So now I’ve also received answers from the Conservative Party — which makes them the first ‘major’ party to respond to my questions. So kudos to them and without further ado, here’s the response from Stephen Rogers (again, click more to view it):
Dear Mr. Tannock,
1)What are you doing personally to engage young voters?
I have several young people that are in my campaign office regularly, and have been involved in several youth forums over the course of the campaign. The lack of interest from youth voters across the country is such a worrying trend, and I hope that I can take up the issue in an outside of the box fashion upon getting to Ottawa.
2)What is your stance on same-sex marriage & adoption?
I belong to St. Faith’s Anglican Church, where same sex couples are welcome and accepted. I feel that as long as religious institutions are not binded legally to a court decision or a piece of legislation and are able to choose how to proceed on this issue independently, I have no personal problem with gay marriage, nor with gay couples adopting and raising children.
3) Highlight 2 or 3 ways you will work to decrease the barriers to post-secondary education? (class-size, funding, debt, accessibility, etc)?
I believe that to increase accessibility, the two main objectives would be to provide more funding directly to universities so that class sizes could decrease and more students could be accommodated, and also to provide a new tax incentive system for families saving for their children’s future education.
4) What is your position on moving beyond NAFTA toward ‘deep integration’ with the US?
NAFTA must be reformed in many ways to ensure that true free trade rather than masked American protectionism is the product of the agreement. Further economic integration, however, certainly is not necessary.
5) What is your position on implementing the recommendations of the Romanow commission on health care?
The Romanow report offered nothing new in terms of innovative ways to improve the system. While more funding is needed, the Romanow report treats this as the be all solution to the severe problems that our health care system is encountering.
6)What do you feel is the most pressing issue for residents of the Vancouver-Quadra riding?
I felt that the number one issue for residents is health care, and that is why I find the Romanow report so disappointing, because after reading it upon its release, I found nothing to get excited about, nor anything that provided new solutions to the growing obstacles to receiving quality care in a timely fashion.
7)Once in office, how will you make yourself available on an ongoing basis to the needs of your constituents?
With a young family, I will be in Vancouver as much as possible, and thus able to meet with constituents on a regular basis. As a former 6 time cabinet minister that was in office for 16 years, I learned how to balance the responsibilities of the job with the needed presence within the riding, and I do not plan on deviating from the formula premised on accessibility for Vancouver Quadra residents.
8) Please identify one aspect of one of your opponents’ platforms explain 1 or 2 ways how your position is the better alternative.
Our platform is grounded in the view that accountability and integrity must be brought back to public office. If constituents cannot trust where there money is ending up, and how their MP is representing their interests against the pressures of party influence, then there is a severe problem. It was revealed in March through 2 front page stories in the Vancouver Sun that Stephen Owen gave a $2 million loan to a liberal owned company on the verge of bankruptcy, as well as giving his chief of staff two untendered contracts worth $180,000, while she collected a government pension from a previous job. This does not instill confidence in an already cynical population.
9) How do you think Canada should proceed with regards to the Kyoto Protocols?
Kyoto was a resolution that was pushed through Parliament without any consultation with industry, and no plan for implementation. Before a Conservative government would proceed with such a massive undertaking, major public and private consultations would be executed so that unity could be achieved before implementing a plan that requires cooperation for its success.
10) Do you support a larger, smaller or same size military, and what is the primary purpose for your support?
Again, our military is in shambles largely because there has been no articulated mandate or mission statement as to what we want to accomplish. Peace keepers? Active combat? Humanitarian missions? I would advocate for a complete review of the military and its purpose, and once an extensive process has been completed, and decisions have been made, then, and only then, will the Canadian government be able to designate an appropriate size, the proper equipment, as well as the rules of engagement.
I hope this answers your questions.