John Randal Phipps’ entrepreneurship in Victoria has created thousands of summer jobs over the decades. It has also informed his ardent skepticism that vaccine passports will improve employment opportunities – two perspectives fundamental, he said, to his People’s Party of Canada candidacy for Victoria MP.
The native of Edmonton, Alta. has lived in Victoria since 1982 and founded the city’s first pedicab service, Kabuki Kabs, three years after arriving. The company provided youth with employment they couldn’t find elsewhere, he said, in the midst of the 1980s recession.
“I put 6,000 people to work over 23 years,” said Phipps, who sold the company to work as a stockbroker. “I created a good family. I brought a lot of joy to the city and its social fabric.”
That experience makes the province’s upcoming vaccine passport system “the most fundamental thing that I’m fighting for an end for,” Phipps said, adding he is not against vaccination in general. “This is a discriminatory policy that will take away the right to work for thousands and thousands of people across the nation.”
The B.C. government announced the passport in August as a way to increase vaccinations. The program makes it mandatory for people attending ticketed sporting events or movies, dining in restaurants, working out at gyms and other indoor group activities to have proof of their vaccination as of Sept. 13.
Phipps said the policy runs against his ethos of free and open business (“my business model was capitalism 101”) and is the main ideological difference between himself and his opponents. “I believe in the right to work, I believe in dignity and I believe in entrepreneurship.”
The People’s Party goals on inflation are another point that should be of interest to residents in the Victoria riding, he added. Party leader Maxime Bernier’s inflation target of zero per cent is necessary for seniors and pension recipients, whose income levels won’t change with the rising price of goods, Phipps said.
The cause for B.C.’s consumer price index year-over-year increase of two per cent, he suggested, is Canada’s commitments on foreign aid. He chose the Peoples Party for its “Canada first” platform and to “bring the management of our nation back into the hands of Canadians.”
“If you keep voting for the same party as you have here in Victoria, you’re going to keep getting the same results,” Phipps said. “I think a lot of Victorians are looking around, scratching their heads and going ‘Wow, just wow.’ If Victorians want more of that, keep voting that way.”
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