Joe Olive: Is He Up for the Challenge?


            When I sat down to think about what to write for Graffiti, an interview didnít even occur to me at first. I knew that I wanted to write about the election, and I knew that I wanted it to be unique. Then, I suddenly had the idea to interview a candidate in my riding, which is Eglinton-Lawrence, the same as NTís riding. I contacted the Conservative candidate for this riding, Joe Oliver, and set up an interview.  I wanted the school to decide whether the Conservative Party, who may very well be re-elected, represent what the youth want. After all, we are the future.   

Why did you get into politics?

            I was asked to run for the nomination for this riding by a former cabinet minister. The Prime Minister had asked him to find candidates for the next federal election. I was about to retire, and I have always had an interest in public policy. I felt that I should give something back to the community.

Why should people, especially young people, get more involved in politics?

            I, personally, have always had an interest in politics, even at a young age. I had some involvement at university. Our youth are our future, and should be engaged, understand the political system, and bring ideas forward.

Why do you feel that the Conservative Party is the best to run this country?

            First of all, they are more practical. Mr. Harper has been in power for just over 2 1/2 years, and has accomplished a lot for Canadians. For example, the government has reduced the tax burden for the average family about $3 000 a year. The government has also run a sound economy, been a staunch supporter of Israel with their battle against terrorism, and has introduced legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Why do you feel that you are the best candidate to represent Eglinton-Lawrence in the House of Commons?

            There are two reasons. First of all, it is likely that the Conservative Government will be re-elected. I would be sitting in government, as opposed to my opponent, Mr. Volpe, would be sitting on the opposition benches. I could be a strong voice for this riding in the government. Therefore, I could do things for the riding. I have a strong financial background, and also in securities and regulations, and in other areas as well. These are all relevant to the many challenges that the government will be facing.

Many young people are concerned about the environment. What does your party plan to do about it?

            There are 2 aspects of our plan. The first part is that we have to do our share. We are the first government to introduce absolute reductions on emissions by corporations. The second part is that India, China and The U.S. produce 60% of global emissions. You canít arrest climate change without including them in our plan, and Mr. Harper has made international initiatives to do that.

What do you think is the most important issue of this campaign?

            If I had to pick 1, it would be the economy; however there are several important issues. At a time of a turbulent global economy, the economy needs a steady hand at the tiller.


I leave the decision up to you. Will Joe Oliver represent North Toronto well in the House of Commons?