JENNIFER MCANDREW
for Kanata-Carleton

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About

Get to know
Jennifer McAndrew.

Jennifer is the proud mom of two children, Chase and Bryn, ages 12 and 9. Jennifer and Scott, her husband, are current residents of Carp but have deep roots in Kanata, having grown up in Beaverbrook and Glen Cairn respectively.

Jennifer is passionate about contributing to the strong and vibrant community fabric that makes Kanata-Carleton a wonderful place to raise her children. Having completed her BA from Carleton in 2003, she completed her MBA in 2007. Jennifer and Scott founded their business in 2007 and have since grown from their garage in Morgan’s Grant, to a warehouse in Kanata North, and their newest space on Carp Rd. Growing this business and employing 16 people in various capacities, combined with community volunteerism, Jen is a proven leader. In 2015 she was the recipient of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce/Ottawa Business Journal 40 Under 40 award. 

In her spare time, Jennifer is on faculty at the West Carleton School of Performing Arts, as well as the chair of the Canadian Advisory Council for Meeting Professionals International and a board member with the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre.

Responsible Solutions

Effective Leadership for
Kanata-Carleton.

This pandemic has opened my eyes in more ways than one. Our family business has been pushed to the edge and managed to hold on. We have been forced to do everything imaginable while trying to stay positive. This economic crisis brought about by the pandemic is very real for many of us, we know we are not alone in the sleepless nights planning for how we will make it through.

One key theme this pandemic has taught us is that extreme financial management of a business, looking at every item and every line, is the only way forward. I have real concerns and believe the current Liberal government is not best suited or capable of leading us out of the post pandemic financial crisis we are left with. Only through careful financial management can our country and our local community begin to truly recover. I believe the best team to manage the country’s financial affairs coming out of the pandemic is the Conservative Party under the leadership of Erin O’Toole, and would be proud to contribute as part of this team.

Key Issues

Our Economy

A growing economy is not only the key to prosperity and a higher standard of living but also the only way to pay for social programs such as healthcare and education on which we all depend. It isn’t enough to simply get Canadians back to work – we also need to lay the foundation for sustainable, long term prosperity by getting the fundamentals right:

As your Member of Parliament, I will champion initiatives to not just recover, but grow our economy and create jobs, while making life more affordable:

  • Review the tax code: Our tax code benefits those most wealthy and connected, I will champion a revision of the tax code to make it easier to understand, while also incentivising innovation and ideas, so all Canadians can benefit, not just the elite.
  • Reverse Trudeau’s Small Business Tax Hike: Small businesses like mine are the engine of our economy. Unfortunately, we are currently governed by a millionaire who inherited his money and does not respect those trying to get a start and build a business.
  • Cutting red tape: We must cut the regulatory dead weight that entrepreneurs struggle to overcome.
  • Balance the budget: The pandemic has only highlighted the irresponsibility of borrowing when times were good. This recklessness has only left our country and our local community of Kanata-Carleton more vulnerable, and in a bigger hole to climb from. The post-pandemic path to a balanced budget will not be an easy or short one, however, it can be done if we do not lose sight of this important objective. As your MP, I will work endlessly to keep this goal in sight.
  • Ending corporate welfare, encouraging entrepreneurship: The days of multi-billion-dollar giveaways to billion-dollar corporations such as Loblaws, should end.
  • Real ideas to support entrepreneurs: As your MP I will support ideas such as Erin O’Toole’s one-time RRSP withdrawal (similar to the Home Buyers Plan) of up to $50,000 to invest in starting, purchasing or operating a small business. It will take innovative ideas to jumpstart our economy again, and concepts like this are inspiring.

Agriculture and our Local Farming

We are truly blessed in rural Kanata and West Carleton with an abundance of farms. Thousands of our neighbours are involved directly on the farm and thousands more in the food processing, feed, implements, transportation and supply sectors right here in our riding.

Not only are our farming families feeding Canada, but these family farms also feed the world and create a stronger economy.

As MP, I WILL FIGHT FOR OUR local FARM FAMILIES BY championing:

  • Ending the Liberal carbon tax on farms which is driving up farm input costs like diesel fuel, natural gas, fertilizer, transportation and electricity;
  • Supporting more agriculture research here in Kanata-Carleton and the working towards better harmonization of farm product regulations with our trading partners, especially the United States;
  • Ensuring our farm safety net programs are predictable, bankable and manageable;
  • Implementing a plan to tackle rural crime and ensure that our rural and farm families feel safe;
  • Working with community stakeholders in order to develop policies facilitating the transfer of family farms from parents to their children;
  • Recognizing the critical environmental stewardship provided by Kanata-Carleton’s farmers, recognizing the positive impacts they have on wetlands conservation, carbon sequestration, reforestation, species protection and maintaining pollinator habitat.
  • Protecting our food supply by championing a food security strategy including:
    • Reassessing all federal regulations concerning the labelling of food products so as to ensure that both their contents and country of origin are clearly identified.

Veterans and our Military

There is a sacred trust between Canadians and those brave, soldiers, sailors, and aircrew who have put service before self.

For our veterans, service meant putting the safety and well-being of the nation first. It means families that were left alone, bodies punished in far-away lands, and in too many cases, death or lingering mental and/or physical injury.

The service of our veterans means that the freedoms we enjoy, the right to democracy, the freedom to lead our individual lives, the ability to pursue our careers, dreams and aspirations, are defended by those who have put our freedoms ahead of theirs. It means that when Canada wants to help other nations abroad, whether from natural disasters, warfare or humanitarian crisis, those that serve us actually deliver our good wishes. When their service is over, we have a sacred trust to put their successful return to civilian life at the top of our priorities.

What we owe to them is very simple – to recognize and fulfill our obligation — our promise to take care of them if they are injured in the service of our country, and to help them and their families transition back to civilian life when their service is completed.

We must keep our promise

With so many active service, and military retirees living in Kanata-Carleton, and with DNDHQ on our doorstep, the MP for Kanata-Carleton must serve our Veterans better. As MP, I will work with Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole to:

  • End the mess of two benefit systems (Canadian Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Canada) that do not work together and replace them with one streamlined system of benefits from enlistment to end of life;
  • Ensure financial security & transition support for injured Veterans and their families;
  • Streamline benefit adjudication & set performance targets to ensure that the benefits system is focused on helping our veterans rather than on outdated procedures;
  • Allow Veterans and their families to direct their own care and rehabilitation;
  • Ensure the benefits system is focused not only on compensation but on the re-establishment of veterans to meaningful careers, homes and communities, through partnerships with Universities, Colleges, and Canadian Businesses.

Specific measures to do this include:

  • Empowering military doctors, who know the demands of service and the impact of injuries, to determine a service-related injury for all CAF and VAC purposes. No longer will a medical category deny someone the ability to serve, but a separate evaluation denies them benefits.
  • Revising the concept of “universality of service” to be job-specific. The “everyone is a rifleman” concept is outdated and unsuited to the realities of modern warfare while leading to injured service members being pushed out and cut off. Fitness categories will become job-specific and those who wish to continue to serve after injury will have the opportunity to retrain in an area where they can serve.
  • Implementing the Lifelong Disability Benefit for moderately to severely injured veterans.
  • Making a transfer to the Reserves a practical and easy option and adjusting service requirements to balance the need for training with the reality of adapting to the civilian workforce. This not only will provide a buffer to a regular force member’s transition and maintain military connections that assist transition but will help Reserves in training and fulfilling their tasks as they receive fully trained individuals. Additionally, this way we will retain Canada’s investment in these exceptional people, should they be needed again, or should they require further assistance.
  • Ensuring military families, especially spouses, are provided with sufficient support.
  • Implementing a strategy to combat homelessness among veterans and explore the potential for using surplus military housing to provide housing for homeless veterans.
  • Covering the cost of psychiatric service dogs for veterans.
  • Empowering frontline VAC employees to adjudicate claims.
  • Completing the Afghanistan War Memorial.

Funding educational initiatives that teach Canadians about Veterans’ service and Canada’s place in the world.

Our Military

For far too long, major procurement projects have been heavily politicized by all sides. One major purchase is scrutinized by the next incoming government to the point of continual inaction.  These “political” wins only hurt our front-line troops and have significant real-world challenges. Canada should return to a world leader in times of crisis. Our members make us proud of doing what they do here at home and abroad with ageing equipment and resources. Imagine what is possible with sustained funding with less political interference.

As the Member of Parliament with DNDHQ adjacent to our riding, and so many active and retired members living here: I will do all I can to work with Erin O’Toole to take politics out of military procurement and increase funding for important equipment.

Building trust with Indigenous communities

Improving the relationship between the government and Indigenous communities must be a top priority nationally. The future of our country depends on successful reconciliation and meaningful trust-building. Indigenous peoples are the fastest growing demographic in Canada.

Learning and having a better understanding of Indigenous history and current concerns is important for any leader in Canada. As a recent graduate from the University of Alberta’s “Indigenous Canada” education program, I will contribute to an effective reconciliation based on respect and the recognition that when Indigenous communities rise economically, all of Canada rises. I will help:

  • Ensure the basic human right to clean drinking water is guaranteed for every Indigenous community in Canada.
  • Empower Economic Development for Indigenous Peoples:
  • Support the work of First Nations-led institutions by supporting the First Nation Financial Management Board, First Nations Finance Authority and First Nations Tax Commission and supporting the creation of the First Nations Infrastructure institute.
  • Support innovative approaches to address the crises of mental health challenge and addiction such as land-based treatment programs.

Gun Ownership

Canada is a nation with proud rural and outdoor traditions. Learning to hunt or target shoot with a family member is a way of life for millions of Canadians and must be respected. Firearm owners, be they hunters, farmers or sport shooters are among the most law-abiding citizens in Canada. 

Although I’m not personally a gun owner, I will have completed the Canadian Firearms Safety Course, and hold a valid PAL before running for office. I believe anyone who wants to properly engage in the discussion let alone legislate gun ownership, should do the same! 

As MP I will:

  • Oppose efforts to reverse the former Conservative government’s policy advances on firearms, including the Trudeau government’s new proposals to confiscate legal firearms.
  • Oppose regulations that do not advance public safety and instead penalize law-abiding firearms owners. This includes the arbitrary reclassification of firearms and magazines.
  • Support specialized illegal firearms enforcement led by the CBSA and RCMP working closely with American authorities in the United States, to target smuggling operations before illegal firearms reach the border.
  • Develop a suicide prevention strategy that encourages people – including legal firearms owners – to seek help when they need it. The current system actually discourages firearms owners from seeking help, due to the fear that the police will show up at their door.
  • Support efforts to focus the resources of the federal government on criminals engaged in the trafficking and use of illegal firearms instead of imposing more layers of bureaucracy on law-abiding Canadians.

Helping Families

Families in Kanata-Carleton are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet. Some important measures I will help champion to provide safety nets and make life easier are:

  • Recognizing that the cost of raising children continues to sky-rocket and the birth of a first child often brings a myriad of first-time costs for cribs, clothes, car seats and a range of other items needed for the family, I will fight to expand the Canada Child Benefit by allowing benefits to begin for the first child at the 7th month of pregnancy rather than at childbirth.
  • Supporting women who have experienced the trauma of miscarriage or stillbirth by allowing them to receive up to one month of paid parental leave and by creating a bereavement leave for parents in the event of the unfortunate death of a newborn child. Currently, our rules and programs are enforced in a way that is not only cold and uncaring but does not promote healing and family wellness.
  • Cutting and simplifying income taxes, based on the results of the tax system review.
  • Addressing rental housing affordability:
    • The federal government can make it easier to build rental housing in communities like Kanata-Carleton. Since the 1970s, we have not been building enough housing – particularly enough rental housing – to keep up with our growing population. We can fix this, by allowing owners of rental housing to defer the capital gain when selling if the money is re-invested in rental housing.
  • Reinstating the Harper tax credits for youth taking arts programs such as dance classes.
  • Reinstating the Harper tax credits for youth in sports.

Our Environment

The people of Kanata-Carleton agree on the importance of protecting our environment and natural spaces, and it is an issue that I am deeply passionate about. Despite what special interest groups may claim, Conservative governments, both federally and provincially, have a long record of practical and successful environmental initiatives. It was Conservatives that successfully tackled acid rain, expanded our national parks, and removed many dangerous chemicals from the biosphere.

I will do all I can to lead environmental initiatives right here in our back yard:

  • Scientific research needed to understand how much carbon Canada takes out of the atmosphere and how much that capacity could be increased can be done here in Kanata-Carleton. Our very diverse landscape with a broad mix of protected wetlands, private agriculture lands, riverfront, urban and even federally owned properties such as the NCC Greenbelt and Shirley’s Bay provide an almost unprecedented opportunity for research.
  • The knowledge gained could be used to develop incentives to:
    • Increase carbon sequestration advances in soil management
    • Increase carbon sequestration in farm practices
    • Increase protection, flood mitigation and enhancement and expansion of wetlands by willing landowners along the Ottawa River.

Climate Change

Climate change is a global problem, and a tax plan is not an environmental plan…

The world will still be using oil and natural gas for a long time. The question the people of Kanata-Carleton should ask is whether they would prefer this come from free countries like ours with strong environmental protections, or from dictatorships with no environmental protections or human rights.

Domestic energy production is an important part of making our country more resilient in the future, however, Canada is also a world leader in zero-emissions technologies like nuclear and hydro and must have a vision to grow these technologies in global markets. A strong climate change plan will also incentivize innovations such as algae-based carbon capture or making low-emission jet fuel out of carbon waste.

I stand behind the O’Toole Climate Change plan to meaningfully lower global GHG emissions by:

  • Exporting modern and safe nuclear technology: Canada is a world leader in safe nuclear technology and should continue that leadership role, including with Small Modular Reactors (‘SMRs’) that could assist in emission reduction in remote areas using Canadian technology that could be shared with and sold to the world.
  • Helping the world stop burning coal by transitioning to natural gas: Canada can be a reliable source of natural gas to help the world get off coal, generating massive emissions reductions.
  • Tapping the ingenuity of our scientists and researchers to develop technology that will help the world: We will increase research and development funding and provide incentives -such as accelerated capital cost allowance – to continue Canadian leadership in Carbon Capture and Storage technology and to encourage commercialization of GHG reduction technologies
  • Working with industry on a plan to get to net-zero emissions in the oil and gas industry through the use of technologies like electrification generated from sources such as nuclear and wind and carbon capture, with the government providing incentives similar to those that were used to stimulate the early development of the oilsands.
  • Building climate resilience into our infrastructure, so we can protect against extreme weather events. This includes investing in infrastructures such as floodwalls and resilient power grids to make Canada more resistant to floods, fires and similar natural disasters.

Promoting Canada as an ESG Global Energy Thought Leader: As more capital pools are reviewing investments using Environmental Social Governance (ESG) models, Canada needs to become a thought-leader and global brand given our unparalleled commitment to ethical business practices, environmental regulation, Indigenous engagement, rule of law, and transparency.

Inspiring Volunteerism

Our community is truly great, and the greatness lies in the people of Kanata-Carleton!

We must do more to encourage and support volunteers and voluntary organizations that form the backbone of our society rather than always relying on and turning to government. This will include empowering non-profit groups, ensuring proper recognition for Canadians who contribute to making this the best country on earth, and experimenting with ways to pair the power of social enterprises with service clubs to build communities.

As MP I will work to:

  • Permit more service club dues to be treated as a charitable expense for tax purposes. Belonging to a service organization that is built on community and service is charitable in nature and should be treated as such.  This would apply to groups like the Royal Canadian Legion, the Lions, Rotary, etc.
  • Partner with community-based organizations for community building projects related to affordable housing, poverty alleviation, food banks, Veteran and First Responders Support, support for the vulnerable, nutrition, mental health or grassroots wellness initiatives. The funds for this Initiative will not be new money, but will be shifted from existing federal government departments and ineffective programming;
  • Launch a formalized Award to be presented by Members of Parliament at local Canada Day festivities to recognize outstanding community volunteers in the areas of focus of the program.

Provide support and sustainability for social enterprises operating at the intersection of free-market business models and the charitable or non-profit sector by amending legislation to encourage this model and give them greater flexibility.

As your Candidate…

I will help engage, motivate and organize our local movement to take on the Liberals and win this seat in the next election.

  • Assembling the right people: My core nomination campaign leadership team encompasses our former Conservative Association President, the former Chair of the local Board of Trade, a seasoned campaign management veteran, and countless other dedicated volunteers.
  • Uniting to win: I’m confident that as the nominated candidate I will rally all those who chose to run in this riding to join me in coming together as one to win back our riding.
  • Modern fundraising: As a Party, we have fallen behind in technology and modern fundraising techniques. Party members increasingly feel, rightly, like they are seen as nothing more than sources of money to be squeezed by paid phone banks. It’s time to modernize our technology and shift more of our fundraising towards digital, while showing more respect for our donors who, literally, keep the lights on.
  • Provide better training to campaign volunteers: Our campaign teams are essential to our success. For them to succeed, the party and my core team need to provide resources including training. I’ll ensure that we provide enhanced training and communications that treat volunteers as the valued, indispensable team members that they are.
  • Compete more effectively across the riding by implementing a cross-cultural engagement strategy: We will have a cross-cultural engagement strategy with a diverse team on the ground.
  • Grassroots input on policy: Should the party hold a policy convention while I am the nominated candidate, I will assist in championing our local CPC grassroots in submitting policy to help determine our party’s national policies for the next election. There are often specific local issues related to infrastructure for economic development or other issues that will help me directly connect with the needs of our riding.

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Community

The Calling to Step Up
Supporting Families, Neighbours, and our Broader Community!

I’ve been so fortunate to grow up in Kanata. Our family’s deep roots are intertwined in almost every arena, sports field and dance studio in the area. I am proud to have lived my entire life in this community and delighted to now be raising our two children here, while operating our family business in West Carleton (Carp). In choosing to run for office, the example I hope to be setting for my children and their friends is to do things that are bigger than you and do everything you can to inspire those around you with your positivity.