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?
I was born and raised in this riding and I spent almost two decades here as a public servant, working as a Crown prosecutor. I represent the only party, the Green Party of Canada, which is speaking truthfully about the scope of the climate crisis and the scale of the opportunity from transitioning to a sustainable economy.
Status quo thinking is not going to solve the problems that Canada is facing and voters in this riding have been let down by consecutive Liberal and Conservative governments. We do not need more of the same.
What issues in the South Cariboo need attention and how would you address them?
The South Cariboo has borne the burden of government failure to begin the transition to a sustainable green economy. Job losses in the forest industry result from climate-related factors but also short-term thinking in the management of our forests. Farmers and ranchers are not getting the support they need to build strong local food infrastructure.
We need to provide support for displaced forestry workers, but we also need to begin seeing our forests — all our natural resources — as community assets, to be stewarded in the long-term. The Green Party proposes the creation of a National Forests Strategy.
We need to invest in local agriculture by, for example, providing support for a local abattoir for our ranchers, and promoting school lunch programs to provide a stable buyer for local farmers. I would promote a pilot program to bring fresh produce to the 100 Mile House Hospital for the same reason.
How will you balance the needs and challenges of large communities in comparison to small rural communities throughout the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding?
Like our leader, Elizabeth May, I intend to hold regular town hall meetings throughout the riding to hear the concerns of all our rural communities. I believe that having regular two-way conversations is vastly superior to receiving a monthly flyer in the mail reporting on events from Ottawa.