June 22nd, 2024

Harder says Conservatives looking to make life more affordable

By Tim Kalinowski on August 21, 2021.

Herald photo by Tim Kalinowski - Lethbridge Conservative Party of Canada incumbent Rachael Harder says her party will prioritize jobs, affordability and economic recovery if elected to government in Ottawa this fall.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDtkalinowski@lethbridgeherald.com

Lethbridge federal Conservative Party of Canada candidate, and current incumbent, Rachael Harder says her party will focus on jobs, the economy and making life more affordable for Canadians if elected to government.
“When I am knocking on doors people here are talking to me a lot about affordability,” says Harder. “That is probably one of the biggest things that I hear when I am out and about. I was reading some stats the other day and it was talking about how one year ago the price for gas was $1.03 (per litre) and now the average price for gas is $1.32 (per litre) in the country. A year ago the price of a dozen eggs was $2.50. Now the average price of a dozen eggs is $3.30. So the cost of living is going up, and Canadians are noticing it and feeling crunched.”
Housing is another area where the Conservative Party is proposing sweeping changes to make owning a home more affordable to Canadians. Her party intends to put a moratorium on all foreign ownership purchases of homes in Canada if the foreign buyer has no plans to move to Canada in the next two years.
The party will also encourage the development of one million homes over three years, and propose new 10-year-term mortgages to make the purchase of housing more obtainable for some Canadians.
At the same time, as many Lethbridge developers have been asking for, her party intends to reform the current Mortgage Stress Test.
“Housing is a big issue for Canadians in this election,” Harder says. “And rightfully so. I think as Canadians we want to own homes. We want to establish a life for ourselves. We want to raise a family in a home of our own, and it is just becoming less and less possible.”
Keeping with the making life more affordable theme, the Conservative Party intends to drop the Liberal’s $10 a day childcare program and adopt a tax rebate system which would cover up to 75 per cent of the cost of childcare for lower income families.
“When Trudeau says he is going to create $10 a day daycare,” Harder states, “he is not being totally honest with Canadians. Because what he is really going to do is he is going to create a certain number of spots that are $10 a day. So it is not for every single Canadian. It is just for a select few … Whereas for Conservatives, we’re saying we’re going to offer you a tax rebate, and it is going to be for every single individual Canadian that requires it.”
Harder says another priority for her party in this election is mental health. The Conservative Party has promised to boost mental health funding to the provinces, encourage employers to adopt mental health coverage for employees, and to create a three-digit national suicide prevention hotline.
“In particular one of the big ones we saw during the pandemic is mental health,” Harder says. “We took a huge hit as a Canadian people. I have watched as family members have struggled with mental health issues. I have lost two of my friends during this pandemic. I have taken phone calls and interacted with my constituents on this issue, and it is extremely significant. It is very important that going forward Canadians have the care they deserve.”
On her personal record as the Member of Parliament for Lethbridge the past term, Harder says she is most proud of her role in chairing the Ethics Committee which exposed the WE scandal, and her role as Opposition Critic for Digital Government in helping to prevent the passage of Bill C-10, which she calls “direct attack on Canadians’ free speech,” prior to the election call. She is also proud of her advocacy work on behalf of local citizens and her staunch championing of the Canadian agriculture industry.
One controversial issue Harder has been criticized for is her failure to support the federal government’s bill banning conversion therapy in Canada. Harder reminds critics she first voted in favour of Bill C-6.
“When it comes to conversion therapy, I would hope we all agree with the intent or the spirit of Bill C-6,” she says. “No one who calls Canada home should ever be mistreated ever. Full stop; and especially those who are part of the LGBTQ2+ community. They are incredibly vulnerable to mistreatment, and it is our responsibility as legislators and as a society that we are above reproach and treating them with the utmost dignity, respect and honour. That problem with Bill C-6, however, was the way it was drafted. So when it came to the first vote (in Parliament), I voted yes. Because I agree with it in principle; I agree with the spirit of the bill. I agree with its intent. But when it went to committee there were a number of amendments that needed to be made in order to ensure that it was drafted properly.”
Harder says, at the end of the day, the main focus of her party will be on fostering job creation for Canadians coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If you create jobs, you provide Canadians with a way of earning a paycheck,” she says. “And Canadians want to earn a living for themselves. What Trudeau has on offer is programs where the government is going to spend lots of money, put it in the hands of Canadians for a short period of time. They are going to feel good about it, but, at the end of the day, they are not going to have a job that will provide for them in the long run. I believe in Canadians, and as Conservatives we believe in Canadians.”

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I would be very interested how a Conservative or for that matter any party, would lower the price of gas and eggs. Are the Conservatives going to eliminate the fuel tax on gasoline? Are they going to eliminate a free market and bring in price controls? That would certainly make a difference. 1,000,000 new jobs in the first year of a Conservative mandate? Wow! I didn’t realize the party could see into the future. I didn’t know anyone could see what challenges might lie ahead in the next year. Balance the budget in 10 years? I know how this one plays out. The party that comes into office, after a short pause, says something like; “We just went over the books and we didn’t realize how bad things really were.” In 10 years most people would forget that this promise was ever made anyway. I won’t forget. I still remember Justin Trudeau promising that, “This would be the last election that would be decided by first past the post. How did that work out? Selling “pie in the sky” is as old as the hills. I guess that there is still enough folks around that will believe anything that is thrown at them.

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