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Election Canada: The candidates present their priorities

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As the Federal election approaches on Sept. 20, Sault This Week reached out to all four local candidates to ask their top three priorities locally and nationally.
We asked candidates to provide their responses in point form, with one to two sentences per point. Some answers have had to be edited for length. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by last name.

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Kasper Makowski, People’s Party of Canada
Local priorities
• Work to eliminate any and all policies and mandates that discriminate, segregate, cause unemployment or limit the pursuit of education or any services based on private medical decisions of individuals of our community.
• Work with the provincial and municipal government, law enforcement as well as with First Nations and community organizations to address local crime, poverty and addictions. Establish committees and programming that develop a measurable plan and actions that address individual problems.
• Identify challenges in the local housing market and cultivate solutions to address the lack of housing. Focus on rental property challenges, protecting landlords and renters as well as increasing new construction development to increase the availability of houses to increase the supply for demand.
Federal priorities
• Re-establish trust with all Canadians by ensuring Constitutional legislation such as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms are adhered to by all levels of government. Protecting the freedom of its citizens to make decisions of individual autonomy, the pursuit of livelihood and not being discriminated upon or limited based on these decisions.
• The complete reorganization and reprioritization of government spending to get Canada’s deficit and national problems under control. Refocus spending on Canadian citizens and Canadian challenges such as the housing market, national poverty and clean water to our indigenous communities; while eliminating international funding, corporate welfare and social programs that disempower the population.
• Commit to sound environmental stewardship, natural resource management and to the national interests of Canada by developing and utilizing the Canadian resource sector. Protecting our diverse and delicate ecosystems while simultaneously providing markets with ecologically mitigated natural resources that are held to some of the highest environmental and ecological impact standards of the world.

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Marie Morin-Strom, NDP
Local Priorities
• Tackle the opioid addiction crisis through expanded access to treatment on demand for people struggling with addiction.
• Phase out for-profit long-term care and replace with homes under the public umbrella to make sure everyone is covered for the care they need to get and stay healthier longer
• Support workers with a living wage, safe working conditions, and paid sick days.
National Priorities
• Make life more affordable by reducing costs on prescription drugs, child care, housing, post-secondary education, and more.
• Tackle the climate emergency by setting ambitious emission targets and creating a clean-energy future.
• Work with indigenous communities to deliver clean water, better health care, and safe housing.

Terry Sheehan, Liberal Party of Canada
Local Priorities
• My goal is to keep Sault Ste. Marie on the map and continue bringing record-breaking federal investments on top of the $750 millions invested in the Sault since 2016 to continue creating jobs, fighting climate change, and making life in the Sault better.
• I’m also continuing to prioritize making Sault Ste. Marie a national leader in the fight against climate change by securing $420 million for Algoma Steel to transition from dirty coal-burning to clean electric energy, fighting relentlessly to bring the Canada Water Agency to the Sault which will secure hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars for our economy, and protecting our national resources.
• Health, safety, and security are also a top priority. I want to make sure everyone in the Sault gets vaccinated, that vulnerable people and those facing opioid addictions are supported through community programming, health care, and easy to access mental health centres.
National Priorities
• I’m also prioritizing families by ensuring a national, affordable, $10-per-day child care system across Canada, and that people are able to purchase affordable houses through a Bill of Rights, incentives and funds, support for first time homeowners, and a rent-to-own system.
• We also have a national responsibility to continue the path towards meaningful reconciliation with indigenous people. On a national level my priorities include launching an Indigenous Urban, Rural, and Northern Housing Strategy, implementing an Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care system that meets the needs of indigenous families, creating 3,300 new childcare spaces, and continuing to support before and after-school care for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis children, and eliminating all drinking water advisories on reserves.
• Supporting seniors is also a top priority of mine. If elected, I will ensure that we move forward with the OAS boost of 10 per cent next year, and the increase of GIS by $500 for single seniors and $750 for couples over age 65, that we improve the quality and availability of long-term care homes and beds, develop a Safe Long-Term Care Act to ensure that seniors are guaranteed care, that we increase the CPP Survivor’s Benefit by 25 per cent, and that we double the Home Accessibility Tax Credit to $20,000 putting $1,500 back into seniors’ pockets.

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Sonny Spina, Conservative Party of Canada
Local Priorities
• Immediate and sustained mental health and addictions action. I’ve seen first hand how mental health and addictions issues have increased across Sault Ste. Marie since the onset of COVID-19, so I’ll work to create 1,000 addiction treatment beds and 50 addiction centres across Canada, including additional investments in First Nations treatment centres so that anyone who has an addiction can find a timely path to recovery.
• Address rapid growth in the cost of living. We need to get inflation under control, get our national budget on a path to balance, and focus on growing our economy.
• Job growth. Our job surge plan will provide a financial incentive to businesses who hire those residents of Sault Ste. Marie who have been laid off the longest resulting from COVID-19.
National Priorities
• True progress on reconciliation. We need to act on the calls to action in the final report from the Reconciliation Commission.
• Stable growing universal healthcare funding. I’m proud to be part of the Conservative Party, which is firmly behind a public, universal healthcare system with a plan to increase investments in healthcare year after year so that provinces can count on predictable and sustainable funding in the future.
• Work with our United States and international allies to grow trade in Northern Ontario. I will work tirelessly to promote closer ties with Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom (CANZUK) to create a new powerhouse of international trade and relations between our like-minded nations with similar human rights and environmental commitments and records.

Editor’s note: No matter for whom you choose to vote, be sure to head to the polls on Sept. 20. Bring your voter information card if you have it, and one other piece of ID. If you didn’t receive a card or you’re not sure where you vote, go to elections.ca.

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