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Candidate Interview: Tim Jones

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He/Him • Portland Simonds • Liberal Party

Listen to the full interview

About the interview

We have reached out to all candidates in Saint John-Lancaster, Portland-Simonds, Saint John Harbour, and Saint John East ridings. All candidates were contacted via email, phone, and social media. 10 out of the 22 candidates responded, and each was interviewed by phone. Candidates were not provided with the questions in advance, as our objective was to give each candidate an equal opportunity to provide honest, unscripted answers. Candidate interviews were transcribed in full, edited, and emailed back to candidates to confirm accuracy. Below is the recording of the interview followed by a transcript. We invite candidates, the media, and everyone from the public to download and share these interviews freely.

All candidates were asked the following questions:

Section 1: Get to Know the Candidate

  1. Why are you running in this election?
  2. Describe how your time living in your riding has informed your qualifications as a candidate?
  3. Describe how your time living in New Brunswick has informed your qualifications as a candidate?
  4. How does your experience (ie. education, lived experience, workplace) contribute to your qualifications as a candidate?
  5. If elected, what will be your top 5 priorities for your riding?

Section 2: FLIP Areas of Priority
What are your thoughts on the following areas? When applicable, please provide examples and solutions.

  1. LGBTQ+ and reproductive healthcare
  2. Access to mental health and/or addictions services
  3. Glyphosate use in New Brunswick
  4. Access to affordable housing in Saint John
  5. Police funding in Saint John
  6. Reporting and investigations of sexual assaults
  7. Municipal and Industrial Tax reform
  8. Access to public transit in Saint John
  9. Access to affordable childcare in Saint John
  10. Media Ownership in New Brunswick

Interview Transcript

1. Why are you running in this election?

 I think it’s pretty clear that I’m very driven and connected within my community and I’m driven on a mandate for not only change, but for more opportunity within Portland Simonds. I have a very strong focus on education, I have a very strong focus on healthcare, I have a very strong focus on the economy, and I have a very strong focus on the citizens. And I think that’s what’s most important is that I’m here to represent the citizens of Saint John. I do believe in a fiscally responsible province, but at the end of the day, we need to look after the citizens within our riding and I’m here for that. And I believe that after the last 20 years this riding deserves a change with an open mind that it reconnects with the citizens. And that’s exactly why I’m running.

2. Describe how the time living in your riding has informed your qualifications as a candidate.

Well, I’ve been in our riding for almost 17 years. I lived at one spot for almost nine years and then built a home and I’d been down there for close to a decade in our riding. So I’m rooted in our riding and have been around. I built businesses in this riding and I’ve investigated this riding significantly over the last decade as well, without divulging too far into that. My daughter was born in this riding. My family has grown up in this riding and I reside here because I love it. 

3. Describe how your time living in New Brunswick has informed your qualifications as a candidate.

 I wake up every morning, I read world news, I read national news, I read provincial news and I read local news. And I think that’s really important, to have an understanding that we step back when we have a clear understanding of how we got here, policies that are coming from federal to provincial and down in this bubble and how they all tie together and having a clear understanding of how that impacts our community. And so, that could range from, you know, facilities in our neighborhood, like the Saint John Regional Hospital and also economic opportunities that we’re seeing in our riding. So to answer your question, I’m informed because I do the homework.

4. How does your experience (ie. education, lived experience, workplace) contribute to your qualifications as a candidate?

 I built a school here in our riding, Forest School, which I started with five kids now and has over 70 kids that attend full time from September through to June. And if you want to step back and look at that, I’m very focused and rooted within our youth. And I recognize the youth are our next generation coming up and our future. I guess building a school in our community is a good way to show that I’m educated enough to support this riding.

5. If elected, what will be your top 5 priorities for your riding?

 Well, it may sound broad, but, I’ve contributed significantly to our foundation. So the Saint John Regional Hospital, I’m a heart patient there as well. So healthcare is very important to me and ensuring that we’re conscious of what’s available and accessible to all walks of life in our riding. In saying that education is a really important one for me, through building of our forest school, have developed a system that has significant impacts on our youth and all youth and all learning styles and all behavior styles. So, we want that focus to move forward as well in education. And the economy’s huge, I’m probably one of the few candidates that actually did the environmental impact assessment on an interchange project that was announced several years ago. And that was a major economic opportunity for Portland-Simonds that has been shelved by the government. And, so for me, the economy is what’s going to provide opportunities for our citizens and jobs for our citizens right here in Portland-Simond’s so there’s some key factors that are important to me.

6. LGBTQ+ and reproductive healthcare

 I think the [party name hidden] has taken a real progressive approach and you’ve heard Mr. Vickers speak in reference to the Clinic 554 up in Fredericton, and you’ve heard his stance on supporting and bringing together all New Brunswickers regardless of any division that separates us, as humans. So I guess at the end of the day, I’m fully on board with the platform that’s been presented from the [party name hidden], for sure.

7. Access to mental health and/or addictions services

 Well, that’s a loaded one for sure. I mean, at the end of the day, there’s a simple solution to that. It’s no different than a lot of our solutions. It requires financial investment. If you want to look at the description on our website at www.tim-jones.ca it clearly states in there that education needs to be combined with strong mental health and wellness supports. And we’re very clear on that. So I think it starts at the grassroots that we prepare our youth to handle the challenges of life.

8. Glyphosate use in New Brunswick

 Well, the [party name hidden] took a stand on that, and we all recognize that there’s some more study that’s required and there’s certainly an argument right down the middle on whether it’s a positive way forward or not. [party name hidden] government has announced that they’re going to ban the use of that on crown lands as a step within the next four years and the mandate, I think that’s a great step, you know, I think we have to be concerned and obviously work with our farmers and those out there that are looking after putting food on our table. That’s why I think they began with crown land, to be able to move that forward on a step-by-step basis. So I support the [party name hidden] platform.

9. Access to affordable housing in Saint John

 I just finished the interview with their budget with the Human Development Council here in Saint John just last week and they posted it on their YouTube. And, you know, I think you want to look at affordable housing. We talk about poverty, you know, 30% of our kids in our riding are under that line. And at the end of the day, it needs our attention, really from the grassroots from education. So we can break the cycle of poverty, but at the same time, it’s going to require a financial investment to ensure that we have the affordable housing to begin that. So that’s how I feel about that.

10. Police funding in Saint John

 I’ve never studied it. I’m going to be completely frank with you. It’s one of those jobs though that I will say, saves our lives, and I don’t take that lightly. I think at the end of the day, if I had the opportunity to sit down and have a clear understanding of where the shortfalls are from the police association and where the shortfalls are from the city of Saint John, and, you know, I’m just speaking to our municipality in itself, then I’d have a better position going forward. But I do know though, is that those positions save our lives and when we need them and I think that that’s something we need to do is continue to protect the citizens the most vulnerable within our city. And so for me, it would just be a matter of sitting down and having a better understanding of where those gaps lie. I fully support a fiscally responsible city, and I also fully support those that are out there risking their lives every day for us. So I think there’s a fine balance in all of that. I would love to be able to sit down and have a better understanding of what those numbers look like.

11. Reporting and investigations of sexual assaults

 Well, I think at the end of the day, if we have one issue, that’s too many. I believe every case matters. I believe that every situation deserves an investigation and I think every situation deserves the follow up and the answers that are required. As far as how I feel about it today, it’s difficult for me to comment when you’re looking at it as a holistic sort of a question versus on a case by case specific scenario. So I probably would be reluctant to say that it’s well looked after, because at the end of the day, you’d have to show me some more information exactly how your question is referring within this framework.

12. Municipal and Industrial Tax reform

 Well, I think at the end of the day, we all support that we recognize even within our riding here at Portland Simonds, that public safety is a major issue. We’re looking at closing a fire station, and I don’t take that lightly. In my view, we have a lot of seniors that live in our neighborhoods. And at the end of the day, I think it’s important that we recognize that services need to be available there for them. So I guess, when you step back and you look at public safety, that’s certainly a key interest for us, but how do we get there? I think tax reform is how we get there. I think that Vickers had announced just last week that industrial tax, he’s looking to keep that in the cities. And if you look at the city of Saint John, that’s the type of city we are, he never talked about raising them. He just talked about leaving them in those cities, and that’s a great first step for economic health and a stabilizer for the city of Saint John. So for me, I fully support tax reform.

13. Access to public transit in Saint John

 Well, the Higgs government left millions of dollars and walked out of meetings in Ottawa when the rest of the province had  jumped on board. And I think if you read about it loud and clear, our transportation is a must in any city, for not only all citizens, but specifically for those that are most vulnerable that require it. And so if we’re leaving money in Ottawa during a time when our transportation infrastructure is struggling, I struggle with that. I think that we’ve had a missed opportunity and I think it deserves more attention.

14. Access to affordable childcare in Saint John

 Yeah, that’s a loaded one. And that’s a provincial question versus Saint John in itself. And what I mean by that, as we have provincial programs that are heavily weighted towards trying to be able to support that affordability for childcare. I’m a believer in that. I mean, at the end of the day, if we’re not able to take our kids to childcare and go to work because it’s costing us too much, then we’re better off staying home. And that’s not the cycle that we’re looking for. We want to get people out and get them moving. So I think that’s a provincial matter more so than actually here, specifically in Saint John. We follow the Department of Education as it relates to childcare, therefore we’re following the Early Childhood Education Act. And so it’s not all well-defined within that. So I think it’s a priority not only within Saint John and it’s probably in our province.

15. Media Ownership in New Brunswick

 I think we all have the ability through social media to free speech now. So, I mean, if we want to step back and look at media, it can be defined as newsprint, it can be defined as radio, it could also be defined as social media. And so I think we all have a free range on platforms to be able to speak and how we feel in this environment and at the end of the day, I think that’s what we all require. That’s what we need. And that’s what makes us all strong. I mean, if you want to look at FLIP Saint John in itself, and how you’ve been able to get there, through media. I mean, it’s been through our local CBC, and it’s also been through social media platforms to be able to get your message out, and you’ve done it loud and clear, and you’ve done a good job with it. So in saying that, I think it’s well balanced at this point. And because we’ve been given new mediums to communicate over the last 10 years or 15 years, 20 years, I think the balance is there and we’re able to hold to account whatever issue or concern we have. And I think that’s important.

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