Conservative leadership hopeful MP Maxime Bernier will allow abortion debate

News Oct 22, 2016 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Federal Conservative leader contender Maxime Bernier will allow MPs to have a free vote on the contentious issue of abortion.

“I’m open to having the debate if members of my party want that debate,” said Bernier, in an interview. “It is a democratic right.”

The 53-year-old Quebec MP was the first speaker for Hamilton’s recently organized Macdonald-Cartier Club Oct. 20 at Carmen’s C Hotel.

He refused to say how he would vote on the issue, arguing it’s his “personal choice.”

“I need to look at a bill first,” he said.

The self-professed free marketer, Bernier said under his leadership a Conservative government would pass all trade deals available, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Europe, and any other deals that need to be done, including with China.

He said unlike the North American Trade Agreement (NAFT) that hit hard at Ontario manufacturing sector- especially Hamilton, Bernier said he would allow for a five-year “adjustment” period for businesses. In addition, he would cut taxes for companies that would be impacted.

“They will have more money to invest in for being more productive,” said Bernier.

Bernier said he would also eliminate the current supply management program that keeps prices high for eggs, poultry and dairy products.  He said high prices for those goods adversely impact lower-income families, costing them about $500 annually.

“It’s not fair to Canadian families,” he said.

Again, there will be a transition as the federal government eliminates the program, he said. To assist farmers, the federal government will “buy back the quota.”

Bernier also will eliminate about $17 billion in “corporate welfare” that businesses receive. He would use about $10 billion of the savings to reduce the capital gains tax, and cut corporate taxes from the current 15 per cent to about 10 per cent.

In addition, he will cut personal income taxes, simplifying the tax system by establishing two tax brackets rather than five and increase the personal exemption from $11,000 to $15,000, which would result in about 1.2 million Canadians not “having to pay any income taxes at the federal level.”

“So it’s a fair policy for everybody,” said Bernier.

His free-market policies extend to privatizing Canada’s 26 major airports, easing foreign ownership restrictions on airlines from the current 29 per cent to about 45 per cent, de-regulate the telecommunications industry, and privatize Canada Post.

He is also a supporter of building more pipelines to carry gas and oil rather than using rail. He points to what happened in 2013 in his home province of Lac Magantic where 47 people died and at least 30 buildings destroyed when a run-away train derailed in the town.

“In 2016 you can build a pipeline that will be safe for the environment,” he said.

Bernier, who was first elected in 2006, is attempting to stand out from what is becoming a crowded leadership field. He has taken issue with his opponent Simcoe-Grey Conservative MP Kellie Leitch’s proposal to “screen” prospective immigrants for Canadian values.

Bernier says there are Canadian values, but Leitch’s idea “won’t solve anything.

“We are doing the screening on the immigrants who want to become Canadian citizens. I don’t think it will work at all.”

But Bernier says Canada should halt its immigrant levels.  He said the country should only allow immigrants that have a high income level and for family reunification.

“We have to integrate them into our system and society,” he said. “The Liberals are proposing to double the immigrant rate next year.”

Bernier promises to be a different Conservative leader than Stephen Harper.  He will be more “open and transparent” than Harper’s government, allow for free votes on any subject they want including abortion.

“I believe in democracy,” he said. “I will have a different style than the previous government.”

The Hamilton Macdonald-Cartier Club will be hosting as many Conservative leadership contestants as possible up to the May 27 vote.  Bernier will be taking part in the first leadership debate Nov. 17 in Saskatoon. There are expected to be five debates in total.

The next breakfast meeting at Carmen’s the club will have Michael Chong, MP for Wellington-Halton Hills. On Dec. 8 Andrew Scheer, the former speaker of the House of Commons has been scheduled.

Other leadership contenders include Brad Trost of Saskatchewan, MP Erin O’Toole, former MP Chris Alexander, Deepack Obhrai of Alberta, B.C businessman and former MP Andrew Saxton and Alberta businessman Rick Peterson. Also considering jumping into the race is MP Lisa Raitt.

Conservative leadership hopeful MP Maxime Bernier will allow abortion debate

News Oct 22, 2016 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Federal Conservative leader contender Maxime Bernier will allow MPs to have a free vote on the contentious issue of abortion.

“I’m open to having the debate if members of my party want that debate,” said Bernier, in an interview. “It is a democratic right.”

The 53-year-old Quebec MP was the first speaker for Hamilton’s recently organized Macdonald-Cartier Club Oct. 20 at Carmen’s C Hotel.

He refused to say how he would vote on the issue, arguing it’s his “personal choice.”

“I need to look at a bill first,” he said.

The self-professed free marketer, Bernier said under his leadership a Conservative government would pass all trade deals available, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Europe, and any other deals that need to be done, including with China.

He said unlike the North American Trade Agreement (NAFT) that hit hard at Ontario manufacturing sector- especially Hamilton, Bernier said he would allow for a five-year “adjustment” period for businesses. In addition, he would cut taxes for companies that would be impacted.

“They will have more money to invest in for being more productive,” said Bernier.

Bernier said he would also eliminate the current supply management program that keeps prices high for eggs, poultry and dairy products.  He said high prices for those goods adversely impact lower-income families, costing them about $500 annually.

“It’s not fair to Canadian families,” he said.

Again, there will be a transition as the federal government eliminates the program, he said. To assist farmers, the federal government will “buy back the quota.”

Bernier also will eliminate about $17 billion in “corporate welfare” that businesses receive. He would use about $10 billion of the savings to reduce the capital gains tax, and cut corporate taxes from the current 15 per cent to about 10 per cent.

In addition, he will cut personal income taxes, simplifying the tax system by establishing two tax brackets rather than five and increase the personal exemption from $11,000 to $15,000, which would result in about 1.2 million Canadians not “having to pay any income taxes at the federal level.”

“So it’s a fair policy for everybody,” said Bernier.

His free-market policies extend to privatizing Canada’s 26 major airports, easing foreign ownership restrictions on airlines from the current 29 per cent to about 45 per cent, de-regulate the telecommunications industry, and privatize Canada Post.

He is also a supporter of building more pipelines to carry gas and oil rather than using rail. He points to what happened in 2013 in his home province of Lac Magantic where 47 people died and at least 30 buildings destroyed when a run-away train derailed in the town.

“In 2016 you can build a pipeline that will be safe for the environment,” he said.

Bernier, who was first elected in 2006, is attempting to stand out from what is becoming a crowded leadership field. He has taken issue with his opponent Simcoe-Grey Conservative MP Kellie Leitch’s proposal to “screen” prospective immigrants for Canadian values.

Bernier says there are Canadian values, but Leitch’s idea “won’t solve anything.

“We are doing the screening on the immigrants who want to become Canadian citizens. I don’t think it will work at all.”

But Bernier says Canada should halt its immigrant levels.  He said the country should only allow immigrants that have a high income level and for family reunification.

“We have to integrate them into our system and society,” he said. “The Liberals are proposing to double the immigrant rate next year.”

Bernier promises to be a different Conservative leader than Stephen Harper.  He will be more “open and transparent” than Harper’s government, allow for free votes on any subject they want including abortion.

“I believe in democracy,” he said. “I will have a different style than the previous government.”

The Hamilton Macdonald-Cartier Club will be hosting as many Conservative leadership contestants as possible up to the May 27 vote.  Bernier will be taking part in the first leadership debate Nov. 17 in Saskatoon. There are expected to be five debates in total.

The next breakfast meeting at Carmen’s the club will have Michael Chong, MP for Wellington-Halton Hills. On Dec. 8 Andrew Scheer, the former speaker of the House of Commons has been scheduled.

Other leadership contenders include Brad Trost of Saskatchewan, MP Erin O’Toole, former MP Chris Alexander, Deepack Obhrai of Alberta, B.C businessman and former MP Andrew Saxton and Alberta businessman Rick Peterson. Also considering jumping into the race is MP Lisa Raitt.

Conservative leadership hopeful MP Maxime Bernier will allow abortion debate

News Oct 22, 2016 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Federal Conservative leader contender Maxime Bernier will allow MPs to have a free vote on the contentious issue of abortion.

“I’m open to having the debate if members of my party want that debate,” said Bernier, in an interview. “It is a democratic right.”

The 53-year-old Quebec MP was the first speaker for Hamilton’s recently organized Macdonald-Cartier Club Oct. 20 at Carmen’s C Hotel.

He refused to say how he would vote on the issue, arguing it’s his “personal choice.”

“I need to look at a bill first,” he said.

The self-professed free marketer, Bernier said under his leadership a Conservative government would pass all trade deals available, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Europe, and any other deals that need to be done, including with China.

He said unlike the North American Trade Agreement (NAFT) that hit hard at Ontario manufacturing sector- especially Hamilton, Bernier said he would allow for a five-year “adjustment” period for businesses. In addition, he would cut taxes for companies that would be impacted.

“They will have more money to invest in for being more productive,” said Bernier.

Bernier said he would also eliminate the current supply management program that keeps prices high for eggs, poultry and dairy products.  He said high prices for those goods adversely impact lower-income families, costing them about $500 annually.

“It’s not fair to Canadian families,” he said.

Again, there will be a transition as the federal government eliminates the program, he said. To assist farmers, the federal government will “buy back the quota.”

Bernier also will eliminate about $17 billion in “corporate welfare” that businesses receive. He would use about $10 billion of the savings to reduce the capital gains tax, and cut corporate taxes from the current 15 per cent to about 10 per cent.

In addition, he will cut personal income taxes, simplifying the tax system by establishing two tax brackets rather than five and increase the personal exemption from $11,000 to $15,000, which would result in about 1.2 million Canadians not “having to pay any income taxes at the federal level.”

“So it’s a fair policy for everybody,” said Bernier.

His free-market policies extend to privatizing Canada’s 26 major airports, easing foreign ownership restrictions on airlines from the current 29 per cent to about 45 per cent, de-regulate the telecommunications industry, and privatize Canada Post.

He is also a supporter of building more pipelines to carry gas and oil rather than using rail. He points to what happened in 2013 in his home province of Lac Magantic where 47 people died and at least 30 buildings destroyed when a run-away train derailed in the town.

“In 2016 you can build a pipeline that will be safe for the environment,” he said.

Bernier, who was first elected in 2006, is attempting to stand out from what is becoming a crowded leadership field. He has taken issue with his opponent Simcoe-Grey Conservative MP Kellie Leitch’s proposal to “screen” prospective immigrants for Canadian values.

Bernier says there are Canadian values, but Leitch’s idea “won’t solve anything.

“We are doing the screening on the immigrants who want to become Canadian citizens. I don’t think it will work at all.”

But Bernier says Canada should halt its immigrant levels.  He said the country should only allow immigrants that have a high income level and for family reunification.

“We have to integrate them into our system and society,” he said. “The Liberals are proposing to double the immigrant rate next year.”

Bernier promises to be a different Conservative leader than Stephen Harper.  He will be more “open and transparent” than Harper’s government, allow for free votes on any subject they want including abortion.

“I believe in democracy,” he said. “I will have a different style than the previous government.”

The Hamilton Macdonald-Cartier Club will be hosting as many Conservative leadership contestants as possible up to the May 27 vote.  Bernier will be taking part in the first leadership debate Nov. 17 in Saskatoon. There are expected to be five debates in total.

The next breakfast meeting at Carmen’s the club will have Michael Chong, MP for Wellington-Halton Hills. On Dec. 8 Andrew Scheer, the former speaker of the House of Commons has been scheduled.

Other leadership contenders include Brad Trost of Saskatchewan, MP Erin O’Toole, former MP Chris Alexander, Deepack Obhrai of Alberta, B.C businessman and former MP Andrew Saxton and Alberta businessman Rick Peterson. Also considering jumping into the race is MP Lisa Raitt.