South Okanagan – West Kootenay candidates face off at Penticton Forum – Trail Daily Times
Election candidates vying for the South Okanagan and West Kootenay gathered for a lively Zoom Forum hosted by the Penticton Chamber of Commerce and Wine Country on Friday, September 10.
On immigration, the NDP, Conservative, Liberal and Green candidates largely agreed that, in the context of a labor shortage in the riding’s tourism sector, Canada should make it easier for newcomers to obtain citizenship, regardless of their skill level.
“If people want to stay here and do jobs that Canadians don’t want, or that have jobs that we obviously need to run our economy, that’s when we know we should have a job. stream dedicated to these people, ”NPD incumbent Richard Cannings said.
Ken Robertson of the Grits highlighted the success of the previous Liberal government in dealing with the Syrian refugee crisis, but stressed that recovery from a pandemic should be a top priority.
In an apparent search of the Canadian Emergency Benefit (CEP), Helena Konanz of the Conservatives insisted, “We need this flow of immigration, but we also need to examine why Canadians stay at home.”
Many Canadians “are not working right now when we have to get up and go,” she added.
Between criticism of government measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, People’s Party candidate Sean Taylor has struck a completely different chord on immigration and CERB.
“A People’s Party government will drastically reduce immigration quotas from the 400,000 (per year) planned by the Liberals to around 100 to 150,000 per year,” Taylor said in response to a question about housing solutions. This would significantly reduce the demand for housing in urban centers like Vancouver and Toronto, “where 40% of these immigrants tend to go.”
Taylor, who logged in from a room half full of unmasked supporters, meanwhile said CERB was backed by “the assumption that the lockdowns (spring and summer 2020) were necessary, which I don’t think. not that they were “.
CERB was “an absolutely necessary support for workers who suddenly found themselves without pay and income,” Cannings said.
The program has been adjusted so that it now operates on the EI model, he said, noting that the emergency benefit now pays “less than minimum wage.”
“I really don’t believe that a lot of people are sitting at home collecting CERB who really want to work,” he told Moderator and House Speaker Jonathan McGraw.
Seizing this statement, Konanz hinted that his NDP opponent was out of touch.
“I would like to know how our former MP… would think everything is fine” when many companies in Penticton could not operate at full capacity due to labor shortages.
“I didn’t say there was no labor shortage. I said that it was not caused by CERB and that all the labor experts would agree with me, ”he retorted.
Konanz came under fire on several points from Green’s Howse, including the labor shortage.
750,000 women could enter the workforce if they had access to affordable child care, Howse said, but the Conservative budget would undermine federal investment in such a program. “We need a universal daycare, Mrs Konanz,” Howse urged.
To that, the former Penticton councilor responded, “I’m the only candidate here who has actually held a position in policy development to create child care spaces in her community. “
Not to be outdone, Robertson calmly dismissed Taylor’s claim that the constituency was on “unceded territory of Canada.”
This drew loud cheers from supporters of Taylor, to whom Robertson, from a Kamloops First Nation, said, “I come from unceded territory.”
He qualified his remark by saying: “We are all in the same country. We all breathe the same air; we all cherish the future of our children.
Advanced polls were opened even before candidates met on the digital scene. They will take place from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at weekend polling stations in Grand Forks, Greenwood, Rock Creek, Oliver and Osoyoos.
Regular polling stations are open across the country on election day, Monday, September 20.
Election Canada 2021 Federal Election