The first two issues I would address as MP for Ottawa-Vanier are democratic reform and local food security. The Green Party is committed to implementing a system of proportional representation. In such a system, one would vote for their local candidate and for the party they most support in their region. This would allow parties that do not win individual seats, but garner a significant number of votes in a region, to still be represented in Parliament.
We are flooded with GMOs and increasing dependence on food from overseas despite a wealth of local produce. As MP, I would work with local government to establish a growing space for community gardens and farmer markets in our community.
As a teacher, mother, neighbour, and citizen, I am deeply concerned about the state of the world which we are leaving to our children. Our relationship to the planet, Mother Earth, is strained past sustainability. Our economy, founded on 19th-century thinking about value, wealth, and the planet's carrying capacity, is not viable in the 21st-century. Our government lacks accountability, transparency, and credibility.
I have belonged to and campaigned for other political parties in the past, but, like many Canadians, became discouraged and disengaged from meaningful participation in our democratic process. I felt that I could not make a difference in the direction our country was taking.
I am encouraged by the growth of the Green Party and, after joining 8 years ago, saw an opportunity to join with committed, caring, ordinary Canadians who want to make a difference in the direction our country is taking. Canada is a great country, and we can be a leader in so many areas of crucial importance in the world today - from climate change and environmental issues to the economy, peace and conflict resolution. In the realm of diversity, we are a world leader in crafting processes and institutions that allow for maximum inclusiveness, equity, and fairness for all Canadians - Aboriginal, new immigrants and refugees, and those who have settled and come to call this rich land "home" over the last almost 500 years.
I am always inspired by the ways Canadians of so many different backgrounds - in terms of culture, gender, socio-economic status, faith traditions, and age - have learned and are learning to come together, talk to one another, respect one another, and work together to address the enormous challenges we face today, in our communities and neighbourhoods right here in Ottawa-Vanier and across the country.
I believe the Green Party of Canada offers the most comprehensive, long-term, and sustainable thinking and planning for the future of Canada and our world. I offer my commitment and experience in education, community organizing, coaching, team leadership, and my deep commitment to values of honesty, respect, fairness, harmony, balance, and justice in the service of creating the communities and the country we all want to live in. A country we can all be proud of. A country we can all participate in. A country where we all belong. And a country that understands our rightful place in the natural order of things and uses our resources wisely and judiciously so that our children will have a sustainable planet to call "home" when we are gone. I do not claim to be able to solve all our problems. But I am willing, as part of the Green Party of Canada, to do my part. I think if every Canadian could feel so empowered, we would be well on our way to creating the country and the world we all want to live in.
Ottawa has approved the ByWard Market Revitalization Plan as a Term of Council priority. What would you do to enhance this jewel in our, and Ottawa's, community?
The Green Party encourages all developments that would increase pedestrian and bicycle access to the Byward Market. Further, I am personally in favor of all efforts to expand access to local produce for our citizens. I look forward to sitting down with local residents once elected and help to negotiate a solution that considers the concerns of local residents of the Market.
The majority of Lowertown residents walk, cycle or take public transit to work, shop and play, but it can be dangerous given heavy truck and car traffic, especially on King Edward Ave. How would you work to improve active transportation infrastructure and safety?
The Green Party is convinced that a stronger economy begins with cleaner and more extensive infrastructure. The Green Party would work with the local government to make King Edward a safer and more environmentally friendly road for all our citizens.
First published in the Lowertown Echo Newspaper, September - October edition, Volume 6, issue 4