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David Doel Reponses to 2015 Federal Election Questionnaire

On October 19, 2015 Halton voters will cast their ballot for local Federal candidates. On behalf of Halton residents, Regional Chair Gary Carr has sent a letter and questionnaire to Halton’s candidates asking for their positions on a number of issues of critical importance to Halton Region.

The following are David Doel's responses to 2015 Federal Election Questionnaire.

David Doel

David Doel
Oakville - Green Party of Canada

  1. Currently, the federal government does not provide sustained, long-term investment into Halton’s municipal infrastructure. Improving our roads, bridges, water and wastewater systems is one of the best ways to create local jobs, keep goods moving, help businesses succeed and maintain a high quality of life for the growing Halton community. By 2031, the infrastructure needs in Halton (including state-of-good-repair programs) are expected to reach approximately $5.6 billion.

    What would you and your government do to ensure a long-term, predictable and sustainable investment in local infrastructure to ensure that Halton residents are not burdened with the cost of growth?

    It is sad that a common feature of the advancing 21st century in Canada is the decrepitude of so much of our infrastructure. Green MPs, if elected, would work diligently to ensure that long-term solutions, kickstarted with $6.4 billion annually into municipal infrastructure to empower communities to take care of themselves and their citizens.
  2. Weather patterns have changed over the past few decades negatively impacting many communities including Halton Region which have seen an increase in severe weather events such as extended heat waves, torrential rain and ice storms. Without provincial and federal best practices and investment, municipalities are required to manage the social, economic, infrastructure, environmental and health-related consequences of climate change in the community, often at a very high cost. Long-term, sustainable funding is required for municipalities to improve community resilience and to reduce the severity of future climate change effects.

    What would you and your government do to help municipalities adapt and respond to climate change?

    Not surprisingly, this is one of the issues that is most closely associated with the Green Party of Canada, and that's something we can be proud of as more years of inaction or lip-service are not going to guarantee future generations of Canadians the future we want for them.

    Our platform outlines bold action on climate change. This is a long-term vision that would, in effect, mean weaning Canada off of fossil fuel use by mid-century, with an urgent target of 40% below our 2005 levels by 2025.

    Also, it's worth noting that the Green Party understands that, as far as some climate change effects are concerned, the die has already been cast. We are committed to keeping our communities safe by mandating world-class disaster preparedness so Canadians can feel more secure as extreme weather events and other regrettable consequences of climate change become more frequent.
  3. The provision of safe, affordable, accessible housing is a critical component of fostering healthy communities. Municipalities across the country are actively working to make communities livable for everyone by ensuring access to housing for newcomers, young people, the middle class and seniors. For too many Halton residents, affordable homeownership remains out of reach. As Canadian municipalities are unable to keep up with the demand for affordable housing options, there is a clear need for long-term predictable funding and a national housing strategy to improve the lives of residents and strengthen communities.

    How would you and your government support increased affordable and assisted housing in Halton Region? What would you do to move the creation of a national housing strategy forward?

    We will implement a National Housing Strategy based on Housing First principles. Housing First is a proven, recovery-oriented approach that centres on quickly moving people experiencing homelessness into independent, permanent housing, and then providing additional supports and services as needed. This strategy will guarantee dignity and support for Canadians at the margins of our society, and will help address homelessness while at the same time reducing the burden on our emergency and health services.

    Furthermore, Green Party of Canada Elizabeth May has spoken often of tasking a veritable army of contractors to work on retrofitting and upgrading the existing housing stock with more efficient insulation, among other things, in order to keep Canadian families warmer in winter and cooler in summer without having to break the bank in order to do so, while at the same time relieving some of the stress on our aging power grid.
  4. Economic development and job creation continue to be priority issues facing Canadian municipalities including Halton Region. While all levels of government are working to create jobs and grow the economy, more must be done. Halton continues to be an economic hotspot where businesses choose to locate as a result of our competitive taxes, strong financial position and high quality of life. In addition, Halton’s successful Economic Development Strategy has been working to meet mandated provincial employment targets to achieve sustainable economic prosperity.

    How would you and your government assist Halton in creating the right climate for economic growth and job creation? What would you and your government do to spur innovation in Canadian businesses to help them become more globally oriented?

    We want to establish a Canadian Sustainable Generations Fund to invest in skills-training, education, energy efficiency, renewables, and emerging technologies. We would create additional sustainable jobs by re-introducing and expanding the home renovation tax credit, to create incentives for individuals and companies to make their homes and businesses more efficient and accessible by installing high-efficiency insulation, solar heating and electricity, energy-efficient appliances, and accessibility upgrades.

    Innovation and enterprise, however, should definitely be left in the best of possible hands, the Canadian entrepreneur. We want to create a sustainable playing field for the innovators to succeed within, and by keeping the small business tax rate low at 9% and investing $1 billion annually into green technology commercial grants, it’ll aid in creating an environment for successful ideas.
  5. Currently, Halton region has a population of more than 500,000 and it is expected to meet mandated growth targets of 780,000 by the year 2031. The Town of Milton continues to be the fastest growing community in Canada and the Greater Toronto Area with a population that increased by 56.6 per cent between 2006 and 2011. The amount of children aged zero to four in Halton has also continued to increase each year, creating a significant need for childcare and early learning programs. For many households, childcare continues to be the second-largest expense after housing. In addition to high fees, there are simply not enough spaces to meet the demand for childcare in the Halton community. As a result, many Halton families continue to struggle to find affordable, quality childcare options for their young children.

    How would you and your government ensure that there are more affordable and accessible early learning and childcare spaces available to match Halton’s growing population?

    The Green Party would seek to engage and incentivize the private sector to become a more active partner in the provision of childcare. We believe that workplace childcare has many advantages – enhanced parenting time and access to children through the work day, extension of breast-feeding opportunities, improved employee productivity, and improving the convenience of public transport when parents and kids share their morning destination. Tax breaks to employers for the creation of child care spaces is one tool among many we will use to ensure that families have the spaces they need.

    So many nations around the world have realized for years that a healthy work-life balance, with the willing and active participation of employers and employees, is a strong spur to productivity and less of a drain on the public health sector in the long-term.
  6. Halton Region continues to partner with all levels of government to find solutions to the pressing issues facing the Region. Continued dialogue and consultation with all levels of government is required to ensure the Region’s voice is heard on matters that will directly impact the Region and Halton residents.

    How will you and your government involve the Region as partners on federal matters that have a direct impact on the Region and Halton residents?

    The Green Party has been a strong advocate for the creation of a Council of Canadian Governments to help all levels of government found in our confederation work together more productively, and to give voice to the local leadership that all too often is far more in-touch with the pressing concerns of local constituencies than MPs in Ottawa or their equivalents in the various provincial and territorial governments.

    This council would meet frequently and give voice to these concerns, so that solutions can be found sooner and more collaboratively, and not at the whim of the sitting Prime Minister or select Members of Cabinet.
  7. As federal matters impacting Halton Region arise, will you follow your party’s line, or will you choose to represent the wishes of your constituents and potentially vote against your party?

    Since the start, the Green Party of Canada has been a party of dissenters and free-thinkers. Members are encouraged to think for themselves, and, in the case of MPs such as Elizabeth May, Bruce Hyer, and Jose Nunez-Melo, each will be afforded the liberty to vote according to the best interests of his or her constituents. But don't just take my word for it - it's actually an important part of our Good Government platform, and I wouldn't be running as a candidate otherwise!