The 44th general federal election is well underway with only days left until the Sept. 20 vote. There are four candidates running in the St. Albert-Edmonton riding: Conservative incumbent Michael Cooper, People's Party of Canada Candidates Brigitte Cecelia, Liberal candidate Greg Springate, and New Democratic Party candidate Kathleen Mpulubusi. Each candidate was given a series of questions and up to 100 words to answer each one.
What is your approach to Canada’s current national debt?
People's Party of Canada candidate Brigitte Cecelia:
Get rid of it! We will get out of the Paris Accord. We will stop supporting UN causes that are in conflict with Canadian Nationalist values. We will always support humanitarian crises that are aligned with our Canadian values.
Conservative incumbent Michael Cooper:
The Liberals have presided over record deficits and debt. Canada’s national debt nearly doubled in the last two years. While significant spending was required to support workers and businesses when COVID hit, much of the Liberal government’s spending and debt is unrelated to COVID. Conservatives are committed to returning the budget to balance within 10 years. Restoring Canada to a sound financial position requires getting Canadians back to work. Conservatives have put forward a comprehensive jobs plan that will reduce unemployment and increase government revenue. This will facilitate a gradual reduction of the deficit.
New Democratic Party candidate Kathleen Mpulubusi:
NDPs’ investments in public services and in communities will help our economy return to strong growth, while also reducing inequality and making life more affordable for people. We will raise revenues through new, fair, and progressive taxation sources that target the ultra-rich and businesses that paid CEO bonuses while accepting COVID-19 wage subsidies. We will manage Canada’s public debt responsibly, borrowing when required to rebuild and defend the services that Canadians rely on, and moving to balance when it is prudent to do so, keeping Canada’s long-run finances fiscally sustainable, according to the Parliamentary Budget Office’s fiscal sustainability measures.
Liberal candidate Greg Springate:
Our Liberal government has had the backs of all Canadians during the COVID-19 crisis, doing what is necessary to help Canadians survive and thrive. While some areas of the economy have recovered, some are still hobbling and need help to recover. Once all areas of the economy have substantially recovered, the government can balance the budget and run surpluses. Liberal governments ran surpluses from 1997 to 2006 and reduced the federal accumulated deficit substantially. Liberal governments can run surpluses again, but it will take a few years to bring the accumulated deficit down.