Meet the candidates: Huron-Bruce – Dennis Valenta

Dennis Valenta, Independent
Hometown: Clinton
Occupation: Truck driver for 27 years
Political experience: Past member of Reform, Alliance, Conservative parties. Worked with Alliance riding association. Worked extensively in Perth-Middlesex by-election 3-4 years ago. This experience opened my eyes for the need to run as an independent.
Community involvement: Raised money for Juvenile Diabetes for several years. Did visitation at Huron View for about eight years. Currently developing the former Triangle Discount in Clinton into an office which, when finalized, will be used to lobby government to reform so-called “family law.”

What is the best way to stimulate the economy in your riding?
Work at eliminating the waste of our tax dollars, and then reduce personal and business tax by same amount. Building a couple of highways connecting us to other major highways to London and Toronto would also be quite helpful. Which in turn would encourage business to locate here. While we’re at it, why not set up a community college to teach youth at home?

What is the biggest environmental issue facing your riding and what can be done to solve it?
This is a farm riding that uses a lot of sprays on the land. I think the government should be looking for ways to change that. We also border Lake Huron, which is a large source of fresh water. We should prosecute polluters and make them pay for cleanup. Also work with business to ensure there is a way to deal with environmental waste safely.

What is your solution for Ontario’s energy needs?
Not so sure I have the right answer for this other than to say, as long as people expect the lights to come on at the flick of a switch, we need hydro. Common sense should tell us that if wind or solar will supply our needs then we can shut down nuclear and coal-fired plants. If not, we better keep going with nuclear and coal until a better way is developed.

Should we favour consumption taxes over income and corporate taxes?
I think it is a good start. We should at the same time be looking at eliminating all government waste of our money. Pay as you go taxation would give us a measure of choice, which is a good thing. I would think that food and necessities would not be taxed so they would remain affordable for the working poor.

Do you think the minimum wage should be raised to $10 per hour?
The concept for the increase is to help the low-income earner. I believe an increase would have the opposite effect. It would just force employers to raise the price of their goods to cover the increase. A much better way to help the low-income earner would be to reduce or eliminate the income tax they pay.

Do you support public funding for all faith-based schools?
No, I do not.

Which electoral system will you be voting for: MMP or first past the post?
I will be voting for FPTP, not because I like it, but I think the MMP system will further erode the little bit of democracy we currently enjoy. The bottom line is I don’t like either, and that’s why I am running as an independent, free of the party line, to give the majority a voice at Queen’s Park.