Meet the candidates: Lambton-Kent-Middlesex – Brad Harness

Brad Harness, Reform of Ontario
Hometown: Strathroy & Ailsa Craig
Occupation: Publisher
Political experience: Ran in past municipal elections, sought Conservative nomination in riding in 2003.
Community involvement: Active volunteering with minor soccer, hockey & baseball; co-founded Ailsa Craig & District Historical Society.

What is the best way to stimulate the economy in your riding?
By increasing the population through immigration and home building to attract city residents. There is a serious shortage of labour in the eastern parts of the riding. In Wallaceburg, I am proposing a third bridge to cross the US border just north of Walpole Island.

What is the biggest environmental issue facing your riding and what can be done to solve it?
Water levels continue to drop. This is a long-term global issue affecting Canada and in this riding it affects agriculture in a major way, as well as shipping on the Great Lakes, and to a lesser extent, the commercial and recreational fishing industries. Sadly solutions are national/international in scope, geared to global warming and reducing its causes.

What is your solution for Ontario’s energy needs?
A better mix of all sources; a lesser reliance on nuclear power. Increased green power, in a decentralized generation format across Ontario, and an eventual decentralization of electrical distribution as well.

Should we favour consumption taxes over income and corporate taxes?
Taxes are too high and should be cut. Large government surpluses are not favoured by Reform (neither are deficits) and surpluses should go towards debt reduction and tax rebates to taxpayers.

Do you think the minimum wage should be raised to $10 per hour?
No. Established business knows what it needs to pay to attract the type of labour it requires. The $10/hour is an artificial limit that does little except make things exceedingly difficult for new businesses to get off the ground.

Do you support public funding for all faith-based schools?
We believe the solution to this is through a binding province-wide referendum with three choices: status quo (four public systems), two linguistic systems, or a single public system.

Which electoral system will you be voting for: MMP or first past the post?
We do not support the MMP solution, even though it plays in favour of smaller parties. MMP is a means of extending party control of democracy in Ontario. We propose alternate electoral reforms such as referenda, recall, and citizens initiatives, as well as preferential ballots. MMP would see 30 per cent of MPPs unaccountable and possibly unelectable individuals swept into the legislature through this back door. MMP would also preclude any recall system affecting these 30 per cent of our representatives.