Conservative Shelley Downey

Written Responses

Following is a 2-part question…

How important do you believe the blue economy — aquaculture — is to our future? And what is your plan to develop it?


The Conservative Party supports the sustainable development and growth of Canada’s world-leading aquaculture sector due to its ability to provide a solid economic base in coastal communities, create stable, long-term employment, and contribute to Canadian food security while succeeding as a leading Canadian export to global markets.


Following is a 2-part question… from the BC Salmon Farmers Association  

Do you support salmon aquaculture in B.C.? How do your views align with your party and where do they diverge?


Yes. Conservatives will not take an ideological position on this issue. We want the aquaculture industry to succeed, but it is a simple fact that this sector can only grow as long as Canadians can have confidence in our ability to protect wild salmon. Therefore, any decisions related to salmon aquaculture must be based on robust science, guided by conservation, and be respectful of the communities and families that rely on these jobs. 


Minister Bernadette Jordan has been quoted saying the removal of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands by June 2022 was not based on science, but rather social licence. Former Wei Wai Kai Chief Assu stated he felt “railroaded” by the decision. If elected how do you plan on supporting First Nations who sign agreements for ocean pens in their territory?


Conservatives will develop in consultation with industry, First Nations, communities and other stakeholders, a comprehensive Salmon Aquaculture Management Strategy that addresses both the risks and opportunities of this sector.

Land-based closed containment has been suggested by some as a viable transition for salmon aquaculture in B.C. by 2025, however many studies confirm land-based by 2025 will not only increase carbon emissions, but will remove the entire industry out of B.C. What do you think a viable and responsible transition looks like?   


How will you ensure the health and viability of salmon populations in our oceans?


Canada’s fishing communities feel beset by crisis. Many critical stocks are in trouble, new conflicts are arising, and many whose livelihoods are made on the water are feeling ignored and excluded. Resource users, whether Indigenous or non-Indigenous, commercial, or recreational, are feeling frustrated. They want to leave well-managed, sustainable fisheries to future generations, yet they are now more divided than ever and fearful for their future. There is no reason for this. What is needed now is unity in a common purpose: restoring and maintaining healthy stocks that support commercial, recreational, and cultural fisheries. A Conservative government will restore calm and confidence to Canada’s fisheries sector by respecting the importance of all resource users and putting conservation first.

We will develop a Pacific Salmon Strategy focused on making measurable progress toward restoring at-risk stocks. This will include:

Enforcing a strict timeline for the completion of stock assessments;
Prioritizing funding for community-led habitat restoration or other projects that support at-risk stocks;
Ensuring the Salmonid Enhancement Program is sufficiently resourced to support at-risk stocks;
Increasing support for and engagement with Indigenous- and community-led hatchery and enhancement projects;
Implementing mass-marking programs at BC fish hatcheries and allowing mark-selective harvest of salmon in BC’s sport fishery, protecting sensitive fish populations while maintaining the health of BC’s public fishery;
Creating a pinniped management plan that will address threats to at-risk stocks in a balanced way; and
Identifying the likelihood of future threats due to climate change.

How will you ensure Indigenous Peoples have equitable access to society?


Conservatives believe in building a true partnership to ensure a just and secure place for thriving, self-determining Indigenous nations within the fabric of Canada. That starts with making the recognition of Indigenous rights a top priority and that is the lens through which we will approach all Indigenous issues. It also begins with making serious efforts to listen, learn, understand, and demonstrate our enduring commitment through our actions.


Do you support protecting old-growth forests in B.C.?


We need a MP who defends our sustainable forestry here in the North Island-Powell River Riding. We have forestry professionals who are trained and give oversight to this important industry. There is a review process underway. We need this to continue and let foresters do their jobs without interference from protesters. 


What is your plan going forward to balance protection with Indigenous land rights?


Conservatives believe in building a true partnership to ensure a just and secure place for thriving, self-determining Indigenous nations within the fabric of Canada. That starts with making the recognition of Indigenous rights a top priority and that is the lens through which we will approach all Indigenous issues. It also begins with making serious efforts to listen, learn, understand, and demonstrate our enduring commitment through our actions.

In light of the consistent battles with the USA regarding Soft Wood Lumber, What is the best way forward to create a sustainable forest industry in BC?

Canada’s Conservatives will:

  • Resolve the Softwood Lumber Dispute with the United States —To ensure that our forestry workers are protected and treated fairly, we will work with the US government to find a solution to this continuing dispute that Justin Trudeau has ignored. Canadian lumber producers are paying tariffs of over 20 percent on exports to the US, costing the industry millions of dollars and shuttering mills across the country.
  • Establish a Task Force on the Woodland Caribou — To protect the woodland caribou while ensuring that the forestry sector remains strong, we will establish a task force to work collaboratively with provinces and local communities to propose solutions sensitive to local expertise and management.
  • Protect our Forests from Pests — Forest pests are expected to become increasingly problematic due to climate change. To control the species that pose a substantial threat to forest health, we will increase funding to control pest species in national parks and federal lands.
  • Improve our Response to Wildfires — We will invest in remote sensing and other technology that will improve the early detection of wildfires and better predict fire behaviour
  • Develop a Forestry Future Strategy — We will work with Provinces, Territories, and industry stakeholders to develop a vision for the future of forestry that includes pathways to helping fight climate change and the development of new wood technology and bioproducts.

The world is facing growing supply chain issues and rising inflation. What steps will you take for the impact on Canada to be minimal?


What action will you take to ensure the people of North Island – Powell River are included in the economic recovery efforts?


The Canadian Tax system has become increasingly complex and seemingly unfair to most. What actions will you take to reduce the complexity and increase fairness?


A Conservative government will launch a comprehensive review of Canada’s tax system to improve competitiveness, bring down rates and simplify the rules.

How will you ensure everyone pays their fair share?


How well has the federal government handled the COVID-19 pandemic?


Canada was not prepared for this pandemic. We had shut down our Global Public Health Intelligence Network, sent our PPE to China without a replacement strategy, signed a vaccine agreement with China after having removed scientists from the Winnipeg Lab and had incurred four years of deficit budgets going into this pandemic. We were found lacking in every way. 

Canada’s Conservatives will secure our country by creating a strategic stockpile of essential products and building the capacity to manufacture vaccines at home.

Political and social debate in our society has become fractious, contentious and downright uncivil, why do you think this has happened?

And what role do our politicians play in resolving it?

How well do you think people understand the Canadian political system? What would you do to improve that understanding?

What is your opinion of the current state of gun control in Canada? What would you change?


 A Conservative government will:

  • Maintain the longstanding ban on assault weapons
  • Maintain the current ban on a number of other firearms that were reclassified in 2020
  • Conduct a transparent review of the firearms classification process to take the politics out of this process and engage the public in decisions with respect to public safety.
  • The review will be non-partisan and will focus on the capabilities of the firearms and not how it looks.
  • All Canadians will be invited to participate in the review process.
  • We will repeal the portions of C-71 that goes after law-abiding firearms owners. We will maintain the enhanced background checks.