Kristine Lynn Bowman – NDP
Tell us about yourself in a few sentences. Where you live and any other personal details you would like to share? What makes you a good candidate in this election?
I’m a dedicated employee of 12.5 years with Canada Post, residing in Edmonton. My increased involvement within my own union, the EDLC, and the AFL have shown me how much passion I have for advocacy. Advocacy for the everyday working Canadian is lacking right now, so I elated when presented with the opportunity to run for a party the NDP), whose entire platform is based on creating better supports and services for Canadians.
With the economy in Alberta, we have observed job losses in Yellowhead. What are your party’s plans for job creation?
We want to increase the number of refineries, so we’re not reliant on outsourcing for finished oil and gas products. Within 10 years we’ll be building (across Canada) 500,000 units of low-cost housing (hiring local Canadians for each project). Our EI systems needs a complete overhaul, to make it more accessible (lower required qualification hours, extensions for parental leave, coverage for training and/or schooling). Automation is a growing concern (especially in oil and gas), so we want to create efficient means for people to transition into other fields of work, as well as look at piloting universal income. Our rural areas need to be brought up to Canadian standards with broadband and cell services - these projects will create good paying, local jobs. Steel is an important Canadian product, and we want to increase the number steel mills, and create incentives for companies to use Canadian made steel in the projects.
As for the TransMountain Pipeline (which runs through Yellowhead) under government ownership and the planned expansion – what is your position on this project and its future?
This is a difficult question to answer. NDP platform is against TMX (and pipelines), yet also against importing Saudi oil. As mentioned above, it’s also in our platform to increase the refineries to produce finished product. That being said, if elected - my mandate shifts from promoting NDP platform, to advocating for Yellowhead.
What is your position on environmental policy?
Canada is a wealthy country, there’s no reason we shouldn’t have the innovative technologies in place to protect and preserve our planet. Climate change is happening at an increasing rate, creating conditions for pests (such as ticks) to move north into Alberta, the pine beetle to cross the Rockies, and devastating forest fires. Not to mention the recyclable plastics we ship overseas instead of taking care of in-house or the waste and sewage pumped directly into our waters. Even the way our food is packaged is problematic - but this needs to be addressed in a manner that all (financial) responsibility is carried by the manufacturers, and not dumped onto our Canadians.
What is your position on the federal carbon tax?
For the most part, it should be kept as is. The biggest change would be to lower the threshold at which the largest emitters pay (from 80% of the industry average, to 70%). Revenues from the carbon tax would support funding for clean transportation initiatives and developing renewable energy.
Are you in favour of any changes in personal and business taxes and incentives?
Our platform doesn’t propose much in the way of changes to personal taxes (until you reach the threshold of $210,000 annually, or have wealth above $20 million), or to small and medium businesses. Regarding incentives - we want to close loopholes of offshore tax havens, and eliminate subsidies for oil and gas corporations. We also want to create the framework to tax international giants like Amazon, Netflix, Google, AirBnB, Facebook, etc.
From you perspective, what are the other federal issues and priorities for Yellowhead?
Agriculture is a big one, with so much of Yellowhead being farmland. Energy, coal plants, natural gas, lumber industry, and tourism.