Town Hall

Calling all students!  Calling all students! Today from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. a town hall will be hosted on campus. Here, students and faculty have the opportunity to meet and greet the candidates that are running in this years federal election for the riding of Brandon-Souris. As many of you may have noticed, the federal riding that Brandon belongs to is far larger than our provincial ridings. Indeed, there are three different ridings covering Brandon and the surrounding area in provincial politics but only one when it comes to federal affairs. The riding of Brandon-Souris is quite large, especially when compared to the size of ridings found in Winnipeg and the Greater Toronto Area. However, despite its large size, the riding of Brandon-Souris has only around 60,000 eligible voters. As university students, many of you are included in that 60,000. It is fundamentally important to vote, either on election day or at one of the advance polls. However, voting should not be some menial task where you close your eyes and pick a candidate randomly. Voters should be educated on what each party and candidate stands for, as well as what they plan to do should they be elected. This town hall presents a perfect opportunity to get out and meet your local candidates. Below are a few summarized details about each candidate for the riding of Brandon-Souris in the 2019 Federal Election. 

Larry Maguire is the incumbent Member of Parliament for Brandon-Souris and represents the Conservative Party of Canada. He was first elected in a by-election in November 2013 and was elected to Parliament in the federal election of October 2015. Larry grew up in Souris and has lived in the Westman riding ever since. He holds a Diploma in Agriculture from the University of Manitoba and comes from a farming background. Some important priorities for Larry and the Conservative Party, should they get elected, include repealing the carbon tax, removing GST off home heating bills, enhancing Registered Education Savings Plans and tackling rural area crime. 

The Liberal Party of Canada has chosen Terry Hayward to run with their banner in the riding of Brandon-Souris. Terry was born and raised in Brandon and graduated from Harrison High School. He has been in the agriculture industry for over 35 years. During that time, he served in the public eye as a Canadian diplomat in both the United States and New Zealand. For Terry Hayward and the Liberal Party of Canada, its all about the middle class. If elected, they plan to straighten gun control by banning assault style weapons in Canada. Other priorities include fighting climate change by planting two billion trees and banning single use plastics as well as attracting clean technology companies. 

Many students in Brandon have come to support the NDP. The New Democratic Party has selected Ashley Duguay as their 2019 candidate. Ashley grew up in a military household and traveled across the country. If elected as Member of Parliament for Brandon-Souris she plans to fight for a minimum wage of $15.00 an hour. Other priorities include a universal pharmacare program, where the cost of prescription drugs is fully covered by the federal government. Ashley believes that medications are fundamental to the well-being of Canadians and therefore should be the responsibility of the government, not the average consumer, to cover the cost. 

With the increased attention on environmental policies, it comes at no surprise that the Green Party of Canada is gaining support across the nation. Here in Brandon-Souris, the Green Party has selected Bill Thiessen as their 2019 candidate. Bill and the Green Party  are fundamentally focused on combating climate change. They want to move Canada away from fossil fuel dependence. If elected, they will lower the voting age to 16 years old, mandate that public interest comes before government confidentiality and eliminate the first past the post electoral system. Other priorities include implementing a committee to review Member of Parliament’s salaries and budgets.

A relatively new party, the Peoples Party of Canada was founded by former Conservative MP and federal minister Maxime Bernier. Tabling a more populist platform, the Peoples Party is seen as an alternative to the Conservative Party. Rob Lussier is the 2019 candidate for Brandon-Souris. Rob was born in Winnipeg but was raised in Nanaimo, British Columbia. Ever since the age of 13 Rob has been involved in the army. He ended his military career in Shilo as the commanding officer of 2520 RCACC after 32 years of service. Rob and the Peoples Party want to reduce immigration levels and focus on skilled immigrants if elected. Other priorities include ending official multiculturalism and supporting the veterans. 

The Christian Heritage Party is also running a candidate in Brandon-Souris for the 2019 federal election. Rebecca Hein is the local candidate and has been involved in politics since an early age. She even served as the volunteer coordinator for a federal election campaign back in 2015. If elected, Rebecca is elected she plans to fight the carbon tax and defund the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She also would want to see abortion delegalized and freedom of speech rights increased. The Canadian Heritage party is also planning on replacing the Indian Act is elected. 

Finally, there are also two independent candidates running for the federal seat of Brandon-Souris. They are Robert Eastcott and Vanessa Hamilton. Rob is running as an independent candidate because he believes the people of the riding deserve change. 

Vanessa is a former city councillor. She’s no stranger to politics and says she is running as an independent because the majority of Canadians do not belong to a federal party. She believes an experienced, independent voice is needed here. 

The town hall will be held today (Tuesday, October 15th) in Harvest Hall from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. There is no charge to attend the town hall, meaning we have no excuse to not get politically involved in our community!