A member of the party since its founding in 2018, Paul Lawton is running as the candidate for the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) for the Peterborough-Kawartha riding. He replaces previous PPC candidate Alex Murphy. Lawton is an alum of Trent University (2003-2008), and works for Sykes Enterprises.
Peterborough Currents spoke with Lawton ahead of the September 20 federal election to discuss how he came into his political career, what his platform is focused on, and why he chose the People’s Party. Listen or read the interview transcript below.
Peterborough Currents: So, if you could please introduce yourself and tell us why you’re running.
Paul Lawton: So, I’m running to be an MP for Peterborough-Kawartha because I really do love this city and this riding. It became clear that the plans from all of the other parties and candidates all involved two things. One is greater further restrictions on personal freedom. And secondly, an ever-growing reliance on debt and ever growing national debt due to the various promises for spending programs that the other candidates and parties promise in order to buy votes. And I knew because of those two, those two things, Peterborough-Kawartha needed another option.
PC: Can you tell me about your biggest priorities for Peterborough and the most important parts of your platform?
PL: Sure, I’ll mention three. I think all three of these double as the biggest priorities for the Peterborough-Kawartha riding, and for the country as a whole.
So the first thing I’ll mention is freedom of expression. It’s clear that the rights of Canadians to freely hold and express beliefs are being eroded at an alarming speed under the current government. What we might find offensive or politically incorrect ought not to serve as the legal basis for discrimination and censorship. So, we want to ensure that all Canadians can exercise their freedom of conscience to its fullest extent as is intended under the charter.
Secondly, it’s not a sexy issue to talk about, but spending and taxes. It’s not something that even comes up very often in candidates debates, which is a surprise but the reality is that unless government spending is reduced, the federal debt will be a millstone around the neck of our children or grandchildren. So, our platform would eliminate the debt by the end of our first mandate. And then we would move to cut personal corporate and capital gains taxes.
And the third one, the third and final one I’ll mention is lockdowns, and vaccine segregation. So, Canadians need a voice in Parliament who will stand up for ordinary citizens who need their businesses, schools and churches to be open and to stay open. The government must respect Canadians enough to allow for informed consent and freedom of choice. We must resist creating a two-tiered society with those who choose not to take the vaccine or choose not to reveal their status unable to fully participate in public life.
PC: What is exciting you right now about the People’s Party of Canada, and its platform and Maxime Bernier?
PL: So I joined the party at its founding. I agree with Max’s assessment that the Conservative Party of Canada had become essentially indistinguishable from the Liberal Party of Canada. I think that’s still the case now. And so I agree entirely that Canadians needed a new option. And so that’s why I joined it at its founding.
What I’m most passionate about now, is the fact that all of our platform planks are based around the key values of the party: individual freedom, personal responsibility, fairness, and respect. The other thing I’d like to mention that I’m excited and passionate about is to represent a party that we have said that we will not buy votes. So, we’re the only party who’s willing to say, when we get asked, “Will you have a program for this? Or will you have a program for that?” If we don’t, then we will say it, we’re willing to say no, the federal government should not have a role in that.
We want to push as much power down to the provincial and municipal levels and to the level of the family as we can. We want people closest to the action, so to speak, to have the most power, the most authority to make those decisions. So that’s what I’m excited about: to advocate for small and efficient government that wants individual Canadians, individual communities, to be able to have the power to decide what’s best to do in their own way.
This interview was edited for clarity and length. Paul Lawton was interviewed alongside the other five candidates running in Peterborough–Kawartha, listen to all the interviews here.