Ashfield passes on STU debate, AQ interview

If you have read The Aquinian over the past few weeks you would have noticed that we profiled three candidates running in the Fredericton riding. Specifically those were Mary Lou Babineau for the Greens, Matt DeCourcey for the Liberals, and Sharron Scott-Levesque for the New Democrats.
We had hoped to continue this series this week with a profile of Conservative Party candidate Keith Ashfield. Unfortunately, the Ashfield campaign has not scheduled time for an interview with us. We contacted the campaign first on Sept. 24, then again on Oct. 1. We did receive a response after the second call, but were not contacted again.
Nevertheless, we feel it is important that students are educated on the policy positions of all the major parties. Therefore we will highlight some of the policies that the Conservatives would implement if they form government for a fourth time. All quotes are taken from Conservative press releases.
The Conservatives have announced that they will be setting aside money to help stop forced marriages and other, “barbaric cultural practices against girls and women.”
“[Twelve million dollars] in funding to prevent child and forced marriage in war zones, including Syria and Iraq; the establishment of an RCMP tip line for callers with information about these crimes in Canada; the creation of RCMP integrated units in Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Vancouver; as well as new funding for anti-human trafficking.”
The Conservatives will also pass legislation that would freeze some federal taxes for four years.
“[The] tax lock legislation would prohibit any increase to personal or business income tax rates, the GST, and new, discretionary payroll tax increases…”
The Conservatives have also said they will create 1.3 million new jobs by 2020. They will also make the birthplace of former Progressive Conservative Prime Minister John Diefenbaker a national historic site.
In an announcement that may hit a little close to home, the party has also said they would do more to support Atlantic Canada’s lobster fishery.
“A re-elected Conservative Government would invest $20 million over three years to support the Canadian lobster industry and the Canadian workers who rely on it.”
The party has also touted the so called “Life Means Life” act where some crimes would be punished with a life sentence with no chance of parole.
“The bill, introduced in March 2015, would amend the Criminal Code to ensure that offenders who are convicted of the most heinous murders or those convicted of high treason will be imprisoned for the rest of their natural lives with no access to parole. This includes murders involving sexual assault, kidnapping, terrorism, the killing of police officers or corrections officers or any first degree murders that are found to be of a particularly brutal nature.”
In terms of platforms that target students directly, there are none. The closest is a promise to make it easier for parents to be able to save for their children’s education. However, there are no promises to make education more affordable, nor anything addressing the problem of student debt. Although, Harper did make a promise not to tax Netflix.
This is the part of the article where we would normally ask the candidate if there was one thing you would say to students, to convince them you’re the person for the job, what would that be?
Unfortunately, in this case, that is not possible.

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