CanadaVOTES: CHP candidate Henry Zekveld running in Durham

Friday, September 26, 2008

Interview series
2008 Canadian federal election

Calgary Southwest: CHP
Edmonton—Leduc: NDP
Yellowhead: CHP

Langley: CHP*
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Brandon—Souris: CHP

Dartmouth—Cole Harbour: CHP

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Don Valley West: NDP
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Westmount—Ville-Marie: NDP

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On October 14, 2008, Canadians will be heading to the polls for the federal election. Christian Heritage Party candidate Henry Zekveld is standing for election in the riding of Durham.

Born in Lindsay and raised on a dairy farm, Henry studied at Woodstock's Fanshawe Agriculture College in 1987, the same year he joined the Christian Heritage Party. A farmer for the last 11 years, he is an active member of a local church, serving as deacon and, currently, an elder. He is a member of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, and serves on the local board of the Christian Farmers' Federation of Ontario. He ran for office as a CHP candidate Huron-Bruce (1993) and Durham (2006).

Wikinews contacted John, to talk about the issues facing Canadians, and what they and their party would do to address them. Wikinews is in the process of contacting every candidate, in every riding across the country, no matter their political stripe. All interviews are conducted over e-mail, and interviews are published unedited, allowing candidates to impart their full message to our readers, uninterrupted.

A riding from 1904 to 1968, and since 1988, Durham includes Newcastle, Scugog, Uxbridge, Scugog Indian Reserve No. 34, Whitby north of Taunton Road, and Oshawa north of Rossland Road and some other allowances. Conservative Bev Oda currently holds the riding; she is the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, as well as Minister for International Cooperation. Looking to take this riding from Oda are Zekveld, Stephen Leahy (Green), Andrew McKeever (NDP), and Bryan Ransom (Liberal).

For more information, visit the campaign's official website, listed below.


Why are you running for political office, why at the federal level, why this party, and why in this riding?

Canada's Judeo Christian foundations have made Canada to be a land of freedom and prosperity. These foundations must be retained for the continued good of Canada. Because the Christian Heritage Party of Canada is the only federal party which bases their policy and platform on Biblical principle, because these values are important to me and because I love God and my country, I am running as candidate for the CHP in the EDA where I live, Durham.

Previous to this campaign, have you been politically involved? How will you apply your previous work/volunteer/life experience to serving your constituents?

The Christian Heritage Party has been my party of choice from 1987 on. I have been actively involved in it since then. I am accountable to God in all that I do and I take seriously my stewardship over the earth as a farmer, for my wife and family, serving my local church, and serving my country, Canada. The greatest virtue as a politician serving my constituents would be selflessness. My experience in the list above has taught me the importance and joy of giving for the benefit of others – I would like to use this to the benefit of my fellow Canadians.

As you campaign around your riding, it's likely that some issues are mentioned more often by voters, than other issues. What would you say are the three hottest topics this election, in your riding? What would you and your party do to address these issues?

The Durham electoral district has a high percentage of farmers and is a bedroom community for manufacturing.
Manufacturing is a top concern for our electorate as General Motors and its suppliers are a major employer. I believe the emphasis should shift from funnelling funds to General Motors in its present state and looking futuristic. Car manufacturing should be focusing on renewable energy sources such as cars powered by water, air, or electricity. Funds should reward invention and inventors. Canada could be on the leading edge of technology and manufacture would again thrive.
All Canadians are concerned with food safety. In Canada we have high standards for our agricultural products. Our safety standards include employee safety, pesticide and herbicide standards, and quality standards. Canada has high standards to protect the health of its citizens. Imports with lower standards should not be allowed into Canada. Not only does it compromise the health and welfare of Canadian citizens, but also it undermines our farmers as many imported food products are produced here already. These imports also need inspection using our tax dollars to do so. Canadians expect safe food. Due diligence must be given.
Accessibility to healthcare. First the Christian Heritage Party sees healthcare as a provincial matter. The federal government should not be controlling any province’s jurisdiction in healthcare. Money should be transferred without “strings attached.” The Christian Heritage Party’s policy involves adding private services to help alleviate backlog. Not only would Canadians receive quicker service, but also better service. Competition would create better service, shorter waiting time, and cost efficient delivery of services.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Is there any misconceptions about you, your leader, or your party and platform?

The Christian Heritage Party of Canada is often seen as being religious. We are no moLre religious than the Conservatives or Liberals. Every person is religious whether we acknowledge it or not. It may be Christian, Hindu, Muslim, or Secular Humanist. Everyone has a belief system and this belief system influences thoughts, words, and actions – no one excluded. The Christian Heritage Party has the vision Canada’s Founding Fathers had as written in the preamble of our constitution, “The supremacy of God and the rule of law.” The rule of law is based on God’s law in the Ten Commandments and elsewhere in the Bible. These standards are time tested and have given direction to Canada since its inception.

There's a more ways than ever to get your message out, from the traditional campaign fliers and lawn signs, to new media like websites, Facebook, and YouTube. The tried-and-true routes get the message out to the masses much easier, but digital alternatives are much more measurable in how many are seeing or interacting with your campaign. What seems to be the most effective, from your experience?

We’re starting to realize the importance of technology. The “tried-and-true routes” are still effective but the internet is a tremendous asset.