[Left to right: Alyson Culbert (PPC), Richard Caron (Conservative Party), Laurel Collins (NDP), Nikki Macdonald (Liberal Party), Racelle Kooy (Green Party)/Image compiled by Victoria Buzz]

The 43rd Canadian federal elections are just days away, which means it’s the last chance to cast your ballots.

On October 21st, Victoria residents will be heading to their nearest polling stations to take part in the democratic process and elect an MP to represent the electoral district in Ottawa.

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Here’s a breakdown of the five major candidates running for election in Victoria:

New Democratic Party

The New Democratic Party nominated Laurel Collins as their representative candidate for Victoria.

In the 2018 municipal elections, Collins successfully campaigned to become one of the councillors for the City of Victoria. If elected as MP, the municipality would need to host a by election to replace her seat.

Collins echoes the NDP’s climate change policies and has shown her commitment to the cause as a member of the CRD Regional Water Supply Commission and a director on the board of the Green Municipal Fund.

She has also taught courses in Social Justice, Sociology, and Social Inequality at the University fo Victoria.

The NDP was heavily criticized after residents in Victoria received fliers falsely insinuating that the Green Party would oppose abortion rights in Canada.

Conservative Party of Canada

Richard Caron is the Conservative Party candidate hoping to represent Victoria in the House of Commons in the upcoming elections.

In an op-ed in the Times Colonist on Friday, Caron outlines the Conservatives’ climate change policies which focus on “green technology, not taxes” in which the party pledges to create more jobs through green technological growth while lowering emissions.

“One item that I am personally very interested in is the Green Homes Tax Credit, a two-year plan that will encourage Canadians to improve their homes with emissions-reducing technologies,” writes Caron.

“Canadians will be eligible to receive a 20 per cent refundable credit on their income tax for green improvements to their homes of more than $1,000 and up to $20,000. This will allow Canadians to save up to $3,800 on their green renovations each year.”

His platform also rests on reducing taxes by supporting Scheer’s Universal Tax Cut and removing GST from utility bills.

Green Party of Canada

Racelle Kooy is the Green Party candidate for the Victoria electoral district.

Her platform focuses on policies to mitigate the effects of climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, address the housing crisis and high cost of living, introduce a comprehensive health care plan, and put an end to the opioid epidemic.

Victoria historically elects MPs who fight for green values. It’s time for Victoria to elect a Green MP. This riding was the birthplace of the Species at Risk Act under David Anderson,” Kooy said in a statement after being nominated federal Green candidate for Victoria earlier this year.

“And after the National Energy Board’s appalling decision, this is the riding that needs to lead the fight to make sure the act is enforced to protect the southern resident orcas from the Trans Mountain pipeline.”

Kooy’s office in downtown Victoria was broken into in the wee hours of Thursday, October 17th. The suspect stole thousands of dollars worth of items and Victoria Police are investigating the incident.

Liberal Party of Canada

The Liberal Party candidate for Victoria, Nikki Macdonald, recently received an endorsement from former Prime Minister Jean Chretien, after having worked as a Senior Advisor for him.

“She has experience and integrity and will fight for all Victorians in Ottawa,” says Chretien in an audio recording.

As with several other candidates, Macdonald’s platform focuses on climate change, citing Liberal Party initiatives that would directly benefit Victoria, like the ongoing building of a sewage treatment plant, decades-long efforts to clean up the waters of the Upper Gorge,  and annual beach clean-ups.

These policies include banning single-use plastics by 2021, upholding the carbon tax, protecting around 14% of the country’s coastal and marine lands, and restoring marine ecosystems through the Oceans Protection Plan.

People’s Party of Canada

Alyson Culbert is the People’s Party candidate hoping to represent Victoria in the 2019 elections.

Culbert’s campaign garnered significant media attention after several of her campaign signs were stolen from outside her headquarters on Douglas Street last month.

“The principles of our party and my own views strongly support free speech and open
discussion, which make an attack on our message particularly disturbing,” she wrote in a statement at the time.

According to her website, Culbert was moved to participate in politics after hearing PPC leader Maxime Bernier speak last year and finding that “his words rang true”.

Her platform focuses on the opioid crisis and mental health and addictions resources, advocating for the decriminalization and consequent regulation of illicit drugs.

The PPC is the only party without any policies pertaining to climate change in this year’s elections. They have issued a blanket statement saying that the “uncertainties over the scientific basis of global warming, and the certainties about the huge costs of measures designed to fight it” justify their desire to withhold from government intervention.

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