Provincial Conservative candidate Jack MacLaren answers Millstone questions

Jack MacLaren - Carleton - Mississippi MillsOn May 27, 2014 the Millstone sent out these questions  in an e-interview to our provincial election candidates. Provincial Conservative candidate Jack Maclaren provided these answers. Questions are in bold.
The Economy

The recent performance of the rural Ontario economy in terms of job growth has been poorer than in urban places. What is your proposed approach to support the development of job opportunities in rural Ontario and small towns?

 Lower corporate income tax rate from 11.5% to 8% to stimulate in investment in the creation of  jobs.

  • Rural Ontario stakeholders are concerned about youth employment/underemployment in their communities. How does your party’s platform respond to these concerns?

Reduce ratio of construction trades journeymen to apprentices from 3:1 to 1:1. This will allow companies to hire more apprentices, will create 200,000 jobs.

Cancel the College of Trades which is a tax on trades. The testing program will prevent some existing tradesmen from being able to work as a tradesmen. Hair dressers and barbers will be tested and taxed as tradesmen. This kills jobs, kills workers freedoms.

  •  Fiscal stability at the municipal level concerns many rural citizens. How would your government deal with cost-sharing between levels of government? What transfers/investment programs do you believe require change or continued support in the coming years?

See above answer

  • Skills training and access to post-secondary programs affects both the future incomes of young people as well as the ability of employers to find the talent they need. What would your government do to ensure rural youth have appropriate skills and that they can access relevant programs locally and affordably?

Repeal the Far North Act which prevents the harvesting of our forests and mineral resources in   Northern Ontario. We will encourage the development of our forest products industry and our     mining industry. This will create jobs and profits. Our natural resources are our future wealth.

All levels of government are broke. Unfortunately the provincial government is broke. It cannot   increase money to municipalities. Out 1st priority is to create a working environment where  private companies will want to do business and create jobs. Our 2nd priority is to create a    working environment where private companies will want to do business and create jobs.

We will focus training and education on areas where there are jobs available upon graduation.

  • Property taxes have no relationship to ability to pay.  Income tax is progressive.  Municipalities large and small have funding problems.  Shouldn’t the provincial government play a far larger role in funding municipal services through income and consumption taxes?

There will be no new taxes. People are taxed out. The creation of new jobs will create the wealth and taxes that governments need.

  • How will you reduce Ontario’s debt, and enable our province to live within its means?  What is your time frame?

We will balance the budget in 2 years.

  • What is your position on ensuring that all employees receive, at the very least, a decent  wage (i.e. a wage that covers basic living expenses)  for a regular day’s work?

The private sector market place will pay workers what they are worth – no less. The public sector should do the same.

Health Care and an Aging Population

  • What is your party’s platform with respect to the accessibility of health care and quality medical services near to rural and small town residents? Is the current situation satisfactory? What would you improve? What is your plan to reduce waiting lists and limits to the health care that is available in the home?

We believe that all Ontarians should have access to health care. We look to create efficiencies that will reduce wait lists. We will encourage and increase the availability of health care at   home.

  • Rural and small town Ontario has an older demographic than urban places, making services for aging population a priority for many rural stakeholders. Does your party have an aging strategy or set of programs or policies that it would implement specific to a rural/small town context?

Our seniors deserve the services and respect that they we due. We will meet their needs.

Electricity

  •  If you were to win the election how would your government’s strategy affect the cost of electric power? What steps would your government take to deal with the generation and distribution of energy in the province? What is the plan to bring Ontario One under control?

We will end the Green Energy Act because we cannot afford the massive subsidies to wind and solar power. We will eliminate the Ontario Power authority because it is an unnecessary,          unaffordable bureaucracy. We will consider creating a competitive system of delivering electricity.

  • A company called Enerdu proposes to significantly expand a hydro power generating plant on the river in central Almonte. Local citizens oppose this plan as it will change the aesthetics of the Mississippi River and falls, a central element in the beauty of the town and a tourist attraction. There is also concern that the hydro plant as now operated and as proposed is contributing to the death of a wetland forest at Appleton. The project will offer jobs during construction of the power plant, but at most, one permanent job thereafter. Enerdu will sell the power generated to the Ontario grid.  No financial benefit will accrue to the town. What is your position on this project? What action will you take as our MPP if you are elected.

I support Enerdu.

Nature and the environment

  • What would your party do to protect the quality of water in Ontario lakes, streams and rivers.
  • What actions will you take to protect our natural habitat and promote a sustainable economy?

The protection of the environment is mainly in the hands of private landowners and ndustry and they are doing a good job. They have a direct interest in doing so.

  • Does your party think the current policy regime surrounding farmland loss and farmland protection is adequate? What policy changes or initiatives would your government take to respond to this concern?

Farmland is best protected by farmers. Farmers should have the freedom to do what they want with their land.

  • What actions would your government take to support the development of local food systems?

None. Farmers do that.

 Education

  •  Where do you stand on amalgamating Public and Catholic School Boards?

I believe families should have the ability to choose the school they want. I am also a supporter  of ‘Home Schooling’ and ‘Private Schools’ for the same reason. Competition is health.

 Liquor Control

  • Where do you stand on alcohol being available in convenience stores?

We already have alcohol available in convenience stores and it is working very well. I would like to see specialty stores selling Ontario wine and Ontario Craft beer.