Shawna Gawreluck believes MP's must represent constituents first.
A rare by-election is just days away in Sturgeon River-Parkland as the riding is currently without a Member of Parliament. Four candidates have stepped forward to to fill the void left by the resignation of Rona Ambrose- including Shawna Gawreluck of the NDP.
Gawreluck is running on a platform strongly in support of communication and representation, believing the job of an MP is to represent the constituency in Ottawa- not the other way around.
"I believe that the role of a Member of Parliament is to represent their riding first," Gawreluck tells One News. "It is not the party that puts you in your seat, it is the voter that goes to the polling station."
One major change coming across Canada in the coming months is the legalization of recreational marijuana use, which Gawreluck supports but would like to see more discussion when it comes to decriminalization and the strain minor possession convictions place on an already very busy justice system and every day Canadians.
"There are 20,000 Canadians every year charged with minor possession and those individuals- that affects them as they try to get jobs because they have a criminal record, it affects them as they try to cross the border because they can't with that record. The Trudeau government has not addressed that issue one bit," says Gawreluck.
When it comes on the importance of the Canadian economy's reliance on natural resources, Gawreluck is very much in favour of advancing the discussion on getting pipelines to tidewater in order to open up Canadian oil to more markets. She feels both the Conservatives and Liberals have failed to get the job done despite promising to do so for years.
"The core of the NDP are farmers and they are workers. We have workers in our oilsands in Alberta who need those good quality Canadian jobs. They are providing us, along with the Alberta government and the oilsand companies, ways to produce our oil in environmentally responsible ways," says Gawreluck.
"Unfortunately, when we have politicians that are more interested in playing partisan politics, playing us against other provinces of Canada, that doesn't help us get our pipelines to tidewater."
Just this week, the Liberal government announced a reduction in the small business tax to 9% in 2019 amid concern among farmers, lawyers, doctors and entrepreneurs the government was targeting small business unfairly. Farmers in particular were upset generational farms would be among the cornerstones of the agricultural industry affected. Gawreluck has a message for those farmers.
"I think they have a serious and legitimate concern," says Gawreluck. "How are they going to transfer the farm to keep those farms within the family? That is the core of Western Canada. The fact the Liberal government is fighting them on that and making it more difficult incenses me for lack of a better word."
"The federal Liberals are going after the small fish. They're going after physicians, they're going after farmers but they are ignoring the giant pile of money that is being hidden offshore," adds Gawreluck in reference to wealthy Canadians and some corporations.
To hear the full interview between Sturgeon River-Parkland NDP candidate Shawna Gawreluck and One News, click play on the file below: