Name: Alice Wong
Education: Ph.D (curriculum and instruction)
Achievements: Member of Parliament (Richmond) 2008, 2011; Minister of State (Seniors) from 2011
Theme Song: Oh Canada
Three Priorities: 1. Promote international trade in Pacific Rim. 2. Fight elder abuse. 3. Keep marijuana illegal, prevent drug injection sites locally.
Behind and to the left of Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Parliament, has sat Alice Wong for years, supporting her leader’s announcements and retorts to opposition attacks.
Wong has confidence Harper’s leadership and cites it as a reason to re-elect the Conservatives. Canada, she says, needs strong leadership and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair has no plan, while Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, is, “just not ready.”
Wong is Richmond’s most experienced federal politician running in this election, and for over four years she has served as Minister of State for seniors.
“The passion is there and I’m in excellent shape health wise,” says Wong, who has worked to enforce stiffer laws against senior abuse in her time in Ottawa. Not without controversy, she also helped usher in higher age limits for seniors receiving benefits (OAS and GIS).
And to clear the air over another controversy, Wong, when asked, confirms she would eat shark fin soup again, but only if a guest were to offer it.
Despite international criticism, “Canada has a strong environmental record,” claims Wong.
The 67-year-old also supports her government’s decision to reform environmental assessments for projects by leaving many of those assessments up to the provinces. “We don’t want anything to be redundant,” she says.
Similarly, she says there is no need for a national housing strategy (axed by the Liberals in the 1990s), as the provinces are given funding from Ottawa for projects, says Wong.
But to have more money, especially in individual pockets, one must build the economy by keeping taxes low and investing as needed, says Wong.
Thankful for her supporters, Wong says this election will be a tight one, unlike her win in 2011.