Sudbury

Sudbury candidates talk economy, business community at Chamber debate

Sudbury candidates debated the economy, business community and ways they and their parties would improve the economic well-being throughout the riding.

Five candidates — who represent major political parties — discuss priorities important to them

Five candidates running in the Sudbury riding debated issues focused on the economy and the business community at the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce debate Wednesday evening. (Jamie-Lee McKenzie/CBC)

Five candidates in the Sudbury riding debated the economy, issues related to the business community and how they and their respective political parties would improve the economic well-being throughout the riding.

It was during the debate hosted by the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, Wednesday evening.

The candidates discussed everything from reducing barriers for small businesses, to the carbon tax, to the mining industry.

When it comes to small businesses, many candidates agreed that these operations need to be supported.

"We want to encourage entrepreneurs. We want to encourage small business because they do contribute most of the jobs in Canada," said Conservative candidate Pierre St-Amant.

"Our objective is to really make it easier for small businesses to operate. We also want to reduce the taxes on small businesses to ensure that they are fair share but not more."

St-Amant also added that when it comes to improving the economy in northern Ontario, he is personally committed to developing the Ring of Fire.

Liberal candidate, Paul Lefebvre agreed with reducing taxes for small businesses. He says that the Liberals want to make it easier for small businesses to find skilled labour from other countries.

However, Lefebvre says the price on pollution is one of the most important moves to improve the economy.

"Eight out of 10 families are going to get more money and are getting more money than actually the price of pollution is going to cost them. And that's the way that we transition to a low carbon economy," he said.

Sean Paterson, representing the People's Party of Canada says his party wants to reduce the cost of living through tax cuts. He also says partnering with Indigenous peoples is important for the economy.

"Opening up conversations with our First Nations people about resource management, environmental protection, access to First Nation properties so all can benefit safely, efficiently and provide all parties what is needed to move projects forward," Paterson said.

Green Party candidate Bill Crumplin says the fastest growing segment of the Canadian economy is the green economy.

"Sudbury is well positioned to grow its participation in this dynamic and exciting economy. For instance, we are perfectly positioned to further develop our high tech mining supply sector. We are regarded worldwide as leaders in clean mining," Crumplin said.

He added that the Greens want to focus on municipalities and their specific needs. Crumplin says they would make investments in trades, apprenticeships and education, which would be targeted to specific local needs.

New Democratic Party candidate Beth Mairs told the audience at the debate that it's important to help entrepreneurs grow their own businesses. She stated that she wants to cut the red tape that is often caused by government inefficiencies and delays, to allow for small business owners and entrepreneurs to move forward with their projects.

Mairs is a former entrepreneur.

"Which helped helped me really deepen my understanding of the broader range of innovation and excellence in the small business sector here in Greater Sudbury. The challenges and the opportunities facing small business really resonate with me."

About the Author

Jamie-Lee McKenzie is from Kebaowek First Nation. She's a Reporter with CBC Sudbury. She's also worked as a Reporter and Associate Producer with CBC Manitoba and CBC North in Whitehorse. Reach her at jamie.mckenzie@cbc.ca or connect with her on Twitter @JamieMcKenzie_

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