There’s still time to get answers

Who will be the next Prime Minister? In five days, that question will be answered.

Last Thursday the Orono Weekly Times sponsored an All Candidates Meeting. Despite being organized in a short timeline, I think it went well. I by no means did it all and am very grateful to those who helped. The goal was to have candidates tell us about themselves, what is important to them and what their party has planned for Canada over the next four years.

We had a lot of questions submitted, many asking the same thing. We chose not to direct questions to a specific candidate, but for them to all answer the same one.

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Gotta eat

Next to climate change, one of the main issues shaping the current federal election campaign is affordability. I have heard this from candidates and it has repeatedly been a lead ing concern for Canadians in opinion polls.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that every political party promises to focus on housing affordability, which affects every generation. But what about food affordability?

A recent Angus Reid Global survey, done with the support of Dalhousie University’s Agri-Food Analytics Lab, found that 60 per cent of Canadians polled believe food security and food prices deserve more attention during election campaigning. The concern is consistent across all demographic groups.

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Just vote

We have all heard the saying “if you don’t vote, don’t complain”. Or something to that effect.

Voter turnout has been on a downward spiral since the first federal election in 1867. In 1867, the population of Canada was 3,230,000 and with 361,018 eligible voters, 268,387 Canadians cast their vote.

According to Elections Canada: the average voter turnout for Canada’s general elections since 1867 has been 70.7 per cent; the highest voter turnouts were in 1958, 1960, and 1963, when voter turnout was over 79 per cent; the lowest voter turnout on record was in 2008, when voter turnout fell to only 58.8 per cent. Voter turnout in the 2011 federal election, at 61.4 per cent, was the third lowest in Canadian history and voter turnout rose sharply in the 2015 federal election to 68.5 per cent, the highest turnout since 1993.

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Do your homework

In less than four weeks Canadians will be casting their vote choosing our next federal government. What is more important to you – A party’s stance on a particular issue? The party’s leader? Or your local candidate?

When determining how you will vote, what are the issues that hit home – for you?

There is a lot to consider – Taxes, Economy and affordability, Jobs & Skills training, Deficits and debt, Health, Pharmacare, Energy, Climate change and environment, Indigenous affairs, Immigration & Refugees, National defence, Public safety & National security, International development, Infrastructure, Retirement & Seniors, Housing, Education, Child care, Agriculture, Foreign affairs, International trade, Justice, Youth, Democracy & Governance, Veterans and Arts & Culture.

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It pays to speak up

This past Monday council ratified and passed two very important motions in what many landowners are hoping will fix the proposed rezoning of rural properties extending environmentally protected areas.

These motions were passed at a joint committee meeting three days before the third ‘town hall’ style meeting hosted by the landowner volunteer group Rezoning Clarington. The motions were well received and many thought it was a good step in the right direction.

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