Byron Stands For

Byron Stands For


Economic Development and Job Creation

Canadians have learned they can trust the Conservative Party to:

  • Manage the economy and international trade;
  • Promote foreign direct investment;
  • Spend responsibly and pay down the deficit.

Balancing the budget and living within our means allows government to invest in programs we need, protect the vulnerable and make life more affordable for Canadians.

The Trudeau Liberals broke their promise to only run modest budget deficits in their first two years. The Federal deficit is spiralling out of control and the Liberals have no plan to eliminate it. My fiscally responsbile Liberal friends do not recognize their party.

I am committed to using your hard-earned tax dollars to invest in programs that benefit people NOT pay interest on government debt and make your life LESS affordable by raising your tax burden.

Construction-Tour2.jpgTo help create jobs Conservatives believe in strategic investments in social and economic infrastructure and competitive tax rates.

In contrast to the Trudeau Liberals, and the NDP under Jagmeet Singh, who support deficit spending and tax increases, a Conservative government will create the conditions for local businesses to hire people and expand.

The key long-term solution to many social issues, affordability and helping those on the fringes of our communities, is meaningful local jobs. Regular work and pay is so much more than just money – it’s self-worth and a sense of pride that a person is contributing to their family and the social fabric of their community.

Job creation and prosperity means we can make taxes fair and affordable while maintaining and expanding core government programs that we all rely on.

A Better Plan for the Environment

Over looking the water atUcluletI believe in a balanced approach to growing our economy and protecting our environment. Please see my bio to learn about how I am committed to protecting our environment.

Conservatives care about our air quality, fresh water, wild salmon and the state of our oceans. I am a strong supporter of the role of our Coast Guard in helping protect our marine environment.

GOC-Marine-Comm.jpg

Canada already has world leading environmental laws and industry regulation. We can do even better. I will work within the Conservative Party to reflect a balanced approach, which I believe is supported by a majority of Canadians who want responsible resource development and world-class environmental regulation.

Click to learn more about the Conservative environmental policies, how we will protect the environment and fight climate change.

TransMountain Pipeline Rewards Outweigh the Risks

Oil and Gas is our #1 Export ($67B in 2018) and is critical to support our jobs and social programs in Canada. Economic benefits provide funds to fight climate change and develop green technologies for a more sustainable economy.

We know that pipelines are the safest way to transport oil and there have been many strong regulatory improvements (including double hulls) and there has not been a spill on West Coast of North America in over 30 years. More than 500 tankers a year safely transit the Strait of Juan de Fuca and every day a super tanker safely passes by the Coast of Vancouver Island. Despite this significant existing tanker traffic we do not currently have the people and equipment to protect our coast from a spill. The TransMountain Expansion would commit over $1 billion for world-class marine and land spill response. Port Alberni would receive jobs and 2 ships on standby for spills. Ucluelet would receive 1 ship.

Like most Canadians, I see no disconnect between supporting the twinning of the existing TransMountain pipeline while protecting habitat and restricting or prohibiting development in ecologically sensitive regions. It’s about balance and being responsible.

Click here to learn more about the benefits of the TransMountain Pipeline expansion and why I support it.

Social and Economic Infrastructure

I grew up in the mid-Island and saw firsthand the boom and bust some of our communities experienced, including the recession in the 1980’s, and the effects it had on friends and family. If elected, I will work tirelessly to deliver federal government funding to support social and economic infrastructure in our communities.

Globe Infrastructure article 
Picture of Byron & Candice BergenThe Liberals have not elected an MP North of Victoria in over 44 years and ignore Vancouver Island.

The NDP have never in Canadian history formed government in Ottawa and Jagmeet Singh and our current NDP MP have no effective political power to deliver results for our communities.

A Conservative MP in a Conservative Byron & MP Richard MartelGovernment will deliver Social and Economic Infrastructure for Courtenay-Alberni. 
An MP in government can work with colleagues in caucus and get the ear of the relevant Minister for individuals and riding level issues that need to be addressed and the Minister can get the department to act.

History speaks for itself. Prior to 2015, our region was solidly Conservative and the former Conservative MPs, as part of Conservative governments, delivered millions in discretionary federal spending for many positive investments in our communities, including:

  • Comox Valley – Funding for new Tourism Centre and Comox Valley Airport upgrades
  • Courtenay - Restoration of the Native Sons Hall
  • Port Alberni - Funding for Visitor Centre
  • Port Alberni - Funding to rebuild Athletic Hall
  • Port Alberni - pre-feasibility study for a trans-shipment hub for the Port
  • Deep Bay - Shellfish Research Centre
  • Qualicum Beach - Funding for Ravensong Pool renewal
  • Parksville - Community Park improvements
  • Ucluelet - Funding for new Community Hall
  • Tofino - Funding for housing on the Ty-histanis First Nation, Wickaninnish Interpretive Centre
  • Small craft harbour upgrades

Byron & John-Duncan in front of a Spitfire

“Byron wants to use his considerable skills and experience to serve the people of Courtenay-Alberni. Byron will be a champion for Vancouver Island” Hon. John Duncan PC Conservative MP for Courtenay for over 20 years

I have listened to members of our communities and, if elected, will work with all levels of government to pursue federal funding towards social and economic infrastructure, including: 

  • Port Alberni - Economic Feasibility study for the Container Port (PATH)
  • Port Alberni - Clean up soil contamination to help develop the waterfront
  • Port Alberni - Replace aging Echo Centre Pool

I have fond memories of coming to the Echo Centre for swim meets but this picture of me was taken when I was 7 years old – it was already over 10 years old then!

  • Comox Valley - Infrastructure to support agriculture and food security Vancouver Island grows less than 6% of its food needs
  • Comox Valley - Expansion of border services/customs to facilitate international flights (i.e. Seattle) to YQQ
  • Qualicum Beach - Outdoor turf field and track
    Oceanside is one of the only regions on the Island that does not have an outdoor turf field. Oceanside Soccer has already raised $200,000 towards a turf field
  • Parksville - Community pool
  • Parksville - Extension of Parksville Bay pathway to Rathtrevor Beach Park
     

     
  • Ucluelet - create spill response base with vessels and local crew
  • Long Beach - Lifeguard station for Lovekin Rock
  • West Coast - Upgrades for small craft harbours in Tofino and Ucluelet
     

Making Life More Affordable

The affordable Vancouver Island of my youth is disappearing. Seniors on a fixed income and workers whose wages have stagnated are struggling with the rising costs of housing, food and gas. Under the Trudeau Liberals seniors and families are getting by, or falling behind, not getting ahead.

Conservatives believe in supporting families and honouring and caring for seniors, veterans and those in need.

A Conservative government will elimiate the GST on home heating and income tax on parental (maternal and paternal) leave. We will eliminate the Trudeau Carbon Tax which will lower the costs of groceries and goods coming from out-of-province. We will introduce specific measures to help seniors on a fixed income.

Housing affordability, whether to rent or to fulfill the dream of home ownership, is becoming less and less obtainable. Homelessness is on the rise. Over 50% of renters in the Alberni Valley and over 45% of renters in the Comox Valley spend more than 30% of their income on housing (Vitalsigns 2018).

Housing affordability needs to be a top priority for the Federal Government.

Although, non-profit housing and zoning decisions are primarily in the provincial and municipal jurisdictions and housing supply is largely determined by the investment criteria of private sector developers. The federal government should:

  • Consider increasing the First-Time Home Buyer’s Tax Credit;
  • Review and consider re-instating the historic Canadian tax rules that encouraged the construction of rental buildings;
  • Consider a pilot project with municipalities to exempt from GST the construction of rental buildings with dedicated affordable housing units.

Success for Youth and Millennials

GBRF-PresentationToday, it takes longer for young people to get settled in the economy, to start a 2nd career in their 30’s or to come back to work after having children. As a businessperson I understand the current disruption and uncertainty in our economy. Vancouver Island needs to have the educational, training and work opportunities so Islanders never have to leave to fulfill their dreams. As your MP, I would promote technology, innovation and life-long learning. I would cooperate with all levels of government to expand post-secondary, skills training, mentorship and internship opportunities in our communities.

Supporting Independence for Seniors and Veterans, including Accessible Healthcare

To support seniors the Federal government should consider:

Senior Living

  • Home Accessibility Tax Credit for seniors to renovate their homes and permit aging-in-place.
  • A national plan to attract doctors and nurse practitioners to under-served communities.
  • Tax relief for single and widowed seniors.
  • Funding cutting-edge health research.
  • Reducing the minimum RRIF withdrawal requirements.
  • Amending the Criminal Code to help protect seniors from financial fraud.

As it relates to Veterans, Conservatives believe that Canada and its Veterans share a social covenant and that the Government should be committed to providing the best possible services and benefits for Veterans and their families. We need to change the culture at Veteran Affairs from an "insurance culture" to a "service-oriented" culture. This requires leadership from the highest level.

Fighting Crime in the Mid-Island

I would cooperate with all levels of government to help solve the crime epidemic in the Mid-Island. For example, Statistics Canada shows that between 2017 and 2018 crime was up 45% in Parksville and 39% in Qualicum Beach. Macleans listed Port Alberni as the most dangerous city on Vancouver Island and the RCMP has deployed a special unit to combat organized crime in the Comox Valley.

All levels of government need to work together to help Canadians with mental health and addiction issues. We need to treat the addicted and mentally ill to help reduce homelessness and property crime. To reduce crime and to have a strong economy we need to include everyone. Economic development and social inclusion go hand in hand.

A Conservative government would amend the criminal code and sentencing guidelines to support the RCMP and give appropriate sentences to gang members and repeat offenders who resist treatment and rehabilitation and who destroy the bonds of trust in our communities.

Supporting Public Fishery on Vancouver Island

The sport and recreational fishery (public fishery) is critical to our local economy in the Mid-Island. 

We need a balanced scientific approach to supporting wild salmon, conducting habitat restoration and expanding enhancement on Vancouver Island. The Mid-Island needs an MP in government to have an effective voice with DFO.

British Columbia is a world-famous destination for sport fishing, which contributes $1.1 billion to the Canadian economy every year and over 9,000 jobs. Some 300,000 annual licence holders who depend on BC’s public fishery for recreational and subsistence fishing are impacted by the latest closures, as are numerous businesses in the fishing, tourism, transportation, retail and accommodation sectors.

Working with the Conservative members on the Fisheries Committee we proposed that the Federal government study the socio-economic impact on the public fishery, small businesses and coastal communities in British Columbia of unrelenting reductions of access to fisheries caused by the federal government’s preference to close fisheries rather than support balanced fishery enhancement and habitat restoration to grow fishery populations.” The Conservative proposal also sought an assessment of “other measures that could deliver increases in chinook salmon stocks.” Our proposal was voted down by the Trudeau Liberal government.