Forbes believes election call was necessary

By Kirk Winter

Judi Forbes, candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada. Photo: Sienna Frost.

Judi Forbes, Liberal candidate in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, believes that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did the right thing by calling the federal election that is currently being contested. Forbes also thinks the party she represents “has had Canadians’ backs during the pandemic” and possesses the best possible plan to help Canadians recovery from the pandemic.

Forbes, the owner of a bed and breakfast in Beaverton, supports the election call despite the controversy it has stirred among some in the public who believe this election is driven more by polling numbers than need.

“I have heard that question while door knocking,” Forbes said. “We have never been in the situation that we are in now in living memory. We are coming out of an emergency situation the scale of which we haven’t experienced since 1945. When I campaigned first in 2019 we hadn’t even heard of COVID.”

“I believe it was the right time to go to the people and ask them the key question who do they want to lead them through the recovery. There are so many things that need to be addressed like how we get more people vaccinated, vaccine passports and how to address labour shortage and get people and businesses back to work,” Forbes added.

Forbes thinks her small town values and experience in businesses small and large make her potentially an excellent representative for HKLB.

“I think I am a lot like many local voters,” Forbes said. “I have small town values and roots. I have always carried these with me no matter where I have lived. I care deeply about my neighbours.”

“I understand business and the politics of business from my corporate background,” Forbes said, who was a manager with Toronto Dominion, Meridian Credit Union and Dominion Lending for more than 30 years.

“My small business was shut down by the pandemic too. All four of my children are entrepreneurs. I understand what small businesses have been going through.  I am a parent and grandparent and I care about leaving a livable planet to the next generation.”

Forbes thinks that Liberal promises currently in the party platform can have a real and lasting impact in the riding helping out small business, combating inequity, dealing with climate change, assisting family farms and helping deal with the long-term care crisis.

Forbes said the single most important Liberal promise to assist the riding most directly is the party’s small business recovery plan, which introduces a new line of credit, and would extend the Canada Recovery Hiring Program to March 31, 2022.

“All the towns and villages in the riding have main streets and everywhere people need help,” Forbes said. “Our government has plans to help folks get employees. We want to help people grow their businesses and recover. I am the treasurer of the Brock Board of Trade I have a lot of empathy for small business.”

Forbes is passionate about combatting inequality and inequity and believes that the party’s focus on assisting women to get back to work and grow as entrepreneurs is a key way to deal with this issue.

“COVID has created a “shecession” that has forced many more women than men out of the paying economy,” Forbes said. “Liberals, with the help of the provinces, will deliver on a promise of $10 a day childcare so caregivers can go back to work if they wish.”

“We also plan to set up a $150,000,000 fund to benefit women entrepreneurs,” Forbes said. “The Liberal government is focused on women of all colours and helping them to become successful.”

On the issue of climate change, Forbes believes that locally a $10 billion dollar Liberal commitment to improving and preserving big lakes like Simcoe will have the greatest impact.

“We have also promised to plant two billion trees, double the rebates available to make houses more efficient and offer zero emissions car purchasers a $5,000 rebate when they purchase that car,” Forbes said.

Forbes is particularly proud of the Liberal record on agriculture and the party’s promises to assist farmers to become more environmentally conscious, and better able to access technology that wasn’t available before because of poor rural broadband.

“Through the hard work of Canadian negotiators we have gotten tariff free access to a worldwide agricultural market of 1.3 billion consumers,” Forbes said. “We want to expand that while supporting supply management systems in place for products like diary, poultry and eggs.”

“We also want to help farmers move away from the use of propane, natural gas and diesel to improve the environment,” and to assist farmers to preserve trees and wetlands on their properties to help the environment.

Forbes touts the government’s ongoing federal investment in broadband of over $70 million as very important for local farmers as operations today are more internet-based than ever.

Long-term care of Canada’s seniors is something concerning for Forbes as her mother is currently a resident of long-term care.

While her mother is getting great care there are many who are worried about the level of attention seniors are getting from caregivers, she says.

“That starts with better staffing. We are committed to train 50,000 PSWs and guarantee them $25 an hour for wages,” Forbes said. “We also have programs that will help seniors stay in their homes.”

Regarding the hot-button issue of Afghanistan, Forbes says the Liberal government has evacuated two-thirds “of those who helped us in Afghanistan.”

“We have provided others with Canadian visas which will help them escape. I am particularly concerned about members of the Afghani LGTBQ community, women in health care and women in education. Canada has pledged to resettle 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan, more than most other nations in the G7.”

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