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Canada Election: 5 Questions with Liberal Candidate William Hogg Special

By Richard Mccallum     Apr 20, 2011 in Politics
Sherbrooke - William Hogg is the Liberal Party candidate for the riding known as Compton-Stanstead, an area unique in Quebec's Eastern Townships because of a large concentration of anglophone and bilingual voters.
Compton-Stanstead is a relatively new federal electoral district which as been represented in the House of Commons since 1997. The district's main towns include North Hatley, Lennoxville, Ayer's Cliff, and Stanstead and it's estimated population is about 100,000.
The incumbent MP is Bloc Quebecois France Bonsant of the Bloc Quebecois, who has held the seat since 2000 after winning it from Liberal David Price.
Sandrine Gressard Belanger is representing the Conservative Party , Jean Rousseau is with the NDP, and Gary Caldwell is the Green Party candidate for the scenic riding where many major motion pictures have been filmed.
Hogg is a professor of Political Science at Bishop's University which is considered by many alumni as one of Canada's oldest and most distinguished Ivy league Canadian learning centers.
He also teaches security; international business, foreign policy and public policy analysis at the University of Montreal and at the University of Sherbrooke.
I emailed him 5 questions on Monday and here are his responses.
Richard Mccallum : Why do you feel that you are the best candidate to serve as MP in the riding of Compton-Stanstead?
William Hogg: I am trained as a political scientist, and have studied and taught politics over the past 20 years. I have been on the ground in Compton-Stanstead since 2007, have learned the issues, and met with the community activists from all sectors. I have also hosted more than 35 members of Parliament to come here and meet with the folks of this region. I know the issues, I know the policies, I know how to get things done.
Richard Mccallum: If The Liberal Party wins could you tell us specifically how the Rural Initiatives Program would help the citizens in your riding of Compton- Stanstead?
William Hogg: Our "Rural Canada Matters" platform which was launched by Michael Ignatieff in my riding, will work not only to protect our rural communities, but help them flourish. We will work to make sure that Internet and cellular connectivity is completed in three years. We'll work with the provinces to attract doctors and nurses into our rural areas. We'll support volunteer firefighters with a $3000 refundable tax credit and support their families in case of death through our Communities Heroes Fund. We'll implement Canada's first National Food Policy, which will restructure the way we think about and do agriculture in Canada, and make sure Canadian food gets onto Canadian plates.
Richard Mccallum: How could Canada be more proactive in winning back our seat on The United Nations Security Council?
William Hogg: Canada needs to get back to a more balanced Canadian foreign policy.As someone who has written on, taught and studied this issue, there is a need to get back to the balanced approach that both the Liberals and Progressive Conservatives used from 1945 to 2005. The Harper government has ignored this approach, and like GW Bush, assumes that if a country is not with you it is against you. International relations are not black and white like that- it is gray, and therefore needs to be approached in a balanced fashion.
Richard Mccallum: In your opinion should we increase or decrease our involvement in military exercises in Afghanistan and now Libya?
William Hogg: We should be active in the international system to maintain stability and support populations that are threatened not only by war but by other issues, such as access to food and clean water, health services and education. Our commitment to Afghanistan must continue but in a non- military way, on the ground form. Canadian soldiers have performed admirably overseas and have done more than their part in trying to provide Afghans with a better future. Now we move out of the battlefield, help train police and security forces. Libya is a quickly evolving issue and only events on the ground and in the UN can guide us in our decision making process about where we go from here.
Richard Mccallum: Many citizens in Compton-Stanstead live below the poverty level,do you have a plan to increase employment in the riding?
William Hogg:Our platform focuses on helping rural communities, where poverty is often higher than in cities. We have policies to help retain youth in our rural areas through access to post secondary education and relief for companies that hire young people- the group hardest hit by unemployment.
We will provide tools to municipalities and businesses and work with the provinces to help bring SMEs into our rural areas. We'll provide risk capital tax credits, which will lighten up the load when it comes to bureaucratic red tape, and we'll increase education accessibility to provide a more skilled work force. Employment growth in our region will go through the SMEs and by providing the tools necessary to attract them to our region, we can help increase employment. Our National Food Policy will help farmers stabilize their revenue while getting more Canadian food on Canadian plates.
Seniors need help too, and the Liberal Party of Canada will reinforce the GIS and reform and increase pensions, and we'll support health care to make sure that seniors have the resources necessary to live in dignity and with respect.
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