Tanya Corbet was acclaimed as the Conservative candidate for Delta in the upcoming federal election. Corbet is a former council member of the Tsawwassen First Nation government who didn’t seek re-election this year. Her community involvement includes sitting on the Reach Child Youth Development Society and Delta Hospital and Community Health Foundation boards as well as on the B.C. Treaty Commission. She’s hoping to win back the long-held riding for the Conservatives after the Liberals took it by a wide margin in 2015.
Q. You’ve suggested the process to replace the George Massey Tunnel has broken down and, if elected, you would hold a summit within 100 days to get it back on track. The provincial government is moving forward, albeit slowly, with its plans so how is the process broken?
A. When a project like the tunnel, it definitely does impact us. Not just commuters but it impacts our national economy because we are on a trade corridor. That’s why do believe it’s an initiative that needs to have federal leadership. So, I’m very pleased that Andrew Sheer has committed to make this a priority project under critical infrastructure funding and it would be funded by a Conservative-led government that will bring in that federal leadership to make sure we can get this project delivered on an urgent basis. We can’t afford being stuck years and years not having this project finished.
Q. First Nations members haven’t necessarily gravitated towards the Conservatives in large numbers, so what made you want to run for the party?
A. The same reasons I ran for council are the same reasons why I’m running in this election here. I believe that the best way for families to get ahead is through a strong economy that benefits everyone. I do believe that we can’t afford another four years under this government and I do believe that our quality of life is at risk. This is home. It always has been and it always will be. We need to ensure that we have strong leadership, advocating for Delta’s needs in Ottawa.
Q. This area had voted for the right-of-centre candidate for more than four decades prior to the last federal election. Why do you think they didn’t in 2015 and what will make them do so this time?
A. My team and I have been working very hard in this campaign. We’ve knocked on thousands of doors and talked with many, many people, and it’s a message we’ve been hearing that people are frustrated. They are frustrated with the cost of living being out of reach, with deficits and spending in government that’s not abiding by the rules of the law. People are wanting to see some change, so that’s what we’re hearing on their doorsteps today.
Q. The Conservatives tell us they have a plan to help us get ahead by leaving more money in our pockets with tax relief and credits but is that going to come at the expense of reduced government services or running a deficit?
A. Provincial transfers will be maintained under a Conservative government, so core community services will be maintained that we enjoy. We will look at reducing wasteful spending. There’s a number of measures we can look at including corporate welfare and money that’s sitting in the Asian infrastructure bank. These savings will be redirected towards our communities, helping with the affordability question here that we are facing by helping small businesses, by reducing red tape, introducing a universal tax cut and reintroducing children’s fitness tax credit and intruding a green home renovation tax credit, and by implementing a national strategy on autism. These are just some of the exciting initiatives that have been announced in our campaign. So I’m really excited to be able to bring these forward.
Q. There are some voters who have concerns about where the Conservatives under Andrew Scheer stand on issues like abortion and gay marriage. Do they have a right to be concerned some of those rights could be reversed?
A. A Conservative government will not reopen debate on these social issues and I will always stand up for fundamental rights for every Canadian.
Q. There are many differences between the platforms of the Conservatives and the Liberals, but where do you see the greatest separation? What makes a Conservative a Conservative?
A. I do believe we are at a crossroads in our country and this is an important election. We can look at the record of the Liberals that has higher taxes, that has higher deficits, not showing ethical behaviour in government. On the other hand, I’m really excited about the positive Conservative vision for Canada that will create a more affordable life for us here in Delta through lower taxes and restoring a transparent, fiscally responsible and ethical government back in Ottawa. I would be very, very honoured to have the support for our team that would put Canada back on track on Oct. 21.
Q. During the all-candidates meetings you spoke of your lifelong ties in Delta. Do you think this gives you a unique perspective of the community and its challenges, and what are those challenges?
A. Being from Delta, I know the challenges we face. Take the traffic bottleneck at the Massey Tunnel for instance. My husband drives through the tunnel for work and we wait in traffic to take our kids to sports and medical appointments north of the Fraser. Like so many other families, I know the stress that it adds to everyday life, and I know that this problem needs to be addressed in an urgent manner. That's why I have secured the support of Andrew Scheer to fund and prioritize a replacement for the tunnel. I serve on the Delta Hospital and Community Health Foundation board of directors. Again, I see the challenges we have in our health care system. Despite Liberal rhetoric, Conservatives have guaranteed record levels of transfers to provinces for health care. Further, we will invest $1.5 billion into MRI and CT scan equipment, so residents can count on shorter wait times for critical medical appointments. Having worked in the construction industry and served as an elected official for the BC Treaty Commission and Tsawwassen First Nation council, I know what it takes to bring people together to get projects completed, protect the environment and grow an economy. I’ve seen firsthand in our community that when small businesses thrive, communities thrive. I am committed to providing strong, local representation in Ottawa that will put the needs of Delta first.