Editor's note: Ahead of the Sept. 20 federal election, BarrieToday has contacted all of the candidates in the Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte riding with five questions related to the local opioid crisis, COVID-19 vaccine passports, Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations, climate change, and affordable housing. The following answers were received from Tanya Saari, the Liberal candidate in Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte. More candidate Q-and-A's can be found on our Canada Votes 2021 page.
1. For the past several years, Barrie has had a devastating drug crisis, one of the worst in the province. How do you think the opioid problem should be addressed and what is your stance on the proposed supervised consumption site (SCS) here in the city?
I absolutely support having a supervised consumption site here in Barrie. I know how important it is to harm reduction and what it could mean to those looking to move forward in their lives.
2. As we brace for a fourth wave of COVID-19 and a more aggressive delta variant, many are suggesting Canada should embrace a vaccine passport. What is your view on this?
I think every Canadian who can get vaccinated should. Not just to protect themselves but to protect others, including children who are under the age of 12 and not currently able to be vaccinated. I know the government will do all that it can to protect Canadians based on advice from public health officials, this includes working with provinces and territories to find a path forward on proof of vaccine.
3. We are a rich country in many ways, but many Indigenous reserves still don't have clean drinking water. The tragedy of residential schools has ripped open the hurt and trauma many of our Indigenous families have felt for generations. Many of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations remain unheeded. How would you address these issues and help heal these wounds?
Clean drinking water is a fundamental human right. Although progress has been made in the area of Indigenous relations, there remains much more work to be done.
Since 2015, the Liberal government has lifted close to 70 per cent of long-term drinking water advisories in Indigenous communities. Budget 2021 allocates $125 million dollars to support First Nations communities’ reliable access to clean water and help ensure the safe delivery of health and social services on reserve.
Our government remains committed to a renewed nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples. We must continue working to bring a recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership to Indigenous communities.
4. Recently, a major scientific report warned of increasingly extreme heat waves, droughts and flooding, and a key temperature limit being broken in just over a decade. Scientists say it’s a "code red for humanity." What tangible ways will your party address climate change in both the short- and long-term?
Across the country, we are already seeing the extremely devastating effects of climate change. Whether that’s living through floods, droughts, forest fires or the extreme heat that we saw here in Barrie this week. The time to act is now.
Conservative politicians are choosing to ignore science. Instead of making a plan to fight climate change and grow the economy, they’re busy spreading misinformation to Canadians.
We have a real plan to fight climate change. We’re phasing out coal, protecting our oceans through the Oceans Protection Plan, working to protect our great lakes while making investments in renewable energy and public transportation.
Canada is warming at twice the global average and even more quickly in the North. I want a future for my kids and their kids. I know this government will continue to take a science-based approach to climate action.
5. Housing is a human right, but many people in Barrie are not able to afford a roof over their heads. The cost of living continues to rise while the price of housing and rent skyrockets well beyond affordability for the average person. What would your party do to address this?
The pandemic proved how important it is to have a safe and affordable place to call home. The Liberal government launched the Rapid Housing Initiative to help Canadians find stable and secure housing during and beyond this pandemic. This included an additional $1.5 billion allocated for the program in Budget 2021.
But it’s not enough. Too many people are still moving from one temporary home to another, and some aren’t that fortunate. Our housing crisis is real. Through my work with Redwood Park here in the city, I know that to be the case.
I am running to ensure the residents of Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte always have a voice at the table.
I want our riding to be the best place in Canada to raise a family and I firmly believe I can help achieve that.
For more information on Saari's campaign, click here.