Liberal candidate for Burlington Karina Gould had a lot more to say about what the government did in the last Parliament

By Ryan O’Dowd: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

August 25th, 2021



In the second part of her interview with the Gazette, Burlington Liberal candidate, Karina Gould said she looks forward to what Canada can expect if the Liberal administration wins re-election.

Karina Gould rousing her troops on the campaign trail.

Gould discussed the snap election call, pandemic recovery, vaccine mandates and what the country will look like for those who refuse the vaccine, government role in internet censorship, Bill C-10, the cost of living, and environmental racism in Canada.

Much has been made about Justin Trudeau’s decision to call a snap election, surveys conducted by Gazette field reporters returned mixed reactions skewing negative.  The Leader of the Opposition blasted the decision as everything from a cynical power grab to a dereliction of duty. Gould defends the election call, assuring Canadians the dissolving of parliament will not hinder the response to a potential fourth COVID-19 wave or Afghanistan evacuation. Gould also thinks this is an important time for an election.

“It’s been a year and a half that we’ve been in the pandemic, our systems are in place, whether it’s income supports, we’ve extended those right through to the end of October. So everything is in place to respond at the federal level, the Public Health Agency of Canada is continuously involved with the provinces and territories in terms of pandemic response. And whether it’s the recovery hiring benefit, whether it’s the recovery benefit for people who still can’t go back to work, or whether it’s the rent subsidy, those programs already exist and are working and are extended beyond the election. So there’s nothing preventing us from responding to the fourth wave.

“When it comes to Afghanistan, Minister Garneau, Minister Mendicino, Minister Sajjan, and I are working on it on a daily basis. We also put together before the election the policy on bringing in 20,000 Afghan refugees, we already had our airlift set up. So there’s not a lot of major policy decisions that need to happen because that infrastructure was already in place before the election was called. Canada continues to be engaged and involved, and we’re still responding. And we’re responding very quickly to things as they’re evolving on the ground.

Chaos and fear at the Kandahar airport in Afghanistan while thousands wait for an airlift out of the country.

“I actually do think it’s an important time to have an election. There’s been a lot that’s happened over the last two years that was not anticipated. When we went to the polls in 2019. We brought in a whole lot of new programs that no party ran on in 2019. And so it’s a moment to say to Canadians ‘okay, we’ve turned the corner and the pandemic, you know, we’re the most vaccinated country in the world, yes, we’re concerned about a fourth wave. But we also want to set ourselves up for recovery. And these are the plans that we’re putting forward for recovery. Is this what you agree with? Is this what you want us to be doing right now?’ And so those are the questions that we’re asking Canadians,” said Gould.
Vaccine mandates are quickly becoming a dominant election issue with Justin Trudeau eager to paint Conservative leader Erin O’Toole’s suggestion regular testing would be adequate for those who refuse the vaccine as dangerous. Gould took a bipartisan approach when speaking of what the future of Canada looks like for those who refuse vaccination without medical justification, pointing to Thursday’s dismissal of a Conservative MPP for refusing vaccination. Vaccine mandates will allow people to choose not to get the vaccine, but the choice to abstain will lead to fewer choices elsewhere.

“We’ve seen the Ontario Conservative Party saying, ‘if you’re not vaccinated, and you don’t have a legitimate medical reason, then you’re not part of our caucus.’ We saw one MPP, who was ejected from caucus on Thursday, said that if you’re not vaccinated without a legitimate medical reason, then you can’t come into work. So these are the kinds of questions that we’re asking ourselves, Canadians have stepped up in a huge way, right here in Burlington, I think over 80% of our population who’s eligible has gotten their vaccine. And so people have really stepped up to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their community, and they want to get back to doing the things that they want to do.

The drive now is to get the unvaccinated to go for their needle .

“But we’ve seen that this is really becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated. We put in a mandate at the federal level to have all federal employees vaccinated to say, ‘if you’re going to take a train or a plane, you know, where you are in close quarters with other people, you need to be vaccinated.’ It’s everybody’s choice at the end of the day, whether they want to get vaccinated or not. But there may be some things they might not be able to do because they might be putting other people at risk. And that’s not fair to those people who have really done everything they can to protect themselves, their families, and their communities,” said Gould.

Bill C-10 has been the subject of Conservative criticism for infringing on free speech through internet censorship.  Gould says the bill is “nothing of the sort”. And adds that Conservatives supported Bill C-10, which she says is about updating the Broadcasting Act to include the internet and protect cultural identity, until they decided to take the line of censorship which “wasn’t even entirely accurate.”

Independent of Bill C-10 Gould didn’t dismiss the government playing a role in internet censorship, lamenting the lack of protection from hate speech online.

“When the conservatives were in power, they got rid of section 13 of the Human Rights Act. And section 13 protected Canadians from hate speech online. We think we need to bring something back, that protects people from hate speech online, you’re protected from hate speech, out on the street, right? In communal settings. But for some reason, there’s differentiation with what happens online. I think that’s a really old way of seeing things because, for people who’ve grown up with the internet, there’s no difference between what happens online and what happens offline. And so we’ve been hearing calls, particularly from minority groups, from Jewish groups, Muslim groups, black Canadians, Indigenous Canadians, the list goes on and on and on, that they need those protections for hate speech online because we’re seeing a rise in hate rhetoric. And so this is a really important conversation and debate to have. And you know, we already have those provisions in the offline world, there’s no reason we shouldn’t apply what we wouldn’t accept offline to be happening online,” said Gould.

Housing that people can afford is critical across the country.

Cost of living is always at the forefront of the national conversation for Canadians, O’Toole has called it a crisis, Gould pointed to a number of areas the Liberal government is helping combat growing affordability concerns. Gould mentioned the 2017 $40 billion National Housing strategy in response to Conservatives taking the federal government out of housing when in power. She alluded to building affordable units in Halton and making it easier to put a down payment on a home in metropolitan areas where the cost of living is higher. In the rental market, Gould pointed to foreign buyers tax on properties to potentially steady the soaring costs of rent. Gould also spoke about the $10 a day childcare, and as many of her Liberal colleagues she sees economic benefits in the investment.

“We’ve signed agreements with eight out of the 13 provinces and territories for $10 a day childcare. In our community, you can be paying between $1500 and $2000 a month for childcare for children, one to four, right. And so, on top of your mortgage, on top of your grocery bills, on top of all of these things, you basically are paying for a university education and the first four years of your child’s life, right?

“We’re helping out families, we’re getting more women into the workforce. And it’s really good for the economy. So this is a super, super important program. Unfortunately, the conservatives said if they get elected, they’re going to scrap it entirely. Once again, they’re demonstrating they’re not there for kids, they’re not there for families, and especially not there for women,” said Gould.

Bill C-130 to redress environmental racism made some progress under the Trudeau administration and if passed it would be the first of its kind. Gould spoke about how important it is to acknowledge environmental racism, which is particularly rampant among Indigenous communities who still suffer from boil water advisories, and exposure to unsafe environments such as Sarnia’s chemical valley where 60 chemical plants and oil refineries sit in a 15-mile-wide section outside town and cancer rates are high.

The Black Lives Matter statement was painted on the sidewalk in front of city hall. It was important.

“It’s hugely important. And I think it’s another lens that you have to put on policy, that and laws that you’re putting forward. The past year has brought racism to the forefront in a big way, which is good because we have to be dealing with it. It’s terrible that we’re still dealing with the realities of racism in 2021, but we’ve had a completely different conversation. And we need to have that conversation because it cannot be acceptable anymore. And it needs to be part of the conversation and every policy that we’re putting forward. And that’s why our government does gender-based analysis that looks at the inter-sectional discrimination that happen through all of our policies, and so whether it’s environmental, whether it’s economic, whether it’s social, we need to be taking all of that into account,” said Gould.

Gould’s final message to voters was that the Liberal government has had their backs through the pandemic and will have their backs through recovery.

“I think the most important thing they should have on their mind is that we need a government that’s going to be there for them for the recovery. We were there for them throughout the pandemic. We have their backs, and we’re going to have their backs as we get through to recovery. I really hope I can count on their support on September 20. I’m so passionate about Burlington, I love this community. I’m so proud of how we have responded to the pandemic here. I’m, like, blown away by the kindness, the generosity, the resilience of this community. And I really hope that I’ve earned their trust to continue serving them for the years,” said Gould.

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10 comments to Liberal candidate for Burlington Karina Gould had a lot more to say about what the government did in the last Parliament

  • Jen Miller

    Karina Gold stood by Trudeau when he groped rose Knight.

    she gave Trudeau cover when he fired Jody Wilson-Raybould, Jane Philpott & Celina Caesar-Chavannes.

    And now she proudly campaigns with Raj Saini, accused of sexual harassment by your fellow Liberal staffers.

    She is a complete anti woman a sell-out

    Editor’s note: This comment is a close copy of another comment made. It would appear to be part of a smear campaign

  • Phillip Wooster

    Karina, I am most unimpressed with your boss, Trudeau, trying to make vaccination a wedge issue in this campaign. Yes, it is correct to encourage Canadians to get vaccinated and like Trudeau, I believe it is the way out of the pandemic. But his preachy, sanctimonious tone hides the blatant hypocrisy of his message. First, if he is so concerned about the spread of Covid, why did he call an election at the start of the fourth wave of the pandemic characterized by a highly transmissable delta variant; did he not know that 15-20% of the cases being diagnosed in Ontario are in people who are fully vaccinated? Secondly, while he chided Erin O’Toole last week that all the Conservative candidates were not fully vaccinated, we learn today that not all the Liberal candidates are fully vaccinated either. Clearly these Liberal candidates received their first dose at the start of the campaign and even if they get their second shot tomorrow, they’re not fully vaccinated for another two weeks! Thirdly, at a campaign event in a restaurant in Mississauga today, Trudeau not only had more people in the restaurant than the Safe Opening Act allows, but there was no social distancing that I could see. And finally, why is Elections Canada allowing unvaccinated individuals to work in polling stations?

    This whole wedge issue smacks of what is an all-too-common Liberal practice, “Rules for thee, but not for me”.

  • Mary Jenkins

    The Conservatives are not for women? Karina voted along with Justin Trudeau to have Jody Wilson Raybould and Dr Jane Philpot removed from their positions and the Liberal party for being brave enough to bring forward the truth about the SNC Lavalin scandal and the Prime Minister’s involvement. Remember the taped conversation with Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick? I still can’t believe that we as a country let that one slide.
    The $10 a day childcare reminds me of the disastrous Provincial Liberal’s “free drugs” for anyone under 21. It didn’t matter how rich you were, you could get “free” drugs. Even if you had a family insurance plan through your work, the government was still going to pay for your kids drugs up to the age of 21. The taxpayers were on the hook rather than the billion dollar insurance companies. I’m sure the insurance companies loved that one. So now senior citizens will be paying for daycare subsidies as well as those who do not have children and those whose children are already grown. Those who have relatives to help care for their children will also have to pay for this even though they will not be using these government facilities. This is going to cost the taxpayers a fortune! So many promises all made in the weeks leading up to the election call. They are counting on people voting for what’s right for “themselves” today as opposed to what is best for this country and the future of our children. Heaven help us all when interest rates start to climb.

  • Connor Fraser

    Interesting to read the other comments. Many things have been pushed out of the spotlight which shouldn’t be forgotten. We charity debacle. SNC Lavalin. Shutting down Canada’s advanced pandemic warning network and taking WHO analysis of the initial pandemic stages at face value while others (New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea) knew differently. Cabinet abstaining from the vote to declare persecution of Uyghur muslims a genocide. Members of the Chinese Army and Chinese citizens given clearance to work at top secret government labs in Winnipeg (reference:

    An aside for Karina, who was happy to point out that the Conservatives are “especially not there for women.” Wow. I recall that her Liberal government **completely ignored the 2015 report about sexual assault of women in the military, which included proposed plans for action,** and under pressure earlier this year commissioned retired justice Louise Arbour to re-write the same report to give an illusion that they are doing something about the problem. What a waste. Back in 2015, Minister Sajjan didn’t even want to look at the original report, and there was no pressure from the Prime Minister either.

    Don’t be under the illusion that this government is “there for women” either – they are there for power, just like the rest of the parties. If pretending to be feminist can win votes, they will put on that costume.

    Overall, there has been a sickening level of incompetence emanating from this prime minister and other members of cabinet. Regretfully, if other parties were in power I suspect there would be much of the same…but the government of the day must be held to account.

    On the situation in Afghanistan…even US military intelligence did not expect the country to collapse this quickly. However, the “policy on bringing in 20,000 Afghan refugees” which Gould personal developed remains unfulfilled. As of today, Canada has only evacuated 3700 of the promised 20,000.

    Quoting New York Times Journalist Matthew Aikens who lives in Kabul and appeared on CBC tonight: “Canada’s late announcement of 20,000 places which came at the final hour at a time when such a promise could not be fulfilled, I really think that was a key spark for tens of thousands of people descending on the airport. I was hearing from people that Canada was going to airlift everyone…and so the ways in which countries just announce these programs last minute without any real possibility or plan…is partly responsible for the chaos, panic, and ultimately death and suffering that we’ve been seeing at the airport.” (reference:

    The point is not to be upset that Canada didn’t evacuate 20,000 people, rather that it promised far more than feasible, generating false hope and chaos. Those responsible for this policy need to be held to account, ie. “Minister Garneau, Minister Mendicino, Minister Sajjan, and I – Minister Gould.” Good luck on election day, I hope that people are as disappointed as I am and vote accordingly.

  • Tom Muir

    Regarding the disappearance of Dr. Tam, having worked for the Fed for 30 years I can tell you something about this non-surprise in health issues management.

    What you see is the blending of science, policy and politics mixed together daily to get a message that fits the political situation.

    That’s what it is. It’s like this with everything at every government.

    Regarding Covid, this is what it has been from the start for the Fed and the provinces(s).

    Health is politicized and bureaucratized no matter what the issue and evidence.

    Talk that it’s all science is PR BS. Science does its work and it goes upstairs to the bureaucrats and politicians who decide.

    In Ontario, Ford rules.

    • Bob

      Does that make it right?
      So from the start we have been told to believe the science, and I’m pretty sure you and I have disagreed on this and now you are agreeing the Dr Tam might be actually giving us a bit of BS? I’m flabbergasted

      • Tom Muir

        It’s not Dr. Tam giving us BS, and I didn’t say or imply or agree with that Bob.

        I didn’t say it was right. I did not say don’t believe the science. I have worked in science all my life and I can see how it is abused, as described, so you can believe that.

        What I said was that the politicians and the political process are giving us BS in the way I described. Dr. Tam cannot speak publicly unless she is allowed to. I said that too. You left my description of the way things are in this out.

        I’m flabbergasted too that you persistently can’t read what is actually said – you just twisted things to suit yourself.

        Any disagreement is a fabrication of your mind. It seems to be something that you just like to do regardless.

        • Bob

          But you did Tom
          “Talk that it’s all science is PR BS” and again “What you see is the blending of science, policy and politics mixed together daily to get a message that fits the political situation”
          You yourself said it isn’t science but a blend of science, policy and politics, so it ISN’T science. So we should believe the science, just not Dr Tam because she’s not giving us true science?

  • Denise W.

    “what the government did”
    Did they improve how our injured military are treated, or the family left behind if a member is killed? Find ways to save our money so it isn’t wasted on ill conceived or silly programs? Stop handing out funds to groups in hopes of getting various demographics to vote for them? We are a petroleum producing nation; did they get Alberta back on track and stop the crazy lobby groups funded by competing oil interests; which are hurting our business’ and making them cheap to take over. (It is pretty clean oil now. Check out how dirty is California oil and nobody says “boo” about that.) Did they fix the equipment problems our military is suffering from? How about doing something to help our fishermen (okay fisher-people) the industry is certainly hurting on the East coast, not sure what is the status out West.

    Thinking up ways to spend money is easy, any teenager can do it. Saving money and using it effectively, on things we need, is what we need. New taxes? Well they want to gouge the banks, easy enough. Nobody will have any sympathy there. Panama Papers, anything come of that? Taxing trust funds to eliminate them from being tax avoidance schemes by some beneficiaries?

    Have they done any real work, or just make smoke?

    Politicians I fear, let politics (popularity) guide their decisions. Rather than a politician in office I would prefer a person with a sharp mind, proven track record and will do what is good for Canada, not politics.

    We are going to have a day of reckoning. A country cannot tax its way to prosperity.

  • Penny Hersh

    I like Karina Gould, as a person. However, she seems to be “drinking the Koolaid”. I guess that is what one has to do as a politician.

    Did she mention that the Federal Government has stopped all daily Covid 19 press conferences with Dr. Tam because they could negatively impact the outcome of the election ( for the liberal party)? I guess it’s better to keep the public in the dark about the 4th wave that we are now experiencing.

    How about the fact that Justin Trudeau has been brought up on ethic issues, the WE charity scandal, or the SNC-Lavalin Scandal, the improper prosecution of Mark Norman, or the fact that sexual harassment issues in the military were pushed under the rug, just to name a few. Didn’t see this in the article.

    People need to remember these things as well as the fact that the Federal Government did not do a great job in procuring vaccines for Covid early on.

    I for one am sick of all the promises made during an election campaign. Most that will never come to fruition. It never ceases to amaze me that people actually believe this.

    Ask the indigenous people who hare still boiling their water after years of being promised clean, drinkable water.