Stephen Bieda, Candidate for Niagara West-Glanbrook in Federal Election 2011

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Candidate Details (top)

NameStephen Bieda
ElectionFederal Election 2011
AreaNiagara West-Glanbrook
PartyLiberal Party of Canada
Email vote@stephenbieda.com
Website http://stephenbieda.com/
BioStephen Bieda is a husband, father, and community leader. He is proud to be your federal Liberal candidate for Niagara West-Glanbrook.

Stephen is a long-time Niagara resident and businessman. He and his wife, Roberta Vervloet, have six children. Born in Niagara Falls, Stephen was raised on a farm in Pelham, and is a graduate of EL Crossley Secondary School and of Brock University, from which he obtained a HBA degree in Communications Studies. He worked with his father both on the family farm, and at Bieda's Farm and Leisure Service in Fenwick, selling Massey Ferguson equipment among other products.

For some 19 years, Stephen was vice-president and general manager of Bieda Powersports, in Fenwick, and was a champion snowmobile racer in his spare time. He is now an eco-preneur and clean-tech consultant. In his business career he has won numerous provincial, national and international awards. Stephen is at present member of the board of directors of the Hamilton Conservation Foundation (HCF), a volunteer judge for the Bay Area Science and Engineering Fair (BASEF), and a member of the Winona Crossing Community Liaison Committee (Fifty Point retail development). He is past board member of Electric Mobility Canada (EMC), and of the Canada East Equipment Dealers’ Association (CEEDA).

An award-winning athlete, Stephen is a past assistant coach with the Welland/Pelham Soccer Association, and enjoys volleyball, basketball, tennis, squash, cycling, hiking and running. Stephen’s wife, Roberta, is Reimbursement Specialist with Pharma company Innomar Strategies and is an accomplished runner/athlete, is quadrilingual, enjoys hiking, and grew up in Lima, Peru, and in Ottawa.

Two of Stephen and Roberta's children are Type-1 diabetics.

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Responses to Questions (top)

QuestionBrief ResponseFull Response
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 It does seem clear that we have reached peak oil production on a global perspective, although certain regions may still be ramping up.

What I am prepared to do is to advance policy on the electrification of mass transit and passenger vehicles. Embarrassingly, Canada is the only G8 nation without a Nationwide program on electric vehicles, leaving us empty-handed on job creation in the auto sector, as well as leaving us with the label as one of the world's worst polluters per capita.
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 It is essential that we have clear laws that ensure that foreign acquisitions of Canadian companies maintain or grow Canadian jobs. Government should take a more strategic and transparent approach to foreign investment in Canada.

I would also like to add that once the government has determined that a foreign company has breached the terms of an Agreement (ie. U.S. Steel) the company should lose the privilege of having the terms kept public disclosure.
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 Fortunately my soci-economic, political and cultural values align well with the Liberal Party platform so it would be rare where my conscience or personal preference would differ. However, I would be prepared to deviate from the flock and represent my constituents' interests when necessary.
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 At the end of the day, the most important job of the media is to convey the truth, not an equal share of information supporting each side or in an equally positive light.

Publicly funded broadcasters like the CBC are one of the most critical aspects of democracy because this is what they do better than global media conglomerates - reveal the truth. Public broadcasting is about educating the nation so that we can all make an informed decision and vote accordingly.

Mainstream broadcast media has strayed from this prime objective because it is driven by profit not the truth. This is why we need to increase funding of the CBC. Public broadcasting is not without bias or flaws, but it is the best model we have and should be promoted to the best of our ability.

I believe a Hamilton/Niagara CBC office would best be classed as a 'nice to have' but not an essential at this point in time in the interest of financial prudence. At some point in the next decade, as the population grows and fiscal responsibility is restored, we could reinvestigate the possibility of a Hamilton/Niagara CBC office.

We should, however, encourage greater coverage of the CBC of Hamilton/Niagara from wherever it sees fit.
Do you believe parliamentary rule has been eroding in Canada? If so, what will you do to reverse it? If not, why not? Yes Yes it is clear that through two prorogations, the contempt of parliament charge, the forging of documents and other corruptions issues, that parliamentary changes are in order. A swearing of oath at the beginning of each session of parliament is something I would support.

I would also like to remind the public that there is a certain democratic spirit in which a government is expected to act:

- Parliament must be informed of decisions and given a real opportunity to debate issues.

- The press must be able to ask questions of the government directly without excessive handling (ie. Question limits, blocking of the national press corp).
Do you believe human activity is contributing to climate change? If so, what should we do about it? If not, why not? Yes Over 110 years ago, we had electric rail in the NWG riding and today we don't even have a single electric vehicle charging station installed to accommodate the wave of EVs coming to Canada by year end. In the US, tens of thousands of stations are already installed.

Here in Canada, the climate change denying Conservative Party already has us years behind on electrification - the future of responsible transportation, the future of green collar jobs and the future of economic development.

Yes, the peer reviewed science is quite clear that climate change is an anthropocentric issue and only we humans that stand up for the environment are going to put and end to it.
Do you support Vrancor's attempt to remove heritage protection from 150 Main Street West (the old Revenue Canada building)? Why or why not? Maybe Although this is not a NWG riding issue, it does speak to a candidate's commitment to culture, heritage and the arts in a broader context. I am a strong supporter of preserving cultural heritage and in such a young country like Canada, we don't have an abundance of architecturally significant buildings left. With that said, I would need to consult stakeholders, community interest groups and constituents to see where they stand. A possible compromise would be to preserve a portion of the artistic features of the building in a new more structurally sound and eco-friendly design.
Do you believe the Federal Government needs to do more to support cities? If so, what needs to change? If not, why not? Yes Federal investment in infrastructure projects including electrified light high speed rail, electric vehicle charging stations and support for GO Station expansion into areas like Winona Crossing at Fifty Road would go a long way towards reducing commute times, reducing GHGs and creating jobs.
Will your platform promote the growth of manufacturing jobs in Hamilton? If so, how? If not, why not? Yes The QEW corridor between Vineland, Grimsby and Hamilton is ripe for high tech and green collar job creation. It is unfortunate that Hamilton already missed a terrific opportunity to land Think City electric vehicles a opportunity that would have brought 200 manufacturing jobs to the region, but there are other alternative energy manufacturing related jobs that can be brought to the region with strong supporting Federal policy like Electrification of transportation and further incentives for solar, wind and geothermal.
Do you believe the Federal Government is doing everything it can to complete the cleanup of Randle Reef? Why or why not? Yes More Federal investment is needed to do a proper clean-up of Randle Reef. It has been estimated that over $125 million dollars is needed however only $30-40 million has been raised by various levels of government.The Harper Conservatives have been negligent on many levels concerning the environment and this is one that is vital in the Golden Horseshoe.

This clean-up project would have significant economic and job creation benefit so it is astonishing that Federal involvement has not been taken thus far.
Will you call for a full public inquiry into the 2010 G20? Why or why not? Yes The G20 was one of the grossest examples of human rights abuse, government waste and violations of our constitutional freedoms in the history of our nation. As the evidence is pouring in, it is looking more like a Public Inquiry is required.
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? Maybe I do in principle favour proportional representation, however my opinion is not necessarily what matters on its own. As a Liberal, I am with my party in that I am a proponent of modernized voting. I feel such critical a issue as how parliament conducts itself, would best be served by an online vote of the citizens in the riding. I believe MPs should make their best efforts to represent their constituents' interests.
Please explain how the Prime Minister and cabinet are formed in the Canadian Parliamentary system. Yes The Parliament of Canada is composed of three parts: the monarch, the Senate, and the House of Commons. Each has a distinct role, but work in conjunction within the legislative process. I would like to see our parliamentary system streamlined by reforming Senate to include a diversity of people including aboriginal representation and other minorities.

The PM is chosen by the Governor General on the basis of who has the confidence of the House of Commons. The party with the most seats gets first crack at this, but if they fail, the Governor General is entitled turn to the other parties without an election.