David Hart Dyke, Candidate for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek in Federal Election 2011

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Candidate Details (top)

NameDavid Hart Dyke
ElectionFederal Election 2011
AreaHamilton East-Stoney Creek
PartyGreen Party of Canada
Email davehartdyke@yahoo.ca
Website http://greenpartyhamilton.ca/hamiltoneast/candidate/
BioDave Hart Dyke grew up in Stoney Creek and many of his happiest moments were spent hiking and observing nature on the Niagara Escarpment. His family actively encouraged his interest, and established a World Garden to help preserve rare plant species in England. Dave attended Saltfleet High School and Ryerson University (Journalism). He became actively involved in environmental issues through membership on a public committee that helped design the 25-year waste management master plan for the city of Hamilton. He subsequently served six terms as chair/vice-chair of the Waste Reduction Task Force, which is responsible for helping to implement the plan.

Dave has also been active in the Niagara – Hamilton Joint Working Group and the Hamilton Area Eco-Network. He has been asked to represent the Ontario Environmental Network, which coordinates the efforts of more than 500 Ontario environment groups, at Waste Diversion Ontario. As part of Action 2020, he helped develop indicators to measure Vision 2020 progress. He serves on a curriculum design committee at Mohawk College. As part of a continuing effort to shine positive light on the environment in Hamilton, Dave assisted with the Ripple Effect Eco-Film Fest, and co-wrote/performed in a Fringe Festival play that took a light-hearted look at environmental issues. He has been identified as an effective advocate for local environmental issues.

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Responses to Questions (top)

QuestionBrief ResponseFull Response
Do you support some form of proportional representation instead of first-past-the-post voting? If so, what will you do to promote it? If not, why not? Yes Yes. The Green Party supports proportional representation and is working to make it happen. Aside from our commitment to genuine democracy in Canada, I have to point out that in the last federal election, we received almost as many votes as the Bloc Quebecois. We got no seats, they got 49. I'm on Fair Vote Canada's discussion e-list, though I'm not an actual member.
Please explain how the Prime Minister and cabinet are formed in the Canadian Parliamentary system. Yes The Governor General appoints the Prime Minister, who thereafter heads the Cabinet. By convention, this is the person who has the confidence of the House...typically (though not necessarily) the person leading the party with the most seats.
Do you believe global oil production is at or near an historic peak? If so, what will your party do to prepare Canada for declining oil production? If not, why not? Yes I believe that if we haven't yet actually reached Peak Oil, it will happen soon. Much of the Green Party's platform involves weaning Canada off its fossil fuel addiction and transforming us into a strong, environmentally sustainable economy that ensures good jobs and an improved standard of living. Rising energy costs are a fact of life. The Green Party is the only party to recognize this and incorporate ways to deal with this fact right into the its platform.
Will your party take steps to make sure the foreign purchase of Canadian companies does not cost Canadian jobs? If so, what will you do? If not, why not? Yes I will work to ensure that control of Canadian companies stays in Canadian hands. The track record of U.S. Steel, Vale Canada and other giant multi-nationals that have gained control of Canadian corporations has not been good for Canada. And the federal government has been missing in action while these companies sneer at agreements they signed in order to buy their "little piece of Canada".
Will you always vote along party lines, or are you prepared to vote your conscience on a matter in which you disagree with your party's position? No The Green Party does not favour whipped votes, except on matters relating to our core values. It's very unlikely that anybody would be a Green Party member without believing in those, so I can honestly say that my conscience comes first, but that's easy for a Green Party candidate. I can't think of a situation where I'd have to oppose the party on an issue that would force me into the situation you describe. There are certainly issues where I disagree with the Green Party and would vote my conscience, but I wouldn't have to leave the party to do so.
Do you believe human activity is contributing to climate change? If so, what should we do about it? If not, why not? Yes This isn't really a matter for "belief" any more. The science is in, and the only thing remaining is to decide whether we act to avoid doing long-term damage to the biosphere.
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage has recommended that CBC's annual parliamentary grant be raised from $33 per Canadian to $40. Will you support this recommendation? Why or why not? If so, will you advocate for a Hamilton-based CBC radio station? Yes I'd support putting it up even higher. Whatever you think of their entertainment and opinion programs, CBC's news division does an excellent job. During a time when corporate-owned media are increasingly putting news departments at the service of special interests, it's vital that the people of Canada have a source of information that doesn't have to cater to such interests, or to ratings.

And yes, I will certainly advocate for a Hamilton-based CBC radio station; in fact, I've done so in the past. I believe Hamilton's municipal political system would be far more responsive, accountable and responsible if a media presence having CBC's clout appeared on the scene.
Do you support Vrancor's attempt to remove heritage protection from 150 Main Street West (the old Revenue Canada building)? Why or why not? No Absolutely not! (By the way, this is one of those issues where I don't actually know where the Green Party would stand). I believe Hamilton has been horribly remiss in the way it has allowed developers to buy up pieces of city history and then practice "demolition by neglect" until the building in question has to be torn down for safety reasons. Hamilton is one of the oldest cities in Canada, and what little is left of its beautiful old architecture deserves to be treasured, not abandoned to become a breeding ground for rats.
Do you believe parliamentary rule has been eroding in Canada? If so, what will you do to reverse it? If not, why not? Yes I do. What can you say when we find ourselves in yet another federal election because for the first time in our history the ruling party is found to be in contempt of parliament? And that finding, by the way, was made by a person considered by many to be the greatest Speaker in Canada's history.
Do you believe the Federal Government needs to do more to support cities? If so, what needs to change? If not, why not? Yes Both the federal and provincial governments need to do far more to support cities.

Our system of government was set up when Canada was primarily a country of small rural communities. That is no longer the case, yet a system structured to serve the country under that paradigm still exists. The result is that cities are forced to take on more and more responsibilities, yet their only access to the means to fulfil them is property tax and the largesse of the "higher" levels of government.

Hamilton's downward economic spiral started when the Harris government downloaded provincial responsibilities onto the municipality. Promises that funds to cover this change would be forthcoming proved to be a cruel and misleading fantasy. Meanwhile, the federal government has found it convenient to pretend that making things right would be intruding into areas of provincial responsibility.

So what needs to change? The federal government needs to stimulate economic growth by providing incentives for small and medium-sized businesses to "get greener". It should invest in transportation and communications infrastructure that would help connect major population centres. I say "invest", because such measures have a ripple effect that spreads right through the whole city's economy. Well-employed citizens are a source of all kinds of tax dollars. As it improves Canada's transportation infrastructure (especially rail), the federal government should tear down tariff walls between provinces that make north-south trade easier than east-west trade. It should commit to a coherent strategy to ensure that cities have the tools to keep Canada strong as we move away from a resource-based economy that relies on plundering our national heritage and selling it off at bargain-basement prices.
Will your platform promote the growth of manufacturing jobs in Hamilton? If so, how? If not, why not? Yes Yes, it will. While Canada has been insisting that it can't be done, Germany has created a green energy sector from scratch that now employs more people (in well-paid jobs) than its auto sector. I would work hard to persuade green technology manufacturers to move here and take advantage of Hamilton's excellent existing industrial infrastructure, educated workforce and geographic advantages.

In addition, the Green Party favours economic stimulus measures that would put Hamilton to work on a wide variety of projects intended to help the city's businesses, homes and infrastructure adapt to a world where energy costs will continue to increase. Measures to build and retrofit energy-efficient housing and small businesses, increase local food production, build better public transit, and more are part of our platform. And we have economist-reviewed means to make it happen without jacking up peoples' taxes.
Do you believe the Federal Government is doing everything it can to complete the cleanup of Randle Reef? Why or why not? Yes No. The Tories are only the latest federal government that has failed to appreciate how vital it is that this potential environmental nightmare be remediated. Randle Reef could become a major disaster if things go wrong.
Will you call for a full public inquiry into the 2010 G20? Why or why not? Yes Yes. This fiasco is one of the greatest large-scale violations of human rights in Canada's history. Nothing like it must ever be allowed to happen again. Measures to ensure this must be enacted, and those who participated in this abnegation of all that is best about Canada should be tracked down and held to account.