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Brant-Brantford Votes – 2022 Provincial Election Candidate Profiles

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Brant-Brantford Votes – 2021 Federal Election Candidate Profiles

FeaturesBrant-Brantford Votes - 2021 Federal Election Candidate Profiles

For the first time in a decade, there will be a new Member of Parliament for the riding of Brantford-Brant. Longtime MP Phil McColeman announced he would not seek re-election on January 8, 2021 leaving the door wide open for a new MP.  Seven candidates will battle it out during this year’s federal election on Monday, September 20. 

 
Larry Brock, Conservative Party of Canada
Larry Brock, Conservative Party of Canada.

How long have you been with the party?

I have been an active campaign volunteer since 2011 with the provincial and federal Conservative parties.

Why did you choose to run in this election?

After working behind the scenes for many years, I thought it was time to put my name on the ballot. In my work as an Assistant Crown Attorney I have been responsible for carrying out the law. Now I want a role in creating new laws to help solve the issues facing Brantford-Brant.

What do you think are the three biggest issues facing constituents in Brantford-Brant?

Pandemic recovery. We have lost one million jobs during the pandemic and many small and medium businesses are barely surviving. We want to encourage job creation through the Canada Job Surge Plan which will pay 50 per cent of the salary of new hires for six months. We want to support businesses with our Main Street Business Loan program and Rebuild Main Street Tax Credit. These will provide loans and tax credits to help businesses return to health.

The rising cost of housing. We want to implement a plan to build one million new houses in three years to make it easier to find a home and help moderate prices. We want to change mortgage rules so more people can buy a home. We want to encourage investment in rental housing.

The drug epidemic and mental health crisis. These issues often go hand in hand. We want to invest money in help addicts get treatment so police can focus more time on arresting traffickers and dealers. We also want to put more money into mental health as well as encourage companies to make mental health part of their benefits plan.

How has the campaign gone?

We’re happy with the campaign. We have a dedicated team of volunteers who have been working hard to knock on doors, install lawn signs and connect with voters. The pandemic has made it hard to hold rallies and debates, but community groups have found innovative ways to meet the candidates.

What are some of the concerns you have been hearing from residents while on the campaign trail?

Many voters have expressed concerns about the rising cost of living, drug and crime issues and recovering from the pandemic.

What are your thoughts regarding Rural broadband throughout the region?

Canada’s Conservatives want to make broadband internet service available to all Canadians by 2025. In some cases, this would be several years ahead of the existing schedule.

What will be your top priority for Brant-Brantford residents if elected?

Pandemic recovery which includes job creation, helping small businesses back to health and dealing with the mental health and related issues that have become worse in the last 18 months.

How would you describe yourself to residents?

I was born and raised in Brantford, as was my wife Angela and our twin 12-year-old daughters. I am passionate about this community and have worked throughout my career as an Assistant Crown Attorney to keep it safe. I have helped many less fortunate residents through my volunteer work with St. Leonard’s Community Services, Crossing All Bridges Learning Centre and the United Way. In my career as a lawyer and Assistant Crown Attorney I have lived by codes of conduct that emphasize honesty, integrity and accountability. That’s the kind of MP I want to be.

Alison Macdonald, Liberal Party of Canada
Alison Macdonald, Liberal Party of Canada

How long have you been with the party? 

I have been a Liberal since 2008 but was only nominated August 10 2021!  

Why did you choose to run in this election? 

I have been approached for several years and respectfully declined.  It wasn’t the right time for me or my family.  However, after the discovery of the unmarked graves and the outpouring of support, empathy and awareness in Non-indigenous Canadians, I felt inspired that if ever I were to try, now was the right moment.  Indigenous persons have always known these truths and the terrible history and legacy of residential schools.  I felt an empathy and sensitivity that hadn’t existed before.  

What do you think are the three biggest issues facing constituents in Brantford-Brant?  

COVID has left everyone forever changed.  Getting through the pandemic and after effects is, by far, the biggest issue.  This affects small business recovery, mental health and well-being of all ages but especially our children, and the affordability of housing where so many have been economically disadvantaged during the pandemic.  The Liberals have been there for everyone and wish to continue moving forward.  For everyone.  

How has the campaign gone? 

I’m very proud of our team who have remained strong, motivated and tenacious.  I was so pleased and thankful when our leader  Justin Trudeau visited Brantford.  I was able to share our hard work with our volunteers, long time liberal supporters, my family and closest friends in my favourite restaurant, the sociable.  I will be forever grateful to the Liberal Party and Justin for showing such faith in me as a brand new candidate.  

What are some of the concerns you have been hearing from residents while on the campaign trail? 

Homelessness and tent cities; mental health and addictions in our downtown core; and general affordability of necessities like housing.  People want solutions and help.  They want to see real movement and stop the perception  of political inaction.  

What are your thoughts regarding Rural broadband throughout the region?  

Really?  I’m a rural small business owner on six nations of the grand River.  I have a wireless tower; two separate wireless hubs from two different providers as back up and, when necessary, use my phone as a hotspot in particularly terrible weather.  High speed is a necessity of life and everyone should have reasonably priced access anywhere in Canada.  The liberals have started to deliver on this issue and will continue to do so if re-elected.  

What will be your top priority for Brant-Brantford residents if elected? 

Listening to our residents to hear about their needs.  Taking those views to Ottawa and  working hard to deliver.

How would you describe yourself to residents?

I am the only female indigenous lawyer running in Brantford.  I have dedicated my professional career to helping vulnerable people and children.  I am a mother, spouse, a daughter, sister, friend and colleague.  I am proud of my small rurally located firm and the teamwork we share while practising criminal family and child protection litigation.  I enjoy music, yoga, and vacations on a beach.  Mostly, I work late and don’t sleep much between my family and job.  I wear my heart on my sleeve and am deeply committed to being the liberal MP should I be elected.  

Adrienne Roberts, New Democratic Party
Adrienne Roberts, New Democratic Party

How long have you been with the party? 

I officially became a member in 2017.  I was inspired to become more active in the party with the 2017 leadership race.

Why did you choose to run in this election? 

My students are who inspired me to run.  Too many youths have expressed to me over the years a sense of hopelessness, and that is heart-breaking.  So, I decided to step up and be a voice for those who have felt ignored and forgotten over the past decade.  We need change in our community, and I am ready to fight for their future.  My focus is on the needs of Brantford-Brant, and I will be an out-spoken MP who will speak up and fight for the people living here.  

What do you think are the three biggest issues facing constituents in Brantford-Brant?

The biggest issues are housing—specifically the high rents and lack of affordability; the opioid crisis and its impact on families and the community; and many people at the door are expressing concern about the climate crisis.

How has the campaign gone?

Our campaign has been strong from the start, and the infusion of our youth volunteers has added a dynamic to it that has been inspiring for everyone.  Having them have the chance to participate in the operations of a campaign, some of whom are as young as 12, and to talk to them about how they too can run as a candidate in the future, has been a goal for us since the beginning.  

What are some of the concerns you have been hearing from residents while on the campaign trail? 

There are so many concerns but affordability has been the one of the biggest concerns.  Many people have told me that their children have had to move in with them because of the lack of affordable housing, while those in their 20s and 30s are telling me that they are working 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet while not being able to put anything away in savings.  Many tell me that they have given up on the dream of owning a home.  And we all know that there is a homelessness problem in our community.  An NDP government has a plan to tackle this issue.  We will focus on building 500,000 units of affordable housing, while also working with the municipalities and provinces to kick-start housing initiatives, with a goal of 1.7 million housing units across the country.  

What are your thoughts regarding Rural broadband throughout the region?

As a teacher, I can say that many students were not able to access education because of the lack of internet last year, and we need to remove this type of barrier to education.  And farmers need reliable and affordable internet for their work. Indeed, more than half of Canadians living in rural areas don’t have access to high-speed internet, and among comparable countries, Canadians pay some of the highest prices for mobile wireless and broadband subscriptions in the world.  An NDP government will commit to declaring high-speed internet an essential service and making sure that everyone has access to affordable, reliable high-speed broadband within four years. This will include starting the process of creating a Crown corporation to ensure the delivery of quality, affordable telecom services to every community.

What will be your top priority for Brant-Brantford residents if elected?

There is so much that is needed here in our community, but I have been very vocal about the need for our community to have more supports to combat the opioid crisis.  People are dying and what we currently have is not enough to meet the need.  We need more wrap-around supports, an expanded treatment centre, and housing. 

And, in speaking with the Board members of Kawenní:io|Gaweni:yo Private School, they need a building, and this is something I will be fighting for in Ottawa as an elected MP. For 34 years the school has been operating in rented spaces.  Students and families are choosing to attend KGPS as a means by which to revitalize and grow ancestral languages and cultural practices.  As of 2020, there are less than 30 native speakers of Gayogohó:nǫ (the Cayuga language) and less than 5 native speakers of Kanien’kéha (the Mohawk language) remaining at Six Nations.  We must undertake the important work of reconciliation in good faith, in true and equal partnership with Six Nations of the Grand River and Mississauga of the Credit First Nation.

How would you describe yourself to residents?

Compassionate.  Which gives me a solid foundation on which to stand—I have no fear in speaking up when it comes to fighting for people.  I am very involved in our community, be it helping with a local clean-up or cooking food at the Legion BBQ.  The past decade of not only living in our community but also immersing myself at the grassroots level in Brantford-Brant has given me the chance to acquaint myself with so many in our community.  I believe that dialogue and empathy are the most powerful agents of change.  I love our community and I am proud to call Brantford-Brant home.  

Editor’s Note: Candidates who are not included did not provide responses in time for publication.

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