John Carmichael, Conservative candidate for Don Valley West (3)
The Globe and Mail political analyst sees Don Valley West as the bellwether riding for Toronto. Whichever way the riding votes so does the rest of the city. It makes the riding very important.
The traditional differences between Conservative and Liberal are played out here; Carmichael is a businessman while Oliphant (and before him Godfrey) are academics. Carmichael is the President/CEO of City Pontiac/Buick/Cadillac one of Toronto's top automobile dealerships, a business started by his father in 1957 and now managed by his son. Carmichael has also been President of both the Toronto and Canadian Auto Dealers' Associations, the founding member of the Ontario Motor Vehicle Institute as well as with Canadian Olympic Committee and on the executive of the North York General Hospital. "This has given me experience in dealing with situations across Canada," said Carmichael.
As Oliphant took as his key issue immigration I asked what Carmichael's position was. "There's a myth out there that Conservatives are not immigrant-friendly. That is a pure myth. (Prime Minister) Stephen Harper and (Immigration) Minister Martha Hall Findlay made it abundantly clear [that] number one, we have far too long a waiting line of immigrants that want to come to this country. The applicants are over 900,000 as we sit here today, that is a six, seven-year waiting period. That is wrong. That should be a six, seven week waiting period at the longest. So how do you fix that? Of that 900,000 some two thirds of those applicants are skilled trades. With all of the 300,000 immigrants we let into the country the last year alone we still sit at 900,000. As a country, in order to meet our productivity projections and all of the goals in the future growth and the demand we need to find ways to fill in our skilled trade demands to help generate our growth. So if you are a truck driver or construction worker or so many other skills that you are coming into the country with, those are jobs that are not being filled in Canada today and we know by our projections that they are going to become more difficult in the months and years to come. So we need to find ways to bring those skilled trades in, fill those jobs so that the country can continue to produce. The Liberals would have us believe - another myth - that all we are talking about are those high-end skills, the doctors, the lawyers, the dentists, and that’s not the case at all. They want to bring the skilled trades in where the need is greatest and help those people come to country, immediately go to work and be productive and prosper and achieve the dream that they came to country. We also believe in family reunification," said Carmichael. He added, "the Liberals did nothing to solve these problems, [other than] just to stand there and say that we did it wrong."
Carmichael sees Toronto, which is in the hands of the Liberals (and a few NDP) as a city that needs a great deal of work and representation. "There are a lot of things in Toronto, that are very, very important, that are not moving fast enough, infrastructure being one of them. If you look at infrastructure in transportation as sort of one piece of that puzzle, we have tremendous plans to build transportation systems but its coming far too slowly and we need someone to be a catalyst and an advocate and a champion for it in Ottawa and I think I can fulfill that role very, very effectively," said Carmichael.
"We need to move the waterfront along, it needs to move far faster than it has. It seems to languish. The federal government plays a very important role in the funding of the waterfront redevelopment program. I'm not satisfied it's happening fast enough and I think again a voice from within Toronto would assist the federal component of that than where we are now," said Carmichael.
"I think there are healthcare issues that are very, very important today. You look at poverty and the homeless in this city and while those are municipal issues and many left to the health component in the city, I think as a federal body we have the opportunity to be a catalyst to assisting on how to do a better job to assisting the homeless especially. You look at how many homeless are sitting on the streets with addiction problems and we don't have the social service network to be able to care for them. I think we can assist in that," said Carmichael.
"My goal is to serve the people of Don Valley West," finished Carmichael.
Carmichael's committee room is at 49 the Donway West, Toronto, ON, M3C 3M9, phone number: 416-444-3336 www.johncarmichael.ca
John Carmichael's opponent is Liberal Rob Oliphant, campaign office at 33 Laird Dr. Toronto, ON, M4G 3S8, phone 416-421-6515 www.roboliphant.ca