Steve Ranta has run for office before. This time, he’s one of six contenders vying to be the MP for Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge. (Special to The News)

Steve Ranta has run for office before. This time, he’s one of six contenders vying to be the MP for Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge. (Special to The News)

PITT MEADOWS-MAPLE RIDGE VOTES

Ranta returns as lone independent candidate in federal run

Each candidate was invited to provide a brief biography and answers to five key election questions

ABOUT THE CANDIDATE

Age: 64

Have you held office in past? If so, please specify: No

Bio: I grew up in Maple Ridge.

The majority of my working life I was a teacher, including four years as a full-time grievance officer. I also worked in the mill, in construction, in a tree nursery, as a lifeguard, labourer, and as a musician since I was a teenager.

I lived through some very good times – affordable housing and education, decent wages, accessible health-care, and clear skies.

Lately, I have become more concerned about the world we will be leaving to our young people, including my two sons.

I was on the Maple Ridge heritage commission for four years, and I am currently a member of the Maple Ridge Climate Hub.

I’ve been active lately in engaging with others, including elected officials and planners, about planning, housing, and transportation, especially in regard to climate change.

Website: https://steveranta.com

.

ELECTION QUESTIONS:

Each candidate for the Sept. 20, 2021 federal election has been provided with these five (5) questions, along with the following instructions.

To help voters make their choice on election day, The News is asking local candidates a series of questions on issues of importance.

Each question MUST be answered: yes (Y), no (N), or (D) Don’t Know. This is not meant to make things difficult. But reality is that if you’re in the House you’d have to vote yes, no, or abstain. The bonus is that each candidate can expand on ANY or ALL of our questions with answers of up to 200 words each that will appear online.

Please note, that due to space limitations, only one of your answers will be included in the print edition of The News on Sept. 16. You get to pick which one. So, you must CLEARLY indicate which expanded answer you want to see published in print. If you don’t specify, we will choose.

1. Would you support a federal vehicle tax based on CO2 emissions?

Ranta: “Yes.

But not on its own, and not in a way that punishes people who can’t afford a more efficient or climate-friendly vehicle, or who can’t find practical alternatives.

Instead of just penalizing people for driving fossil-fuel powered vehicles, we need to build modern, climate-friendly transportation infrastructure which encourages the use of rail, rapid transit, buses, bicycles, walking, and a range of emerging electric micro-mobility options like e-bikes, e-scooters, and electric microcars.

For too long, the planning and construction of Canadian transportation infrastructure has been controlled by corporate investors and real estate speculators.

As a result, compared to most other advanced countries, our transportation system is slow, inefficient, and hard on the climate.

We need to get out of 1950s car culture and take advantage of the ability of the Bank of Canada to provide interest-free loans to build a complete, modern transportation system that meets the needs of society as a whole.”

2. Does your party have a plan to fill the many staff vacancies in the RCMP?

Ranta: “Yes.

The RCMP has a public reputation for paying lower salaries than other police forces, and for being a toxic workplace, especially for women. Working as a police officer is stressful enough without the additional burden of a toxic environment, which is unfair to the people who work in the organization, and stands in the way of recruiting adequate numbers of qualified applicants.

The new union has been successful in negotiating a significant pay raise, but it will be more difficult to change an entrenched system of harassment, bullying, intimidation, and reprisal against subordinates. This was described in the 2017 Report on Workplace Harassment in the RCMP as a “Culture of Dysfunction.”

The report contains a number of recommendations specific to reducing harassment which should be followed up on. In addition, measures should be taken from the top down to install a more respectful and accountable system of management and oversight.”

3. Would you support the federal government cancelling the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to fight climate change?

Ranta: “Yes.

All long-term fossil fuels mega-projects should be stopped immediately.

In B.C., that means putting an end not just to the TMX mega-project, but also to LNG mega-projects, and the system of Site C, pipelines, and fracking which would support them.

Many critics have been noting that if our governments keep promoting and subsidizing the construction of these methane-based projects, it will have disastrous effects for decades on our efforts to reduce overall GHG emissions, and negate most of the efforts the citizens of B.C. can make to reduce their own emissions.

Now the latest report of the scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has heightened the urgency of stopping all new fossil fuels projects, especially involving methane, which in the short and medium run is 88 times more destructive to the climate than carbon dioxide.

Yet all of the federal parties running candidates in Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge are betraying us by not clearly coming out against continuing these climate-destroying methane mega-projects.”

4. Should Ottawa provide cash incentives to parents for fully vaccinating children, including vaccination against COVID, flu, measles, etc.?

Ranta: “Don’t know.

Including ‘flu’ and ‘etc.’ as being diseases to vaccinate all children against seems too broad.

However, depending on how the pandemic develops, including the possible emergence of variants that could make children very ill or increase transmission, it might be necessary in future to have strong incentives to vaccinate them in order to help allow children the freedom to have safe and positive family, school, and social lives.”

5. Given our inability to make vaccines at the start of the pandemic, should Ottawa double its investment in research, science, and tech startups?

Ranta: “Yes.

Canada’s spending on research and development in general lags behind most other industrialized countries.

We also spend less on skills training for young people than any other industrialized country outside of Ireland.

As a result, Canada relies on a continual stream of foreign technology, and skilled foreign workers, while young Canadians are much more likely than their peers in other countries to be wasting their talents and energy in dead-end, low quality jobs.

Our governments need to greatly increase funding for science, research and development, and training.

We also need to make sure corporations do their share, as they do in other countries, by raising the federal corporate tax rate back up to 29%, and giving incentives for training, innovation and climate friendly initiatives.

These investments will pay off for the economy in the long run, especially during the necessary transition to a society that is less dependent on fossil fuels, and whose activities are less damaging to the climate and the environment.”

.


Is there more to the story? Email: editor@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Canada Election 2021maple ridgePitt Meadows