Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to our online election chat with Kitchener-Centre Conservative candidate Stephen Woodworth. Stephen, thanks for making time for us today. Are you ready to take some questions?
Hi Proud Canuck,
Thank you very much for your question. This is the number one question on my constituents' minds.
We have a proven record on job creation. Under Stephen Harper's leadership Canada created almost 500,000 net new jobs in just 20 months. We have a plan to stay the course. It includes a small business hiring credit, excelerated capital cost write-offs,negotiations to open EU and other international markets, extending the work sharing program, and a host of other job creating initiatives.
I hope this answers your question.
Hi B Sherratt and thank you for this question.
These policies are administered by the CRTC which is an independant agency. However, the government makes the rules. When the issue of usage based billing arose, the Conservative government made it clear that it would intervene if CRTC did not reverse its position and disallow usage based billing. This was because of our commitment to the growth of internet communications. We are investing in technologies such as the Hub which will promote internet imaging systems and we will not interfere with net neutrality.
Thank you again for your question.
One of the advantages that I have as Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre is that I am part of a strong local Conservative team. We work very effectively together, we coordinate our efforts, and we support each other. Harold going door to door with me was simply an example of our team effort. Waterloo region hasn't seen such a cooperative team of Members of Parliament in many years. We have been very effective in representing the concerns of our region to Ottawa. It's for that reason, for example, that we were able to secure complete 1/3 federal funding for regional rapid transit development, among other things. This should please you and every other resident of Waterloo Region.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to explain our team spirit.
There is an incredible volume of questions today so I'm just going to stay out of the way and allow Stephen to continue answering as many as he can in the time we have for the chat this afternoon.
Good afternoon James,
The question of majority government does arise often at my constituents door steps. Many people are tired of Parliamentary bickering and of frequent Federal elections. Also, since the most likely result of this election is to return a Parliament with essentially the same minoryt seat distribution, people wonder why the opposition chose to trigger it. I generally explain that if another minority occurs, with our Conservatives the first choice of Canadians, I expect the opposition to refuse to allow Mr. Harper to form a government. They will defeat our Throne Speech and budget. This will force the Governor General to invite Michael Ignatief to form a government and I expect he will offer enough promises to the seperatist Bloc and the NDP to win their support for his Throne Speech. If you like the prospect of Ignatief Liberal-NDP tax increases and big spending programs, you will be all right with this. However, if like me you find this to be irresponsible, and prefer our low tax plan for jobs and economic growth, you will want our Conservatives to attain a majority. I believe that the number of close seats accross the country, and the increasing support for our Economic Action Plan make a majority government achievable. Thank you very much for the question.
Good afternoon and thank you for participating.
When the campaign began, we knew that we would receive more requests for meetings than we would be able to attend. We are participating in 5 all candidates meetings and we believe that this provides lots of opportunity for Kitchener Centre voters to hear from all of the candidates. In addition, of course, I am participating in this on-line chat and other media. My main goal is to meet people as possible in person, which is best done by going door to door. Also, you need to know that as a member of Parliament, I have had freuent opportunity to meet with special interest groups. For example, even during this campaign I was able to arrange for the members of CCORIC to meet personally with Jason Kenney, the Minister for Citizenship and Immigration. This was quite helpful as he was able to hear local concerns directly from my constituents. I have also participated personally in an Immigration Rights Day panel, and I have met frequently with representatives engaged in those issues. I also always reply to correspondence to my constituents and have had a healthy exchange of correspondence in the areas of immigration, the arts and other social issues so my view are already well known. I have always maintained an open door policy to answer any questions or concerns my constituents bring to me. Finally, I have made a point to support Federal funding requests from our local arts community, and have been quite successful in attracting federal support for a whole series of local arts initiatives.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to explain why I cannot attend every meeting to which I have been invited.
Thank you for this excellent question. You are not alone in disliking negative attack ads. My own approach is to debate vigourously policies, statements, and conduct without trying to assassinate personalities. I am grateful that your question invites positive comment. I will begin by commending my NDP collegue for taking the high road in this campaign and refusing to engage in what he himself recognized to be "gotcha" politics. I thought that was very classy. I have also been impressed by my Green Party colleague's ability to articulate his positions clearly. My Liberal colleague is well known for her likeable approachability. I hope that if you ask the same question of my opponents they will also be generous in their positive comments about me.
Thank you again for your question.
We have never had this volume of questions for an online chat. I know some of you are frustrated that answers are taking so long but there is no limit to how much a candidate can type or how long they choose to make their answer. If we enter into this realm again for future elections, I'm going to recommend a time clock for candidates, much like we have in public debates. It was simply something we didn't consider when wading into this new, high tech territory.
Thanks for your continued patience. We'll take two more questions following this one from Brian.
You may recall that the opposition parties have tried to prevent our government from governing, and tried to replace our government since immediately after the 2008 election. In spite of this Stephen Harper was able to skillfully introduce our legislation and get much of it passed in the last 2 1/2 years. If Canadians once again make our Conservatives their first choice and if the opposition parties respect that choice we will continue to persue the policies for which we were elected. However, you are right to be concerned that the opposition parties might not respect that choice and might well attempt to form their own government in the event of another minority.
The opposition has been trying to replace the government, not to work with the government. So when the opposition accused the government of contempt, what did anyone think would happen? Their only goal with that was to replace the government. The opposition controlled the decision on the contempt motion, and their only goal was to replace the government. The result surprised no one! Anywhere else in the world where the accuser sits in judgement of the accused, and then acts as executioner, it's not taken seriously. The same applies here. The so called contempt motion says less about our government than it says about the historic lows to which the opposition has consistently brought Parliament. Let's all hope that they take a different approach after this election.
Thank you for the question. My apologies for the delay. I try to give fulsome answers. I do this to respect the concerns of the questioners. I find it disrespectful to speak in platitudes and slogans. However I will try to shorten up my answers.
Our copyright bill fulfills a promise to modernize Canadian copyright laws, to promote innovation, to protect and expand jobs in creative industries and to promote innovation. It will ensure appropraite protections for both users and creators and will fairly compensate creators for their work. I hope that give you some idea of our goals. Remember that the commmittee can still do good work to refine the proposed legislation.
The Governor General cannot act independently of the government of the day; to do so would be illegal. He or she must accept the government's direction so long as the government exists. Governor General Jean was only acting lawfully. Any subsequent appointment for her was based solely on her merit.
I'm afraid that's all the time we have for today. There is an incredible number of questions still in our queue but that's where they'll have to stay. Stephen will be present at a televised debate next Tuesday (April 26th) at Rogers TV. I encourage you to tune in then, or listen to the simulcast on 570 News, in hopes of getting your question answered. Air time of next Tuesday's debate is 7 PM.
Thanks to everyone for participating today. Stephen, any final thoughts?
Thank you for inviting me and arranging this innovative opportunity to connect with people. As always time is shorter than we wish but I have enjoyed the dialogue. Have a great day everybody!!
Thanks again, everyone. Please come back tomorrow when our guest is Kitchener-Waterloo Liberal candidate, Andrew Telegdi. Til then...