BarrieToday is running profiles, in alphabetical order, on each of the five candidates in the Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte riding. For more campaign coverage, visit our election page.
Canada’s newest federal party has a candidate in Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte and David Patterson hopes to lead the People’s Party to an October victory.
Patterson told BarrieToday that one of the things he hears about most on the campaign trail is the cost of living and how people are unsure how they’ll get by day-to-day.
“They’re concerned about home prices, energy prices. Yhey’re wondering how they’ll be able to afford groceries and all kinds of costs,” Patterson said. “The main part of our platform is to focus on economic issues and stimulate the economy.”
Patterson says the People's Party will create more jobs, reduce consumer prices and eliminate the deficit faster than any other party.
“That is extremely important, because that's costing every Ontario family $6,000 a year just in the interest payments on the debt,” he said. “That is the combined federal and provincial debt that is creating that.”
Another topic the information-technology technician from Brechin says he's hearing about is immigration.
“I think a lot of people see problems in Canada that relate to too much immigration,” Patterson said. “Other times it is about immigrants that are coming in and it is too high a ratio of illegal migrants and refugees. They can’t get jobs right away and they overburden our welfare system.”
Patterson says he's reached put to the homeless community in Barrie and they've told him they're on a $400 a month housing allowance that isn’t helping them get a place that's less than desirable.
“They can only get a room in a rundown house that is infested with bed bugs and cockroaches and they would prefer to sleep on the street,” he said. “Whereas, we’re spending so much money taking care of the migrants and the massive number of refugees, more than any other country. We take in more than the United States and they’re 10 times bigger than us.”
Patterson says he wants to help others, just the country needs to do it responsibly.
“We have to support people in need, Canadians and people in other countries, but we have to do it in a way that's sustainable," he said. "We need to give them time to integrate and we need people who are capable of working right away when they get to Canada.”
“Right now, it is only 26 per cent of people who are able to work immediately upon coming to Canada. We want to boost that to 50 per cent so that our welfare system becomes more sustainable and we have more money for the homeless, the veterans and our First Nations," Patterson added.
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The federal election is Oct. 21.