Walker: ‘Everybody should be represented’

Independent candidate Karl Eric Walker took part in the Jan. 10 debate at Queen’s.
Independent candidate Karl Eric Walker took part in the Jan. 10 debate at Queen’s.
Credit: 
Jon Wilinofsky

Next Monday, Karl Eric Walker wants you to vote for the lone wolf.

The only candidate in Kingston and the Islands running as an independent, Walker said he wants to send a message to the candidates campaigning as members of political parties.

“We want local representation,” he said, “and we’re not going to get it from these parties.”

Walker said he hasn’t been getting fair treatment during this election because he doesn’t belong to a political party. He was left out of the Jan. 15 CKWS television debate, and he said he didn’t get a lot of airtime during the first debate at Queen’s on Jan. 10.

“Everybody should be represented,” Walker said. “This isn’t a task that everyone can do.” He said he wants people to vote for the issues relevant to a constituency, not the issues relevant to a political party.

“[If I’m elected I’ll] show some backbone ... I’ll make a change, make a change for all of us,” he said.

Walker said he wants to unseat the riding’s incumbent—Peter Milliken, Liberal MP and Speaker of the House—because Milliken can’t properly represent his constituency’s needs as Speaker, which is an impartial position in Parliament.

What’s more, the other candidates’ loyalty to their political parties trumps their loyalty to their community, Walker said. “They’re all fine gentlemen, but who are they going to listen to? They’re going to listen to the party,” he said.

What happened at this year’s Homecoming is unacceptable, Walker said, and the City of Kingston needs to co-operate with students and determine an area where they can and can’t have parties.

“These people will be home owners someday,” Walker said. “They’re not going to want [students] tipping cars over and setting them on fire.”

The father of five children said he wants to use a funding system for post-secondary education that will pay for half of a student’s tuition. Walker, who holds two diplomas from St. Lawrence College, said he wants the National Bank to loan the money for the remaining tuition.

“It’s an investment in our future,” he said. “They’ll be in my position someday—with more people working, our taxes should be reduced. If we help the students, then everyone will benefit.” The students eligible for the half-grant, half-loan system will be those whose parents can’t fund their education, Walker said.

Overall help for the less fortunate is a recurring theme in Walker’s campaign. He said he would address poverty, helplessness and lack of job opportunities.

“We’re too rich an area to have this happen,” Walker said. “To watch a person be homeless, to watch one child go to school without food—it shouldn’t happen.”

The infrastructure investigator said he also wants change to come in the government’s environmental policies.

All government buildings should be run by solar power, Walker said, and burning ethanol instead of fossil fuels would reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“But our government doesn’t want to get involved,” he said.

Walker said he would also work to give correctional services workers a new labour contract, something he said they’ve been without for four years.

Walker said he gives his word to voters that he’ll do his best to represent the community: “If I don’t do my job, you can throw me out faster than yesterday’s newspaper.”

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