• James Armstrong

Five federal Vaudreuil-Soulanges candidates in upcoming political debate


Political debate is one of the cornerstones of a free and democratic society and in that spirit, The Journal has invited the five candidates vying for the federal riding of Vaudreuil-Soulanges to participate in a structured political English language debate on Thursday, October 10. The event will take place at the Saint-Lazare Community Centre, Grande Salle, 1301 rue du Bois at 7 p.m. with the doors opening at 6:45 p.m.

This promises to be an opportunity to hear and see the candidates present themselves, their party platforms, and defend their political beliefs and strategies. A random draw will be held to determine the order for the debate. Residents of Vaudreuil-Soulanges are invited to submit questions for the candidates by email to editor@yourlocaljournal.ca. Questions may be general in nature or directed to a particular candidate or issue. The deadline for submitting questions is Friday, October 4. Well-known broadcaster and radio personality Murray Sherriffs will be the moderator for the debate.

Candidates in the competition

Profiles of the five Vaudreuil-Soulanges candidates in the upcoming federal election have been published in The Journal over the past weeks. A short description of each one is presented here in alphabetical order by party name.

Conservative Party of Canada

Karen Cox has taken up banner of the Conservative Party in the riding. Everything from regional economic development to a balanced budget is an important factor for Vaudreuil-Soulanges according to Cox. “Having a balanced budget and reduced taxes are important to ensure financial stability for our children in the future,” she said, adding the party wants to have a minister specifically for Quebec economic development. Cox is definitely against tax increases and wants to eliminate the federal carbon tax. She said the Conservative Party has developed an environmental policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by developing green technology, development of renewable fuels, and putting green tax credits in place.

Green Party of Canada

For Cameron Stiff, running as a candidate for the Green Party in Vaudreuil-Soulanges is grounded in his many years of working on environmental issues.

“We are at a point in global history where we have to make tough choices,” he said regarding the climate crisis. Stiff has spent a lot of time in the riding working on a variety of projects with the Hudson Food Collective. From his perspective, the Green Party action plan titled ‘Mission Possible’ is essential in terms of rapidly moving toward a post-carbon, prosperous and safe world. “The first step is to declare a climate emergency to stop debating and skirting around it,” said Stiff. “We need to deal with this right now at every level of government to drastically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.”

Liberal Party of Canada

Member of Parliament Peter Schiefke was elected to represent the Vaudreuil-Soulanges riding in the 2015 election for the Liberal Party. For Schiefke, there are many important issues.

“There are themes that are incredibly important such as the environment. It’s something shared by all demographics whether we’re talking about youth, seniors, or young families. A second important issue is that families and senior citizens have enough money to make ends meet,” he said. He is particularly proud of the Liberal government’s introduction of the Canada Child Benefit program. Across Canada, it has lifted 300,000 children out of poverty. “That is huge. That is one of the largest single, social investments ever made in the history of our country.” It translates into an annual investment of $72 million per year in the families of Vaudreuil-Soulanges. The many accomplishments of the Liberal government are listed in their platform which includes a strong emphasis on dealing with global warming and climate change issues, tax cuts for the middle class, financial support of seniors and a focus on rapidly developing the infrastructure of Canadian cities.

New Democratic Party of Canada

For Hudson resident Amanda MacDonald, stepping into the political arena as a candidate for the New Democratic Party (NDP) was motivated by their plan to fight climate change. It’s a plan that promises to make zero-emission vehicles easier to get and build a network of charging stations across the country. Their ‘Green New Deal’ intends to create new jobs, save families money, and take on the big polluters. “I realized that I needed to speak up as much as I could. Our environment, our Earth is at huge risk.” MacDonald noted the NDP had a strong environmental platform. She described it as including everyone. “It asks for everyone to work together, from the municipal, the regional, to the federal level. It’s all hands on deck,” she said. The NDP also plan to provide pharmacare for everyone whether or not they have insurance.

People’s Party of Canada

Kaylin Tam is running as the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) candidate in Vaudreuil-Soulanges hoping the region’s voters recognize him and the party as a viable alternative to the current Liberal government. The PPC’s progressive platform attracted him even though it’s a conservative party. Ending corporate welfare, ending supply management in the dairy, egg and poultry industries and removing interprovincial trade barriers are issues that need to be dealt with and will become a lasting legacy for Canadians, according to Tam. At the age of 27, Tam recognizes the difficulties many of his generation face in finding viable career options that offer an adequate and sustainable living wage.

“There are so many people we’ve left behind. In Canada, 45 per cent of people add on debt every month to pay for living expenses,” he said. “Every day they’re in a worse position…this is something that needs to change.” Maxine Bernier formed the PPC in 2018 following his resignation from the Conservative party. “He’s a brave man. It takes real courage to go against your party especially when you feel it’s run by special interest groups and corporations,” said Tam.

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