Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Liberal candidate Brian Jackson, Oxford
Monday, October 1, 2007
Brian Jackson is running for the Ontario Liberal Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Oxford riding. Wikinews' Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.
Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.
Why have you chosen to involve yourself in the political process? Why did you choose to run in this constituency?
- I have always been involved in the community and various causes. I used to talk about how to make things better, so when I was approaching retirement from teaching, my friends said “get off your butt and do it.” So, the day after I retired, I won the Oxford Liberal nomination.
What prior political experience do you have? What skills and insight can you bring to office, from other non-political positions you may have held?
- I have had a number positions in my church, in the community and in fundraising associations. While I have never held, or run for political office, I believe my educational background can bring much experience to ensure the area is addressing the needs the students and the employers of Oxford.
- Which of your competitors do you expect to pose the biggest challenge to your candidacy? Why? What makes you the most desirable of all candidates running in the riding?
- Obviously, the incumbent is the one to beat. He has been the sitting member for twelve years. I hear at the doors that it is time for a change in Oxford, and I believe that I bring a fresh voice to the riding.
What do you feel are the three most important issues to voters in your riding? Are these the same top three issues that are most important to you? What would you do to address these issues?
- Education, health care, and jobs are the three most important things I hear from the people I talk to. I want to address education and jobs by expanding the trade school opportunities in the riding, to train the skilled trades people that we will require right here.
Long-term care is important in the riding, and I will work to expand and improve the facilities in the riding.
- What should be the first order of business in the 39th Legislative Assembly?
- We need to continue the work done by the ministry of Economic Development to attract investment and the next generation of industrial technologies.
Are the property taxes in your riding at a fair level for the amount of services received in the municipality?
- That is a question best addressed by the respective municipal councils.
How can the province lead the way in stimulating job creation?
- We need to continue attracting the next generation of technologies. Fuel-efficient and alternative fuel vehicles, alternative energy technologies; any of the products that we will need to develop quickly to address the environmental challenges currently being faced.
What are your views on the mixed member proportional representation (MMP) referendum?
- I feel that everyone should take the time to educate themselves about all aspects of this important decision and decide for themselves. Regardless of the outcome, the referendum exercise has forced people to learn and think about our system of democracy.
- Because of this, it is already a success.
What role, if any, does "new media" play in your campaign, and the campaign of your party? (websites, blogs, Facebook, YouTube videos, etc) Do you view it as beneficial, or a challenge?
- I have done a weekly live webcast for people to log onto and talk to me, I write a blog, and we have posted a video on YouTube. I feel that they are beneficial in trying to attract younger voters, but we have not seen a big take-up on our efforts. Then again, how can I compete with the Crazy Bride video?
Of the decisions made by Ontario's 38th Legislative Assembly, which was the most beneficial to your this electoral district? To the province as a whole? Which was least beneficial, or even harmful, to your this riding? To the province as a whole?
- By far, our riding has benefited from the Liberal Government’s investment in the Auto Fund which, among other things, attracted the new Toyota plant to the riding of Oxford.