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08-Oct-2019

Election 2019 special report: Alex Ruff, Conservative


Alex Ruff, Conservative

CONTENT PROVIDED BY THE CANDIDATE FOR BRUCE-GREY-OWEN SOUND MP 

Who is Alex Ruff?

Alex Ruff is a proud Canadian and a trusted, proven leader dedicated to serving his community and country. He won the federal Conservative nomination on Monday, April 22, 2019. Alex is the Conservative candidate for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound (BGOS). He grew up on a farm just outside Tara and is no stranger to the unique issues facing a rural riding. He attended Chesley District High School (CDHS) and spent his summers farming and lifeguarding at the Tara Pool.

With multiple postings across Canada, he has developed a huge appreciation for the vast diversity and challenges that face everyday Canadians. Alex has always maintained his deep connections to the local community through his involvement with the Tara Legion and local community events. He frequently speaks to schools across the region, attends local Remembrance Day events and has even opened the Desboro Fall Fair.

In 1997, Alex graduated from Royal Military College with an Honours Bachelors of Space Science degree, and subsequently went on to command troops as an infantry officer in The Royal Canadian Regiment. He has extensive experience with six operational deployments including the 1998 ice storm in Eastern Ontario and Quebec, two in Bosnia, two in Afghanistan and most recently in Iraq.  From his 2007 combat deployment to Afghanistan, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross by the Governor General due to his "outstanding leadership... in defeating a determined enemy."

Recently, he returned home from a posting in Baghdad, Iraq, as a key leader in the international efforts to defeat ISIS terrorists in the region.

Alex believes that politicians represent the people who elected them, first and foremost. He would be honoured to continue his deep commitment to serve as the next Member of Parliament in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound where he can put his youth, experience and passion to work ensuring the constituents of this incredible riding are represented.

Our Questions

1. Climate change is on everyone’s mind these days. Floods, fires and extreme weather have become serious problems as Canada warms more than twice as fast as the rest of the world. How will your party stem this phenomenon, encourage lower carbon emissions, and provide support to affected Canadians for property loss due to catastrophic weather events?

Alex Ruff:

Climate change is a serious issue that is front of mind of all Canadians. The Conservative Party has released a comprehensive plan to deal with climate change called A Real Plan to Protect Our Environment, which can be found at www.arealplan.ca

Our plan is based off of three guiding principles:

  1. Green Technology, Not Taxes
  2. A Cleaner and Greener Natural Environment
  3. Taking the Climate Change Fight Global

The Conservative Party will take the burden off of everyday Canadians by removing the carbon tax and instead focusing on the big emitters. Every company that emits over 40 kt CO2 per year will be forced to pay into emissions reducing green technology within their own industry. This will drive emissions reducing research and development across a range of industries.  We will also introduce a Green Homes Tax Credit for homeowners to help pay for energy and emissions saving renovations. A Green Patent Credit, Green Technology and Innovation Fund and a Green Hub for innovators a few more of the many initiatives our plan will focus on to curb Canada's emissions. The last part of our plan, taking the climate change fight global is very important, as we can export our made in Canada emissions reducing technology globally, to have a real impact on emissions reduction in some of the major carbon producing countries. It is impossible to highlight all of the initiatives, but hope you will visit www.arealplan.ca to see all 55 initiatives that will not only curb emissions, but protect Canada's natural landscapes.

The Conservative Party will also incorporate a mitigation and adaptation lens to the government's investment in infrastructure, so we can help to protect communities that are at risk from loss due to major weather events and prevent major loss from occurring down the road. 


2. Many young Canadians have given up on the dream of owning their own home. They struggle to survive at low-paying jobs, yet the unemployment rate has reached record low levels. What will you do to incentivize businesses to hire more employees and/or help the people of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound find employment, earn a decent wage and keep the dream of owning their own home alive? 

Alex Ruff:

Small businesses employ 70% of the total private labour force and are essential to the Canadian economy. Businesses employ more people when they are prosperous. A Conservative government will take several measures to support small businesses and create the environment for growth by: repealing tax increases on small business investments, reducing federal regulations by 25%, implementing a 2-for-1 rule for new regulations, and assign a Minister to lead red tape reduction efforts.

A Conservative government will also make life more affordable for Canadians and make home ownership more attainable by:

  • A Universal Tax Cut for the lowest tax bracket, saving up to $440 per Canadian per year
  • Removing the GST from home heating and energy bills, a savings up to $200 per year
  • Scrapping the carbon tax which will make gasoline, groceries and home heating more affordable
  • Tax Credits for Children's Fitness and Arts and Public Transit
  • Maternity benefits will be Tax Free
  • Fixing the mortgage stress test to increase access to mortgages for first-time homebuyers
  • Increasing amortization periods on insured mortgages to 30 years for first-time homebuyers

 

3. Given the political scandals and divisive rhetoric of the past few years, how can you reassure Bruce-Grey- Owen Sound voters that you and your party can be trusted to give good governance and repair widening political divisions? 

Alex Ruff:

A Conservative Government will take measures to make sure that political scandals, like the SNC-Lavalin and Mark Norman affair never happen again. We have pledged to launch a judicial inquiry into the SNC-Lavalin corruption scandal to get the answers Canadians deserve. We will also introduce the No More Cover-Ups Act to allow the RCMP to access information protected by cabinet confidence by making application to the Supreme Court of Canada, and we will Amend s.39 of the Canada Evidence Act to allow the RCMP to make an application to challenge a certificate of Cabinet Confidence during criminal investigations. These measures will help to safeguard our democracy against politicians who do not have the best interest of Canadians front of mind.

On a personal level, as a retired infantry Colonel that served in the Canadian Armed Forces for 25+ years, I value honesty, integrity and have been held and still hold myself to the highest ethical standards. The Royal Military College embedded in me the motto, "Truth, Duty, Valour" while The Royal Canadian Regiment espouses "Pro Patria" (latin "For Country") and "Never Pass a Fault." I believe in this whole heartedly. As well, I have no time for divisive propaganda and that no one party or organizations has the monopoly on good ideas. Good governance is all about working together while being transparent and accountable.

 

4. Substance abuse and the opioid crisis have plagued this country and creeped into our own region over the last few years. Accessing long term care for our growing seniors population is also in crisis. What will you do to tackle these and other health care concerns in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound?

Alex Ruff:

Health care initiatives are primarily the responsibility of the Provincial level of Government. However, the Federal Government is responsible for the funding of health care via health transfers to the Provinces. The Conservative Party has announced the Health and Social Program Guarantee: a commitment to maintain and increase the Canada Health Transfer and Canada Social Transfer by at least 3% per year. This will provide stable and predictable health and social program funding and allow Provinces to better provide quality public health to address issues such as the opioid crisis and long-term care for our seniors. The Conservative party also recognizes the connection between mental health and the opioid crisis. The previous Conservative government created the Mental Health Commission of Canada with funding of $240 million and allocated $5.2 million to support research on treating depression with a focus on suicide prevention. Canada's Conservatives will continue to take strong action to promote positive mental health for all Canadians.

Personally, I will advocate for increased collaboration between all levels of government (federal, provincial, municipal) and private industry to work together to address these issues. Mental health issues and substance abuse is something I've been witness to since high school and throughout my military career and unfortunately I still have friends and former soldiers with these issues. I will always be there to support them and work to make more options and solutions available.

 

5. Canadian farms are fewer and larger and employing less people than ever before. In fact, over the last 20 years, Ontario has lost 25,000 farms with small and mid-size family-owned farms hit hardest. Young adults are also leaving their rural surroundings for better prospects in urban centres. What is your stance on corporate ownership? How can we encourage succession for family-owned farms and/or persuade young people to choose a rural-based career in the trades? 

Alex Ruff:

Agriculture and natural resources are the life-blood of Canada's economy. Having grown up on a small farm and having talked to hundreds of local farmers and friends over the last 9 months, we need to do more to encourage succession planning for family-owned farms and to support young farmers in choosing a rural-based career in the trades. This is one of the reasons, I chose to run for federal politics is to be the strong voice for not only Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound but for all of rural Canada. I will always advocate for the small and mid-size farmers as this keeps more money in our local economy over corporate ownership. I personally believe we need to develop the appropriate regulatory support to encourage succession planning of family farms, we need to encourage high schools to advocate for trades and ag related skills to their students (education is a provincial mandate but is so important to any society's development and growth). Finally, we all need to continue to support and promote our local farmers, agricultural societies and fall fairs.

 

6. Why should the people of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound choose you to be their Member of Parliament?

Alex Ruff:

Having grown up on a small farm with extensive family roots across this riding, I am well connected to understand the issues facing the majority of constituents. With over 20 years of experience working at all levels of government here in Canada and around the globe, I believe I have the necessary skills sets, qualifications and leadership attributes to be the strong voice for our riding. I've managed multi-million dollar budgets, commanded hundreds of soldiers, represented Canada on the global stage and have experience with working over 47 different government departments and agencies. I have a reputation as a proven, trusted voice who gets results and solves problems. I've spent my whole adult life in service to Canada and I just want to continue that record of dedicated service. Please check out www.alexruff.ca to learn more about me, my priorities and for easy access to the Conservative Party of Canada's campaign commitments. The Conservative Party is focused on living within our means and making life more affordable for you.

 


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