The political fringe: PPC and Libertarian candidates have much in common

By Kirk Winter

Alison Davidson, candidate for the People's Party of Canada. Photo: Sienna Frost.

People’s Party of Canada candidate Alison Davidson and Libertarian candidate Gene Balfour are also vying for voters’ intentions on Monday – and their parties have much in common.

It’s the PPC that gets the most headlines, though, thanks to the pandemic and leader Maxime Bernier’s use of it as a wedge issue. Now home to most of the anti-vax, anti-mask, and no-more-lockdowns movement, the PCC’s Davidson does nothing to dispel this notion, attending a rally in Lindsay recently that prominently featured these issues. 

The co-owner of a Timberframe log home business in Sadow, near Lake Dalrymple, she said the people she has spoken to are frustrated “with the mandates…vaccine passports and the restrictions created by COVID.”

“I think that the vaccine passports are going to create a glaring inequity,” Davidson said, who is running in her first election. “We cannot deny people services. It is a horrible way to treat citizens.”

She was also present at a rally in downtown Lindsay where many people carried her signs. Members of the group were protesting vaccine passports, vaccines, and lockdowns.

Davidson also thinks that long-term care homes have been too quick to lockdown and quarantine during the pandemic, making seniors feel like they are in “solitary confinement.”

Gene Balfour, candidate for the Libertarian Party of Canada. Photo: Sienna Frost.

Balfour is running in his seventh election for the Libertarians. A retired executive recruiter from Fenelon Falls, He freely admits that the Libertarians will not form the next government but is campaigning instead “to put ideas into the public sphere.”

Both candidates agree that the economy is the biggest local issue in this election. Balfour believes that the high cost of living, driven by excessive government at all levels, and unnecessary taxation have to end.

“An average Canadian family pays 53 per cent of their total income in taxes,” Balfour said, “leaving them little to take care of their families or to plan for their retirements.”

Davidson fears government spending and the debt are out of control.

“We need to get control of our government spending. We need to keep inflation low. If inflation rises, interest rates might go up and with a trillion-dollar deficit an increase in interest rates may trigger a debt crisis.”

Davidson stressed she is not a professional politician and because of that believes she understands what voters are concerned about right now.

“I know what it is like to start a business, raise children and pay taxes. I really care about what is going on and that is why I have decided to run,” Davidson shared.

When asked about inequities in the riding, Balfour said voters are fortunate to live in a riding where “there are not massive inequities.”

“I do not begrudge anyone who makes a lot of money through hard work and innovation,” Balfour said, “but as technology changes creating more unemployment, I find the concept of universal basic income intriguing.”

Balfour and Davidson both believe that climate change is an overblown issue “that has been so politicized” that the science can no longer be trusted.

“There is no definitive scientific proof that carbon dioxide has any influence on the weather,” Balfour said.

Davidson added that Canada’s contribution to climate change “is less than 2 per cent and as a northern, rural, first-world nation Canada should develop technologies that can be sold to China and India who are the real polluters.”

While Davidson called Canada “rural,” Statistics Canada notes that more than 81 per cent of Canadians live in urban areas. (StatsCan defines urban as a population of at least 1,000 and a density of 400 or more people per square kilometre.)

On farming, Davidson and Balfour agree that the government needs to get out of agriculture. Things like dairy quotas prevent markets from being truly open and keep prices of food artificially high.

Davidson personally opposes the expansion of factory farms in the riding fearing their impact on the environment and food quality, but Balfour believes the end of the family farm is “inevitable as we live in a competitive world where the economy of scale will make the change necessary.”

On the issue of long-term care, both candidates agree that government ownership of long-term care homes would be unwise.

“Government should not be in long-term care,” Balfour said. “The government does nothing well. I have never been impressed with civil servants and their commitment to their jobs. There would be an enormous amount of waste.”

Davidson believes that government-run long-term care homes “would be super inefficient.” She would like to see facilities better run “where they think about the whole picture of the patient: their social health, mental health and spiritual health.”

On the issue of immigration and refugees, Davidson believes that Canada should “only accept the number of refuges that we can safely afford and are able to handle.”

“We should be able to integrate 20,000 Afghanis into our society in a year (promised refuge by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau).

She adds that the PPC favours capping immigration at 150,000 per year total.

In fact, the PPC wants to substantially lower the total number of immigrants and refugees Canada accepts every year, from 350,000 to between 100,000 and 150,000 – and the party also ties this policy to their housing policy, suggesting this will be part of the housing solution.

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