The Grapevine on Government Special Provincial Election Questionnaire: JOHN LOHR
By Emily Leeson & Emily Kathan
We asked a series of questions to all the candidates from Hants West, Kings North, Kings South, Kings West, and Annapolis. We’ve printed a selection of these questions and answers in The Grapevine. Leading up to the election on May 30, we’ll be sharing online the entire questionnaire as completed by each candidate who took the time to do so.
The answers below were provided by: John Lohr, PC Candidate for Kings North
GV (The Grapevine): What strategies are being used by your campaign to engage potential voters, particularly in demographics with typically low voter turnout? Do you have specific strategies for engaging with youth?
My campaign is using Facebook to engage youth. Plus I have a number of youth volunteers and continue to seek more.
GV: What do you think might present barriers to higher voter turnout? What is your campaign doing to overcome those barriers?
I think the greatest barrier to higher voter turnout is simply cynicism about politics in general and a feeling that whatever they vote will make no difference. I use my own electoral win by 21 votes in 2013 where 11 people changing their vote made the difference to emphasize the importance of voting. It’s hard to know how to overcome the cynicism about politics. Simply saying something about that makes it more of the same. People want to see actual integrity.
GV: What’s the most interesting question a constituent has asked you as you’ve been campaigning door to door?
My biggest surprise at the doors is not about a question but at the number of empty homes in Kings North. I don’t recall their being any in 2013 ( but there must have been a few) but in 2017 nearly every road has one or two. It’s a big surprise. Some are for sale but most are not. With processing plant closures, people moving west or to nursing homes or passing on, Kings North has been hard hit in the past four years.
GV: How does your daily life differ now that the election has been called?
With such a short election this time ( 30 days verses 42 last time) I am working 14 plus hours every day to get to the doors. Even so I am sure I can’t possibly get to every home. That’s frustrating.
GV: Describe the way you see the relationship between MLAs and the municipal units within their electoral districts. How would you work with towns and counties to further mutual interests?
I see the role of MLA to municipal government to be one of mutual respect regarding areas of jurisdiction and cooperation to better the lives of our shared constituent. Respect of jurisdiction to me means that I respect the decisions of the municipal governments over the municipality governs.
GV: The Valley has a vibrant and growing creative economy. What policies and strategies do you propose to support and expand the arts community at the provincial level?
Our party will re-introduce a bankable film tax credit immediately.
GV: What are you doing to support and attract young families living and working in rural Nova Scotia?
My family and I were personally involved in bringing a young family from Zimbabwe to Nova Scotia in the past year through the Provincial Nominee Program. Also two organizations I am a member of ( New Minas Baptist Church and the Kentville Rotary Club) have sponsored Syrian refugee families. I have had a very small amount of involvement in these sponsorships.
GV: Will you have time to attend Apple Blossom Festival events this year? What’s your favourite event?
Yes I will attend Apple Blossom events. My favourite event is the parade as I particularly enjoy hearing and seeing the bagpipe marching bands.