Hangin’ with the candidates – Peter Braid

Graphic by Lena Yang, Photo by Jennifer Fok
Graphic by Lena Yang, Photo by Jennifer Fok

Conservative candidate in the Waterloo riding Peter Braid is no stranger to campaigning. For seven years, he has represented Waterloo in Ottawa, winning the 2008 election by 17 votes.

“I am the poster child for ‘every vote counts.’”

If Braid is re-elected, the Waterloo community will not be subject to any drastic changes, but more so a continuation of the work that Braid has started. This hard work Braid expects to continue includes a strong focus in strengthening the economy while also focusing on the environment.

“We clearly now have a reputation of being a centre of innovation. There are a couple of things I want to continue to advance and pursue after I’m re-elected,” Braid said. “One, and very importantly, is that I believe that there is a greater role for innovation in promoting environmental sustainability and a greater role in our community in contributing towards that effort. I would like to see further support for our emerging green tech sector here in Kitchener-Waterloo.”

For students specifically, Braid hopes to be the voice for the large student population in Waterloo.

“For the past seven years I’ve been working very closely with the two universities … on advocating for their priorities in Ottawa, specifically with respect to the Canada student loans and grants program,” he said.

Braid explained the Harper government has made several changes to the Canada student loans and grants programs over the years, but more drastic changes are in the foreseeable future.

“Starting next year,” Braid began, “we will remove in-study income from the assessment process … This is a huge achievement particularly for students from both [Laurier and UW] who are co-op students, who work during their [studies]. Starting next year … a student’s income will not have an impact on the final amount of their student loan or grant.”

Braid, like Chagger, also remarked on the fact that when filling out loan applications, the student is expected to include their parents’ income information as well.

“The expected parents’ contribution will be reduced [on student loan applications]. This will allow increased support and allow more students to qualify for loans.”

Another factor concerning the student population Braid also addressed was the stress of finding meaningful employment after graduation. Students number one priority is the same as other Canadians: the strength of the economy.

“Students are making a significant investment of time and money in their university education and they want to know that that investment will pay off when they graduate,” Braid explained. “They want a job when they graduate and they want to be fully contributing members of our society. Myself and our Conservative government share that number one goal and concern and priority of building a stronger economy.”

“We will continue to build our economy by keeping taxes low, by keeping money in the pockets of hard-working Canadians and families, by maintaining a balanced budget at the federal level and by living within our means,” Braid said.

When reflecting on his previous win, Braid remembered the role Laurier played in his success. He recognizes that this year, Laurier is once again playing a role to positively benefit his campaign.

“I have to pay particular tribute to the Campus Conservative club at Wilfrid Laurier University. In fact, as I mentioned, I won in 2008 by 17 votes, and I have stated in the past that I would not have won that election without the contribution of Laurier students to my campaign and Laurier students continue to have an important role on my campaign team.”

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