South Okanagan-West Kootenay PPC candidate talks infrastructure spending

Election Day is Oct. 21

Sean Taylor - People’s Party of Canada

Sean Taylor - People’s Party of Canada

Sean Taylor

People’s Party of Canada

The People’s Party of Canada is doing politics differently.

The most important aspect of our platform is that we will put Canada first. This means rather than sending millions of dollars overseas virtue signalling claims of reducing climate change, the PPC would invest in critical infrastructure in Canada.

All programs such as Canada’s Clean Water and Wastewater Fund Program would be reviewed.

Pipeline construction will allow us to get better prices for the oil we export. This means more money for infrastructure cost-sharing partnerships.

Our tax plan will stimulate the economy increasing tax income on the community level as well. The phasing out of supply management will allow us to renegotiate a better NAFTA deal and end the countervailing softwood lumber tariffs.

This would be very beneficial to B.C. in particular.

Lastly, getting rid of the carbon tax will make these projects cheaper.

Background:

With six federal candidates vying for the MP seat in the South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding, and no community forum in the works for Trail this time around, the Trail Times decided to ask all six politicians the same question and publish their replies.

Choosing “what to ask” went around the newsroom a few times. Ultimately, the subject landed on what matters to every taxpaying citizen here and beyond, no matter what party is voted into power Oct. 21.

That issue being, of course, “taxes.” Moreover, what will the “win” mean for the taxpayer’s pocketbook?

Narrowing the subject of “taxes” down to the local front is where the word “infrastructure” comes in. Although “infrastructure” doesn’t immediately conjure up the idea of particularly charming conversation, the subject is especially relevant for smaller B.C. communities dealing with aging core services and a limited tax base on the hook to pay for very costly upgrades.

The most immediate example is the $52-million upgrade needed for the regional sewer treatment plant that services Rossland, Warfield and Trail. With well over $1 million already invested into getting the project closer to “shelf ready,” the multi-million dollar job was recently denied for federal/provincial funding from a key source called the “Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program,” or ICIP.

The reason given was “the program received significantly more applications than could be funded.”

Obviously, a $52m project cannot go ahead without significant financial backing from government. As well, the upgrade is not a “frill” job – provincial and federal regulations now require a minimum of secondary treatment for wastewater treatment plants discharging into the environment. The regional facility near the mall, called the Columbia Pollution Control Centre, is a primary treatment plant that was built in the 1970s.

Further, the federal government cut their ICIP cost-sharing portion from 50 per cent to 40 per cent last year. That means municipal taxpayers must cover another 10 per cent of costs if their projects are approved.

This is why the Trail Times is asking, “If elected as our MP, how will you help taxpayers in Trail and the Greater Area fill this funding gap?”

Replies have not been edited.

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