I’ve always been a runner!
I have spent many-a-year running races that I had no hope of “winning”, but relishing the run itself, the uphill battle, and oftentimes raising money, or the profile, of a good cause.
This particular race however—the upcoming election race—is whole different kettle of fish for me. This one—I want to win!
I entered this race as a frustrated voter, hoping that some of my previous on-air experience with CBC and Global and my scientific background would help shine the spotlight on some glaring issues we have with our current government. As the days and weeks have gone by I have become more dumbfounded, more outraged at the sheer contempt the current government exhibits towards Canadians.
Let me back up.
I have always voted “Green”—in the past, more as a protest vote than anything else—but in recent years as part of a growing contingent of Canadians who are voicing their discontent with the status quo.
The Green Party of Canada has deep roots as an environmental-first party; it is the backbone of who we are today. But under the wise leadership of Elizabeth May, and with smart, forward thinking members, we have grown into a rounded, well versed national political party. The Green Party has the most comprehensive, extensive platform with well-researched policies on everything from the treatment of our military veterans, to the dire need of affordable housing and a better healthcare system; from a plan to eliminate student debt, to a promise to radically cut the PMO’s budget. Oh, and we’re the only party to stand in absolute opposition to all current pipeline development plans. We oppose any and all pipeline proposals committed to shipping raw bitumen out of Canada. Full stop.
But aside from all this—it is actually the Green Party of Canada’s stance on democracy that has excited me as a candidate/runner. Here’s the deal: our current government has systematically dismantled our democratic rights to question our Prime Minister on the workings of government, to have—say—a National Science Advisor, to negotiate a new health care accord, to even allow reporters to fire questions during scrums, but most importantly, our right to gather and civilly protest any number of issues. I am - of course - talking about the ramifications of Bill C51.
Luckily in my apprehension, I am not alone.
Bill C51 has been presented to us under the guise of protecting Canadians from a purported global jihad. But as time will tell, this bill may conveniently aid in another struggle: to silence dissent and quell any number of civil protests, including environmentalism, in Canada.
Canadians deserve a democracy in which all citizens have the right to express their views, and are able to directly participate in the environmental, economic, social and political decisions that affect their lives.
So as a member of the first party in Canada to decry this bill, I am running for Canadian democracy.
Essentially—as our party slogan states—we are aiming for a Canada that works. Together.
I’m running for the Green Party of Canada. I’m running to bring integrity, transparency and data-driven decisions back to Ottawa. It’s time voters feel good about their votes knowing there are candidates that will represent them first, above all else!