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ELECTION 2015: Ellen White, Candidate for Barrie Springwater Oro-Medonte Riding

Friday, September 25, 2015

Ellen White - NDP - - @EllenWhiteNDP

Ellen White QUESTION: If elected, what will you do to help the business community in the Barrie Springwater Oro-Medonte riding?

ANSWER: Barrie, Springwater, Oro-Medonte boasts so many fine small businesses. We commit to helping these businesses flourish by reducing the small business tax rate from 11% to 9%. We feel confident that a savings of almost 20% will encourage business owners to expand, hire staff, and enjoy greater prosperity. 

To assist the business community, we need to grow the economy. NDP initiatives like $15 per day day care will help to ensure an available labour pool. And when this labour pool is working, they are buying goods, paying taxes, and jump-starting the economy. This benefits every business in our riding and across the country. 

As a former small business owner and a current mentor to Canadian business, I recognize that businesses need each other to survive and thrive. When we attract manufacturing opportunities to our community (like green technology, software development and others) and pay employees a decent wage we know that there will be more dresses sold, more restaurant meals consumed. All good things. 

We need to keep Barrie, Springwater, Oro-Medonte the safe and welcoming place that it is, and we need to provide affordable housing and transit to attract workers who are here for the long haul. The NDP is committed to creating 100,000 new affordable housing units, and investing an additional .01 per litre of your .10 cent per litre gas tax in infrastructure and transit.

QUESTION: There are distinct characteristics for each municipality in the Barrie Springwater Oro-Medonte riding; as a resident, what are your top three priorities for each of these municipalities and why?

ANSWER: While the municipalities are geographically and in many respects characteristically distinct, the common needs of each community that can be met by an NDP government are consistent throughout. 

Barrie, Springwater and Oro-Medonte all need economic growth – more people working, paying taxes, and buying goods. 

Barrie, Springwater, Oro-Medonte needs to improve the lives of seniors – by increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement, by providing a caregiver tax credit, by increasing the number of homecare workers, by re-investing in health care to make hospital wait times shorter, and by making long-term care beds accessible to our seniors without an average 230 day wait. 

And seniors throughout the riding are telling me that we should roll back the OAS benefit to 65 from the 67 that the Conservatives raised it to. We know that the CPP is rock-solid, and that there is money to provide for Canadians in their golden years. We’re committed to returning it to 65. 

To point out some items that are specific to each, I would say that we would need to focus on the following: 

Barrie – infrastructure and transit, affordable housing, and $15 per day daycare. The NDP commits to improving the lives of residents in all of these areas. Without increasing personal income taxes. 

Springwater and Oro-Medonte - having grown up in farming community, I can relate to the distinct needs of farmers living in these absolutely beautiful areas. 

Under the Harper government, we have seen the loss of over 30,000 family farms, and farm debt has increased by 70%. The NDP promises a payment protection plan for produce farmers and to maintain our supply management system.

QUESTION: How do you plan to balance these priorities and serve each municipality with their different needs?

ANSWER: We have a unique and fortunate blend in our riding of rural and urban communities. I think that many of the needs and priorities are similar – people throughout the riding want to work at decent paying jobs without having to leave the area. The NDP is committed to making that happen. 

I think the MP for this area needs to be on the lookout for opportunities that will benefit Barrie, Springwater and Oro-Medonte. 

Primarily though, I think that the MP needs to really listen to residents, fact gather, and bring those questions and concerns to Ottawa, and get answers. What is important to the hardworking farmer who risks losing a 3rd generation family farm is different than a student who wonders how they’ll pay tuition. Where there are problems, there are solutions. Your MP needs to compile data through dialogue, really know the community, and make noise about it in Parliament. When opportunity knocks, your MP needs to be ready to respond .

QUESTION: What is the most important piece of your party platform for the Barrie Springwater Oro-Medonte riding and why?

ANSWER: While each and every bit of the platform is well thought-out, doable, achievable and with the best interests of Canadians in mind, I would have to say that our commitment to growing the economy by reducing the small business tax, providing affordable housing, providing $15 per day daycare, by supporting business at every turn without increasing personal income tax is going to significantly improve the lives of residents of our riding, and of all Canadians.

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