting for a better future. The Liberal Party will build on our progress, and continue to take ambitious action to fight climate change: committing Canada to net zero by 2050, planting two billion trees, and making our country the best place in the world to build a clean tech company.

2. People are concerned about the cost of living and the future of the economy. What will you do personally to address this if you become an MP?

I know that the changing nature of work can present a challenge for our people to find and keep a good job, even in this time of record low unemployment. As Guelph's Member of Parliament, my personal commitment to continuing to make life affordable revolves around three goals: environmental protection, economic prosperity, and social inclusion.

To make life more affordable for Canadian families, I support a plan that lowers taxes for middle class families. With an increase in the Basic Personal Amount, Canadians will not pay federal taxes on the first $15,000 they earn. Changes to the Canada Child Benefit, CPP, and OAS will make sure that the youngest and oldest members of our society have the support they need.

I also favour moving the Canadian economy into the carbon neutral future. Providing interest-free loans of up to $40,000 means landlords and other homeowners can improve their properties to make them more energy efficient. Lowering taxes for cleantech companies will create a strong incentive for business to set up shop in Canada and help make Canada a strong leader with green innovation.

3. The environment and climate change are top concerns for many. What do you want to see the government do to address those concerns?

The Liberal government recognizes that climate change is real, and scientific research has indicated the risk this represents to our future.

Canadians expect forward-looking leadership, which is why the Liberal team has committed Canada to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. This means we will enact measures not only to reduce carbon emissions, but also to offset emissions with actions that will remove carbon from the atmosphere. As a result, we will greatly increase Canada's forests and protect more of Canada's lands and oceans. The Liberal government will begin a program to plant two billion trees over the next 10 years. We will also protect 25% of Canada's lands and 25% of Canada's oceans by 2025.

The Liberal government will also continue to lead with a price on pollution and support for making the transition to a green economy. A $5-billion Clean Power Fund will help northern, remote, and Indigenous communities become less reliant on diesel-fueled power and will promote the electrification of Canadian industries using our own sources of clean and renewable power, like hydro, solar and wind.

4. What do people need to know about you as an individual?

With a background in community benefit organizations and as former President of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, I understand the interests and the concerns of our community. Every day I work hard to respond to the needs of Guelph constituents. Helping to resolve problems with immigration, pensions, and employment insurance is a gratifying part of being the MP. Equally important is advancing policies to address the climate crisis, create a positive environment for employment, and improve life for our families.

A key part of my job as MP is connecting individuals and institutions with the resources they need from the federal government. As a member of the House of Commons' Agriculture Committee, I have presented local Guelph ideas that can respond to national concerns. For instance, researchers at the University of Guelph made major contributions to the creation of the new National Food Policy.

Working collaboratively with others toward a common goal has been a cornerstone of my professional life. Being your MP is a reflection of all I have learned. While politics is often seen only through an adversarial lens, it demands significant collaboration and teamwork.


Ashish Sachan is the Conservative candidate in Guelph. (Photo provided)

Ashish Sachan, Conservative Party of Canada

Website

1. What is the top issue facing your riding right now and how would you address it?

I have been knocking on doors and speaking to the residents of Guelph and one thing has remained clear, life has gotten more expensive under Justin Trudeau. Two thirds of Canadians feel that they either can't pay their bills – or feel that they have nothing left over at the end of the month after they do. Gasoline. Groceries. Home heating. Real estate. Debt. Everything keeps getting more expensive. 

An Andrew Scheer-led Conservative government will implement a Children's Fitness Tax Credit and a Children's Arts and Learning Tax Credit. These Tax Credits will put more money in parent's pockets while helping their kids do well in school, learn a new skill, and reach their greatest potential. 

A Conservative government will remove federal income tax from Employment Insurance (EI) maternity benefits by providing a non-refundable tax credit of 15 percent for any income earned under these two programs.  

The Conservative plan is a plan that means real results for Canadians and their families. 

2. People are concerned about the cost of living and the future of the economy. What will you do personally to address this if you become an MP?

Today, Canadians are under pressure and worried about their future. Their dreams are getting further and further out of reach. They are looking for help. Trudeau has proven he cannot be trusted to deliver it. If Trudeau is re-elected and given four more years his endless deficits will force him to raise taxes even higher. 

A Conservative government will provide a Universal Tax Credit to all hardworking taxpayers, will remove the GST off home heating and home energy costs, and will make transit passes more affordable by implementing the Green Tax Credit for Public Transit. 

Life is expensive enough without the government costing you more. A new Conservative government will live within its means and put more money in the pockets of Canadians so they can get ahead, not just get by. 

3. The environment and climate change are top concerns for many. What do you want to see the government do to address those concerns?

Canadians trusted Justin Trudeau when he said he would protect the environment and lower Canada's emissions. Instead, all they got was a carbon tax. Not only is Canada failing to hit our Paris Agreement targets, we are getting further and further away. 

As an environmental policy, the carbon tax is a failure of epic proportions. It makes virtually no contribution to the global fight against climate change. And it only makes life more expensive for Canadian families and small businesses. 

We should all be concerned about climate change – about the kind of planet we will leave to future generations. A Real Plan to Protect Our Environment is built on three guiding principles: 

  • Green technology, not taxes.
  • A cleaner and greener natural environment.
  • Taking the climate change fight global.

This plan is the most comprehensive environmental platform ever put forward by a political party in Canada. 

4. What do people need to know about you as an individual?

Born in New Delhi, India, I have come to Canada to work hard to build a life for myself and my family. I am a veterinarian licensed in toxicology, and work as the chief science officer for a Canadian clean-technology company providing eco-friendly and safer alternatives to petroleum-based products. 

I am passionate about my community, and willing to work tirelessly to represent the concerns of the residents of Guelph in Ottawa. I am running to champion the residents of Guelph so they can get ahead, not just get by. 


Aisha Jahangir is the NDP candidate in Guelph. (Aisha Jahangir and the Guelph NDP/Facebook)

Aisha Jahangir, New Democratic Party

Website

1. What is the top issue facing your riding right now and how would you address it?

It is difficult to choose one issue when so many of the challenges facing Guelph are intertwined.

We are dealing with a housing and homelessness crisis, an opioid crisis, and threat of private control of our drinking water supply. That is all without even mentioning the climate crisis that we are all facing, and the pressure to privatize water supplies.

Really, I think what it comes down to is cost of living and whether governments are working for people or working for the powerful. We need to support people so they can make decisions in life that work for them — and that means taking money that goes to big polluters and big pharmaceutical companies, and bringing it back to ordinary working people in Canada.

2. People are concerned about the cost of living and the future of the economy. What will you do personally to address this if you become an MP?

I am a mental health nurse and in my work I have seen firsthand how difficult life has become for people. It induces stress, anxiety, and depression and cost of living is certainly a contributing factor to rising rates of these mental struggles.

We do need more mental health services, but it's not just that — we also need to address the root causes. Pharmacare, childcare, dental care, affordable housing units, living wages, pension security, and rental subsidies are all things missing from our society right now that should be provided, so that people can afford to live again.

3. The environment and climate change are top concerns for many. What do you want to see the government do to address those concerns?

We have to ensure a fair transition for workers — not just those who work directly in oil and gas, but also all those communities in Alberta, Sarnia, and others, whose economy revolves around the existence of their local industries.

I know that many people in Sarnia have already started working out of town at places like Bruce Nuclear because there is not enough work left for them at home, and local restaurants are suffering due to this. I find that troubling. People should be able to be supported at home and contribute to where they have chosen to live.

My party is going to use things like the money saved from fossil fuel subsidies and the climate bank to create 300,000 clean, good jobs for people who need them, as close to their homes as possible.

We also recognize that any climate action done by one government could be overturned by a future majority government that doesn't believe in climate science — that's why we need proportional representation, to create a system of minority governments that are incentivized to work together for the common good, not just to pander to one sector of Canadian society or another. We will also create an independent climate accountability office to hold future governments' feet to the fire on science-based climate targets.

4. What do people need to know about you as an individual?

I am a mental health nurse. It's a tough job. I want people to know how political my work is.

Working on the front line of the healthcare system means I see a lot of people who our systems have failed, whether it's the person whose addiction was treated as a crime instead of an illness, or the Indigenous mother whose children have been taken away from her, or the young person who doesn't want to have kids because they're not sure we'll make it out of the climate crisis. The one responsibility of a nurse is to protect the public, and that's why I decided to run.

I want to give hope to all those people on the margins, hope that they will have a representative in government who can listen to them no matter where they're coming from. I want people to know I'm committed to working with the NDP to make life in Canada liveable again.


Steve Dyck is the Green Party candidate in Guelph. (Steve Dyck/Facebook)

Steve Dyck, Green Party of Canada

Website

1. What is the top issue facing your riding right now and how would you address it? 

There are several issues facing the people of Guelph, affordable house, climate change and a lack of mental health funding. The people in Guelph feel that none of these issues can be meaningfully tackled with a government that acts without integrity or accountability to the issues that matter to us. It's important that citizens have trust in their government and know the nation's leadership is accountable to the people.  

Broken promises, corporate interference and conflicts of interests at the highest levels of our government, have eroded the people's trust that government will act decisively on our most pressing issues. Greens seek to hold the balance of responsibility in a minority government to keep government accountable to its promises.

We would bring in new standards of transparency and an all party inner cabinet to encourage collaborative action. We would also create a Council of Canadian Governments ensuring an equal voice to Federal, Provincial, Municipalities, and First Nations representatives.

2. People are concerned about the cost of living and the future of the economy. What will you do personally to address this if you become an MP?

Here's what we know:

Home prices have risen by about 30% in Guelph since 2015  the last election.

Household incomes have not risen by 30% since the last election, so being able to afford a home, or make rent, has become near impossible for some.

We need to legislate housing as a legally protected human right for everyone in Canada. We need to increase the number of affordable housing units, and begin to roll back the causes of these rising costs.

The Green Party will deliver policy innovations, such as encouraging two family dwellings to address affordability, build a denser community, provide rental income opportunities and are good for the planet.

As we transition to a low carbon economy, we need to ensure no one is left behind and that means establishing a guaranteed livable income (GLI).

The principle of the GLI is simple: to establish an income floor below which no Canadian could fall, but with incentives recipients to continue working and to earn more. A GLI would provide a regular payment to every Canadian, at a level above the poverty line and ensure that no person's income falls below what is necessary for health, life and dignity.

3. The environment and climate change are top concerns for many. What do you want to see the government do to address those concerns?  

The Green party's climate plan Mission Possible calls for a 60 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050. We must immediately end oil imports and support our Canadian workers. 

The Green plan to phase out fossil fuels must be done in a way that's fair to workers and builds a bridge to a low carbon economy where no one is left behind. Our energy and transportation network will be drawing from 100 per cent renewable energy within 10 years. 

To accomplish this, we all need to put aside partisanship and work together on what the evidence tells us we need to do. Climate change is too important to be a partisan issue. That's why we need an inner cabinet consisting of all parties to have everyone work together to ensure the climate is no longer treated like a political football. 

This is about the welfare of Canada and the entire planet. 

We will provide zero-interest loans for homes and businesses to complete energy upgrades based on EnerGuide criteria. 

People want to do the right thing and save money as they save energy.  And we can do this without creating more government debt.

4. What do people need to know about you as an individual?  

I've transformed my life from a carbon based lifestyle to the low carbon economy, 10 years ago I was building engines for Cadillac and stuck in traffic. Since then, I've built a company right here in Guelph installing climate solutions and creating great jobs of the future. 

I've taken leadership on cross party policy building on electoral reform, and climate change action across municipal, provincial and federal governments, engaging people from youth to seniors. 

As a Green I'm devoted to building a healthy and inclusive social environment, one that puts health care, affordable housing, and social justice at the very core of our mission. I have been listening to our youth.  OurTime.ca - the youth led organization for Canada's Green New Deal has endorsed me as their candidate because I have been living the values of decisive climate action, addressing inequality and creating good work.


Mark Paralovos is the People's Party candidate in Guelph. (Photo provided)

Mark Paralovos, People's Party of Canada

Website

1. What is the top issue facing your riding right now and how would you address it? 

Home costs / Cost of Living 

The People's Party of Canada is the only party promising to address the root cause of rapidly increasing housing costs. The cause of this problem is supply and demand. Last year Toronto had a demand of 50,000 rental units, but only had 37,000 units available. This lack of supply results in increased rent and drives up the prices of entry level homes. 

People who should be able to afford a house at 25 years old with a good job simply cannot afford to buy into this market. We cannot build enough units to stay ahead of the proposed growth. Money laundering is also playing a role, increasing the price of Canadian real estate by $40 billion dollars in 2018. The RCMP lack the resources to effectively fight this crime. This artificially inflates an already pressured market. 

To address this the People's Party is proposing to reduce immigration to between 100,000 and 150,000 people per year. We will give more support to the RCMP and Border Service Agents to crack down on money laundering and increase the speed at which current claims can be processed. This will help clear the backlog and will stop the flow of illegal border crossers into the country from the United States. This will reduce demand and lower housing costs. 

2. People are concerned about the cost of living and the future of the economy. What will you do personally to address this if you become an MP? 

Vote enthusiastically to repeal the ineffectual carbon tax. It does not reduce emissions of CO2. It does not help the environment. It just makes everything more expensive. The cost of living is increasing much faster than wages have been increasing in Canada. From housing to boxes of cereal. If you are on a fixed income, it is hard to keep up with the pace of the increasing costs. 

A People's Party government will put an end to corporate welfare. We will impose pipelines in order to end our reliance on Saudi oil. This will boost Canadian jobs, increase transportation safety, remove tankers transporting oil across the ocean and keep $300 million per month in our economy, not in Saudi Arabia's. This is low hanging fruit. Simple policies that any self-interested government would implement. We are using oil all across the country. We are an oil rich nation. Why are we spending $300 million per month on foreign oil? 

Keeping the $300 million per month will help the Canadian economy. A pipeline to bring our natural resources to support our Eastern Provinces will increase skilled jobs across the country for years to come. 

3. The environment and climate change are top concerns for many. What do you want to see the government do to address those concerns? 

Our current government has had a strong majority with a strong environmental mandate that they have largely ignored. They have heaped on the rhetoric, but they have done nothing of substance for the environment. In fact, our waterways are filthy and they are failing to institute any concrete environmental policy. 

The previous government had a system and timeline in place to move to end the discharge of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence and off the coast of British Columbia. The Trudeau Liberals immediately moved to allow this process in 2015, days after assuming office. A People's Party will prioritize clean water and will implement a plan to stop this practice of discharging raw sewage into our waterways. 

4. What do people need to know about you as an individual?

Mark Paralovos (rhymes with "for all of us") is the People's Party of Canada candidate for Guelph. 

Mark is a proud, first generation Canadian. He was born in Toronto and his family moved to Guelph in the mid-eighties. He has lived here ever since. He comes from a large, supportive family, is married and has two school-aged children. 

Mark is a children's mental health professional by trade and spent 15 years working in that field, both in private facilities and with various school boards. During that time he was actively involved in union negotiations and served as a Union Steward. 

In 2016, Mark decided to take his career in a completely different direction, working with businesses to develop and manage their websites. He currently works with a small firm managing the e-commerce and advertising aspects of the business. 

Mark writes and produces a daily YouTube podcast focused on Canadian federal politics (https://CanadaPoli.com). After being nominated as the People's Party Candidate for Guelph, Mark started a second podcast specific to Guelph and his campaign (https://markparalovos.com). He also sits on the French as a Second Language Advisory Committee (FSLAC) with the Upper Grand District School Board. 


Gordon Truscott, Christian Heritage Party

Website

1. What is the top issue facing your riding right now and how would you address it?

The top issue is people, homeless people, people wanting to buy a house, drug-addicted people, seniors needing care, hospital bed space and abuse of minorities. Each of these requires a unique approach. Some just need money, others need counseling, some need care and all benefit from having a stronger image.

2. People are concerned about the cost of living and the future of the economy. What will you do personally to address this if you become an MP?

I know of a family of five in Hong Kong who lived in a 600 sq. ft. apartment for years. We can make smaller housing units available to address the high cost of living.  We need not be using more than we need. The CHP endorses the Fair Tax Policy of collecting federal money through a sales tax and abolishing income tax. People would only be taxed on their spending, and not on their savings.

3. The environment and climate change are top concerns for many. What do you want to see the government do to address those concerns?

One major concern is for carbon in the atmosphere. New technologies can capture carbon from the air and turn it to other uses. While costly now, we can invest in these technologies. Two such organizations remove as much carbon from the air as is produced by 600,000 cars. More businesses like this can help. Driving at 100 km/h on freeways, instead of 120 km/h, saves 30 per cent of fuel. Less fuel means less carbon in the air.

4. What do people need to know about you as an individual?

I am caring, sympathetic and hard working. I am a good supporter of the needs of others. I played a role in the founding of Michael House in Guelph, a crisis pregnancy home.


Juanita Burnett is the Communist Party candidate in Guelph. (Photo provided)

Juanita Burnett, Communist Party

Facebook page

1. What is the top issue facing your riding right now and how would you address it?

(Actually) affordable housing. People are finding it incredibly difficult to find adequate housing to rent (never mind buy).

We believe housing is a right. Our platform includes building one million new units of social housing, but also policies around better jobs. Guelph has a low rate of unemployment, but we don't know how many are underemployed or in other forms of precarious employment. Our full employment strategy, which includes a 32 hour work week with no loss in pay (and a $20 minimum wage), and job creation plans — housing, an affordable electric car and mass transit, retrofits and upgrades, etc. would make it a bit easier to afford.

2. People are concerned about the cost of living and the future of the economy. What will you do personally to address this if you become an MP?

Nationalize. Take away corporations' demand for profit over all other considerations. If we nationalized GM, for example, we could build an affordable electric car and mass public transit.

Our energy and resource extraction policies could be based on what we need rather than what brings (a few people and corporations) more profit. Our full employment strategy, job creation, free daycare and post-secondary education, expanded Medicare and public services are also aimed at addressing these concerns.

3. The environment and climate change are top concerns for many. What do you want to see the government do to address those concerns?

Stop increasing the military budgets! We would cut them by 75 per cent. The military industrial complex is responsible for much of our carbon emissions and fossil fuel use.

We can't keep supporting environmentally (and socially!) unsustainable practices, and the money could be used to fund the services, the infrastructure, etc. that are good for the people, and good for the planet. We would close the tarsands and the associated pipelines, end carbon 'credits,' and develop solar, wind, geothermal, hydro and other renewables.

4. What do people need to know about you as an individual?

I'm a mom, an activist, an anti-fascist (which should be a basic stance as a decent person), a feminist, a book addict (reader, collector, and supporter of writers). I don't think I have a good poker face when it comes to politics.


Kornelis Klevering, Independent

Website

1. What is the top issue facing your riding right now and how would you address it?

The lack of funding for social services and affordable housing. Reduce the military budget by 5 billion dollars over 5 years, halt buying 88 advanced fighter aircraft costing $15 to 17 billion and pump these funds into social services and affordable housing across the country. 

2. People are concerned about the cost of living and the future of the economy. What will you do personally to address this if you become an MP? 

Go after the off shore tax shelters and tax muilti-national companies and upper 0.1 per cent of wealthy public at 70 per cent of income. Use funds to establish a guaranteed annual income for all Canadians.

3. The environment and climate change are top concerns for many. What do you want to see the government do to address those concerns?

Nationalize the fossil fuel industry and place under a crown corporation much like the National Energy Programme of the mid 1970's set up under Pierre Trudeau. Stop all subsidies to fossil fuel companies and place yearly levy of 20 per cent on all  fossil fuel stocks traded on the stock exchange. This levy will increase by additional 20 per cent every year over five years when 100% levy will be reached to end the investments by banks financial institutions in fossil fuel industry.

4. What do people need to know about you as an individual?

I am an international socialist who envisions a World Federation of Socialist States (WFSS) as the only real alternative to the ongoing the destruction that national and  trans-national capitalism has brought this planet  and more specifically, saving this planet from fossil fuel capitalism, the threat of nuclear war and runaway militarism.


Michael Wassilyn, Indpendent

CBC Kitchener-Waterloo was unable to find any contact information for Michael Wassilyn. None was provided on the Elections Canada website and online searches did not turn up any way to reach Wassilyn.