Dan Vandal, Liberal — Saint Boniface-Saint Vital
'I'm really concerned about the direction our country is going in'
Why do you want this job?
Because I'm really concerned about the direction our country is going in and I want to be part of a strong team that makes intelligent, fair and compassionate choices for the future of our country.
What's the biggest issue for the country and in your riding?
Job creation. Our plan is to cut taxes for the middle class, to reinvest in infrastructure and to create thousands of new jobs to benefit the middle class and for young people.
What would you do with the Senate?
I think the Liberal party's Senate plan, where we're going to appoint a committee of respected people who will appoint other community-minded people who have done good work in the community to be senators. I think we need better senators, ones who follow the rules and are that sober second thought.
Winnipeg was described as the most racist city in Canada. What would you do to combat racism?
Opening dialogue with the community. I think Mayor [Brian] Bowman is on the right track. I think he's opening dialogue with the community on solutions and he's involving people from minority communities, from aboriginal communities, to be part of it, which is important.
What role should the federal government play in dealing with climate change?
I think they should play a leadership role. They should set standards and ensure the standards are met by the provinces. They should facilitate, but primarily in a leadership role.
If there was one government policy you think is done better in another country, what is it?
I really like what the Americans are doing in terms of maintaining the interstate highway system across the United States. I think we need to learn something from that system.
Under what circumstances is deficit spending a good choice?
When you're rebuilding the infrastructure in your cities, such as the Liberal Party will be doing. We're going to have three modest deficits, but we're really going to rebuild cities. We're going to use that money to rebuild streets — residential streets, regional streets, back lanes and sidewalks. Transportation infrastructure, green infrastructure and social infrastructure.
What do you believe is the single most effective way to fight crime?
I don't accept the premise of that question, because I don't think there's just a single way to fight crime. I think you have to have many different things happening at once, including, of course, a city police that's ready to fight crime and try to engage the communities. Neighbourhood watches are a great thing too, when used alongside the police.
What should be done about homegrown terrorism?
Education and outreach, certainly. We need to study the root causes of terrorism, even though Conservatives don't like to talk about that, at least in public. We need to study it and learn why people are attracted to extremism.
If there was a gay pride parade in your riding, would you go? Why or why not?
Yes I would. I've gone to gay pride in Winnipeg, so I would obviously go to one in my riding.
Have either you or your family had a frustrating experience with the health-care system, and what would you do to fix the problem?
I personally haven't. I've been very well-served by the health-care system. I've always had whatever issues I've had taken care of quickly.
What would you do to get more people to vote?
I would empower Elections Canada to go out and actually talk to young people in schools and engage young people in communities all over on the importance of voting — something that was taken away with the Fair Elections Act.
What's a better use of federal dollars: fixing roads or building rapid transit infrastructure?
We have to do more than one thing, so to pick one just isn't a complete answer.
Would you support legalizing a small amount of marijuana? Have you ever tried it?
Yes and yes.