KAWARTHA LAKES: The People’s Party of Canada has named Gene Balfour as their candidate in the Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock riding for the 2019 federal election.
Mr. Balfour, a longtime member of the Ontario Libertarian party and current Fenelon Falls resident, explained he was “prepared to run for the Libertarian Party of Canada” in this election, but ultimately felt the People’s Party gave him the best chance to champion his ideas, while still running on his principles.
“I realized I have a lot more in common with Maxime Bernier than I realized, and Maxime Bernier has a much better chance of reaching people with the kind of message that I’m interested in,” Mr. Balfour said. “His values, his principles, coincide with mine very closely.”
Mr. Balfour pointed to key values in a party flyer as those also important to him. They are Personal Responsibility, Individual Freedom, Respect and Fairness.
“We have very pragmatic solutions, they’re cost justified, and they’re very appropriate for our times,” Mr. Balfour said.
Since he became a candidate for the party, Mr. Balfour said he has heard a lot of the same concerns.
“The number one concern is they are really worried that we are going to steal the Conservative vote. People are saying ‘we want Justin Trudeau out.’ I’m getting the pushback of people saying, ‘why don’t you just join the Conservatives and work with Andrew Scheer?’ Well, Andrew Scheer doesn’t represent my values, he doesn’t represent my ideas. I won’t compromise my principles,” he said.
Some things the People’s Party is running on include “simplify[ing] the Canadian tax system” and cutting taxes, reducing annual immigration, and making cuts to the CBC budget.
“The CBC does not speak for all Canadians, so why do all Canadians pay for the CBC?” Mr. Balfour said.
Mr. Balfour opined that “we’ve got to a point where the government is way too big” and added if he is elected he will “look for areas like CBC where government has exceeded what we originally expected from them.”
“There’s a lot of things they don’t need to be in anymore,” Mr. Balfour said. “[I will look] for things that are not essential.”
As a candidate, Mr. Balfour said he has a high “understanding of the job market” and he is a “really strong student of economics.”
“People realize that they’ve been thrown under the busy by my generation. We’ve ratchet up this huge debt and it’s [the younger generation] that’s going to pay for it, and nobody asked anyone’s permission for that,” he said. “I want this government to live within its means.”
In terms of climate change, Mr. Balfour feels the solution lies in the private sector, not in the government, and added the government should look at incentives for private sector companies for these type of solutions.
Regarding facing off with incumbent MP Jamie Schmale, Mr. Balfour stressed it will be the residents of the riding who decide who they want to represent them.
“Jamie’s got a message, and I’ve got a message, and I’m going to promote my message, and I’m going to hope to reach enough people and they’ll make the decision on who the best candidate is. It’s going to come down to who has the best message and who communicates it the most effectively,” he said.
He also explained the thought process behind the party’s name.
“We wanted to put people before party. We realize it’s the people we have to defend from a growing government.”
For more information about Gene Balfour’s campaign, visit www.genebalfour.ca.