Perth-Wellington People’s Party of Canada (PPC) candidate, Wayne Baker, took time out of his campaign schedule on Aug. 19 to give his thoughts to the Listowel Banner on some of the issues facing voters in the 2021 federal election.
LB: The pandemic is still top of mind for most voters. What are your thoughts on mandatory vaccinations?
Baker: My thoughts are our bodies are our own to control. I have an issue with mandatory vaccinations. I have an issue with that imposition on our rights and our freedoms. It’s our constitutional right. Number one, our health care is our private business. It is not our employers’ business to know whether we are vaccinated or not. It is not anyone else’s business other than between us and our medical practitioner. That’s where it ends and that’s a serious infringement on our constitutional rights. That’s a major issue with us and that’s where I’ll stand.
LB: Agriculture is a huge part of life in Perth-Wellington and some say it is being affected adversely by climate change. Any thoughts on actions that can be taken to deal with the effects of a changing climate that can create erratic conditions for farmers?
Baker: First off, I don’t know about the Canada you live in but the Canada I live in, the climate changes about every three months. So how are we defining climate change? I meant there is an arbitrary group of people that seem to think that climate change is a major issue. What they are using is carbon dioxide as a gas that is changing our climate. Without carbon dioxide, we wouldn’t be sitting in the shade of this tree right here. These trees depend on carbon dioxide to survive so in terms of fossil fuels, at one point in our earth’s history all the carbon that we’re pulling out of the ground was actually in our atmosphere so I don’t totally buy into the carbon issues as much as others. I believe that in Canada with our existing technology and our existing state of capacity the carbon tax is nothing more than a cruelty tax. As far as farmers are concerned they haven’t addressed me with issues around climate change. I’ve been addressed with issues around government control. There are far more issues concerning farmers regarding government control than there are issues of climate change in Perth-Wellington.
LB: Mental health issues are prevalent this year due to the pandemic. Farmers are one group that has been dealing with mental health issues, even before the pandemic; a local study conducted by the University of Guelph recently found women under 40 are being hit especially hard by poor mental health. How will your party deal with mental health issues?
Baker: Real simple answer – get rid of the lockdowns. Get rid of them. They are not necessary. They didn’t work the first time around. All they are doing is they are reinforcing oppressive government control… Let people do what people do. Let them congregate. Let them get together. Let them help each other.
LB: When it comes to health care, people have raised concerns because Canada had to look internationally for help with vaccines during the pandemic.What are your thoughts on this and how can Canada be better prepared next time?
Baker: OK, let’s make sure we understand certain clarities here. The federal government finances health care but we don’t dictate the outcome to the provinces of how to handle health care. I believe we need to have robust research and development in our country. I think that’s what keeps us at the forefront internationally is our robust research and development. I think that we need to listen to the experts and not listen to the rhetoric especially when it comes to the COVID dialogue, it seems that a lot of rhetoric out there seems to be one dialogue with regards to consent with COVID and that is the vaccine. Be vaccinated or be ostracized. There are other options. There are other alternatives. As an example, it is common knowledge that anyone who lives over the 35th parallel which encompasses all of Canada is, without supplementation, vitamin D deficient through the winter. Vitamin D is critical for our immune systems. I find it interesting that our initial wave hit right when we were most deficient for vitamin D so why was the government, if it was altruistic and truly interested in our well-being, why was the government not promoting taking vitamin D supplements? Yes, I bought into the first lockdown. Yes, that seemed to make sense at the time but these lockdowns have gone from necessity to political. When they switched to political that’s when I stood up and said I can’t tolerate this anymore. Back in May of 2020 I wrote a letter to the editor, unfortunately, they didn’t publish it but basically, my stand was since March we’ve been living in a traumatic society. This SARS has introduced a high degree of trauma into our society. The problem is that our society is using that trauma as a means to push a more totalitarian or more dictatorial type of agenda. At that point, my attitude was if I have a choice between living under a totalitarian regime without SARS or SARS and a more benevolent government, a more benevolent system, I’ll take my chances with SARS because the opposite outcome is very, very ugly.
LB: What does your party plan to do to make housing affordable again especially considering wages are not going up at the rate they once were in comparison to housing?
Baker: You’re asking me provincial issues – housing has been something at my heart for a long time. I sold real estate for several years and housing has always been something that I see as a very serious issue, not only in Perth-Wellington but in Ontario as a whole, and there are a couple of things that we need to start pushing forwards. Do you know how the rhetoric is affordable housing? That’s the wrong thing to be pushing. Affordable housing is not what we should be pushing as a country and as a province. What we should be pushing is affordable homeownership. That is not happening. I think that there is some, I’m going to try to be diplomatic here, maybe you can massage my words a little bit for me, but there are some very selfish individuals that have control over our supply in this province and they are putting the screws to the supply and forcing price up. If we look at Canada as a nation, we’re one of the most sparsely- populated countries on the face of this planet. To deal with housing prices like what we’ve been dealing with, it’s inexcusable. There is no excuse for it. Now should we be developing prime agricultural land for housing? Absolutely not. What we need to be focusing on is developing techniques and building housing on marginal and less productive land. There is lots of it out there. Even if we redefine our distribution networks so that we start developing more into the Canadian Shield. That’s where we need to develop technology and we need to develop a desire to go towards a more sustainable form of homeownership.
See next week’s issue of the Listowel Banner for the Q&A conclusion.
Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner