The North Delta Reporter sent all seven candidates hoping to represent Delta in Parliament five questions to gauge their positions on some of the big issues for Deltans in the 2019 federal election. We gave candidates a limit of 900 words total to answer. Here’s what independent candidate Amarit Bains had to say…
(Note, the candidates’ answers have been edited for length, clarity and to conform with Canadian Press style, as required.)
1) What is you/you party’s plan to combat climate change and safeguard the environment for future generations?
In combating climate change, I would like to see government increase research and development of renewable energy sources. I support using more hydro electricity and developing nuclear energy as a source of clean energy. I want to see our existing natural gas infrastructure used to create electric fuel cells which can be used as a low carbon-emitting source of energy domestically and sold as an export around the world.
I support the ban of single use plastics, and I support the Green Party’s plan to ban all combustible engine sales by the year 2030. I plan to secure federal funding for transit projects such as SkyTrain expansion into Delta. A SkyTrain servicing Delta will vastly reduce carbon emissions emitted by daily commuters and reduce Delta’s overall carbon footprint. The implementation of these strategies will safeguard the environment for future generations.
2) How do you/your party plan to make homes in Delta more affordable for new buyers as well as increase the number of available rental units in the community?
To tackle the issue of affordable housing it is necessary to increase the supply of homes, and I would support the development of new home projects. It is important to ensure that all new developments are sustainable and that rental units are allocated. Not all looking to buy homes in Delta are new home buyers; many are people looking to downsize. It makes sense to offer incentives to developers in order to attract them to build an array of multi-residential and single-family homes in Delta.
I propose to offer tax credits for developers who use green designs and green materials. It will be important for developers to contribute to our community by investing and developing green spaces, protecting ecologically sensitive areas and help with upgrading aging infrastructure such as dykes and utilities. First-time home buyer incentives tend to change or don’t make sense for many Canadians. I support implementing a first-time home buyer incentive that works and makes sense.
3) How would you/your party reduce the tax burden for Delta families?
The Liberal government said last election they wanted to make life more affordable for Canadians, yet they stopped small business owners from being able to claim multiple tax credits. I support bringing back the small business tax credits, as their elimination hurt our communities’ small businesses and middle class. To further reduce the tax burden faced by families in Delta I would advocate for implementing a children’s sport and arts tax credit, which will allow parents to claim money back for putting their children in sports and arts programs. No child should miss out on the opportunity to play sports or be unable to pursue their passion because of financial constraints at home. Furthermore, I support a public tax credit which will save families who take public transit money.
The present carbon tax unfairly taxes B.C. residents twice. The short fallings of previous governments with the environment should not equate to all of us being on the hook for a carbon tax. The carbon tax is the reason why B.C. residents pay so much more than other Canadians for gas at the pump. Profits from pipelines, mining and other non energy-renewable projects need to be used to address their environmental impact. Subsidies need to be phased for non renewable energy fuels and projects. Furthermore, an implementation of an e-commerce tax on corporations such as Uber, Amazon and Netflix would be more appropriate as these corporations do not pay taxes in Canada.
4) What will you/your party do to support the growing number of seniors in our community?
Delta residents need to feel secure that retirement doesn’t cause undue financial hardship. Seniors should not have to choose between food and other life essentials over life-saving medicine. I support and would advocate for the implementation of a national pharmacare scheme. Canada is the only country that has a universal health care scheme which does not cover medicine. I will ensure our hospitals have the equipment and funding needed to take care of those who are hospitalized. I support offering tax credits for seniors who wish to remain at home. Furthermore, the current level of CPP benefits are not sufficient for many people. I support increasing the CPP benefits. That being said, I would also work to diversify the government’s investments in CPP away from fossil fuels to ensure that the CPP doesn’t fail for future generations.
5) Many Deltans are concerned about the shootings and other gang-related violence happening across the Lower Mainland. How will you/your party help reduce violent crime and keep law-abiding folks safe?
To keep Delta residents safe, I believe a tougher stance on crime needs to be taken as a matter of deterrence and retribution. Mandatory minimum sentences should apply to repeat offenders. Respectable and honest members of society do not carry and possess guns without a gun licence. It is appropriate for those found discharging a firearm without a licence in our communities to face stricter penalties. Individuals found distributing fentanyl should also be serving longer sentences. Fentanyl has contributed to the deaths of countless Canadians. Repeat firearm and drug distribution offenders deserve minimum mandatory sentences. Anyone found grooming youth and children into organized crime should also face minimum mandatory sentences.
The federal election takes place on Monday, Oct. 21.
Click here to read the other candidates’ answers.