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Election 2021: The six Holyrood hopefuls aiming to represent Caithness, Sutherland and Ross share why they want your vote tomorrow and what they would do if they win

By Scott Maclennan

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Harry Christian, Scottish Libertarian Party candidate

I am Harry Christian, the Scottish Libertarian Party candidate for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross. I grew up in Tain and currently live and work in Golspie.

The Scottish Libertarians believe that we all should be free to live our lives as we see fit with the minimum of government interference. We believe that wherever possible, decisions should be made by each of us as individuals, not by politicians.

We opposed the first lockdown, the second lockdown and will oppose any future lockdown. With unemployment soaring, a worsening mental health crisis and record hospital waiting lists, this cure has been far worse than the disease

We support a truly independent Scotland that is free from EU and Westminster control. All decisions should be made as locally as possibly.

We oppose the SNP's hate crime legislation. Discriminating between victims of crime based on race, sexual orientation or gender identity is needlessly divisive. Criminalising people because of words that the say is a horrendous restriction on our free speech.

We need a party that stands up for the rights of the individual and the Scottish Libertarian Party does exactly that. That is why I am standing for them in this election.

Marion Donaldson, Scottish Labour candidate

I’m a west coast Highlander, living and working here as a Start-up Business Adviser, having been born and raised on the Isle of Skye. My paternal grandmother Margaret was a Scottish crofter, politician, land reformer and author, and is my political inspiration.

I have a degree in Pharmacy from the University of Strathclyde and graduated to become a Community Pharmacist delivering health services across Central Scotland.

With my life long Labour beliefs, I’ve been elected twice as a City of Edinburgh Councillor and for a time held the key coalition responsibility for leading cross-party discussions to agree Edinburgh’s £1.3+ billion Public Service Budget.

The last year has been tough for us all. The pandemic has separated us from our family and friends. Despite that we have come together like never before.

That's why this election has to be about delivering a National Recovery Plan that at its heart is about creating jobs, catching up on education and rebuilding our NHS - so we never again have to choose between treating a virus or treating cancer.

A vote for Scottish Labour can ensure we deliver a Parliament that focuses on what our families and communities need.

Struan Mackie, Scottish Conservative candidate

As the Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross I bring a unique mix of experience in Highland politics and a background in building and supporting small business.

Actively running two of my own businesses in the Far North, I am acutely aware of the challenges facing small firms and the daunting task of Covid recovery. Despite these challenging times, I am proud to have brought new jobs and investment into the region, helping create long-term jobs that will make a real difference in the community.

The next Scottish Government must replicate this in every corner of the constituency to reverse depopulation and create much needed opportunities for our people.

In 2017, I was elected to the Highland Council to serve my community, beating the SNP in Thurso and Northwest Caithness in the process.

Upon taking my seat in the Highland Chamber, I have provided a strong voice for the North; fighting and successfully halting some of the relentless centralisation of frontline public services by the Scottish Government and Highland Council, I have proposed vital investments in our failing road network and repeatedly called for rural protections for mainland communities.

Over the past four years, I have been tried, tested but most importantly delivered for my constituents, if elected to represent Caithness, Sutherland and Ross I pledge to do the same in Holyrood.

Tina McCaffery, Freedom Alliance – Integrity, Society, Economy candidate

As the candidate for the Freedom Alliance Party. I stand for not only no further lockdowns, restrictions or health passports but also to represent and fight for the needs of the Highland communities properly and successfully over the next few years.

I am not a career politician but a local businesswoman teaching aesthetics and beauty as well as an ex-community councillor and local campaigner, over the years I have chaired the Incinerator campaign that was successfully stopped. At the beginning of lockdown, I set up the Covid response team for Invergordon and Alness which supplied hot food daily to those sheltering as well as food parcels to those in need right the way through the first lockdown.

I am also a mum and grandmother who understands the needs of the communities in the Highlands and that it has been sorely overlooked over the past few years.

The past year has proven hard and demoralising for individuals, families and local businesses across all industries, mental health issues, child abuse, domestic violence have all suffered with no real funding being made available and this needs to change.

As the Freedom Alliance candidate on the constituency and regional list I will if elected in ensure that the people of the Highlands and Islands are heard and receive the help and funding needed across all sectors.

Molly Nolan, Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate

I’m standing in this election because I want to see better outcomes for people in the Highlands. Caithness, Sutherland and Ross has been failed by the Scottish Government’s centralisation agenda – we are a distinctive part of Scotland and we need someone to stand up and defend our unique interests.

I and the Scottish Liberal Democrats have a positive, liberal vision that will prioritise the issues that matter, and bring much needed decision-making power back to our area.

We will prioritise the mental health crisis, decentralise Highland healthcare, help pupils and teachers bounce back, and support small businesses.

We will institute radical solutions for rural issues: shared service hubs for banking and post services, land reform that speeds up the house building process, and ‘catchup zones’ for superfast broadband rollout.

And we will advocate for major investment in our transport network, public sector jobs moved out of urban Scotland and into the Highlands, and a green jobs recovery to lessen our reliance on seasonal tourism and end the climate emergency.

I and the Scottish Liberal Democrats will focus on the day job, improving tangible outcomes for people across Caithness, Sutherland and Ross without the distraction of another independence referendum. We will put recovery first.

Maree Todd, SNP candidate

I grew up in Ullapool, I live in Strathpeffer now and I’ve worked in the Highlands for most of my life.

Working in a hospital as a mental health pharmacist, and volunteering in a range of roles made me realise that I wanted to do more to enable our people and communities to be heard. That is why I entered politics in 2016, and why I am standing to be re-elected to Parliament today.

I understand the challenges our communities face.

We need to put our priorities first and invest in our future, that includes improving connectivity, supporting local businesses and ensuring all our young people have the best education and training possible.

We can build thriving communities in Caithness, Sutherland and Ross: create new jobs, new homes and retain and attract talent.

I want Scotland to be the best it can possibly be. I believe we need independence to fulfill our potential.

Crucially, this election is about Scotland’s future. As we recover from the pandemic we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to build a greener, fairer more prosperous future.

This election is about deciding who leads this recovery. Let’s put Scotland's future in Scotland's hands by voting SNP.

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