Michael Lotter is the Bradford resident in the York-Simcoe riding for the upcoming election on Oct. 21. He immigrated to Canada from South Africa when he was 21 years old, after his father received a job opportunity in medical research engineering in Sudbury. He has lived all over Ontario working in various different fields from retail to public relations. He has lived in Bradford for the past 15 years and now he spends his time between Bradford and Collingwood working in the construction and renovation business. He has two daughters, Charlotte, 10 and Makayla, 13.
He was motivated to run in the upcoming election after the by-election in February after realizing there was no political leader that really spoke to his values and political views.
“I just got very tired of the same old,” he explained.
“From the by-election only 22,000 people came out to vote (in York-Simcoe) out of just over 100,000 people, that’s 22,000 people telling us how to be governed,” he explained.
He was frustrated and wanted to get more involved with politics. That’s when he discovered the newly formed People’s Party of Canada (PPC), which came into formation just one year ago.
Once he read about their platform, he felt inspired and hopeful and decided to become a party candidate for York-Simcoe.
Since he is self employed, he said he was lucky to be able to take time off of work to work on his campaign.
His campaign team is small, with about 10 local volunteers who will assist him with door to door knocking, putting up signs and getting signatures to ensure his name can be put on the ballot.
A total of 100 signatures are required in order to be included as a candidate on the ballot, but his goal is to get at least 150 by the end of the week.
The PPC’s core values are freedom, respect and responsibility for Canada. Their main concern is that Canadians are losing their social values. They believe Canadians should be looked after and helped first, before extending help to other countries.
“Our money is our money and we spend it in Canada first and then we look at other countries,” he said.
He says there are outside influences like the United Nations influencing our government and he and the PPC believe this is wrong.
“Do I believe in the peacekeeping things they do? I do, to an extent,” he said.
“There’s always going to be a war somewhere in the war and we don’t need to be involved in every single war. It has nothing to do with us.”
He noted half the debt of the country could be paid with the money given to the United Nations.
“We give billions of dollars a year to the United Nations,” he said.
“If you take that $358 million and put it into Canada, that’s half our debt.”
“There’s homeless, there’s veterans, there’s First Nations issues that we need to deal with. Fix Canada, stop handing out to special interest groups and be honest with us and tell us what’s going on.”
The PPC would also like to restore the economy and reduce deficits by ceasing support of large banks.
“We are paying interest on loans that we shouldn’t have to. Back in the day when we were the Bank of Canada, our loans was 0 percent. Now we are paying big banks interest,” he explained.
They would like to help boost the economy by utilizing Canadian oil and stop importing it in from other countries.
“Instead of importing it, build a refinery, boost that economy, it’s a simple process,” he said.
Immigration is another issue he says that would be addressed by the PPC if elected. They believe Canadians are paying too much for illegal immigrants coming into Canada, and would like to make the process more structured.
“I’m all for immigration but let’s control it, let’s vet it,” he said.
“The millions of dollars we are spending on illegal immigration in this country is insane. It’s costing us as tax paying citizens for illegal immigrants to come to Canada.”
He noted the health care illegal immigrants receive as well as the jobs they accept for less than minimum wage are hurtful to the economy.
As an immigrant himself, he believes in maintaining individual culture but also assimilating into Canadian culture.
Lotter says part of what the party stands for is Canadian identity.
“I believe people should have their own culture because that’s your identity, but as a country we have our own identity and core values and that needs to be upheld,” he said.
If elected, the PPC would make amendments to the Firearms Act, making it legal to own firearms with proper vetting, testing and training.
“We’re not going to start gun violence by taking away legal ownership of guns,” he said.
“I personally don’t own a gun…I don’t want one. But again as a Canadian that is my right and somebody who wants one that is their right as long as they are properly vetted,” he said.
Climate change is another popular issue on a lot of political platforms. Lotter says when you look at the planet’s contribution to C02, Canada he says is actually a “carbon sink” and contributes less than 2 percent of C02.
“We’ve got the Boreal forest that scrubs the atmosphere for us.”
He says a lot of parties are using scare tactics about the planet and climate change and doesn’t think that is right.
“You need to look at the offenders who are creating greenhouse gas to an extreme,” he suggested.
“We’re for responsible management of our ecosystem,” he said of the PPC platform.
He says the party would take the carbon tax off the table if elected.
He encourages all eligible votes to go out and vote in this election, to do research and make an informed decision.
“If you don’t vote, you don’t have the right to complain. Let your voice be heard, tell people what you want,” he said.
Lotter hopes if anything, to at least inspire people to get out and vote, to read other political party platforms and to ask questions.
“Ideally I’d like to win the seat, but the goal is to educate people. So they know there is more of an option than just the current government and the Conservatives,” he said.
He applauds all candidates running in the election.
To learn more about the PPC, you can read their entire platform here.
Election day is Oct. 21.