2021 Election Candidate Questionnaire: Ron McKinnon, Liberal Party of Canada

Ron McKinnon answers your questions

What steps would you take to help alleviate the overdose crisis?

I created and got passed the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act. In an overdose situation, seconds matter. They can mean the difference between life and death. Yet, too often people involved, fearing legal repercussions, try to deal with it themselves, or drop their friend anonymously at Emergency.  Seconds matter.  They need to call for help. This bill removes those barriers.  It is by no means the final answer to the Opioid crisis, but do we know it saves lives.  Before the pandemic I had a conversation with a mother who told me that her son was alive today because of my bill. More still needs to be done to combat the overdose crisis. 

Do you support providing safe supply for drug users? Yes/No


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How will you boost employment among Canadians with disabilities?

Our government established the Accessible Canada Act to create a barrier-free Canada for people with disabilities. A re-elected Liberal government will re-introduce a Disability Benefit Act which will create a direct monthly payment, the Canada Disability Benefit, for low-income Canadians with disabilities ages 18-64. Once implemented this new benefit will reduce poverty among persons with disabilities in the same manner as the Guaranteed Income Supplement and the Canada Child Benefit. A re-elected Liberal government will: Develop and implement an employment strategy for Canadians with disabilities. This strategy will be focused on supports for workers and employers and creating inclusive and welcoming workplaces. It will also include an investment in the Ready, Willing & Able inclusive hiring program to support individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder (ASD); and, Create a new stream of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy Program (YESS) to support 5000 opportunities a year for young people. This would help young Canadians with disabilities gain the skills, experience, and abilities they need to make a successful transition into the labour market and build successful careers.


What is your party going to do to ensure that the 3.5 million Canadians who cannot afford necessary prescriptions can get the medications they need?

We know that Pharmacare will have a critical impact on low-income families, and seniors who can’t afford their medications. We’ve put the pieces in place. It’s rolling out now in PEI. Let’s make sure it gets delivered, everywhere. With the first provincial-territorial agreement to accelerate the implementation of national universal pharmacare, we also continue to move forward with new partners and funded a $500 million a year national strategy for high-cost drugs for rare diseases. 

Given that many cases of COVID-19 occurred in private long-term care homes and may people in such care also got extremely or deathly ill during the B.C. heat dome because of the age and state of such buildings, what will your party do to address current and future events that put vulnerable family members at risk?

COVID-19 has tragically exposed long-standing issues affecting long-term care facilities across the country, and the frontline workers who care for residents. To build a better future for seniors and ensure tragedies like this never happen again, we need to make sure the conditions of work reflect the care standards our seniors deserve. That’s why we will work with provinces and territories, respecting their jurisdiction, to support seniors with an investment of $9 billion over 5 years to support safer conditions for seniors and improved wages and working conditions for personal support workers. Safer Conditions in Homes While the management of long-term care facilities is under provincial and territorial jurisdiction, we share the goal of ensuring safer, better care for seniors. A re-elected Liberal government will: Improve the quality and availability of long-term care homes and beds; Implement strict infection prevention and control measures, including through more provincial and territorial facility inspections for long-term care homes; and, Develop a Safe Long-Term Care Act collaboratively to ensure that seniors are guaranteed the care they deserve, no matter where they live.

Do you believe human activity is causing climate change? Yes/No

Yes. Climate change is real. Climate change is a real threat. That’s why we’ve put in place Canada’s first climate action plan – it’s ambitious, it’s real – and it’s more than a plan – it is action. Dr Andrew Weaver, former leader of the BC Green Party and International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Nobel-winning climate scientist, says that “The Liberal Party of Canada’s climate plan is both bold and thoughtful. Is the only credible, science aligned climate plan put forward by any political party at the federal level today” “This is a plan that reflects the urgency and scale of he crisis. I’m extreemly impressed at how ambitious the Liberal Party of Canada’s Climate Plan is.” Dr. Mark Jaccard, a professor at SFU, a climate expert and economist rated all the parties plans.  He gave the Liberal plan 8 out of 10, the conservatives 5, the green party 4, and the NDP a mere 2. He said the Liberal plan was “effective” and “affordable” and the NDP’s plan “largely ineffective” and “unnecessarily costly.”

What steps would you take to combat climate change?

There is so much more to expand on – I couldn’t possibly cover it in 50 words.

• We put a price on pollution, it’s no longer free to pollute anywhere in Canada – and we fought that all the way to the Supreme Court and won.

• We’re phasing out coal fired electrical generation – domestically and internationally.

• We are investing in sustainable energy technology, like geothermal and wind, solar and tidal power.

• We are helping industry to retrain a generation of workers – so they are ready for new jobs as we transition to the new green economy. 

And that’s just a start. Transportation for example generates 25% of Canada’s Greenhouse Gas emissions. That’s why all new light duty vehicles – this includes passenger cars and trucks, are going to have to be zero emission by 2035 – and we have timelines and targets to get us there. That’s why we are delivering $700 million to install 50,000 electric vehicle chargers and hydrogen stations from coast – to coast – to coast – So we are ready for the transition to zero emission vehicles.

Do you support an immediate reduction in Canada’s oil and gas production?

In terms of real action on Climate Change, the real issue is the demand for oil and gas. We need to change our technology and our infrastructure to reduce that demand. It means we all need to change the way we get around and the way we heat our homes. We are on our way, we’re moving forward and there is more to do. This is a necessary part of a transition to our green economy. A re-elected government will cap and cut emissions from Oil and Gas.The climate science is clear and global investors are clear, the oil and gas sector must accelerate its efforts to get on a path to net-zero emissions. That is why a re-elected Liberal Government will put in place a decisive plan to ensure the oil and gas sector reaches net-zero emissions by 2050. A re-elected Liberal government will: Make sure the oil and gas sector reduces emissions at a pace and scale needed to achieve net-zero by 2050, with 5-year targets to stay on track to achieving this shared goal, Drive down pollution starts with ensuring that pollution from the oil and gas sector doesn’t go up from current levels, Set 2025 and 2030 milestones based on the advice of the Net-Zero Advisory Body to ensure reduction levels are ambitious and achievable and that the oil and gas sector makes a meaningful contribution to meeting the nation’s 2030 climate goals. Fortunately, Canada’s largest oil and gas companies are already committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. These actions will incentivize clean innovation and the adoption of clean technologies, including carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS). 

What will your party do to help achieve Reconciliation?

Our Liberal government has been working with Indigenous communities to provide resources and supports needed, as determined by each community. In all of our work, we are listening and responding to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission – we know how important the steps we are taking now are. And this is reflected in our platform. We need to work hard to restore one of the most important relationships in our country.

There is more that needs to be done. 

A re-elected Liberal government will: 

• Confront the legacy of residential schools

• Continue our work to eliminate all clean long-term drinking water advisories

• Take action to confront systemic racism against Indigenous peoples, especially in the justice system and health care 

• Launch an Indigenous Urban, Rural, and Northern Housing Strategy. 

• And, protect the wellbeing of Indigenous children and families

Does the government have a role in policing social media platforms that traffic in misinformation? If so, what is that role?

Too many people in Canada are victims of hate speech, which is often amplified and spread on social media. Canadians want action and they want leadership that will put a stop to harmful online content and hold platforms accountable. A re-elected Liberal Government will: Introduce legislation within its first 100 days to combat serious forms of harmful online content, specifically hate speech, terrorist content, content that incites violence, child sexual abuse material and the non-consensual distribution of intimate images. This would make sure that social media platforms and other online services are held accountable for the content that they host. Our legislation will recognize the importance of freedom of expression for all Canadians and will take a balanced and targeted approach to tackle extreme and harmful speech; And, Strengthen the Canada Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code to more effectively combat online hate 

What steps will you take to make housing affordable for Canadians?

We are working hard to make home ownership possible for more Canadians. That’s why we are introducing the Homeowners Bill of Rights, innovative programs like rent to own, and tax free savings accounts for First time home buyers. We introduced Canada’s first National Housing Strategy. While it takes time to course correct on a national crisis – Since 2015, we’ve already invested $6B in housing here in BC.

• 26,100 new housing units

• Repaired 9300 homes

• Supported 92, 000 families

Affordability is about more than just housing – Our government has been here for families, especially here in Coquitlam – Port Coquitlam.  Close to 20,000 families, that’s almost 24,000 children rely on the Canada Child Benefit every month. That brings $7 million each and every month into this community that fuels our local economy. The next step is $10 a day early learning & childcare.

How is your government intending to continue the vaccination process?

Vaccination is our best line of defence against COVID-19 and variants of concern. It not only protects those who are vaccinated but protects those who can’t get vaccinated, like young children. That is why the Liberal government worked tirelessly to secure enough doses for every Canadian citizen, securing our supply well in advance of our initial target. And it is why we support provinces, territories, and Indigenous communities in rolling out one of the most successful vaccination campaigns in the world. But the pandemic isn’t over. If we don’t keep up the fight against COVID-19, our hard-won gains could be lost.

Do you favour mandatory vaccinations for certain professions such as teachers and government employees?

To finish the fight against COVID-19, protect people at work, ensure businesses can get back up to speed, and, most importantly, make sure our kids can safely return to school, we need to do everything we can to keep public spaces safe. A re-elected Liberal government will: Require that travellers on interprovincial trains, commercial flights, cruise ships, and other federally regulated vessels be vaccinated; Ensure vaccination across the federal public service. As the country’s largest employer, this will protect the health and safety of the federal public servants and their communities, across Canada; and, We will also keep working with employers in Crown corporations and federally regulated workplaces to ensure vaccination is prioritized for workers in these sectors.

Is reducing the debt a top priority? Yes/No

Our focus is on growing the economy, protecting our environment, and keeping Canadians safe from COVID-19. We will always have their backs. We have been investing in communities, and I am proud of that. We were here for Canadians when they needed us most. As the Conservatives criticize every move we make, I realize they wouldn’t have been there for the 8 million Canadians who needed help to pay their rent and keep food on the table –  or hundreds of thousands of small businesses who needed help to keep their lights on. Or to deliver vaccines from coast to coast to coast – when we needed them. They would have left you to fend for yourself, with our economy reeling from massive mortgage defaults and bankruptcies and business failures and people struggling to put food on the table and pay their rent, producing deep, lasting, economic scarring that would have taken us many years to heal, many years to recover. Instead, We’ve been here for each of you.  We’ve had your back. And we did so while maintaining our Triple A credit rating and a strong economy that is ready and able to build back better.  A strong economy is how we ensure we can carry these costs together.  That’s how this country was built, how it has grown, by working together.

Why should Canadians vote for you?

We’ve come through some tough times together, and Now we have some important decisions ahead of us — and we need to hear from you.  That’s what this election is all about. I think the choice is clear. We must move forward. On Climate Change and protecting our environment, we know Conservatives sideline scientists, we’ve seen them do it before. $10 a day early learning and childcare – which was started in BC and announced here is Coquitlam – Port Coquitlam. This is life-changing for young families and particularly women. The Conservatives have promised to end it, and we’ve seen them and the NDP do this before. We know that Pharmacare will have a critical impact on low-income families, and seniors who can’t afford their medications. We’ve put the pieces in place. It’s rolling out now PEI. Let’s make sure it gets delivered, everywhere. The changes we’re making to make life more affordable are making a real difference for people. Especially for those, often young families, who are trying to buy their first home. Our small business and Canadian innovators need our continued support as we build back better and transition to a green economy. This is our moment to decide where our country goes from here. We really can’t afford to go backwards. We must keep moving forward. That’s why, I ask for your support, once again. On September 20, vote Ron McKinnon, so that we continue to move Forward. For Everyone.


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