The North Delta Reporter sent all six candidates running to represent Delta in Parliament five questions submitted by readers to gauge their positions on some of the big issues for voters in the 2021 federal election. Candidates were given a limit of 1,250 words total to answer your questions. Here’s what People’s Party candidate Paul Tarasenko had to say:
1) Why are you running to be Delta’s MP? Why should voters choose you to be their representative in Parliament?
I am running to be Delta’s MP because I am tired of all of these politicians that are claiming to care about their constituents but in fact they tow the party line in order to keep their job. They are disconnected from the people that they are supposed to represent. They should be serving the riding’s interests and not the interests of the party.
They should pick me as their representative in parliament because the PPC party has a policy of not having a party whip. This means that I am not forced to vote a certain way. I can pick and choose how I vote on different bills. With this freedom, I am able to perfectly represent the interests of the people of Delta and they can be sure that if a bill was proposed that would jeopardize their interests I will be the first one to raise my opposition.
2) What are your top priorities if you are elected on Sept. 20?
My top priorities are to balance our budget as soon as possible and to try to relieve the amount of taxes that Canadians have to suffer.
We need to get our small businesses sector thriving again in Delta. Small businesses are vital because not only do they reflect the culture, heritage and values of the community, but they are the largest source of job creation in the Canadian economy. It saddens me to see that so many local mom-and-pop stores were forced to shut down and may never reappear.
I also plan to look and support ways that we can help lower the housing prices because everyone deserves a place where they can feel comfortable and safe from the outside elements.
Finally, I would also push to increase the amount of money that seniors receive in their pension. These individuals worked all their lives to help support the government and all of its different programs. It is a shame to hear that there are seniors that are barely making ends meet at the moment. We need to support and protect them.
In short, my priorities are to balance the budget, get small businesses thriving again, bring down the housing prices, and to support our senior population.
3) The top issue raised by readers was housing affordability, both for owners and renters. If elected, what will you/your party do to bring down home prices, ensure fair home-buying availability and opportunity for Canadians, and make rents more affordable and commensurate with average wages and overall cost of living?
If I were to be elected, I would help speed up the process that houses are being built by pushing to remove a lot of the red tape or bureaucratic slowdowns that happen at the municipal level. We need to make zoning laws more flexible, which would allow people to build additional suites to help increase the supply of housing that is available.
I would also help push for policies and grants that would help incentivize homeowners to renovate their properties to make more suites available. We need to make housing more affordable for all people, especially for young families starting out. Everyone deserves a place where they feel safe and sheltered from the outside elements.
In terms of keeping rent prices lower, we need to look for ways to either lower or slow down the rent that we impose on people even at the municipal level. The reason for that is if we keep raising the taxes on the landlords then they would translate these increased costs to their tenants.
Also, I would push for tax incentives to small businesses that choose to offer their workers a decent living wage to help them make ends meet.
4) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently warned that global temperature rise was reaching a “code red” for humanity, and an Angus Reid poll found climate change was the top issue identified by voters in driving their ballot choice this election. How do you/your party plan to address climate change?
Well I am not a climate scientist nor am I well versed in all of the different studies that were conducted. Therefore, I do not feel properly qualified on this subject. However, I have always loved and valued nature and believe that we should do everything we can to preserve the environment for future generations.
I say that we need to place tighter restrictions or standards on different industries, especially when it comes to air pollution. Studies have clearly shown that if we can reduce the amount of harmful toxins or particles in the air that we breathe then we would be able to live longer and healthier lives. If we are able to keep our air cleaner and on the off chance that it improves the environment that is an added bonus.
I also plan to help drive funds/grants to companies that are able to create effective and efficient green technology so that we are all able to benefit from it.
5) Do you support the proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Expansion? Why/why not?
We need to go back to the drawing board for this project because at the moment it is not in the best interest of the people of Delta. For instance, it is an automated site meaning that not as many jobs will be created once it is operational.
We should instead focus on developing our own manufacturing industry so that we are able to help create actual jobs and put money back into the pockets of Canadians.
The environmental impact of this project on the different animal species would further jeopardize our already fragile system. Not to mention the damage that this would have on our salmon population, which is incredibly important culturally to the Indigenous communities around us and to the commercial fishing sector.
However, we should not completely discard the idea, Delta and the rest of the Lower Mainland ports are a vital hub that connects the rest of Canada to markets abroad.
Election day is Monday, Sept. 20.