The Advance asked each candidate for their backgrounds and the same six questions.
Benson Frail was born and raised in Caledonia. He is married and has two children. After graduating high school he attended vocational school and took mill wright and industrial mechanics.
He has worked with the Department of Transportation as a labourer and inspector. He started his own consulting and marketing business. That business would analyze products, find markets for them and help them set up shop.
After Sept. 11, 2001 the economy took a dip and Frail went to Alberta and became a heavy equipment operator and a project foreman. He shares his time between Alberta and Caledonia.
“I’ve always been interested in politics and what got me into politics was the fact that from doing consulting and marketing, I see that we can be very attractive on the global scene, due to our geographical location but most of all, one of our biggest resources is our people, which are hardworking, dedicated and committed.”
What would you do regarding the Port Mouton Bay Fish Farm and how?
“With regards to the Port Mouton Bay Fish Farm and aquaculture in general, I believe that aquaculture, we need more information, more statistics and once that information and statistics is gathered, I think we should look at it closely and determine a path forward,” says Frail.
Frail believes that fish farms could be a solution to solving a global food shortage and appreciates the economic development and spin offs that come with the farms. He does not believe it should be done at the expense of the environment and he thinks public consultation is key. He also believes fish farm sites need to be looked at on a case by case basis.
What would you do to boost the economics in this riding?
“Take our natural resources, our geographical location and the potential we have to deliver a skilled, talented, committed hardworking workforce and promote that on a global scene. From my past experience, I know we are attractive on a global scene. We just need to be promoted and let the world know who we are, where we are with that I am sure we would see success and with that economic development would occur dramatically.”
Frail says he has been contacting companies already and attempting to market the riding to them. He says each part of the riding is unique and marketing is a key “ingredient” to making the area sustainable.
What do you think education needs in this riding?
“Education needs the support of government to make sure our teachers have the necessary tools to deliver the curriculum in a proper manner so that no child is left behind. We need to reassess our schools and look at split classes and student-teacher ratios,” says Frail.
Frail says he’d like to see more interactions between government and the school boards. He is also concerned with education cuts under the current government.
All parties have proposed lowering the HST, how would you do that?
“That would be mandated by the provincial leader and the plan that they have in place to lower the HST which would create an ease and lessen the burden on the tax payers,” he says.
Frail says all departments and systems would be assessed to see where existing money could be reworked to balance the lowering of the HST.
With the ferry coming in, we have been told to prepare for an influx of tourists. What does that mean to you?
“I see how crucial (the ferry) is to the local economy. We definitely need the ferry back not only to support tourism but to get our goods to market for export reasons. It’s a great tool that never should have been cut to begin with and look at the affects it has had on the area in the last three years,” says Frail.
He hopes that people will be encouraged to get into bed and breakfasts and other tourist related businesses again.
If you had to pick one more issue for the riding, what would it be and how would you address it?
“Definitely health care. With regards to health care, seniors housing is a big issue. Obviously, we need to keep our hospitals open, increase the number of beds open, make sure we have the medical staff in place to support our riding. But another big part of that is seniors housing. We see people who are elderly leaving their homes and moving to (other areas), from the country to the towns and I just think we need to address that now, look into the future, and get housing places set up for seniors who wish to leave their homes. Also look at Queens Manor, Hillsview acres, places like that as well as the hospital and give them the support they need to make sure they can handle the needs of the future.”