TRURO- First-time election candidate hopeful Larry Harrison visited the Truro Daily News office on Wednesday afternoon to connect with voters on www.trurodaily.com.
During a half-hour live session Harrison, the PC candidate for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, answered questions dealing with election issues such as child custody, green energy, health care and more. He also shared why he feels he’s the best candidate to fill the riding’s seat.
Q. If elected what will you do to help fathers with child custody issues? The courts almost always award the mothers custody and enforcement of father’s visitation rights are seldom enforced. Thank you.
A. What the courts are concerned about is the child. If the child gets good care from father and mother custody is usually available to both and if either one needs help the courts will put something in place so that custody can be had at a later date.
Q. Do you feel the volunteer firefighter tax credit is enough compensation for the men and women who protect our communities?
A. The men and women who become firefighters are dedicated to the well being of the community. Pay is not an issue as long as they have support from the county and community to do their work.
Q. Your position on the wind turbines in Lower Harmony, please.
A. I am in agreement with developing alternative energy, green energy if you will, the windmills are one of the ways we could go. But, I am concerned about possible health risks. A study is being done and will come out next year and I believe communities should have some say in how close they are to their homes.
Q. In your door-to-door canvassing what are you finding to be the biggest issues facing the people right now?
A. The obvious one is roads. Integrity of politicians and people having room to move in the decision making process.
Q. How do you reconcile your Christian concern for social justice with the PC platform?
A. PC platform highlights the needs of people in varying areas of living. Financial, emotional concerns are to be met within a Progressive Conservative platform. The values of integrity and honesty are necessary for the relationship between politicians and the people of Nova Scotia. I am at a point in my life where I want to put my Christian values into the governing of this province.
Q. Why do you think you are best suited to serve the people of Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley as their MLA?
A. My work as a pastor in this area has developed because of listening carefully to where people are and where they would like to go. You need to be involved with people to know what their lives need in order to live better. I plan on having that contact, listen to the voices and act on what those voices say.
Q. What can the government do to support the N.S. farming industry that isn’t being done now?
A. It goes back to my previous comment. The farmers I have talked to feel that the politicians know what is better for them than they do. It is my belief that to help any profession or job, you need to listen to the front line workers. Farmers know what they need. They have a good sense of how to do what is necessary and we need to listen to their expertise. They feel government does not do that now. Farmers are small business people and they know how to market their product, develop their product and we, as politicians, need to be respectful of that.
Q. What are your views on improving health care?
A. People are concerned about the number of doctors, the time it takes to get tested, the emergency services in rural areas and the wait time in emergency situations. I believe it is difficult to get into the system for a variety of reasons, but once there the care is good. I would like to work on the time frame for analysis of folk’s health conditions. The hospital provides great care to those who are palliative once they are into the system. You cannot find a more caring group of people. I would like to see all areas of health care modeled on the palliative health care provided by physicians and nurses.
Q. How do you feel about defined benefit government pension plans?
A. Pension plans are a concern of just about everybody. Some plans are such that the recipients can have a reasonable lifestyle other plans do not allow for such a luxury. As Jamie Baillie is concerned about the pension plan of politicians, we should have a look at the pension plans of those who have given a lot to the governing of this province. I mean all civil servants. We cannot get involved in collective bargaining process but we still need a concern for those who are on a pension plan.
Q. The previous government made a campaign promise to reduce HST and instead it raised it by 2 per cent, now the PC's are saying they will again lower HST if elected. How much can we depend on this as we were obviously let down the last time?
A. Jamie Baillie made it very clear to me that he would not make any promise that he could not deliver on. I know he has the financial skills to take what monies we have and allocate those monies to the areas that need it. He has a plan of how that can be done and I trust the plan. I trust him.
Q. Do you support back-to-work legislation for essential government services such as firefighters, policemen and medical personnel?
A. Tough question. They are essential services and people depend on those services being in place. I am also aware that those that are providing those services should not be taken for granted, nor should they have to settle for something less than is fair. I have always said that if you look after your employees, your employees will look after you. I would like to have an atmosphere where the welfare of the community as a whole is front and centre in the negotiating process and that means both sides. If that is the case then we should not be caught in this situation.
Guest candidates on Oct. 3 on Colchester Votes-2013 are:
10 a.m.- John K. MacDonald, PC candidate, Colchester North
1 p.m. –Barry Mellish, Liberal candidate, Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River
5 p.m. - Karen Casey, Liberal candidate, Colchester North