Election 2019, Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge Q & A: Independent candidate says political parties not working for people

Wants to ban foreign ownership of real estate

Steve Ranta, Independent

Birth place: New Westminster, B.C.

Occupation: Retired teacher/musician

Main reason for running. What do want to accomplish?

I don’t think any of the major parties are on our side. Allow people to send a message, that we can’t put up with their inaction any longer, especially in regards to climate change.

Question: How would you or your party address the constantly increasing cost of living and housing?

Answer: Ban foreign ownership of real estate. Shift more of the tax burden on to the wealthy, of which Canada has more per capita than most countries, including the U.S. Invest more in skills training for young people. research and development and infrastructure. Create more co-op and subsidized rental housing. Nationalize the cellphone companies and regulate gasoline prices.

Question: Why would your party be most effective in addressing homelessness and mental illness in Maple Ridge?

Answer: I believe that government should solve the problem, not keep putting it off with inadequate lip service. There are examples where government have been able to virtually eliminate homelessness, such as in Finland.

Untreated mental illness is a sign that our schools, social services and medical systems are failing. We are a rich country and we can afford to do better.

Question: What is the most pressing environmental issue and how would you address it?

Answer: Climate change is the most pressing issue. We need to stop extraction and processing of bitumen from the tar sands and we need to stop gas fracking in B.C. In addition, we need to take serious measures to transition to a low-carbon economy. This would include more research and development, more skills training, direct government control of parts of the economy and the ability to use incentives to direct business investment.

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