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2021 Federal Election: Meet People's Party of Canada candidate Paul Tarasenko

Federal election is Monday, Sept. 20
Paul Tarasenko
People's Party of Canada candidate Paul Tarasenko.

Editor’s note: The six candidates vying to be your Delta representative in Ottawa were provided with six questions from the Optimist and if they liked, could also provide introductory comments or a biography.

Q1: What is your position on the recently announced Massey Tunnel replacement project? Do you like the plans? Not like the plans?

A: I am glad that we have finally made a decision on the project. My issue with the project was that it took far too long. By dragging the process out not only do the people of Delta have to deal with ridiculous amounts of traffic but the cost associated with this project continues to increase. 

Q2: What is your position on the Terminal 2 project for Roberts Bank?

We need to go back to the drawing board for this project because at the moment it is not in the best interest of the people of Delta. For instance, it is an automated site meaning that not as many jobs will be created once it is operational. We should instead focus on developing our own manufacturing industry so that we are able to help create actual jobs and put money back into the pockets of Canadians. The environmental impact of this project on the different animal species would further jeopardize our already fragile system. Not to mention the damage that this would have on our salmon population which is incredibly important culturally to the indigenous communities around us and to the commercial fishing sector. However, we should not completely discard the idea, Delta and the rest of the Lower Mainland ports are a vital hub that connects the rest of Canada to markets abroad. 

Q3: Recently, South Delta has experienced several incidents of vandalism of the Pride flag at Ladner United Church. If elected what will you do to help spread a message of diversity and inclusivity in Delta?

A: It is unacceptable that there are people who would terrorize others because they do not agree with them. We are all Canadians and thus we should all be treated equally and have the right to feel safe and accepted, regardless of our race, gender, beliefs, identity, etc. If elected, my office would be open for everyone to voice their concerns.

Q4: Affordable housing continues to be a major issue in Delta. If elected how will you help to work with other levels of government to improve affordable housing in the community?

If I were to be elected, I would help speed up the process that houses are being built by pushing to remove a lot of the red tape or bureaucratic slowdowns that happen at the municipal level. We need to make zoning laws more flexible, which would allow people to build additional suites to help increase the supply of housing that is available. I would also help push for policies and grants that would help incentivize homeowners to renovate their properties to make more suites available. We need to make housing more affordable for all people, especially for young families starting out. Everyone deserves a place where they feel safe and sheltered from the outside elements.

Q5: Do you think the COVID-19 pandemic response has been handled well here in Canada?

While I am happy to see that more Canadians are choosing to get vaccinated or are taking the proper protective measures to protect themselves from getting sick, the federal government has done a poor job handling the entire situation. For instance, when we have first announced the virus many people were distrustful of our officials because they viewed them as simply parroting the talking points given by other governments or from organizations such as the WHO. We should have had our own Canadian researchers and doctors present their findings first to confirm what was being said. This would have created more trust amongst the public. Another issue was the lack of supply and the ineffective supply chains that were set up in order to distribute the vaccines. Many people were confused and panicking thinking that either they or their community would be unable to get vaccinated since they do not know when it will arrive or when the second dose would be available. I am extremely thankful that we were able to get enough vaccines for everyone but the entire situation could have been handled better by simply communicating with the people and setting up proper supply chains. Finally, the pandemic took a massive toll on workers and small business owners. While CERB was able to offer some relief, there were still many, such as myself, who fell through the cracks and were unable to participate.

Q6: If elected, how will you help small businesses in Delta as they rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic?

Small businesses are important because not only do they reflect the culture, heritage, and values of the community but they are the largest source of job creation in the Canadian economy. I would help push for grants and different programs that would help encourage small businesses to grow and hire more people. For instance, providing tax incentives to business owners that will be used to hire more people and provide them with livable wages.