SASKTODAY.ca staff reached out to the candidates in all of Saskatchewan's ridings with a universal questionnaire.
We will be publishing these results in order they were received.
Name: Greg Douglas
Running for: Maverick Party Candidate in Souris – Moose Mountain
Currently residing in (city or neighbourhood): Weyburn
Previous political experience: ---
Who is your political hero?
My political hero is Winston Churchill because he faced down the greatest threat of the 20th century. He was the strongest voice in the world facing the Nazi threat and he didn’t back down. He fought for the causes he believed in, and without Churchill we would be living in a very different world today.
What inspired you to enter the election race?
I was inspired to run by the people who live in this riding. The people who told me time and again that they had no candidate and no party who would voice their frustrations and stand up for western causes. I entered this race to give those people an option.
The lack of action on matters important to the West also inspired me to enter this election race. I believe there is a structural imbalance of power and representation in Canada that is unfair. We need a party that looks out for the interests of Western Canada. That looks out for oil and gas, for agriculture, for Indigenous communities, and for local businesses. A party that respects our heritage, our values, our industries. That party is the Maverick party, and I’m proud to be running as their candidate in Souris–Moose Mountain.
What topics are most important to you in this federal election?
There are many important topics in this election, but those that are important to me directly affect this riding – repealing the carbon tax and altering equalization payments so that money stops flowing out of the west to the east.
Are you concerned about the short campaign time line for this election?
The short campaign time is a challenge for myself because it is a challenge to get the message out about what this new party, the Maverick Party, is about. I want to share with as many people as possible how I, as a Maverick MP, will raise in Ottawa the issues that directly impact people in southeast Saskatchewan. It’s a challenge to make sure that every voter knows if elected, I will stand up for the West and the local issues that matter in this constituency. For every bill raised in parliament I’ll vote according to whether it is good for the people in Souris – Moose Mountain and the west more broadly, and not be reigned in by party lines.
That being said the election call was clearly unnecessary and it’s transparent that it was done as a power grab by Mr. Trudeau. So while it wasn’t a necessary election, I am proud to put my name out there as the Maverick party candidate and offer the constituency a new option– an MP and party that will stand up for the west
What supports, if any, do you feel are needed to help businesses and residents with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic?
In the aftermath of the pandemic, I think supports need to focus on allowing small businesses to flourish through the predictable ability to run their business as they see fit. By that I mean no more government red tape: no more lockdowns and no more government regulations that limit their ability to operate their business. The financial support that was offered to individuals during the pandemic, which made it easy for some folks to stay home needs to be wound down, so that small businesses have a workforce willing to come in and support their enterprise.
What, if any, agricultural federal programs and initiatives do you feel are necessary to help support farmers and ranchers in this year's conditions?
I think the current agrorecovery programming is an embarrassment and would never be tolerated in central and eastern Canada. Ranchers are facing very difficult hay, feed, and water conditions, and $100 a cow reimbursement is pathetic. Government should also look at enhancements for livestock insurance, similar to crop insurance.
Another area the federal government needs to focus on is improving market access through trade agreements and enhanced infrastructure.
Is there an issue that people are focusing too much?
In this riding people are very focused on vote splitting.
In this riding, vote splitting within Souris-Moose Mountain isn’t an issue. Last election the CPC won with a large percentage of the vote, and this year the race is between the Tories and the Maverick party.
More broadly, people have voiced the concern that voting Maverick denies the Conservatives the chance to govern. Unfortunately, over two-thirds of the parliamentary seats are east of Manitoba, and therefore the governing party will likely be decided by the time the votes are counted in Souris - Moose Mountain. And make no mistake that is one of the major problems with our electoral system. But, by voting in a Maverick MP, they can be the balance of power and push for change that would be good for the west – including electoral reform.
Is there an issue that doesn’t get enough attention?
In terms of the current election, western frustration has received no attention. It has not been raised by any of the main political leaders. No mention has been made of the agricultural conditions farmers and ranchers have faced this year. No discussion or debates about policies that could be put in place to support them.
Why did you choose to run for your particular party?
I chose to run for the Maverick party because the time has come for a truly western conservative option. The Maverick party is a party that respects our heritage, our values, our industries. They are the only option that allowed me to run for a party that looks out for solely western interests.
What is the biggest issue facing your party’s chance at success?
The biggest challenge to the Maverick Party’s success is getting the word out. As a new party, the challenge is telling as many people in each western constituency that there is another fiscally responsible, right of centre option. We want to make sure voters know that there is an option to vote for when it comes to western issues and advocating for themselves in Ottawa.
How will you engage and encourage young voters to participate in this election?
I believe that the Maverick platform of standing up for the west resonates with young voters. Young voters who are seeing employment opportunities disappearing as equalization payments flow eastward, and who are impacted by decisions made in Ottawa by politicians that have no interest in the daily lives and issues of people in Saskatchewan. As a Maverick party candidate I am offering young voters an opportunity to vote for a candidate who not only listen to their concerns during the campaign, but also raise them in Ottawa loudly and repeatedly to make a better western future.
Ultimately the Maverick party platform is really about young voters and their future. Standing up for the West now makes for a better future for them.
What is your party’s leader’s biggest flaw?
Jay Hill is a great leader for the Maverick party, but he hasn’t been able to spread the Maverick message everywhere. He isn’t superhuman, so has been limited by the short length of this campaign and the newness of the party. He is great at sharing how the Maverick party will provide true western representation, but with the amount of interest out there in this new party he is limited in his ability to see all the people that want to hear from him.
Once elected, your job is to represent your entire riding. How do you plan on representing individuals who didn’t vote for you?
I would represent all people in the Souris – Moose Mountain riding by standing up for issues of the West. My job as a Maverick MP in Ottawa would be to put every question and bill through one simple test: “Is it good for Souris – Moose Mountain and is it good for the West?”
Whether it’s agricultural, social programs, healthcare, I will not be constrained by party lines and it will always come down to that one question. That allows me to represent everyone in this riding, regardless of political leaning.
What informs your political stance? What books, publications, relationships or experiences?
My experiences working in central Canada, in both the government and corporate worlds, lead me to realize the imbalance of power between Western Canada and the rest of Canada.
My knowledge of economics, from university and the corporate sector, leads me to my thinking that the best agent of positive economic change is free market economics and innovation and NOT government intervention.
What local project or service would you advocate for more federal spending?
There are several areas that I would advocate for more federal spending. One area I have already mentioned is agricultural supports for ranchers who have not received enough compensation after a challenging summer.
I also think there needs to be maintained pressure on the federal government to get pipelines completed. The oil and gas sector in southeastern Saskatchewan needs more infrastructure to get their product to market and achieve world price.
What is something people don’t know about you?
In another lifetime I raced motocross and still enjoy getting out to watch a race at the local track.