Dean Allison insists he is pro-vaccine even though he has not received a shot and despite a post on his Facebook site—since removed— inquiring about the use of an alternative Covid-19 remedy.
“What I suggested is we should look at further intervention drugs,” said Allison, the Niagara West Conservative incumbent.
The photo, of a box of Ivermectin, a drug widely used to treat parasite infections in livestock, “probably created the controversy, so I took it down and re-posted something. Right now, if you are sick with Covid you either beat it or you end up on a ventilator and you don’t beat it. So we have to look at that stuff and not preclude the fact we still need to encourage as many people as possible to get vaccinated. Regardless of where you are at, vaccinated or unvaccinated, people can still get sick. If you get the vaccine, you’re going to get less sick but there are no early intervention treatments. There are a number of things being worked on and what I would encourage any government is to look at everything, using the science all of the time, and figure out what works and what doesn’t work and continue to pursue stuff.”
Ivermectin is also used to treat parasite infections in humans, mostly in the developing world. Covid-19 is a virus, not a parasite, and there is no credible evidence that it is effective in the treatment of Covid-19.
Allison, who said he had a medical exemption when asked if he has been vaccinated, said he feels safe nevertheless.
“I rapid test every day during the campaign, I am always cautious to wear my mask, and I always make sure I am mindful of the situation to distance,” he said. “I want to make sure I am taking as many precautions as possible.
“I don’t spend a lot of time at major sporting events or things like that so I realize I have to do what I need to do to keep myself safe and others safe as well.”
Allison said Covid comes up constantly when speaking with his constituents.
“It’s been incredibly difficult year,” the 56-year-old London native said. “It’s been 18 months of lockdowns, more lockdowns, some restrictions, more restrictions, and it’s been tough on a number of groups of people. Without question, those that are isolated — single individuals, single parents, seniors — and the lack of interaction. We have mental health issues and opioid addictions and we’re seeing that. People are on edge, they are uncertain and don’t know what’s going on and where is it going to go and what does the new normal look like? People are past Covid, meaning we want to get back to doing something. People are frustrated with all the restrictions they have had in their lives. That’s the backdrop of the election.”
Allison said he feels voters don’t understand why a federal election was called in the midst of a pandemic.
“At the end of the day, people say [Prime Minister Justin Trudeau] had the support of the NDP in a block so there’s nothing they couldn’t pass, so why are we having an election? What’s the point of it? And I don’t think he’s been able to justify it. It’s been unique from that perspective.”
Allison, who was first elected in 2004, won the 2019 Niagara West riding with 24,447 votes followed by Liberal Ian Bingham (17,429), the NDP’s Nameer Rahman (6,540) and the Green’s Terry Teather (3,620).
“I would never take it for granted,” he said. “Incumbency is good because I’m not a new guy having to introduce myself. I have a track record in terms people knowing me as a person and how approachable I am and how our office has helped out. I don’t have to reintroduce myself but there are always people moving into the riding as we can see with the prices of housing jumping.”
He feels there is no simple solution to the skyrocketing prices of housing in Niagara.
“It’s complicated. We would like to get a million new homes built so we need to foster that kind of thing,” he said. “We’d like to reduce foreign ownership unless people are going to move in. That’s not such a big deal in our riding but it is in bigger cities and people are getting pushed out here so it is a cause-and-effect thing. We have a lot of foreign ownership of homes where, quite frankly, they don’t move into the home. Maybe we can encourage them to build multi-units.”
As well, Allison said a Conservative government would give those selling rental homes a tax break.
“Right now if you sell you get taxed the full shot on captain gains. We’re suggesting if you were take it and sell it and invest it in additional projects, we would let you roll that into the next project,” he said.
He also mentioned taking 15 percent of about 37,000 federal properties and transitioning them into rental or residential properties.
“I don’t think any one thing will do it, it’s a combination of things,” he said.
Allison feels the economy needs to be a priority.
“We spent a lot of money the last couple of years our kids and our kids’ kids are going to have to pay back,” he said. “Much of that was warranted but now we need to focus on how we can re-start the economy. How do we get people back to work? I was talking to a business person and they were telling me they cannot get any staff and I’m hearing that all the time. We need to transition into programs that are going to get people back to work and get the economy going again. There are a lot of business that have continued to struggle. We have a large hospitality and tourism area in Niagara and I would say disproportionally they have been affected more than anybody.”