Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Progressive Conservative candidate Penny Lucas, Kenora—Rainy River
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Penny Lucas is running for the Progressive Conservative in the Ontario provincial election, in the Kenora-Rainy River riding. Wikinews' Nick Moreau interviewed 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?
- I have always been interested in politics. I remember as a kid, sitting around the table with my family and discussing the issues. As an adult I have always been involved in my community. I am currently an elected representative on the Kenora District Services Board – Vice-Chair and I am also Vice-Chair of the District of Kenora Homes for the Aged Board of Governance. You can find all the other things I have been involved in by checking out my Resume on my web site at www.pennylucas.com
- I have chosen to run in Kenora-Rainy River because this is where I live and have lived all my life.
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 am past-president of Reform, Canadian Alliance and Conservative riding associations. I have been a Volunteer Area Coordinator for the 10 Northern Ontario Ridings. I have been Campaign Manager and co-campaign manager in a number of elections.
- I have been Chair, President and founder of a number of organizations.
- I can bring communication and people skills to the office. I am an organizer and a worker.
Which of your competitors do you expect to pose the biggest challenge to your candidacy? Why? What makes you the most desirable of all candidates running in the riding?
- Having the Leader of the NDP as my opponent is a daunting challenge. His organization will be trying very hard to ensure that he doesn’t loose his seat.
- However, I am the most desirable candidate because I will be sitting at the table of the next governing party – not on the outside looking in.
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?
- Jobs and in particular, jobs lost over the last few years in the forestry sector.
- Health care – the shortage of professional health care workers and the difficulties in getting timely treatments.
- The decaying infrastructure – the deplorable and dangerous condition of our highways.
What should be the first order of business in the 39th Legislative Assembly?
- Provide funding for long term care homes for the aged to hire nurses and personal support workers.
Are the property taxes in your riding at a fair level for the amount of services received in the municipality?
- In my riding I have a number of taxation levels, depending on the community in which you live or whether you live somewhere in the large unincorporated area of the riding. Some people pay all kinds of taxes and some people pay hardly any taxes. Some people receive all kinds of municipal services and some people receive nothing.
How can the province lead the way in stimulating job creation?
- By fostering a business friendly climate.
What are your views on the mixed member proportional representation (MMP) referendum?
- Personally, I think it will just be more confusing. A lot of people already think their votes count for nothing – they are really going to be disappointed if we change the system to a partial proportional representation.
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?
- I'm all for technology. I think it allows us to reach more people than ever before. I have a website and I'm in Facebook. Technology also allows us to feel more included in the rest of society – especially to those of us in isolated communities.
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?
- I can't think of anything that the Liberals did that was beneficial to me, my riding or the province. They did nothing to lower the cost of electricity in Northwestern Ontario. They did nothing to help Municipal governments repair their aging infrastructure. They did nothing to alleviate taxes paid by businesses or to boost investment in my communities. They did nothing to bring jobs into my riding. They talked the talk, but they didn’t walk the walk. They did nothing!!!!!! And then, just before the writ was dropped, they started handing out my hard earned tax dollars left, right and centre with no thought as to where they were going to get it from – my pocket.