The North Delta Reporter asked all seven Delta candidates running in the federal election — taking place on Monday, October 21 — to tell readers a bit about themselves, why they are running to be the member of Parliament for Delta, and what they see as the three biggest issues for Delta voters and why. Candidates were given a limit of 400 words. Here’s what they had to say…
(Note, the candidates’ answers have been edited for length, clarity and to conform with Canadian Press style, as required.)
ANDERSON-FENNELL, Randy (New Democratic Party)
I am an electrician, advocate of the skilled trades, and active member of my community, working to make sure construction has good quality, safe jobs for everyone.
Growing up in a small Interior town, I became an apprentice electrician at 19. I spent the first years of my career working in almost every corner of the province before moving to Delta, where I now live with my wife of 23 years.
No stranger to policy, I have served on both Surrey Board of Trade’s Social Policy and Workforce Development teams. As well, I have advocated for apprenticeships and skilled trades with different committees.
I have seen first-hand how working Canadians have been left behind as back-to-back governments keep helping the richest and big corporations get ahead. As an active member in my union, I know we need to make trade deals that help workers and create a low carbon future where everyone can afford the education and training they need.
I will fight for universal pharmacare, new affordable housing, and a plan to tackle climate change and create 300,000 good green jobs.
Pharmacare: New Democrats will guarantee that every Canadian can get the prescription medication they need with a national pharmacare program. This will create big savings for employers who currently pay for employee benefits and will also cost our system less overall as a result of pooling the purchasing power of the entire country.
Climate change: People in Delta and across Canada are worried about the future. Flooding and forest fires are threatening our homes. Rising temperatures are threatening our farming and forest industries. Our plan to fight climate change includes the creation of at least 300,000 jobs in communities across Canada, with training and support for workers as our economy changes. And we’ll end the billions in subsidies given to huge oil and gas companies.
Housing affordability: Canada is in the midst of a national housing crisis. Average rents rose in every province last year, and today, 1.7 million Canadian households spend more than 30 per cent of their income on housing. We’ll create 500,000 units of quality affordable housing in the next 10 years and provide a rental benefit of up to $5,000 per household for families paying more than 30 per cent of their pre-tax income on housing.
Read Randy Anderson-Fennell’s answers to the North Delta Reporter’s candidate questionnaire here.
BAINS, Amarit (Independent)
Amarit was born and raised in Delta where he attended school from K-12. Growing up he was involved with North Delta Soccer, Delta Minor Ball Hockey, refereed both boys’ and girls’ soccer games and played for various sport’s teams in high school.
Amarit obtained his bachelor’s degree in sociology from UVIC, where he was twice elected by his peers as a representative for the Bureau of Sociology Students. Next, he completed his law degree in the United Kingdom, where he was elected as publicity officer by his peers for the university’s Canadian Law Society. Amarit presently works as a lawyer for a national law firm, representing injured victims and individuals who have been denied disability benefits. He has also been a licensed insurance agent for over a decade.
Amarit has always been engaged in the community and successfully petitioned for speed bumps on a Delta street as a teenager. His passion for politics is driven by his desire to see his community and its residents prosper. Voting for a candidate such as himself will ensure that Delta’s needs are always a top priority, as opposed to a political party’s agenda. Amarit supports green initiatives and understands the need to ensure Canada has a strong economy. He supports reintroducing multiple small business tax credits, as their removal unfairly hurt small businesses and directly impacted Delta’s middle class.
Amarit believes the three biggest issues facing Delta are caring for the aging population, the George Massey crossing and affordable housing.
Delta and the rest of Canada have a large aging cohort which is expected to grow even larger as baby boomers continue to retire. People are living longer than ever before and they need more money to sustain their lives. Current CPP benefits are not sufficient and Amarit supports increasing them. He also supports a national pharmacare scheme and tax credits for seniors.
Money was previously secured for a new bridge but the project was scrapped by the provincial government. Amarit will strive to secure an environmentally and economically sensible crossing to service Delta’s growing communities. He believes any new crossing should include SkyTrain.
To address affordable housing Delta needs to build more single-family and multi-residential homes. An increase in supply will bring down prices. Furthermore, increased construction will create new jobs, directly benefit small businesses and increase tax revenues. Amarit believes federal tax credits should be used to incentivise builders to use green materials, designs and technologies.
Read Amarit Bains’ answers to the North Delta Reporter’s candidate questionnaire here.
BENNETT, Tony (Independent)
I grew up living around the province, ultimately arriving in Delta in 1982. I worked in construction when I was 18 and studied at Kwantlen College, where I received a diploma with a background in business and accounting. At the age of 21 I earned my real estate sales and mortgage broker licence and worked at sales and home construction. At 26 I went to work at Hydro Construction and also started a family. I have three kids, now graduated — my girls are in college and my son is working in construction. I was fortunate to have coached them in hockey and fastpitch.
I have been building homes since I was 18, learning skills from running services, carpentry and electrical to site development and layout. Ultimately, I earned the designation of PMP (project management professional).
I became a candidate because my oldest child is halfway through a registered nursing degree, which we thought is a good start, but the more I thought about it, I realized that regardless of the good start and living wages she still can’t buy a home and or ever pay it off.
I have recently written a document to address our dire housing circumstance, based on a paper I wrote at SFU many years ago about affordable and social housing from around the world and here in Canada. I was taking courses on development, project management and city planning when I became inspired by the professor, who illustrated how the built environment can benefit or hinder society.
Delta needs to send a person to Ottawa with the fortitude, mindfulness and plan to bring this solution to the front page for Deltonians and Canadians alike.
I am that person. I have written CHAPS (Canada’s Housing Affordability Planned Strategy), which will:
Seamlessly integrate all existing affordable housing programs nationwide
Provide a pathway to home ownership for young adults, single parents, modest income earners and seniors
CHAPS will provide one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom housing and home ownership. CHAPS homes are less than half the price of the market and don’t require additional federal funding. To learn more about the CHAPS plan you can review it at tonybennettformp.ca. You will also find environmentally sustainable and job creating solutions to move our nation forward without creating unrecoverable debt.
Read Tony Bennett’s answers to the North Delta Reporter’s candidate questionnaire here.
CORBET, Tanya (Conservative Party of Canada)
Tanya Corbet is a leader serving our community in various capacities, be it local service boards or in elected office. She is a member of the Delta Hospital and Community Health Foundation board of directors, Reach Child and Youth Development Society advisory board and has served as vice-chair to the Kwantlen Polytechnic University board of governors. Tanya also held elected positions on the BC Treaty Commission and as an executive councillor of the Tsawwassen First Nation. She resides in Tsawwassen with husband Matt and her two children, Isabella and James.
For me, Delta is home, it always has been and always will be. I have multigeneration roots to our community, and I recognize that our quality of life is at risk under the current government. The reason I am running federally are the same reasons I ran for council: to make sure we build an economy that benefits everyone. It’s important that we elect strong, local leaders to represent the needs of our community in Ottawa.
Three biggest issues for delta?
Infrastructure — Now! Investment and leadership are required from the federal government to fix our commuter and trade corridor road infrastructure, including the Massey Tunnel replacement and public transit. Andrew Scheer has already committed funding for the Massey Tunnel replacement and I want to fill the leadership void on the federal level.
Affordability of life — Families and businesses work hard, do what’s right, and are still struggling to get ahead. Young families are having difficulty affording housing in the communities where they grew up, seniors are struggling to get by on fixed incomes, and life has only gotten harder under Justin Trudeau. I will work hard to lower taxes and leave more money in the pockets of our residents so they can get ahead.
Environment — The sustainability of our environment is critical. That is why Conservatives have a pragmatic plan to address climate change through green technology not taxes, a cleaner and greener natural environment through conservation, and by taking the climate change fight global recognizing the powerful position Canada is in to break the status quo and export our technology and expertise to lower emissions in other parts of the world.
Read Tanya Corbet’s answers to the North Delta Reporter’s candidate questionnaire here.
DECRAENE, Craig (Green Party of Canada)
Hello, my name I Craig DeCraene, I am your Green Party candidate for a Delta. I run the day-to-day operations of an autoglass replacement service centre in Surrey. I have only been in North Delta for almost four years, but I’m my short time I have ran for city council, advocated for pedestrian safety and participated in last year’s South Delta Shoreline Cleanup.
I am running with the Green Party because I feel we have the best climate action plan to see us through this period on Earth. Without a healthy environment, we can’t have a robust economy. As climate change gets worse, the adverse effects will affect low-lying areas of Tsawwassen and Ladner, and we have a plan to mitigate the effects of flooding. Our plan is to transition to a green economy to hold to the 1.5 degree warming as recommended by the UN to thwart the effects of climate change.
I feel the three main topics in Delta are affordable housing, climate change and public transportation.
We have a plan to make housing affordable by increasing the National Housing Co-investment Fund by $750 million for new builds, and the Canada Housing Benefit by $750 million for rent assistance for 125,000 households. Also, create a Canada co-op housing strategy that would update the mechanisms for financing co-op housing, in partnership with CMHC, co-op societies, credit unions and other lenders.
Our climate action plan calls to direct the Canada Infrastructure Bank, revamped to exclude private profit in infrastructure, to invest in climate-proofing essential infrastructure (dikes around Delta), prioritizing upgrades to drinking water and wastewater systems to protect against flooding, droughts and contamination. Also using the existing Green Infrastructure Fund, we would launch a national program to restore natural buffer zones along waterways and carbon sinks through ecologically sound tree-planting and soil re-building.
And finally, public transportation. The current federal government says there is already investments waiting for George Massey Tunnel replacement. Since there are rapid transit plans, I would maintain the investment. We need to move people not cars. We plan to invest in green transportation such as electric buses, which helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from public transit and invest in programs that fund municipal active transportation networks.
Read Craig DeCraene’s answers to the North Delta Reporter’s candidate questionnaire here.
IRELAND, Angelina (People’s Party of Canada)
Angelina was born and raised in Winnipeg. She has a bachelor of arts (honours) degree in political science from the University of Winnipeg and a master’s degree in political science from Carleton University. Fifteen years ago she started her own small business, providing client accounting services to other small businesses. A 10-year resident of Delta, Angelina sits on the board of directors for the Rotary Club of Ladner and is its sergeant-at-arms, volunteers for the Delta Hospice Society and is an active parishioner of Sacred Heart Parish in Ladner.
Canada is at a crossroads. Will the brave stand and fight for a prosperous, independent nation or will we allow it to be overburdened with debt, our freedoms eroded and our sovereignty abandoned to a supranational agency? Why did our forefathers fight and die in defence of this nation? What legacy will we leave our children?
For me the answers are easy. I will stand and demand we balance the budget and start paying back the $700-billion debt that has been racked up in recent years. I will not leave a legacy of mismanagement to my children and grandchildren to pay for. This is a free country, but freedom is not free. Every day we have to insist that our freedoms — speech, religion, press, conscience, etc. — stay intact. We, as Canadians, will determine our future. We will implement programs to address our environmental concerns, we will determine our domestic policies and we will ensure Canada remains a strong and free nation on the world stage.
I understand the environment weighs heavily on the minds of Deltans. As a cancer survivor I am more than a little preoccupied with concerns about a healthy environment and the health of our families. However, we will have few options if we have no money.
We must get our fiscal house in order so that we can afford to protect our conservation programs, pollution reduction initiatives, mitigation policies and health care. The national debt is staggering and running deficits each year only increases it. We are taxed to the max! There is no more money that can be squeezed from the people to support a tax-and-spend regime at the federal level. Each of us are expected to live within our means and we must expect nothing less from our government.
The flip side of expense is revenue. We need to increase our incomes, nationally and locally. We need family-wage jobs. We have wonderful, world-class products to sell and we need a representative to get out there and promote them. We are blessed with a port on our doorstep, we can deliver our products to the world. To protect the things closest to our hearts we must first be fiscally responsible.
Read Angelina Ireland’s answers to the North Delta Reporter’s candidate questionnaire here.
QUALTROUGH, Carla (Liberal Party of Canada)
Carla Qualtrough is a successful human rights lawyer, a dedicated volunteer, a three-time Paralympic medalist in the sport of swimming, and the mother of four children.
For the past four years, Carla served as MP for Delta, and as a senior cabinet minister in the Trudeau government. She was the Receiver General of Canada, handled some of the toughest files in government, and created historic disability rights law.
Prior to being elected, Carla served as president of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, and as vice-chair of the Delta Gymnastics Society. She has degrees in political science and law.
I am running for re-election because I want to continue to serve our community. Since 2015, our Liberal government has put Canada back on track. We restored services cut by the Conservatives, created record-breaking economic growth, and introduced programs that are making a real difference in the lives of Canadians, including the Canada Child Benefit.
This election there is an important choice to make. The Conservatives will cut initiatives like the CCB, the National Housing Strategy and CPP enhancements. What concerns me most is that they have no plan to address climate change.
I want to keep moving forward — together.
The three issues I hear about most are affordability, climate change and health care.
Living in Delta is expensive. Many families struggle to make ends meet. Building on the progress we have made, a re-elected Liberal government will cut cellphone bills by 25 per cent, increase the Canada Child Benefit, provide more support to students, increase Old Age Security, and cut taxes by increasing the personal tax exemption. We will also continue to invest significantly in housing.
Deltans also care very deeply about our environment and want their government to take bold climate action. Our Liberal climate action plan includes investing in clean technologies; protecting our land, coasts, and oceans; eliminating harmful single-use plastics; phasing out coal and moving to clean energy; and achieving net-zero emissions in our country by 2050.
Delta residents also worry about the health and well-being of our community. A re-elected Liberal government will take the critical next steps to implement national universal pharmacare and ensure that every Canadian has a doctor. We will create national standards for mental health services and improve access to home and palliative care. We will also continue to address the overdose crisis by expanding community-based drug addiction treatment services, including safe consumption sites.
Read Carla Qualtrough’s answers to the North Delta Reporter’s candidate questionnaire here.