John Stands for:
- Mental Health Advocacy
- Crime Reduction
- Andrew Scheer- A Strong Leader
- Small Local Business
- Environmental Mindset
John recently did an interview with the Nanaimo Chronicle podcast. He talks about his personal story and why he decided to enter politics. Click here to listen.
Mental Health Advocacy
Mental health and addiction are a serious concern for many people in Nanaimo-Ladysmith. In October of 2017 I lost my father to suicide. His suicide was a result of his struggle with mental health and addiction. Like him, many other people in our community suffer from addiction, substance abuse and depression. There is a serious stigma towards mental health and suicide. In B.C the average age of people who die of suicide is 47. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth in B.C, Canada, and globally. In B.C 7% of teens said they attempted suicide in the past years.
As your MP I will be a strong advocate for mental health issues and suicide prevention. We need to work with all levels of government to help combat issues surrounding mental health and substance abuse.
How can you help?
If you or someone you know is in need of help you can always reach out to these resources:
Vancouver Island Crisis Line
250- 800-3806 (text line from 6-10 pm, 7 days a week)
Crisis Centre BC
Youth In BC
they also have an online chat
Kids Help Phone
Making prison time more meaningful
Our prison system spends $60 million each and every year on jobs and skills training for prisoners. However, the government does not measure how effective these programs are. A Conservative government led by Andrew Scheer will conduct an audit of all correctional services programs to make sure inmates are ready to rejoin society upon their release.
More support to keep young people from joining gangs
Putting criminal gang members behind bars is important – but Conservatives want to stop young people from joining gangs in the first place. That is why Conservatives created the Youth Gang Prevention Fund in 2006 and made it permanent in 2011. A Conservative government led by Andrew Scheer will increase the funds available for the Youth Gang Prevention Fund by 25% to ensure continued support for counselling, skills development, and other important programs.
New funding to fight gangs
Gang murders are at the highest point since statistics started being collected. It is important for the federal government to step up and assist other levels of government. A Conservative government led by Andrew Scheer will cost-share new anti-gang law enforcement initiatives with provinces and territories.
At a time when Canadians are already paying big home heating and energy bills, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have introduced a Carbon Tax which will increase the cost of everyday essentials like gasoline, groceries, and home heating.
This will drive up the cost of heating your home even more.
How much will the average Canadian household save?
The average household will save $107 per year, but some could save as much as $150.
Prior to graduating Business School, I had to leave Nanaimo to work in Alberta due to the lack of opportunity. Working in Alberta allowed me to pay my way through University by working through winter and summer breaks. Many people struggle with the same lack of opportunity in our community and we end up losing talented and educational individuals to other communities.
As your MP I will be a strong advocate for more jobs and opportunity not only for our students at VIU but for the hard-working families in Nanaimo-Ladysmith. We need more technology jobs, encourage entrepreneurs to start their business in Nanaimo, and bring our youth’s voice to Ottawa to voice their concerns. As your MP I will create a youth advisory board so that youth in the community can voice their real concerns with me as MP.
For years we as a community have been shut out of funding for our local healthcare system and people living on the mid-island have to suffer because of inaction from our local politicians. Over the past couple of weeks, I have met with a number of different healthcare officials in Nanaimo and have heard their concerns regarding funding and being forgotten as it relates to our healthcare institutions.
According to people who work in the sector, Nanaimo is a community in crisis with more seniors coming here to retire, there are not enough services nor is there adequate programs to provide them with the care they need. Considering 16.9% of our population are seniors it makes sense to have the best healthcare for our community. On top of this, we are also experiencing a homelessness crisis with a growing number of mental health issues, issues with addictions, along with a rise in crime and drugs in our communities.
With the hospital being one of our biggest employers in Nanaimo it makes sense to provide more for the industry. We must find our strengths and use them to our communities’ benefit.
All of these issues have arisen because of neglect from the NDP. This issue itself is being ignored by the Greens in Parliament.
The Conservatives have a positive vision for Nanaimo-Ladysmith’s healthcare systems and a way to combat affordability and the recent rise in crime in our city.
Andrew Scheer’s plan for a safer Canada includes giving more resources for police, making prison time more meaningful, and protecting our children from human trafficking.
As for affordability, people living in Nanaimo-Ladysmith shouldn’t have to pay too much for necessities. That is why a Conservative government, led by Andrew Scheer, will remove the GST from home heating and energy bills, which will save Canadians on average $107 per year.
Lastly, as your MP I will be a strong mental health advocate, I have been passionate about this since before the by-election. That includes voicing concerns about our healthcare system. Just imagine what kind of investment our community could get if we had an island representative in the next Andrew Scheer government. More investment in our hospitals would result in more jobs, which would result in better access to the health options that seniors in our community need to stay healthy.
If we turned our hospital into a teaching hospital for physicians and doctors then people studying at VIU, UBC, and UVIC would be coming here for a better quality of life to learn and work. People leave our community because of the lack of opportunity. Investment from an Andrew Scheer government would change all of that.
Andrew Scheer - A Strong Leader
Andrew is an effective, responsible leader and team-builder. He has a vision for a new era of balanced Conservative policies that will not only grow our economy, make life more affordable for Canadians while also protect our natural environment.
Andrew has taken the time to hear the issues relating to Nanaimo-Ladysmith. The desire for a Member of Parliament who will bring better opportunity, more affordability, and safer communities for families.
The Conservative caucus is diverse, talented and experienced. We have learned from the message delivered by voters in 2015, refined our policies and are ready to restore balanced and responsible government to Ottawa.
Small Local Business
Our downtown core is built on local businesses and in the past four years, businesses have struggled under Trudeau’s reckless policies. A Conservative government will stand up for the hard-working local businesses that make our community so great.
98% of businesses in BC are small businesses, of that, 83% have less than 5 employees. On Vancouver Island we are very familiar with small and local businesses with 78,400 small businesses on Vancouver Island.
However, we are not seeing the same growth as the rest of B.C with small businesses growing only 0.1% while the rest of the province grows by 7.7%. Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives will stand up for local businesses in Nanaimo-Ladysmith ensuring that they will thrive in a business environment catering to their needs.
Without having a real voice in Ottawa, our local businesses suffer the consequences. All an NDP or Green MP can do is voice concern. With John Hirst as your MP, local businesses will thrive and have their voices at the table. Let’s bring Nanaimo-Ladysmith back to the table. To help create jobs Conservatives believe in strategic investments in social and economic infrastructure and competitive tax rates. The key long-term solution to many social issues, affordability and helping those on the fringes of our communities, is meaningful local jobs. Regular work and pay is so much more than just money – it’s self-worth and a sense of pride that a person is contributing to their family and the social fabric of their community.
On the West Coast protecting the environment is in our DNA. I believe in everything we do the environment must be considered. This means its not “just another policy item”. It’s not a line item or a box to be checked by a political party when laying out their policies.
The environment must be part of our decision-making process for anything we do. It must be the lens through which we evaluate decisions and opportunities.
The environment isn’t one of my Platform pieces for this election because it is bigger than a single issue. In business we call it a “core value” and it influences everything an organization does.
If I am elected as your MP on October 21 I intend to take our core values to Ottawa and make it a part of our government. I intend to deliver REAL RESULTS by being part of government and influencing decision making with our West Coast values. Nanaimo-Ladysmith needs a seat at the table when forming environmental policy and not just another easily ignored voice.