Kelly Day took the long road to becoming a political candidate.
Day, who’s running as the People’s Party of Canada representative in Prince Albert, originally planned on working behind the scenes as a member of the local party executive. However, she changed course when no one stepped forward to take the riding nomination.
“There was no way I could leave this riding sitting open,” Day said during a campaign event with PPC leader Max Bernier on Wednesday. “We need to get Max in the debates. We need to have representation across the board, so I stepped up and did it.”
Originally from Estevan, Day spent her 20s living on the West Coast before moving back to Saskatchewan. Although she wasn’t involved in politics at the time, she describes herself as a left-leaning supporter of big government programs. She even voted for Justin Trudeau in the last election.
However, things changed following a health scare about a year ago. She was a starting to recover when she began watching videos and reading articles by Canadian author and university professor Jordan Peterson. She began to reevaluate her beliefs, and returned to her family’s conservative roots.
“I wasn’t political, but I believed that the government was responsible for helping us out—the bigger the government, the better we could be,” Day said in an interview following the event. “It was this idea of everything coming from the top down, but having lived through that and going through that experience, I’ve come to see that’s not necessarily true.”
The PPC’s national program focuses largely on immigration, equalization and free speech. Although he addresses a variety of topics, Bernier talks about them the most during his stop in Prince Albert.
Day agrees that all of those issues are important ones that need to be addressed, something she does regularly on her YouTube channel. When it comes to Prince Albert, however, she sees healthcare, the federal Carbon Tax and the federal government’s relationship with Indigenous communities as the main issues voters are concerned about.
Like Bernier, Day advocates for replacing the Indian Act with something that will foster a better partnership with the federal government. She said it will help address poverty in First Nations communities, while improving communication with First Nations leadership. She’s also eager to meet with any local Indigenous leaders who have suggestions or concerns.
“We need to all work together and we need to move forward,” she said. “We have some bad history, but we need to move forward together.”
Day also wants to see tax reform, something she said is desperately needed for poorer communities like Prince Albert. The PPC platform calls for reducing Canada’s five income tax brackets down to two, while also exempting Canadians from paying tax on their first $15,000 of income. The PPC says that move would free up roughly 1.5-million Canadians from paying any income tax.
“We don’t have a hugely rich city, so anything we can do to reduce unnecessary taxes on people is (a positive),” she explained.
Day said she’s proud to be a PPC candidate, and hopes voters will judge the party on its policies, and not on celebrity supporters. The party has already removed one candidate, Fawzi Bidawi, after posting controversial links on his twitter account.
Day supports moves to remove any extremist or racist candidates from the party. However, she notes that it’s important to discuss issues like immigration, and hopes Canadians can discuss them respectfully.
“There are certain things that we are tackling that are very taboo, but I feel like they will become less taboo if we can respectfully keep talking about them,” she said. “Islamism is not the same as Islam, for example. Concerns with immigration is not the same as wanting no immigration. These are important distinctions, and it takes people to have the fortitude to do their research. Ultimately, I believe in good faith conversations.”