Peter Julian is the NDP candidate for New Westminster-Burnaby, hoping to represent us all on a federal level, and he answered my questions to the Member of Parliament candidates.
The City of New Westminster used to be represented federally by two Members of Parliament (Peter Julian for Burnaby-New Westminster and Fin Donnelly for New Westminster-Coquitlam). Now that New West is only going to have one MP, what will you do to ensure your voice is at least twice as loud as everybody else? Bonus question for Peter Julian: Will this mean that you’ll have to break the half a million words barrier?
Peter Julian: Yes, I have a loud voice 😉 but it’s not volume that counts – it’s effectiveness! My office has helped over 10,000 individuals and families in New Westminster and Burnaby. We don’t win every case, but we have one of the best track-records in the country. When Samara-Canada did an analysis of the most active people in Parliament the year before last — I came out as the most active Parliamentarian in Ottawa. I love our community and our country and I am proud to speak out on behalf of my consituents – sometimes loudly, sometimes softly – in New Westminster and Burnaby!
As everybody in New Westminster knows, we have an abundance of Save-On-Foods grocery stores, a situation created by the Competition Bureau. As the Competition Bureau is a federal intitution, what will you do as New Westminster’s federal representative to eliminate all non-Save-On-Foods stores in New West?
Peter Julian: I’ll do nothing of the sort! We need more diversity of choices in New Westminster, not less. I work with small businesses in our community to assure more diversity and competition and shopping choices and the NDP plan to lower the small business tax rate from 11% to 9% will help achieve that end.
Over the past few years we have seen two high-profile protests related to federal projects on New Westminster’s borders: the expansion of Fraser Surrey Docks to ship coal and the twinning of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline. Neither of these projects actually happen in New Westminster, which leads me to my question: which controversial federal project will you bring to New Westminster so we can have our own home-grown protests?
Peter Julian: I’ll bring the Victoria Shamrocks to New West to celebrate their Mann Cup win and I’ll join the protests! But seriously, my office and the city and local representatives like Judy Darcy and Fin Donnelly have organized town halls and spoken out on the profound disrespect shown to our community and the entire Lower Mainland by the Harper government on the issues of the coal-port and the Trans Mountain pipeline. Clearly it’s time to change the government!
Assuming your party forms the government, what will you do to bring the Prime Minster to New Westminister?
Peter Julian: If Stephen Harper is re-elected because of vote splitting, I won’t be bringing him to New West. If Tom Mulcair is elected, I’ll bring him here to see a Salmonbellies game!
How much money will your party pledge to replace the Pattullo Bridge, knowing full well that we just had a referendum (sorry, non-binding plebescite) where we rejected a tax increase that would supply the municipalities’ third of the pot and any promised federal money wouldn’t get spent anyhow? Three hundred million dollars? Five hundred million dollars? ELEVENTY TRILLION DOLLARS???
Peter Julian: The Pattullo Bridge is part of a larger problem with traffic in our community. We need stable long-term funding for infrastructure, public transit and suburban trains that allow folks south of the Fraser to get to work which don’t require driving through New Westminster. But, Eleventy Trillion Dollars!? That would be a deluxe Pattullo Bridge replacement with big-screen televisions all along the bridge with buffet and caviar service for drivers. I can’t agree to that! 😉