Steven Trahan, the Conservative’s candidate for the Nipissing-Timiskaming riding, looks forward to enacting policies to improve mental health, reduce political corruption, and help small business stay afloat amongst the Covid waves.
On that first point, the party’s plan boosts provincial funding for mental health care and provides incentives to employers to provide mental health coverage to employees.
A nation wide three-digit suicide prevention hotline is also on the table if Conservatives take the hill.
The party also plans to address other healthcare issues, particularly the opiate crisis ravaging the country and long-term care for seniors.
Opiate addiction and overdoses “are a huge problem in our area,” Trahan emphasized.
After 21 years with the North Bay Police—a position he still holds—Trahan has witnessed first-hand the effects of opiates within the community.
“As a police officer, I see it out on the streets,” he said, “it’s hurting families, ripping families apart.”
Moreover, the devastating effects of opioids are causing emergency services “to go through the roof,” a rising cost the Conservatives want to curb.
“If you don’t have a healthy riding, how can you advance?” he asked. “You have to look after everybody.”
Trahan also anticipates enacting Conservative party plans to increase long-term care for seniors. “We’re in a baby-boomer area, just like a lot of other areas, and there’s not enough long-term care homes to look after our aging population.”
He knows most seniors get by “without huge pensions,” and emphasizes the Conservatives are earmarking $3 billion over three years to renovate long-term care homes throughout the country.
Boosting personal support workers is paramount, and the party will meet this need by providing priority in immigration programs to those who possess the skills required to work in long-term care or homecare.
Emphasis is also placed on seniors staying at home longer. Along with amending the Accessibility Tax Credit from $10,000 per dwelling to $10,000 per person, the party plans to introduce the Canada Seniors Care Benefit, which provides $200 per month per household to any Canadian living with and caring for a parent over 70.
Of course, the pandemic will not be ignored, and the Conservatives plan to increase research funds into the country’s pharmaceutical research and development sectors. Increasing domestic supply and production of critical medicines and supplies is also a top priority.
Also key for Trahan and the party is to “get our small businesses up and running,” with emphasis on “trying to get people back to work.”
“It’s a small business riding,” Trahan said, and “small businesses and companies are struggling to have people go to work and keep their operations going.”
To increase workforce, the party has their Canada Job Surge Plan, which pays up to 50 per cent of the salary for new hires for six months.
Through their Investment Accelerator a five per cent investment tax credit for any capital investment made in 2022 and 2023 will be provided, with the first $25,000 to be refundable for small business.
Rebuild Main Street provides a 25 per cent tax credit on amounts of up to $100,000 that Canadians personally invest in small businesses over the next two years.
All business benefits from strong Federal leadership, which Trahan feels has been greatly lacking.
“I think people are lost, I think people need a good leader,” both in the district and nationally, Trahan said, to provide some vision and bolster “extra confidence” amongst all sectors.
“We don’t have a good leader right now,” he said.
To ensure leaders remain accountable to voters, Trahan outlined the Conservative’s plan to toughen the Conflict of Interest Act and impose steeper penalties for politicians who breach those tenets.
The party also plans to toughen the Lobbying Act to “end abuse by Liberal insiders,” and increase transparency to “end Liberal cover ups.”
Accountability matters to Trahan. Growing up in East Ferris, “my parents always instilled good values into our family,” he said.
The family ran a small heating business, and Trahan recalls “we always gave back to our community, either by volunteering, or sponsorship, or just being involved.”
“And I just took it from there,” he said, mentioning his community commitment is first and foremost, as demonstrated by his long career as a police officer.
Moreover, Trahan volunteered for the East Ferris fire department for just over 19 years, before deciding to run for a seat on council.
His strong sense of place within the community is one of the many reasons Trahan wants to see more promotion of the area.
“We need someone to really advocate for North Bay and the north,” he said, emphasizing the need to “promote this area,” efforts towards which “have been lacking here for a long time.”
“We’re not marketing this region properly,” he concluded.
“Helping people and community is what I’ve done my whole life,” Trahan said, emphasizing that at heart “that’s who Steve Trahan is, a service guy, always looking out for people, looking to help others.”
“That’s what I’m all about, that’s what I do,” he said, adding that “right now it seems like everybody is all over the place and we have a lot of people who are way behind who need to be caught up.”
“I’m going to make sure that everyone is going to prosper in our area.”