Jennifer HollettQuestionnaire for 2015 Canada Federal Election
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1. Stewardship of public office
1.1 In what ways should government be a force for good in society? How can it be improved in that role?
The NDP is a social democratic party. For social democrats, government should play a
central role promoting a good, just, and healthy society. Examples of this can be
found in our plan for national pharmacare, $15/day child care, $15 federal minimum
wage, and raising the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors.
1.2 What is an elected official’s duty to her/his constituents?
To be a strong voice in Ottawa for the University-Rosedale community, but just as
active and accessible on the ground here in Toronto. I think too often we forget,
politicians work for the people. Our job is to represent the issues and needs of our
1.3 Should an elected official serve as a role model to her/his constituents?
2. Truth, transparency, and the democratic process.
2.1 What is the proper role of objective evidence (e.g., facts established by credentialed scientists) in establishing public policy?
Science and evidence should shape public policy. Under Stephen Harper, thousands
of scientists have been fired and muzzled, research funding has been slashed and
evidence has been ignored. The NDP has a plan to restore the voice of scientists in
government, invest in better support for Canadian researchers and bring back the
2.2 What is the proper role of industry in public debate and the making of public policy?
I’ve been actively meeting with small businesses in our community. Industry does
have a voice in public debate and I have had several one-on-one meetings with
various industries as requested. But I do think it’s time for big corporation to pay
their fair share, which is why the NDP is raising corporate taxes by two per cent,
while supporting small businesses and reducing their taxes by two per cent.
2.3 What is the proper role of civil society / civic organizations in public debate and the making of public policy?
Civil society organizations should have a strong role in the making of public policy.
I’m very sorry I’m unable to attend this discussion, but I’m proud to have hosted a
University-Rosedale roundtable with local faith leaders (including Catholic Voice) to
welcome the faith community to discussions around this campaign and public policy.
We need a variety of voices involved in the key issues of our time, including
environment, housing, the refugee crisis, youth, and seniors in Toronto.
2.4 Would you support an MP’s ability to vote according to their conscience on significant issues? To vote outside the strict party line?
I think this is an important discussion. I am proud to represent a party where the
policy proposals align with my personal beliefs. I can understand that on certain
issues it may be appropriate for MPs to vote with their conscience.
2.5 How can the government ensure transparency in the flow of information?
I believe new technologies make government transparency easier to deliver than
ever before. I particularly believe that open data (the movement to make data and information available to the public to freely use) can open up government and be a very effective way for the public to hold leaders and institutions to account.
2.6 What is the government’s proper role in ensuring freedom of religion and association?
The NDP recognizes the freedom of religion as a fundamental human right. We
believe that encouraging religious tolerance and promoting religious freedom here in
Canada and throughout the world is essential, and we are determined to fight against
hate, discrimination, and intolerance. The government’s proper role is to support the
freedoms enshrined in the Charter, and to show leadership around plurality and
3. Aboriginal Affairs
3.1 The United Nations has criticized the Canadian government’s treatment of First Nations. How, in your view, should Canada respond?
The NDP has previously stated that in order to move forward in a positive and
meaningful way, Canada needs to accept responsibility for the issues outlined in the
UN report, and quit denying the existence of a problem. A comprehensive national
plan of action needs to be developed and implemented.
3.2 What, if anything, should happen in response to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission?
The first step in responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report is to
implement a “nation-to-nation” approach with First Nations, making education the
highest priority. We will also launch an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous
women within the first 100 days of forming an NDP government.
3.3 Do you support an inquiry into the safety and security of aboriginal women? If not, why not? What, if any, alternatives would you suggest?
Yes. The question of why and how the safety and security of aboriginal women in
Canada has been so undermined and ignored must be addressed.
4. Public Health
4.1 In your view, what can or should be done to promote good health among Canadians?
We need to strengthen health care. Our NDP plan will help build 200 clinics, hire
thousands more doctors, nurses, and health care professionals. We will maximize
access to health services by targeting communities and neighborhoods that are
facing doctor shortages. We will also work with provinces to make prescription drugs
more affordable, by supporting universal prescription drug coverage. Our party has a
proud history with healthcare, dating back to Tommy Douglas (who was also a
4.2 How can reliable, efficient, and safe health care be promoted by the government of Canada for all Canadians? Cost containment, alternative medicines? For the unborn? For the elderly, the young, the poor? With respect to end of life care, physician-assisted suicide?
5. The dignity of work and economic justice
5.1 What can the Government of Canada do to encourage meaningful and dignified employment for all workers? What can or should the government of Canada do to provide and encourage meaningful and dignified employment for all workers, including immigrants, migrants, students, and those who are new to the work force?
Prior to becoming a candidate with the NDP, I’ve done a lot of work with the
Atkinson Foundation which is championing decent work. We must not just create
jobs, but good jobs. The NDP has presented a plan to create 40,000 opportunities for
young people to gain experience, crack down on unpaid internships, strengthen
employment insurance as well as pensions, and show leadership federally by raising
the federal minimum wage to $15. Our plan for $15/day child care also connects to