We sent e-mails out to all the candidates for the Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies riding questions before the upcoming election.
3 out of 6 candidates responded by the deadline we assigned, and we are publishing their answers this week.
Here are the answers from Matt Shaw, the MP candidate representing the Liberal Party of Canada.
Q: What kind of steps now would benefit the Peace Region’s energy sector in the future?
A: There are many things that would benefit the Peace Region’s energy sector. First and foremost, we need to remove stumbling blocks that have impeded projects in the past. This means that we have to build trust with First Nations, and we have to bring interested parties together to build consensus. I’m confident that there are ways to move forward with energy projects where all parties benefit a great deal. Another thing we need to do is to improve continually the methods we currently employ to develop, move, and market our resources. As MP, I will advocate for subsidies which encourage innovation and research in this area. Finally, we need to develop a coherent and clear strategy to improve the energy sector in the future. The first thing I would do as MP would be to hold regular strategy sessions with government, industry, First Nations, and community leaders. As an MP, I would then take these recommendations to Ottawa and advocate very strongly for them.
Q: How does the environment come into play with big industrial projects BC is fielding right now?
A: Everyone agrees that the environment is very important, and of course we all want to prevent any form of environmental degradation. We can do this by improving the technology by which we develop and manage our resources. Also, we can look at tendering contracts that go not necessarily to the lowest bidder but to companies with the best safety record. We also need to develop ways to work with industry to improve safety standards and put tax incentives in place to achieve this.
Q:What do you think of Bill C-51?
A: Bill C-51 is a very dangerous piece of legislation that seeks fundamentally to redefine a citizen’s relationship to the government. The big question is, does the government work for us, or do we have to start worrying about the government? Once a government can start harassing citizens without having to defer to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we as a country will be heading down a very slippery slope. We should always do whatever we must to keep our society free and open and not buy into the bogus idea that terrorists are lurking in the shadows. This ploy is often how politicians cynically use fear to assume more power and to manipulate people.
Q: What role does the Peace Region have as part of Canada’s economy?
A: The Peace Region produces a lot of what Canada and the rest of the world want. There are only three true ways of creating new wealth in an economy: mining it, manufacturing it, and growing it. The Peace Region does all three, and is therefore one of the top producers of true wealth in the country. Canada needs to recognize to a much greater extent just how vital the Peace is to the Canadian economy.
Q: What would you want to change and improve in this part of BC as an MP?
A: As an MP, I would work very closely with all the municipalities in my riding to see what specific needs they have. I know that there are key projects in almost every municipality that would enhance the quality of life there, and also that would create more opportunities. In short, as an MP, I would leave it up to municipal and local business leaders to tell me what they want and need. I would then take that knowledge to Ottawa and advocate very hard for attaining the financial support to bring those projects to fruition.
Shaw is running against Green Party’s Elizabeth Biggar, Libertarian W. Todd Keller, NDP’s Kathy Dickie, Progressive Party of Canada’s Barry Blackman, and Conservative incumbent Bob Zimmer.
The election is October 19th – next Monday.