The Grapevine’s Federal Election Candidate Special

The Grapevine‘s Federal Election Candidate Special

In anticipation of the fast-approaching federal election later this month, The Grapevine contacted local candidates with questions reflecting issues of particular interest to the Valley and to our readers. While we have made every effort to include all candidates on the ballot in Kings-Hants and West Nova, we are only able to publish those that contacted us by press time. All answers are printed here in full, unedited and as the candidates sent them. Responses have been included in the order they were received.

The Grapevine: What do you plan to do to improve access to healthy food for kids in Valley schools?

Stephen Schneider, NDP Candidate Kings-Hants:

I would advocate for a national universal school food and nutrition program to ensure all students in public schools in Canada have access to healthy meals and snacks as well as enhanced food literacy skills. Greater efforts should also be made to connect the “buy local” movement with our schools.

Judy N Green, Green Party Candidate, West Nova:

I applaud the individual local efforts that have been made, and there are some real success stories. However, we need a National School Lunch Program, focused on local nutritious food that is prepared from scratch. It is appalling that Canada is the only G7 country without such a program.

Brogan Anderson, Green Party Candidate, Kings-Hants:

The Green party includes in its platform a national healthy school lunch program. This would be federally funded, locally guided…so locally managed to choose locally-sourced and culturally appropriate foods, but funded federally so every school child would have lunch provided during school days, which would allow all children to focus on their education, and because it’s universal, there would be no stigma attached to need.

Jason Deveau, Liberal Party Candidate, West Nova:

It is critically important to ensure children have access to healthy meals before and during school if they are to succeed. A re-elected Liberal government will follow through on its Budget 2019 commitment to work with provinces and territories towards the creation of a National School Food Program.

Martha MacQuarrie, Conservative Candidate, Kings-Hants:

Food for local school cafeterias is strictly a provincial government responsibility but without sounding like I am avoiding your question, as the MP for Kings-Hants, I will be doing everything in my power to promote and create healthy eating by all children. If you just look at the abundant of local food grown locally such as carrots, peas, beans, blueberries, the volume is tremendous. I will commit to any pre-school, elementary school or high school to ensure such nutritional products are available and will work with any MLA or Cabinet Minister in the Provincial Government looking to seize upon golden opportunities such as nutritious and healthy food in our local schools.

Kody Blois, Liberal Candidate, Kings-Hants:

In the spring the government announced Canada’s first national food policy which included $134 million to improve access to healthy food. The program includes a $50 million local food infrastructure fund to support community-led projects such as greenhouses, food banks, and farmer’s markets and it the first steps toward a National School Food Program.

Chris d’Entremont, Conservative Candidate, West Nova

As a former Minister of Health for Nova Scotia, I know very well the importance of providing our children with healthy food and will advocate for healthy eating programs, continue to partner with the provincial government to ensure funding is available for breakfast programs, etc.

The Grapevine: How will you advocate for the arts in the Valley?

Stephen Schneider, NDP Candidate Kings-Hants:
My particular focus would be on advocating for the arts and other cultural activities that celebrate our historical and marginalized communities; in particular, First Nations, African-Nova Scotians, and Acadians.

Judy N Green, Green Party Candidate, West Nova:
Increase funding to Canada’s arts and cultural organizations, including Canada Council for Arts, the National Film Board and Telefilm Canada. Review tax incentives and ensure that all regions of Canada are competitive and attractive to the film industry. Provide tax support for small businesses such as artists and craftspeople.

Brogan Anderson, Green Party Candidate, Kings-Hants
The Greens have a few policy points on arts: increasing funding to all arts organizations including the Canada Council for the Arts, the National Film Board and Telefilm Canada. Also reviewing tax incentives for film production, which might go some distance to reverse the consequences of provincial decisions on that matter.

Jason Deveau, Liberal Party Candidate, West Nova:
I will be a strong voice in ensuring that recent funding increases to Canadian Heritage programs are maintained and further enhanced. This will allow organizations such as King’s Theatre in Annapolis Royal and Evergreen Theatre in Margaretsville to further grow the Annapolis Valley’s creative economy.

Martha MacQuarrie, Conservative Candidate, Kings-Hants:
The Arts Community in the Annapolis Valley as we all know consists of genuine talent and how I will advocate for it, you don’t have to look any further than a group of decorative artists on a mission to give back to the community. Established 23 years ago, the Annapolis Valley Decorative Artists (A.V.D.A.) painting guild was organized as a group of people with a common interest in painting. It currently has 48 members and new recruits are welcome. I will support and any and all groups of artists in the Valley to the very best of my ability and would encourage them when I am elected to call my riding office at anytime and I will quickly be in touch.

Kody Blois, Liberal Candidate, Kings-Hants:
Cultural and creative industries are a vibrant part of our local economy, creating jobs and attracting tourists. Government support for organizations like Devour make a difference and we need to further explore support for off-season initiatives like the Ice Wine Festival in February. I will embrace the creative community as a key component of our economy.

Chris d’Entremont, Conservative Candidate, West Nova:
We have a vibrant arts community across the Annapolis Valley which attracts visitors from across Nova Scotia, Canada, and the world. This is an important economic driver for our region, but also serves as a critical component of our culture. As the Member of Parliament for West Nova, you can rest assured I will always advocate to bring greater attention to the talented people who work in the Valley’s art community.

The Grapevine: What are the unique challenges the Annapolis Valley faces in addressing climate change?

Stephen Schneider, NDP Candidate Kings-Hants:
Some challenges we face, which are not necessarily unique to the Valley, include: flooding due to sea-level rise along the Bay of Fundy, a more diverse pest population due to the warmer, wetter weather, and more frequent and destructive weather patterns such as storms, droughts, and late-spring frost.

Judy N Green, Green Party Candidate, West Nova:
Our major industries are all at risk: Farming, Fishing, Forestry, Tourism, Wineries and Breweries. We need a balanced, sustainable approach, that ensures no worker is left behind, as we mitigate the changes we are already seeing and transition to innovative ways of operating those industries in a post-carbon world.

Brogan Anderson, Green Party Candidate, Kings-Hants:
The Valley faces several challenges in addressing climate change, including that we’re a small population base and spread out over a large territory and our climate is challenging in the winter (in terms of reducing fuel use). But most importantly, while we are actually making strides in confronting our emissions, our biggest problem is lack of national leadership to ensure we decrease emissions overall.

Jason Deveau, Liberal Party Candidate, West Nova:
The Annapolis Valley will particularly have to adapt and increase its resiliency to rising sea levels, more intense storms and changes in agricultural crop production. We are the first generation to start experience the effects of climate change and the last generation with the ability to stop them.

Martha MacQuarrie, Conservative Candidate, Kings-Hants:
The unique challenges facing the Annapolis Valley in addressing climate change are such things as surface water run-off. Will we continue to see periods of warm and cold weather throughout the winter increasing the risk of rain falling on snow and ice preventing it from being absorbed into the ground. Farmer Philip Keddy was recently in the news saying while climate change is creating a host of problems, one piece of good news for him is that the drier summers and warmer temperatures have created good conditions in Nova Scotia for growing a traditionally southern crop – sweet potatoes. Our party will eliminate the Carbon Tax which despite what the current government attempts to sell you will only mean increased gas prices. The Conservative Party of Canada wants to work with Canada’s larger polluters and develop significant policies where they can reduce carbon emissions without taxing Canadians to death.

Kody Blois, Liberal Candidate, Kings-Hants:
The Annapolis Valley has a robust agriculture sector so producing food in both an environmentally sustainable and economically viable way is a challenge that we will have to face. New technologies and skills training will be essential to meet this challenge and that requires a role for government.

Chris d’Entremont, Conservative Candidate, West Nova:
Agriculture is a critical component of our economy in the Annapolis Valley. Climate change poses challenges to the agricultural industries and food production that we must be prepared to address. There are concerns, especially for coastal effects on the Minas Basin, Annapois Basin and Saint Mary’s Bay areas.


The Grapevine: What’s your favourite local food to include on your holiday table?

Stephen Schneider, NDP Candidate Kings-Hants:
Farmers in Kings-Hants are capable of catering an entire holiday meal (regardless of the holiday). With that said, I love root vegetables as part of a Thanksgiving dinner with pumpkin pie being the obligatory dessert.

Judy N Green, Green Party Candidate, West Nova:
Our holiday table has transitioned into a family tradition of: mashed sweet and new potatoes, an unbelievable tasty vegetarian un-stuffing, made from Bear River sourdough rye bread, with homemade cranberry sauce, mixed buttered carrots and parsnips. My husband enjoys a little local organic ham or turkey on the side.

Brogan Anderson, Green Party Candidate, Kings-Hants:

My favourite local food on my holiday table is squash! Buttercup or hubbard squash, even pumpkin, stuffed or as soup (LOTS of cream) or even just baked with a lot of butter!

Jason Deveau, Liberal Party Candidate, West Nova:
Having been raised on the French Shore, no holiday table is complete without a generous serving of rappie pie, or râpure. For those who may not know rappie pie, it is a traditional Acadian dish consisting of grated potatoes, meat (typically chicken, beef or clams), salted green onions and stock.

Martha MacQuarrie, Conservative Candidate, Kings-Hants:
As for my favourite food on my home table during the holidays, this is likely the most difficult question put to me so far when you look at the vast quantity of local food grown in the Agricultural Heartland of Nova Scotia which is Kings and Hants Counties. While it is difficult, I have to go with turkey grown local in the Annapolis Valley as the scene setter on my table during the holidays.

Kody Blois, Liberal Candidate, Kings-Hants:
I’m a sweets and dessert person and I look forward to anything made with local fruit and berries like an apple crisp or a blueberry cobbler.

Chris d’Entremont, Conservative Candidate, West Nova:
I must say lobster!