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Questions and answers: Eric Cummings, Libertarian Party

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My Cochrane Now Dot Com circulated a questionnaire to all eight candidates in the provincial election for Timiskaming-Cochrane.  Here are the responses from Libertarian Eric Cummings.

1 — How would you improve highways in the north, especially during the winter months?

We need to push for the 2 + 1 Highway. To prevent impact to businesses we need to exclude the barrier and just use rumble strips. For winter maintenance we need to pressure the government to give northern highways the same classification as urban highways so that snow is removed within 8 hours.

2 — Do you think Northlander passenger rail service should be restored before 2025, even on a gradual basis, ramping up to full service?

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I believe the Northlander should be restored as soon as possible. We have been subsidizing urban transit for years its time they subsidize our transit.

3 — Gas prices are high everywhere but the north seems to get hit the most, how would you go about changing that?

I would advocate for the reduction of HST to 10% to provide relief for low- and middle-income households. Another issue facing the Timiskaming-Cochrane riding is our reliance on having to travel long distances and having no real means of public transportation. That is why I believe we need to act now to reduce prices at the pumps. It is time to scrap the carbon tax.

4 — Most communities in our region are chronically underserviced by doctors. How would you improve this?

In Timiskaming-Cochrane we have faced staffing shortages and long wait times for medical services. We need to reduce the barrier to entry for front-line health care workers and promote work opportunities in our area. I would advocate for nurses to have more authority as I believe that it would increase the quality of healthcare in Northern Ontario. It is time we start looking into hybridizing our healthcare system. This would allow individuals the freedom of choice over their medical care. Hybridization would reduce the pressure on our public system and reduce overflow.

5 — What will your party do to address rising housing costs in terms of building, ownership and rental?

We have a shortage of skilled trades and building materials are becoming unaffordable for Ontarians. We need to promote the skilled trades and reduce the barrier of entry. We need to address the regulations and fees that are driving up the cost building materials. To address the ownership issue, we need to reduce the cost of purchasing houses. Reduction of the land transfer tax to a flat fee would be a good start. The price of rentals is increasing due to a lack of rentals. We need to revamp the planning act to allow for more development of rental properties within residential areas.

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