Incumbent, PC Candidate for Turtle Mountain, and Virden resident, Doyle Piwniuk, is vying for another 4-year term with the Progressive Conservatives to advocate for the residents in his Riding.
What are the key issues on your platform?
One of the key issues on my platform is making Manitoba great. Our Premier wants to see that we've reached 2 million people to have in the province by 2030 and with the momentum we have right now, we have the momentum to get there. We're seeing economic development in every part of this province. We just established the first potash mine in the western region of Manitoba. In Boissevain, we've attracted a manufacturing company which builds trailers. So we are looking for opportunities everywhere and we want to make sure we create policy in Manitoba, especially when it comes to taxation, so that we can compete with Saskatchewan and Alberta when it comes to income tax rates and when it comes to exemptions.
But also, at the same time we've got to be competitive and with our green energy that we have there are a lot of companies that are looking at Manitoba as a solution and has a lot of opportunities to invest into. We are on the radar, especially with the geo-political situation in Europe. We have everything that Europe needs right now, and it's in the Prairie Provinces. There's a lot of momentum happening there, so we want to make sure we become a 'have' province, just like Saskatchewan and Alberta.
There is a great lack of doctors across the province. What steps are your party taking to be proactive in your riding?
"The provincial government, we've given money to the RHA's (Regional Health Authorities) to make sure they do recruitment for their doctors and nurses, all their medical professionals. We are working very closely with the CEO of Prairie Mountain Health, and the CEO of Southern Health, because it goes in both constituencies, and we're working together to make sure we recruit doctors, and this is a challenge.
It's not just a Manitoba issue. It's a North American issue.
Every jurisdiction is facing the same situation here, so this is why we're doing recruitments, and we're working with local governments too, to help them with recruiting to their communities. The one thing we find is that these communities that are vibrant, like Neepawa or Killarney, Boissevain or Morden-Winkler, we have to have vibrant communities so that when a medical professional comes to that community they want to stay there, and they want to raise their family there. That's why we want to work on economic development as another priority because when you have growing communities you have more younger families and they also attract these professionals, and then you have the opportunity to attract nurses and other health care workers that we need.
Some communities are really struggling because their population is aging and the farms are getting bigger, and they're finding that they don't have the professions out there or the people out there to work in their facilities. So, this is a challenge that we're working with, to make communities that area healthy, and that they're growing, because when you have a growing community, you do attract those doctors.
What are your thoughts on the carbon tax and how it affects are farming community in the southwest?
With the Federal government, a lot of their voters come from the major cities, like Toronto, and we find that they have the option to have public transit, but when you're living in our area, it's a challenge. We were trying to fight the carbon tax because it's just a tax, and we are probably the greenest reliant energy, the greenest energy is in Manitoba with our Manitoba Hydro, and this is a gem. And we are being punished by the Federal government, and they're even putting carbon tax on Manitoba Hydro, so this why. You know, we have farmers in this industry that provide food on the table for all Canadians, and they're penalized by this carbon tax.
What we're going to do is refuse to pay carbon tax on Manitoba Hydro and this is where we're going to be challenging the Federal government because for the fact that it's an unfair to Manitoba, who again, has the greenest energy.
Carbon Tax background courtesy Manitoba Hydro website:
The federal carbon charge puts a price of $65 on each tonne of greenhouse gas created by burning fossil fuels. Since natural gas produces greenhouse gases, the federal government has set a carbon charge equal to 12.39 cents that is applied to each cubic metre of natural gas Manitoba Hydro sells. The federal carbon charge can be found on your energy bill in the natural gas section. GST is applied to the carbon charge. The federal carbon charge applies only to consumption of fossil fuels. While almost all of the electricity produced in Manitoba is virtually emission free, we do buy fossil fuels for our operations. This includes diesel fuel for our fleet vehicles, and natural gas for building heat or the infrequent use of the natural gas-fuelled Selkirk and Brandon generating stations. In a typical year, higher prices for these fuels coming from the carbon charge will result in a very small addition to our overall electricity costs.
Homelessness and drug abuse continues to rise in Westman. What are your thoughts on eradicating this growing population?
We need to make sure people are getting treated for their drug addictions and that's what we're going to focus on, and also making sure that are policing is very important because when you have safe communities, you have growing communities too. So, we want to make sure that if there's anybody who needs help, we're going to create more facilities to help people get off drugs and other addictions. So, we're going to be spending more money to help combat that, working together with local governments, because the solution is to work in all levels of government and even the private sectors are coming together.
We're all in this together and we want to make sure we have the solution to help people with their addictions but also the crime that's happening too. In our towns and cities more people will want to live downtown when there's more policing and we don't want to be like the opposition says they want to defund the police.
Rural crime is on the rise in the Westman Region. What are your thoughts on this?
Even in highway enforcement officers, we've stacked up officers in all these different areas, and even with conservation officers, we're recruiting more officers, and again the challenge is too that all provinces are looking at attracting those conservation officers. so, we're trying to put more int the system so that they graduate and so they can help us with the rural crime.
We're also wanting to work together with the federal government to make sure that there's more training when it comes to RCMP officers. We are looking at having the members to look after the region to make sure they're out and about in the community. The challenge is we have an aging population with a lot of retirements happening, but we need to get the young people into these programs to make sure that once they graduate, we will have them back in the work force when we need them.
What makes you a good fit to represent the Turtle Mountain Riding for another 4 years?
Please listen to Doyle Piwniuk's answer to this question, as well as his final thoughts below.
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