The Journal Interviews Mathieu Ravignat : help for farm producers, seniors, small business, fair vote counting

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Arnaud de la Salle
(Tr. AB)

Mathieu Ravignat, NDP, and former MP for the Pontiac, is proposing a

Arnaud de la Salle
(Tr. AB)

Mathieu Ravignat, NDP, and former MP for the Pontiac, is proposing a
complete re-evaluation of all social programs including pensions, child benefits, social assistance, and Employment Insurance, particularly for seasonal workers. He wants to create a national strategy for affordable housing that also focuses on rural areas. In the fight against poverty, the NDP recognizes the extent of the problem and
the abandonment many Canadians face; they have made the issue a priority and intend to implement measures where the provinces and the federal government can coordinate in order to assess needs and to propose solutions to reduce poverty across the country.  Reducing poverty aids the economy
by increasing purchasing power, adding to business profitability and job
creation. 
To protect the environment, the candidate favours stricter regulations and monitoring regarding the extraction of fossil fuels. He wants the regulations reinstated to protect waterways. Mr Ravignat stressed investments in green
energy, as this is an industry that is growing and creating jobs in other parts in Canada. We can do this in the Pontiac, he says.
As for electoral reform, Ravignat supports a model of proportional representation like that of Germany so all votes count. He wants a reform of the Senate. Bill
C-51, the ‘secret police act’, must be repealed, and he’d participate in an evaluation commission to identify and correct anti-democratic processes used by the Conservative government in the last eight years. He supports a coalition government if it represents the majority of votes cast.
The former MP wants
renegotiation of free trade agreements to better
protect Canadian products and keep jobs at home.
NDP will reduce
 business taxes
Ravignat stressed the NDP is the party that
supports young people (and young families), making their voice better heard. For Pontiac’s youth, Ravignat believes economic support for businesses is the most effective way to enable young people here to have
a promising future. “It involves a 2% decrease in taxes for small and medium businesses, as well as tax credits for innovations in the manufacturing sector to create jobs that young
people need,” he said.
As for agriculture, developing new markets for Pontiac-produced farm products is key. “I pledge to create more local and regional markets through a national buy-local strategy, and I intend to help
encourage inter-provincial agreements to promote
the cross-border sale of
agricultural products.” 
The NDP is committed to reducing barriers to
post-harvest transactions and ensuring fair prices for Canadian products sold domestically and internationally. He also wants to review trade deals that only benefit multi-national corporations. The NDP will also fill in gaps created by previous governments by offering specialized training and mentoring programs, and by making financing more accessible to young farmers.