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DONNELLY: $15 daycare and small biz tax cuts

With video: Fin Donnelly says the NDP plan will grow the economy and help families
Finn Donnelly NDP
Fin Donnelly, the incumbent NDP MP, is running in the newly-created riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam.

Age: 49
Occupation: incumbent NDP MP

Door-knocking since well before the campaign started, Port Moody-Coquitlam NDP candidate and incumbent MP Fin Donnelly believes his party is best attuned to the needs and concerns of local voters.

Among the biggest planks in the NDP platform is the $15-a-day daycare pledge, which Donnelly believes will help many local families and is near and dear to his heart because his mom was a preschool teacher in Coquitlam for many years.

"We want to make publicly accessible child care with quality standards for childcare professionals," Donnelly said of his party's $2-billion plan — a plan that could take eight years to implement and requires provincial coordination, and would create 110,000 daycare spaces in B.C., a million across Canada.

But the former Coquitlam city councillor who grew up in the Tri-Cities believes there are other things the federal government can do to make life more affordable and he wants to work with cities on some initiatives. For example, the NDP would provide money for incentives for 10,000 new affordable and market rental housing units, boost homelessness supports, renew co-operative housing agreements that are coming to an end and put money into a national transit plan.

While the federal NDP is typically criticized for not being strong on the economy, Donnelly believes the party's promise to balance the budget and reduce the small business tax from 11% to 9% are ways to dispel that myth and grow the economy.

"They're the job growth engine of the country," Donnelly said of the small business sector. "We need to provide them with the incentive to grow because a lot don't survive."

As a founder of the Rivershed Society of BC, which promotes sustainable living within healthy riversheds, he believes his party is best positioned to strengthen environmental oversight and strengthen climate change policies. Donnelly is also bitter about the way the Climate Change Accountability Act, introduced by a New Democrat, was killed by a Conservative majority in the Senate.

"It demonstrates for me the political will to deal with one of the top pressing issues of our time."

One NDP promise he personally wants to see enacted is electoral reform, and he believes proportional representation, which the NDP supports, is the way go to.

But it took a shocking picture of a little boy whose tiny body washed up on Turkish shores to familiarize many Canadians with the young MP. Like other Canadians, Donnelly was horrified by the news of the death of Alan Kurdi, whose aunt, Tima Kurdi, was a constituent who had come to him for help about her refugee application. After her press conference, when Donnelly tried to explain his involvement, he was criticized for not being more clear about which brother's family Kurdi sought to sponsor.

Today, Donnelly insists that he never tried to mislead Canadians and never tried to politicize the issue. "I never blamed the minister, I never blamed the government," Donnelly said.
He also produces a communication timeline that shows that information for both families was sought by Citizenship and Immigration Canada in April and Donnelly said he is still working with the family on bring Syrian family members to Canada.

If anything can come out of the tragedy, Donnelly is pleased some efforts are being made to make it easier for Syrian refugees to come to Canada, although he argues more could be done.

"The world has not seen a humanitarian crisis such as this since World War II. The world has to react, it is reacting and Canada has to play its part."