Kira Cheeseborough. Submitted photo.

Federal Election 2019: QA with Animal Party candidate Kira Cheeseborough

Cheeseborough talks supporting workers, deforesting and more

The 100 Mile Free Press asked each candidate of the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding a series of three questions for this week’s federal election coverage. The first question: What makes you the best candidate? The second: What issues in the South Cariboo need attention and how would you address them? And the third: How will you balance the needs and challenges of large communities in comparison to small rural communities throughout the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding? Candidates were given 300 words or less to share their responses. To ensure fairness as best we could, we’ve cut responses down if they went over 300 words.

What makes you the best candidate?

Though I may be the youngest candidate, I am here because of my conviction to do good for people, then environment, and animals. I have an energy that no other candidate can offer to pursue hard-hitting issues and work alongside impacted populations to devise the best solutions possible.

What issues in the South Cariboo need attention and how would you address them?

Supporting workers and their families affected by mill closures and transitioning to clean energy alternatives. There is a sustainability and stability issue when it comes to forestry as it relies on the extraction of resources that take a long time to regenerate. The rate we are deforesting is greater than the rate of regrowth. What we need to do is stop at least half, if not most or all, exports of lumber to create jobs here for workers interested in retraining in an artisan field to produce high quality finished products using this lumber, then export those finished goods at a higher price per unit than the export of the raw lumber previously. We also need to create more jobs replanting trees at the same rate we are deforesting. In fact, deforestation as a practice should be phased out altogether, in favour of pursuing sustainable harvesting/replanting plans that must be upheld by each company.

How will you balance the needs and challenges of large communities in comparison to small rural communities throughout the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding?

The rural communities provide foundational resources to larger communities, such as food. They make up the backbones of the economy and as such require full attention when it comes to issues of job security, sustainability, health, infrastructure, affordability, and economic stability is of paramount importance. Of course, this is easier said than done, but it comes down to being able to prioritize needs and challenges based on the percentage of people in each given community affected by an issue.

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