New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate Marc Laferriere was born and raised in Brantford Ontario and has been involved in politics at a local level, since age 14. He believes it is time for his riding to, “go back to those roots.” In the last election, Laferriere came in second with more votes then the Liberal, Green, and Independent candidates combined. Laferriere is a strong believer that the youth in Brantford have a lot to offer the city. “We don’t treat them like a special youth category”, said Laferriere. Laferriere plans on getting students involved with voting by holding a free youth leadership conference in the community to remind everyone how important student voice is. He wants to give students and youth the chance to do something about their government, and plans to do so by giving them the same opportunities as any other member in the Brantford and Brant area. Laferriere believes, “The more you learn the more you can do, but the more you do the more you learn, so do something.” Laferriere expresses his love for the Grand River and says it is his favorite part of the city; he is even working on The Grand River Protection Act, which would bring back federal protection to the river. Due to his passion for politics and love of Brantford, Laferriere believes he is the best candidate for this riding.
Liberal candidate Danielle Takacs has always called Brantford home, and says that another community will never mean more to her. Takacs has been on the Downtown Business Performance Advisory Committee for the past four year and currently serves as Chair. According to Takacs, the downtown Brantford area has “thrived” due to Laurier’s presence but admits there is still much to be done. “I want to be an ally to the students and university to do all I can to get funding for what you see to happen”, said Takacs. Supporting Six Nations is one of the top priorities for the candidate, there are plans on implementing new investments to “close the existing funding gap”, said Takacs. According to Takacs, a new investment of $515 million a year will go towards funding First Nations kindergarten to grade twelve educations. Alongside her commitments to Laurier and Six Nations, Takacs is proud to be apart of the Liberal infrastructure plan. This plan will help significantly with unemployment by almost doubling infrastructure investments over the next ten years. The candidate explains that these new investments will help “boost” investments in public transit, help to build more housing units, refurbish existing ones, renew existing co-operative agreements, and provide funding support for municipalities. Takacs reveals that her campaign theme is, “It’s all about you. I want to be a positive fighter that uses my skills to helps to make our community a better place instead of a fighter focused on tearing others down.”
Green Party candidate Kevin Brandt was born and raised in Toronto, and moved to Brantford in 2011. Brandt states it was bill C-51 that made him join this riding as a member of the Green Party. “I honestly feared for the future of Canadian democracy,” said Brandt. Some of his goals include reinstating the Grand River into the Navigation Protection Act, putting policies in place to encourage companies to recycle aggregate materials, and improve public transit apposed to building more highways. There are a number of plans the Green Party is working towards for students. By the year 2020 it is hoped that all fees regarding post secondary education and skills training will be “abolished”. Brandt says this goal is attainable through, “constructing a system of federal grants collaboratively with the universities and colleges.” Brandt plans to eradicate all existing or future student federal debt that is more than $10,000. Brand says the Green Party is also working towards cutting tuition fees for students with families with, “inadequate financial means”. It is also their goal to remove the two per cent cap on tuition for First Nations and Inuit students. Candidate Brandt mentions his favourite parts of Brantford include Glenhyrst Art Gallery, Bell Homestead, and the Brant Conservation Area.
Phil McColeman was unavailable for comment.
Libertarian Party candidate Rob Ferguson considers himself to be an ‘average Joe’ who can relate to the people. He was born and raised in Brantford and confesses the people and the Grand River are his favorite aspects of the city. He has served as the Chair of Brantford Small Business Networking Group, and was the regional coordinator for the Ontario Libertarian party for south east Ontario. When asked why he was the ideal candidate for this position, Ferguson responds, “I have lived on all sides of the fence of life and relate to everyone. I truly understand the issues.” Ferguson is a strong believer that government plays too large a role in peoples lives. According to Ferguson, Federal Libertarians are all about freedom of choice and getting rid of government interference in small businesses and schooling. “We want to reduce the size of government and return some of those personal liberties back to the individual,” says Ferguson. An example of this would be the discussion of boundary changes. Ferguson says the government should respect the county’s wishes and stay out of those conversations. Ferguson says he is running to learn more about the issues provincially and federally, as well as to assist people in making their lives better.