CanadaVOTES: CHP candidate Vicki Gunn in York—Simcoe
Friday, October 10, 2008
In an attempt to speak with as many candidates as possible during the 2008 Canadian federal election, Wikinews has talked via email with Vicki Gunn. Gunn is a candidate in Ontario's York—Simcoe riding, running under the Christian Heritage Party of Canada (CHP) banner. The CHP is a minor, registered political party running a significant number of candidates across the country, looking to earn its first ever seat in the House of Commons.
The riding has existed from 1968 to 1979, from 1988 to 1997, and from 2004 to present. As of the next provincial election in Ontario, it will be recognised as a provincial electoral district as well. Over the years, the riding has been represented by the Liberal Party, Progressive Conservative Party, again by the Progressive Conservatives, again by the Liberals, and since its recreation, the seat has been held by the Conservative Party of Canada.
Peter Van Loan, the Conservative incumbent, is the Minister Responsible for Democratic Reform and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. The other candidates in the riding, besides Van Loan and the CHP's Gunn, are New Democrat Sylvia Gerl, Liberal Judith Moses, and the Green Party's John Dewar.
The following is an interview with Gunn, conducted via email. The interview is published unedited, as sent to Wikinews.
Why are you running for political office, why at the federal level, why this party, and why in this riding?
- I am serving for the 3rd time as candidate because I believe in principles which do not change. I believe in strong families and I believe is social order. When we as a country supported our families and enabled them to raise their children without fear of government interference then we had a strong social order. We had 4 levels of government, self government, family government, church (spiritual) government, and civil government) which created healthy, balanced social order. The government did not interfere in family and spiritual government unless there was good reason. Today we have government interference in our homes, in our places of worship, in our thoughts, how we express ourselves. This is a dangerous precedent! Government has been allowed to grow unfettered in this country for too long. The CHP genuinely believes in 4 levels of government... each operating within it's sphere of authority. We believe in smaller government. We believe in healthy families. We believe in a future for this country free from the all pervasive power of the state!
Previous to this campaign, have you been politically involved? How will you apply your previous work/volunteer/life experience to serving your constituents?
- I served as candidate in York Simcoe for the Christian Heritage Party in both 2004 & 2006.
- My earlier experience was... I worked for 15 years with the Royal Bank of Canada ending my banking career as a Branch Administration Officer. This was great training in financial management, administration and supervision.
- I have, together with my husband, built the small business which has supported our family for the past 20 years. I am very aware of the challenges which face small businesses. There are many small businesses in York Simcoe that would benefit from my experience and understanding of the challenges they face.
- I volunteered for about 11 years with a local distress centre, life is very difficult for some of our constituents in York Simcoe. When people are in times of crisis it is important that programs are in place to help them to get to the highest quality of life they can achieve. I also served on the local executive and the national executive which was great use of my administrative skills.
- I served as foster parent to young offenders for 7 years which gave me opportunity to work with many troubled youth. I am aware of the challenges young people face as they grow up and also the need for strong, intact families to support them through those volatile years.
- I have been a member of Speak for Success York Simcoe Toastmasters since 2004. I have served as Secretary, Vice President Education and President, which has further developed both my communication and leadership abilities. I have served as District Secretary for District 61 and Secretary of Northern Lights Advanced Toastmaster Club. I am currently serving as Club Coach to Simcoe Shores Toastmasters in Keswick. I would use the experience garnered in all of these roles as Member of Parliament because the type of government I envision would be strong on leadership and accountability.
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?
- Constituents in York Simcoe spend a lot of time travelling to and from work. Gas prices are high and the other political parties offer no real solutions. We offer a "Fair Tax". This would be a tax on everything except essentials. Gas prices would be lower because there would not be layer upon layer of hidden taxes. We would also eliminate the income tax because it penalises industrious people for working. If 1/3 of your paycheque, what you have earned by your own labour, goes to the government before you see it, that is theft. A consumer tax would be paid when you purchase items or services, which means you control how much tax you pay. It is a much simpler form of book keeping. Our present tax laws are understood by extremely few people.
- Important to constituents of York Simcoe is also a healthy environment. It IS possible to decrease pollution without government digging deeper into OUR pockets. The hype around global warming has cooled. People recognise that a healthy environment can be worked on by dealing with the controllable causes of pollution. We dump many toxic chemicals into our atmosphere not just the naturally occurring ones such as Carbon Dioxide and Water. We can and must start controlling these toxic chemicals. We must do the same for our lakes and environment. Reducing the pollution we can control is environmentally friendly. It may not be as glamourous as a global movement but it is much more effective.
- We see a continued deterioration of our infrastructure. There is no need for government to borrow money from the major banks, basically renting the money supply, to improve infrastructure. The government is entitled to create money. By putting this money is circulation for the purpose of improving our infrastructure and charging municipalities no interest, we are not piling further debt on the backs of our children and grandchildren. As the money is repaid it is withdrawn from circulation thus making it noninflationary. This was done after WW2, when the return of 2 million soldiers seeking employment threatened our economy. This launched the biggest building boom in Canadian history and Canada was left with healthy infrastructure.
Are there any misconceptions about you, your leader, or your party and platform?
- We are often tarred as a one issue party. However, that is far from the truth. The Christian Heritage Party has a developed platform in many areas and seeks to provide new approaches to old problems. If you keep doing the same thing, you get the same results. It's time to do something different. This time... vote CHP ... Better Solutions begin at www.chp.ca
There are 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?
- The most effective way of getting the message out will always be people talking to people. We are social beings. Other methods are quite impersonal but talking to people gives a chance for a real exchange of ideas.