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HomeNewsELECTION 2021: Meet the candidates for the Skeena-Bulkley Valley

ELECTION 2021: Meet the candidates for the Skeena-Bulkley Valley

Voters head to the polls on Monday (Sept 20) for the 2021 Federal Election. MyBulkleyLakesNow reached out to each of the candidates in the Skeena-Bulkley Valley riding for each of the following questions:

  1. Can you provide a brief bio of yourself and let us know why you are running and what is the most important issue(s) to you?
  2. What is the best way to address a growing problem of social issues including homelessness, drug use, and the crime that sometimes results from it?
  3. With record temperatures this year and wildfires again a major concern, how would you address climate change?
  4. More healthcare workers are needed in Northern BC/Cariboo. What would you do to help and attract these kinds of professionals to your riding?
  5. Any final thoughts that you would like to pass on to the voters?

Five out of the six candidates participated in a joint all-candidates forum run by Terrace, Smithers, Kitimat, Houston, and Prince Rupert District of Commerce. 

Here are the answers to their questions starting with a quick bio, why they are running, and what is the most important issue to them.

In alphabetical order (last name):

Taylor Bachrach, New Democrat Party of Canada (Incumbent)

Taylor Bachrach (supplied by: Taylor Bachrach)

I am seeking re-election as the incumbent Member of Parliament for Skeena-Bulkley Valley. As MP, I served as the NDP’s critic for Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities, working on issues ranging from rail safety and air passenger refunds to public transit and infrastructure.

Prior to my election in 2019, I served eight years as the Mayor of the Town of Smithers and ran a small business for over a decade. I live in Smithers with my wife Michelle and our two teenage daughters, Ella and Maddie.

I am running because Northwest BC deserves a strong, experienced voice in the House of Commons and because I have hope that working together, we can address the big challenges we face as a country. These include climate change, reconciliation, and economic inequality.

Jody Craven, People’s Party of Canada

MyBulkleyLakesNow reached out to Craven but did not hear back in time for publication. Attached is his website for more information. https://jodycraven.ca/

Lakhwinder Jahj, Liberal Party of Canada

MyBulkleyLakesNow also reached out to Jahj but did not hear back in time for publication. Attached is her website for more information. https://lakhwinderjhaj.liberal.ca/

Claire Rattee, Conservative Party 

Claire Ratte (supplied by: Claire Rattee)

I have lived in Kitimat for 10 years and I operate 2 businesses with my partner Colton. I was a municipal councillor for 4 years and I ran in the 2019 election as well. I’m running because I care about the people in Skeena-Bulkley Valley and it’s time for a fresh start and the representation we deserve. In nearly two decades the NDP has achieved very little progress for our communities. We deserve a strong and passionate voice in Ottawa advocating for us, not propping up the Liberal government and paying us lip service at election time. A few of the biggest issues I think we are facing right now are the lack of affordable housing, funding for mental health and addictions services, long-term care beds, investment in small businesses, and infrastructure funding. 

Rod Taylor, Christian Heritage Party

Rod Taylor (supplied by: Rod Taylor)

Rod Taylor is the National Leader of the Christian Heritage Party of Canada and is the CHP candidate for Skeena-Bulkley Valley. He and Elaine have been married for 47 years. Rod spent 25 years in the lumber industry as a lumber grader and quality control supervisor. During his 7 years as CHP Leader, he has focused on the protection of innocent human life, the strengthening of the natural family, and the defense of personal freedoms, including freedom of speech and freedom of conscience.

 

Adeana Young, Green Party

Adeana Young (supplied by: Adeana Young)

My English name is Adeana Young, my Haida name is Kuun Jaadas I’m currently living on the unceded and traditional territory of the Haida Nation. I currently sit as a school board trustee. I’m also the interim chair for Niislaa Naay Healing House Society and a director with Haida Child and Family Services Society. I’ve been directly involved with local politics for the past 10 years. I am the lead actress in SGaawaay K’uuna/Edge of the Knife, the first-ever feature-length film done entirely in the Haida Language. I am a mother of four and a fisherman’s wife.

 

  1. What is the best way to address a growing problem of social issues including homelessness, drug use, and the crime that sometimes results from it?

Taylor Bachrach

Many people in our communities are struggling with poverty, addictions, and mental health challenges. We need a trauma-informed approach that starts by providing for people’s basic needs. The NDP believes in expanding Canada’s universal health care system to include pharmacare, dental care, and mental health care. Our platform includes a detailed plan to build affordable housing so that everyone has a roof over their head. And we are committed to addressing the opioid crisis as a public health emergency. This includes reducing the stigma faced by people who use drugs, investing in harm reduction, and expanding access to treatment.

Claire Rattee

Homelessness arises from the lack of affordable and available housing in the region and the lack of funding for mental health and addictions services. The opioid crisis needs to be treated like the urgent health crisis it is and a Conservative government will invest $325 million over three years to create 1,000 treatment beds and 50 recovery centres, and $1 billion over five years to enhance the delivery of culturally appropriate Indigenous treatment and prevention programs. We will ensure recovery is the overarching goal and get those struggling with addiction the help they deserve. We need to re-implement the Housing First approach, which has been watered down by the current federal government, to aid in the fight against Canada’s addictions crisis. Every day we lose 17 Canadians to opioid-related deaths and since the onset of Covid-19, there has been a staggering 89% increase. It’s unacceptable and it’s time for the government to step up and provide the necessary funding and change the way we approach these issues.

Rod Taylor

The single biggest factor in crime is broken homes: kids growing up without a father in the home. We need to strengthen families, renew a sense of purpose and meaning for young people. Drug use should be discouraged by law, not enabled by drug injection centres. Homelessness is not a lack of housing; it’s a lack of will to live in a functional community. A crime must be punished appropriately and people should enjoy the just rewards of their labours, not have them stolen by excessive taxation.

Adeana Young

The best way to address it is to actually address it. We see promises of millions of dollars being spent here and there, but nothing changes. We’re running out of trees to cut, we’re still killing the salmon and the list goes on. Our natural resources are being stripped clean primarily for the benefit of others. Our wealth is dwindling. That’s why people are down. Drug abuse, crime, are all symptoms of a weak economic and social base. And yet we seem to think that somebody from outside can step in, throw a few dollars around, and then everything is fixed. We need to solve these problems ourselves because so far nobody is doing it for us.

  1. With record temperatures this year and wildfires again a major concern, how would you address climate change?

Taylor Bachrach

Canada is the only country in the G7 whose levels of climate pollution have risen since the Paris Accord was signed. In Parliament, I led the NDP’s efforts to negotiate improvements to Canada’s new climate accountability legislation, successfully pushing for the inclusion of a 2026 emissions target. The NDP’s detailed climate plan includes ending fossil fuel subsidies, investing in public transit and green infrastructure, and doing what it takes to reduce emissions by 50 percent of 2005 levels by 2030. Ensuring a just transition for workers and investing in Indigenous land stewardship are integral components of our plan.

Claire Rattee

We have a plan that meets our targets and reduces emissions, all while repealing Trudeau’s Carbon Tax. Independent analysis found our plan would effectively achieve the same emissions reductions as the government’s current plan in 2030 while resulting in a boost to jobs and the economy. We will protect the environment without doing it on the backs of hardworking Canadians or hurting our economy. Instead of sending your money to Ottawa, Low Carbon Savings Accounts help Canadians make greener lifestyle choices while letting them decide what works best for them and their families.

Rod Taylor

Record temperatures (since recorded time) do not prove CO2 is responsible for climate change. CO2 is a beneficial gas needed by plants. We need to manage the forests and oppose catastrophic efforts at geoengineering the weather. Droughts, heat, and extreme weather are cyclical and we need to prepare for them.

Adeana Young

It’s going to be ambitious due to the length and breadth of our region and the fact that Greens practice politics differently from other parties. We can rejuvenate the forests so that they become carbon sinks again instead of carbon sources. We can change the way we manage forests so that we get more value from them. In respect to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and to Climate Justice, I will work towards conserving and restoring natural ecosystems. I will stand strong in opposition to pipeline expansion and development, and through a just transition away from oil and gas, we will turn to a Green Economy. I will help ensure consultation is done in an inclusive way and ensure that engagements are NOT hosted with ‘leading questions’.

  1. More healthcare workers are needed in Northern BC. What would you do to help and attract these kinds of professionals to your riding?

Taylor Bachrach

The key to attracting skilled professionals is creating vibrant, safe, diverse communities with excellent amenities and high quality of life. Our region boasts amazing outdoor recreation, but affordable housing, reliable air transportation, and high-speed internet are also important. I continue to advocate on these issues as MP and am always available to assist directly in recruitment efforts led by the regional health authority.

Claire Rattee

Conservatives will expand and double the Northern Residents Deduction to include most Skeena-Bulkley Valley residents, meaning the average couple or person living alone will receive over $1,200-2,400 more per year and encourage more people (of all professions) to live and work here. Canada’s Recovery Plan will create jobs across rural Canada – not just in big cities. We are 100% committed to the principle of universal healthcare access and that’s why our plan also includes increases to provincial healthcare funding.

Rod Taylor 

Allow foreign-trained doctors and nurses to be certified in Canada within a minimal timeframe to Canadian standards. Low-cost certification should be repaid by a commitment to spend the first 5 years in rural or northern communities. Cease—at once—to threaten mandatory covid vaccination for them and for all government employees. Allow them and all Canadians to make their own healthcare decisions.

Adeana Young

Before COVID-19 I think there was always a need for health care workers and now the pandemic has heightened the need within the healthcare field.  We have to do more than attract outsiders. We have to help ourselves by taking care of ourselves and keep encouraging preventative actions. In collaboration with our provincial counterparts, we must identify what the gaps are and take this to the House. I support initiatives that encourage or provide the training that people need to become qualified health care workers. We’re better together. Vaccines are still a choice, let’s keep it that way. If you choose not to get the vaccine please follow local and provincial health guidelines. 

  1. Any final thoughts that you would like to pass on to the voters?

Taylor Bachrach

The past year and a half of the COVID-19 pandemic have been challenging for our region — and for Canada as a whole. I’m proud of the way communities in the Northwest have pulled together in the spirit of mutual support and I’ve been honoured to contribute to these efforts as your MP. As the fourth wave drags on, I know people are tired and frustrated. COVID-19 continues to present a real threat. Please stay safe and do what you can to ensure the safety of your neighbours. It’s an honour to serve as your Member of Parliament and I hope I can count on your support in the coming election.

Claire Rattee

Had nothing further to add. 

Rod Taylor

The past year has been challenging for all Canadians. The government response to covid has been disastrous. The government has not followed the real science and has not allowed safe and effective treatments like Ivermectin to be used, which would have saved thousands of lives. Adverse effects of the experimental vaccines have been minimized and the effort to force all Canadians to participate in the use of these experimental drugs is horrifying. Canadians must peaceably but firmly resist the vaccine mandates, passports, and coercion. We do not want a dictatorship; we want the freedom to make our own medical decisions. Life! Family! And Freedom! are essential. Learn more at chp.ca

Adeana Young

Everything depends on everything else. Unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse, housing costs, mental health issues, environmental degradation, resource depletion, are all connected. We can’t solve one without solving the others at the same time. A holistic approach is needed. 

Also, the Greens value participatory democracy. We are founded on ecological wisdom, social justice, and non-violent approaches. Only the Greens can guarantee your MP represents you! At the national level, the individual MP of another party is a pawn of the party, just another vote in parliament for what they’re told to vote for. I want to give your voice back because you are valued, you have worth, and your voice matters. 

 

 

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