The Journal Interviews Benjamin Woodman: “Taxes are like a blanket on a fire”

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Allyson Beauregard

Benjamin Woodman, Conservative candidate,  believes protecting the
environment while promoting economic growth is a matter of adopting a

Allyson Beauregard

Benjamin Woodman, Conservative candidate,  believes protecting the
environment while promoting economic growth is a matter of adopting a
sector-by-sector approach. “Analyzing different sectors and seeing how you could lower emissions without damaging the economy is the way to go,” he said. He said his party has banned new coal-
powered plants that still use old polluting technology. This, he said, instead of a
“blanket item” like the carbon tax. 
In order to attract and retain youth in the Pontiac, Woodman believes tax
cuts for small businesses
and federal funding opportunities are solutions.
“People are predominately employed by small businesses. The Conservatives have proposed reducing the small business tax by 2%. Taxes are like a blanket on a fire. If you remove the blanket, the fire can breathe and that’s how you grow the economy,” said Woodman, who added there already are many federal funding programs available such as Canada Summer Jobs and Horizons for Seniors.
Woodman said he would not support a coalition government: “Their desire to raise our taxes would hurt the Pontiac.”  (None, in fact, have proposed raising taxes.)
He said the Conservatives’ 2015 election budget included investing $86 million in forestry and grants to companies developing sustainable forestry technologies.
No to electoral reform
Woodman denounced proportional representation saying he knows it’s not what the Pontiac wants. “I like the first-past-the-post system because it’s simple. In campaigning, proportional representation hasn’t come up once.
I don’t think there’s any desire for it here at all,”
he said. About the
red covered Marchand Bridge’s continued closure, Woodman said it has nothing to do with the federal government, given the bridge is provincially owned. 
He added that  programs through the Building Canada Fund or Parks Canada could open up “small streams” of funding. “Being designated a
national heritage site could help with tourism,” he said.
Tourism & cottagers
are crucial
According to Woodman, tourism is one of his
solutions for boosting the Pontiac’s economy. “Pontiac has such unique tourist items like dogsledding; we have an international
competition this November. A lot of cottagers come here in the summer, and many people from out of town attend events like the Under the Pines music
festival; these could be
promoted better at the MP level.”
To improve internet
and cell phone service, Woodman said Pontiac should make better use of programs already available for rural areas, such as Connecting Canadians.
This program helps private industry build the infrastructure needed to provide high speed internet in homes, he noted.  
In terms of the Conservatives’ spy-police bill, C-51, Woodman supports it since terrorism is now in Canada, demonstrated by recent attacks. “Bill
C-51 ensures law enforcement has the necessary tools to do their job and keep Canadian safe against the threat of terrorist attacks;” he insists the Bill
“adequately” balances safety and the rights of Canadians. 
Woodman said he himself is committed to defending farm supply-management programs, although his party has endorsed trade pacts that remove such
protective systems.