The Libertarian Party of Canada is back to make a name for itself as a credible federal political party voice in the Red Deer–Mountain View riding.
The party did not run a candidate in the 2019 election after fielding one in 2015 but is returning in 2021 with Red Deerian Jared Pilon.
The 36-year-old accountant said he’s been a traditional Conservative Party of Canada voter and supporter but last year decided to take a serious look at the Libertarian party.
“The overall mission speaks to me,” said Pilon, adding he liked the Libertarian party’s goals to reduce the responsibilities and expense of government, and to help people be able to pursue individual freedoms. “It’s focused on individuals and understanding that every family has the ability to make decisions that are best for them.”
The Libertarian Party of Canada was founded in 1973. The mission of the party, which passionately believes in a free-market economy, is to reduce the size, scope and cost of government.
The party has never elected a member of Parliament (MP) to office. In the 2015 federal election it fielded 72 candidates out of the 338 available ridings but dropped to 24 in the 2019 campaign. As of last week, the party’s website listed 13 committed candidates across the country, including Pilon and party leader Jacques Boudreau.
However, Pilon told The Albertan late last month an update was expected and the total number of committed candidates had increased to 22, including six in Alberta.
Pilon said the biggest issue he’s hearing from the people he’s met in the riding is the cost of living, whether that is commodities, gas, food and housing.
The COVID-19 pandemic is also high on their minds, he said, adding his party believes individuals are best suited to make health-care decisions for themselves.
“We are not in support of lockdowns and mandates,” he said. “Personally, I think there is plenty of data out there to show who is at most risk and who government tax dollars could be focused on. If people are willing and able to go to work and want to patronize businesses that are willing to stay open, that should be the decision of those individuals.”
Pilon does believe the escalating cost of the pandemic and the rising cost of living are linked but can be managed better at the federal level.
“I think they are linked, for sure. I think where the cost of living is taking off is the fact the government keeps printing money that we obviously don’t have. More money in the system drives up the price of goods,” he said. “I would definitely agree that they are tied together but there is just no way we can keep pursuing perpetual lockdowns and printing money because it’s just going to keep spiralling out of control.
“When a government brings in a wide sweeping mandate intended to do whatever it is intended to do there are far reaching consequences, some of them unintended, that need to be taken into account,” Pilon added. “If a government continues to say that lockdowns are required, well what are the options on that? What does that do to peoples’ mental health? How has that impacted kids over the course of the past 18 months?
“Every policy that is put into place has significant drawbacks to it and that is why the party focuses more on individual liberties and being able to make the decisions that work best for you.”