Inder Johal is the BC NDP candidate running in the riding of Abbotsford South. (Special to The Star)

Inder Johal is the BC NDP candidate running in the riding of Abbotsford South. (Special to The Star)

Candidate Q&A: Inder Johal

She is the NDP candidate running in the riding of Abbotsford South

Inder Johal, NDP

Declined to submit age or occupation

BIO:

Inder Johal is passionate about advancing issues of equity and social justice.

She wants to be part of John Horgan’s BC NDP so she can work on issues important to people here – including making life more affordable, improving workers’ rights and workplace safety, and protecting the natural beauty of our province.

Johal is a committed community volunteer who has a keen interest in working with government, as well as non-governmental and labour organizations, to make life better for all British Columbians.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bcndp/

Twitter: @bcndp

Website: https://inderjohal.bcndp.ca/

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CANDIDATE Q&A:

To help voters make their choices on election day, the Aldergrove Star is asking local candidates a series of questions on issues of importance, inviting each candidate to participate.

They were asked to a ‘yes’, a ‘no,’ or a ‘don’t know’ (Y,N,D) response to EACH of the numbered questions for the grid published in the Oct. 15 edition of The Star.

Candidates were also invited to expand on ANY OR ALL of the questions (to a maximum of 250 words each), with one of their choice to be included in our print edition on Oct. 22. Here’s all their replies.

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1. Should the province provide BC residents with a universal basic income?

● The crux of the issue is affordability and making sure our economy works for everyone.

● BC is expensive and it’s tough to balance a household budget here.

● The BC Liberals gave tax breaks to the top 2% and made everyone else pay for it.

● MSP doubled, ICBC up 36%, Hydro up 87%, bridge tolls.

● We cancelled the BC Liberal tax cuts for the wealthy and gave it back to people.

● We eliminated MSP and bridge tolls. We will be freezing rents. We are starting a Child

Opportunity benefit that provides up to $2,600/year for a family with two kids.

● We will provide direct support to British Columbians through the pandemic with a one-

time $1000 recovery benefit for families, $500 for individuals.

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2. Should the BC government allow more retail cannabis outlets?

● Our government has put forward a clear plan for those interested in establishing a retail cannabis outlet.

● A part of this plan is municipal input. The municipality must be in support of a proposed retail cannabis outlet before it can go ahead.

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3. In the era of Black Lives Matter, should BC increase the penalties for hate speech?

● Racism is unacceptable. We must do everything we can to root out racism.

Inder Johal is passionate about advancing issues of equity and social justice. She wants to be

part of John Horgan’s BC NDP so she can work on issues important to people here – including

making life more affordable, improving workers’ rights and workplace safety, and protecting the

natural beauty of our province. Inder is a committed community volunteer who has a keen

interest in working with government, as well as non-governmental and labour organizations, to

make life better for all British Columbians.

● That’s why we have established the first independent Human Rights Commissioner to strengthen human rights and brought back the Human Rights Commission that the BC Liberals cut.

● BC’s Multiculturalism Act is now 25 years old. We will conduct a full review of anti- racism laws in other jurisdiction and launch a full stakeholder consultation leading to a new Anti-Racism Act that better serves everyone in B.C.

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4. Should the BC government speed up the widening of Highway One into the Eastern Fraser Valley?

● Answer: YES

● British Columbians should be able to get to work, errands and home to loved ones safely

and quickly.

● The BC Liberals charged unfair tolls and refused to replace and build essential projects.

This left many stuck in traffic.

● That’s why we’re investing in projects to tackle congestion.

● We support the widening of Highway One and will complete the project by 2026.

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5. Should the planned Skytrain extension through Langley be extended to Abbotsford in the near future?

● We’re planning for future clean transit projects with long-lasting economic benefits

● We’re proud to support the Surrey Skytrain to Langley, and we’ll work with communities

and regions to support planning and development of key projects for the future,

including more transit options in the Fraser Valley.

● British Columbians should be able to get to work, errands and home to loved ones safely

and quickly.

● The BC Liberals ignored this problem for years. When communities pleaded for help

with transit projects, the BC Liberals told them to “suck it up.”

● We boosted investment in transit and increase bus service throughout our communities.

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6. Should the provincial government put the fight against climate change above the economy?

● The climate crisis is the global challenge of our time, and CleanBC is at the heart of our economic plan.

● The BC Liberals said they cared about climate change by then failed to act.

● We’re tackling this issue. We’ve invested $105 million this year for incentives for

industry to move to cleaner operations. This will help create jobs.

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7. Is lowering taxes the best route to economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic?

● The BC Liberals want to give a $3 billion tax break for the wealthy and make everyday people pay for it, leading to cuts to the services that people and businesses need.

● We have to remember that people are the economy.

● By helping people succeed we can build a recovery for everyone.

● That’s why supporting people and businesses, and ensuring we have the revenue to pay for the services people need, is so critical to our success.

● We will provide direct support to British Columbians through the pandemic with a one- time $1000 recovery benefit for families, $500 for individuals.

● We’re creating jobs and rebuilding BC with a new Recovery Investment Fund to provide an additional $3 billion a year over three years to build new schools, hospitals and more – creating 18,000 new jobs a year.

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8. Should the B.C. government restrict large, industrial cannabis greenhouses from operating in the ALR?

● The Agricultural Land Reserves are an important aspect of our farming community.

● But the BC Liberals let wealthy speculators and big developers drive the price of

farmland far out of reach for farmers and farming families.

● In 2018 the BC NDP amended regulations to allow communities to ban cannabis production “unless it is grown in ways that preserve the productive capacity of agricultural land.”

● Under the new rules, “cement-based, industrial-style, cannabis-production bunkers” can be blocked, but cannabis farming itself cannot.

● Cannabis can still be legally grown on the Agricultural Land Reserve if it’s in an open field or a structure with a soil base.

● Structures that were already under construction before July 13, 2018 and existing licensed facilities are grandfathered in.

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9. Should the province divert funding away from policing and towards social and mental health services?

● It’s not either or, it’s both and.

● We need to continue to prosecute criminal elements, and crack down on things like

money laundering that is helping fuel crime and the overdose crisis.

● We also need mental and social health services so people can get the care they need

and be treated as patients.

● Prevention is key, that’s why we are doubling youth treatment beds, from 104 to 247.

● We are supporting police to focus on serious crime and safer neighbourhoods: To better

support communities and local police forces, we’ll invest more in community-based mental health and social services so there are more trained front-line workers to help people in crisis.

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10. Would you support more public schools moving to a year-round model of education?

● Answer: BLANK

● We all want our kids to have better opportunities than we did. Let’s give them the best start possible.

● The BC Liberals fought in court to raise class sizes and refused to build schools in growing communities.

● That’s why we’re hiring 4,200 new teachers and have the smallest class sizes in a decade.

● We’re investing a record $2 billion over three years for new schools, expansions and seismic upgrades.

● We’re focused on supporting families, students and teachers through the pandemic. Districts have adopted a variety of schedules in response to COVID – those decisions are made locally.

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