Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Family Coalition Party candidate Vicki Gunn, Glengarry-Prescott-Russell
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Vicki Gunn is running for the Family Coalition Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Glengarry-Prescott-Russell riding. Wikinews' Nick Moreau interviewed her regarding her values, her experience, and her campaign.
Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.
Why have you chosen to involve yourself in the political process? Why did you choose to run in this constituency?
- The basic grouping of our society, the family, has been undermined by government for years. Parents are involved in a struggle with the government to raise their families.
- Parents are penalised should they wish to educate their children with their values. They must either pay public school taxes and pay the cost of private schooling or pay public school taxes and purchase supplies and home school their children or send their children to public school to have them taught values contrary to their family values.
- Our teenagers are encouraged to leave home at 16 years because the government will provide them with student welfare. Our government will not provide the love and direction parents will, they will simply offer our children a way to elude family discipline and live without rules. Then we can all deplore our society where teenagers are violent and out of control.
- Our government has undermined the vows of marriage by reducing them to a contract then offering us ways to break the contract. They've redefined the function of marriage to make it simply a sexual contract between any two adults.
- It's for this reason that I have entered the political process in Ontario.
What prior political experience do you have? What skills and insight can you bring to office, from other non-political positions you may have held?
- I have served twice as a candidate for the federal Christian Heritage Party. I am able offer creative solutions to problems. I am able to work with different people to achieve a common goal. I am willing to stand alone, if I must, against pressure to conform to an idea or course of action. I am thrifty with other people's money, such as tax dollars, as well as my own. I believe in personal responsibility for our actions... not excuses. I am a good listener, I have spent 11 years volunteering at a distress centre.
Which of your competitors do you expect to pose the biggest challenge to your candidacy? Why?
- All of them because they all seek a mandate from the people of Glengarry-Prescott-Russell.
What makes you the most desirable of all candidates running in the riding?
- I am not a resident of the riding so my decisions will not be based in local bias or favouritism. I come with a commitment to help empower families with the authority which is rightfully theirs. I seek to serve, not because of a love for power but, because I believe that we need strong families to build a strong society and economy. I would cheerfully address the issues of G-P-R and maintain a residence there to ensure there is access to me as their MPP.
What do you feel are the three most important issues to voters in your riding? Are these the same top three issues that are most important to you? What would you do to address these issues?
- My first priority is our families. It is for them that we work and seek to maintain a stable home life. I believe the welfare of their families is of prime importance to the people of G-P-R. Whether it's recreational concerns, information provided to them outside of approved sources such as the internet, education or child care. People are concerned primarily about their family. This would be the first area I would seek to address. I would do so by decreasing government involvement in our personal lives. I would like to see parents empowered to make decisions for the well-being of their family. This would include the freedom to choose what form of education the children should have.
- Access to health care - There are too many people who do not have access to a family doctor. A cooperative clinic does not provide the same access. Wait times in hospitals can be as long as 10 hours in the emergency room. For all the touting of things getting better, this was about 1 month ago. These are important issues.
- Elective surgeries should not be paid for by public health care. They are elective and thus un-essential. The health care savings would ensure that we are able to fully provide necessary and lifesaving medical care.
- I would work with the federal government to develop a testing and upgrading system to ensure qualified foreign doctors become active medical practitioners within our system.
- Rural areas find the shortage of doctors even more challenging than large cities. We would strengthen the Under-serviced Areas Training Program, providing tuition, books and living expenses for each year of medical school in exchange for an equal number of years in under-serviced areas.
- While small communities generally have less dramatic crimes, where there is crime there are victims. We need to protect the rights of law abiding citizens over those of convicted offenders.
- Educationally, we need to promote personal responsibility. Violent offenders should need not receive reduced sentences.
What should be the first order of business in the 39th Legislative Assembly?
- The first order of business should be to recognise the intrinsic value of the family and seek to withdraw all programs which interfere in the health of the family. This would include: eliminate funding for abortion which has contributed to our nationwide crisis due to the loss of 'replacement birthrate'. This problem will still compound for many years but it would be a first step towards resolving the issue; it would also include a voucher system for education to ensure that parents are in control of how their children are educated; The FCP would also seek to remove social assistance to youth under 18 who have parents able to support them.
Are the property taxes in your riding at a fair level for the amount of services received in the municipality?
- Because of the vast infrastructure which must be maintained using a limited income source, I believe that property taxes are above what they should be. Municipalities are closer to the people thus they should be able to provide the services using some of the tax strategies of federal and provincial governments. Property taxes are paid only by homeowners, there are many people who do not own homes but using the services. We need a system of taxing fairly all users of our infrastructure.
How can the province lead the way in stimulating job creation?
- The province can lead the way by encouraging the growth of small business. Enabling people to become self-employed stimulates the economy with new jobs. By taking the pressure off municipalities to offer incentives for large companies to move from municipality to municipality, depending on where they get the best tax break.
What are your views on the mixed member proportional representation (MMP) referendum?
- I believe it will better represent the diverse opinions which are part of this province. Under the present FPTP system the majority of opinions are not represented in the Legislature because they have been effectively silenced by false majority governments. We need to allow representation to all members and viewpoints in Ontario.
What role, if any, does "new media" play in your campaign, and the campaign of your party? (websites, blogs, Facebook, YouTube videos, etc) Do you view it as beneficial, or a challenge?
- My campaign is largely based in 'new media'. I live 3-4 hours from the riding for which I am the candidate. This means that I must use the opportunities provided by websites, emails etc.
Of the decisions made by Ontario's 38th Legislative Assembly, which was the most beneficial to your this electoral district? To the province as a whole? Which was least beneficial, or even harmful, to your this riding? To the province as a whole?
- The decision to go ahead with the Citizen's Assembly on Electoral Reform was the most beneficial. The decision to break promises was the most harmful. A promise in which there is the least possibility of it being broken under any circumstances should not be made. Broken promises have the effect of estranging public and those who should be representing them.