THEY’RE OFF: Four Candidates Competing in Local Federal Election Campaign

The riding of Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock includes the City of Kawartha Lakes, Cavan-Monaghan Township, Haliburton County and the Township of Brock.

With a population of 113,956, Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock has a prominent number of seniors who make up nearly 26 per cent of the population, according to the latest census. The average age in this riding is close to 47.

Incumbent Conservative MP Jamie Schmale was re-elected to represent the rural riding in 2019 for a second term. Schmale garnered nearly 50% of the vote, improving upon his 44.8% showing in the 2015 election. Liberal candidate Judi Forbes placed second with 26%, down significantly from the 31.8% secured by her predecessor in 2015.  Support for the NDP also slipped in 2019, from 19.4% to 14.7% while the Green party more than doubled its take, attracting 8.4% of votes in 2019 compared to 4% in 2015.  Gene Balfour representing the People’s Party of Canada secured 1.9% of the votes.

Incumbent Jamie Schmale of the Conservative Party of Canada is running for a third time, while Liberal candidate Judi Forbes returns to the campaign trail for a second time.   The NDP’s Zac Miller and the Green party’s Angel Godsoe are both novice candidates.

Progressive Conservative Incumbent, Jamie Schmale

Jamie Schmale has represented this riding in Ottawa since 2015.  Top on his list of concerns is the level of spending by the current government that he believes goes well beyond temporary pandemic support programs such as the CERB and need to be reined in to avoid leaving a burden of debt for future generations.  He believes the Conservative child care policy provides more choice to parents about who provides this critical service. The PC plan of using tax credits requires no federal infrastructure, reduces the cost of the service for parents directly, can be implemented quickly because it does not require provincial buy-in and leaves the day care selection with the parents.  The Liberal’s $10/day proposal is a top-down approach resulting in a national, homogeneous system, resulting in the closure of many neighbourhood day care centres, and won’t achieve the $10 price tag for five years.  He points to the Quebec day care policy experience that has resulted in long wait lists for families and does little to support workers with non-traditional hours such as shift workers.

Another key objectives is to address the escalating cost of living, particularly housing costs.  His party has plans to move aggressively on that front, by building one million homes over the next three years and release 15% of government-owned real estate to be converted into rental properties or for new home construction projects. Bringing high speed internet services to rural areas is also critical for this riding.  He looks forward to continuing to work for the constituents of this riding.

Meet Liberal Candidate, Judi Forbes

Judi grew up in a small town in southern Ontario and relocated to Toronto as an adult where she worked for 30 years in the financial services industry with TD Bank, Meridian Credit Union and Dominion Lending Centres.  In retirement, she and her husband left the city and relocated to Beaverton where they operate a Bed and Breakfast business.

Always a liberal in her philosophy, this is Judi’s second campaign for the Liberal party in this riding.  She feels her party’s policies provide a balance between financial stability and social conscience.  An energetic and active community member, Judi is committed to fair and progressive social and economic policies.  One of her top priorities in this campaign is climate change and affordable housing, where she feels more efforts are needed.  The accumulating debt pushed higher by the recent and proposed new government spending she considers justified, and views it as making investments in this country.

She is pleased with the Liberal’s $10/day child care proposal which she sees as vital to helping women get back to work to allow them to exit the “she-cession” brought on by the pandemic.  She looks forward to being the voice of the community in Ottawa, where she hopes to join the governing party and deliver the amazing benefits that come to ridings represented by the governing party.  KG

Meet NDP Candidate, Zac Miller

This 24-year-old is already running his second campaign for the NDP party, having competed in the 2018 provincial election for the same riding.

He has a BA in Political Science from Ontario Tech University in Oshawa and this fall is will begin studying for a Masters of Information at the University of Toronto where he will specialize in Archive Management, unless, of course, he wins the riding on September 20th.

A self-professed health care advocate, his first priority is to eliminate for-profit long term care and develop national standards for workers in that setting by increasing wages, sick days, job security and supplies, to avoid a repeat of the tragedy witnessed in the Pinecrest Long Term Care home in Bobcaygeon.

His second priority is to establish a new “Green Deal” where dependence on fossil fuels is reduced and new green energy initiatives are established.

He also sees a need for more municipal funding from the federal government to protect services for smaller municipalities where revenues are inadequate to fund basic services such as paramedics.  Funding will be provided through a 1% wealth tax on the assets on those assets in excess of $10 million.  He also supports a 2% tax rate increase on incomes above $400,000 and an unquantified increase in capital gains tax.

Meet Green Party Candidate, Angel Godsoe

Angel’s interest in running for Member of Parliament for Haliburton Kawartha Lakes Brock began during the last federal election when she campaigned for Green Party Candidate Elizabeth Fraser.  The Green party presence and platform was well received, thanks to Elizabeth’s exceptional poise and debating skills.  Seeing the positive feedback from the public and even the camaraderie of the other candidates, she felt that the time had come for the Green party to have strong presence in this county.  Born into a large Nova Scotian family but adopted into another (large) family in Ontario, Angel grew up in the east end of Toronto and served as a legislative page at Queen’s Park.  Proud of our Canadian political system, she feels strongly led to participate in the continuation of our democratic heritage. Angel has lived in Canada county for over twenty years, raising her nine children, farming and developing a small business. She is interested in international affairs such as human rights and immigration. She is concerned about the electoral process and would seek electoral reform to eliminate the First past the Post process.  As a biblical scholar and believer, she believes we are called to be good stewards of this earth. The Green Party will best ensure our future as a species on this planet and facilitate the responsible use of our natural resources. She embraces the social values of the Green party, such as their objective of establishing a guaranteed livable income, housing, all aspects of health care, clean water and nutritious, accessible, locally produced food should all be basic rights of ours as citizens. She hopes voters will see the Green party as a viable alternative to the other parties which will encourage more of them will vote. She believes many are discouraged with the antics and mudslinging that have turned our parliamentary system into a zoo. It’s time to do politics right. Forward Together. By Haliburton Kawartha Lakes Brock Green Party Riding

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