Candidate Interviews: Diane Janzen, Liberal Party

What do you believe are the public's top issues in this campaign?

"Number one, I think people are concerned about the economy and jobs. I did spend some time canvassing in Lillooet and that definitely is a key issue in the Lillooet area. A couple of other key issues are access to health care and making sure that the health care system is here for the future. A lot of people are concerned about the number of retiring people and the lack of young people to back up that whole demographic shift. Third, I would say, is about how Parliament isn't working."

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What special qualities or talents do you think you offer the voters of Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon?

"The first thing I offer is a lot of experience. I've been in public elected life for nine years. I've been on Chilliwack City Council for three years and was Chair of the Mayor's Committee on Health and the Mayor's Committee on Transportation. I was also School Trustee for six years and I was Chair of the School Board for three of those years. I do feel I offer a great amount of experience and I am ready to take this next big step. In terms of other things, I am able to work co-operatively with people from many different backgrounds. With what is happening in Ottawa these days, the ability to work across party lines is very important and I'm committed to doing that. The third quality I have is that I'm extremely careful with public money. I've been able to participate in city councils and at the school board level and we have had balanced budgets every single year and that's the sort of value and skill that I bring forward."

What can you do as MP to change or improve the lives of people in this riding?

"The thing that I want to do is treat each community as a community. For example the issues that Lillooet is facing aren't necessarily the issues that are faced by Chilliwack. One of the things I want to do economically is I want to work with the Chambers of Commerce in each town to establish economic approaches that are going to work. So looking to attract industry into communities, supporting small business, and really looking at the issue of job creation. The other thing we are committed to doing as the Liberal party is to attract 1500 doctors and nurses across Canada to rural areas by providing rural based training and forgiving student loans if people choose to practice there. The third thing is to make sure we help young people to get access to post-secondary education."

What specifically can you do for Lillooet?

"The first thing I want to do is cooperate on economic and infrastructure issues. For example, my understanding is that in Lillooet there is a considerable water quality issue. That's certainly an area I want to address. I want to work with the community on economic development, creating more jobs, attracting industry, and addressing that key issue. One of the things that happens in smaller communities is that there is a big recession right now and the potential closure of a school. Part of the issue around the closure of a school is that it happens because people leave communities. And it happens because jobs are no longer there and families can't get jobs and so they go to other communities where they can get jobs."

Is there an issue you think is being overlooked in this campaign?

"There could be a bit more emphasis on ethics. And I think on placing more emphasis on the role of members of Parliament and how they can work together to get the job done in the next years because there may be another minority government and I think everybody agrees that this last one didn't necessarily work very well."

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