Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Who am I and why would I want to run in an election?

How to describe myself when sometimes I feel that I am an entirely different person every day? Sometimes two or three different people in one day - a concerned citizen, a caring mom, an angry driver. 

I'm a relatively healthy woman in my 70's. I am a widow; my marriage of 47 years ended abruptly and unexpectedly four years ago. I still practice medicine as a doctor - mostly as a locum in Nunavut serving Inuit communities. I have three grown daughters who live in Winnipeg and Calgary and while I'm glad they are on the prairies, it would be nice to have them closer. Fortunately there are younger friends in my life as well.

I am blessed to live in the Touchwood Hills, probably the only hills and woodlands between Regina and Prince Albert. My passive solar house (built in the mid-1980's) uses a small wood heater for back-up warmth. I live on a property managed by the New Roots Community Land Trust whose goals include pesticide and herbicide-free gardening and farming.

My federal riding is Regina-Qu'Appelle; the incumbent is Andrew Scheer, leader of the Conservative party. His platform is the antithesis of a progressive environmentally responsive and collaborative government. His past behaviour and pronouncements suggest repressive responses to crime, health care, Indigenous peoples and immigrants. I could not watch him win without putting up a fight.

The rising climate crisis is less apparent on the prairies than it is on any of Canada's three coasts - the rising warming seas and resultant extreme weather patterns affect us less, protected as we are by the land mass around us. We have noticed the increasing risks of fires - and increasing numbers of tornadoes (the only tornado I had ever heard of as a child was the one in Kansas that propelled Dorothy into the Wizard of Oz). Our weather is less predictable - but any individual can remember unpredictable events in the past.

But environment is not the only attraction that the Green Party has to offer. The Green Party has two documents, Vision Green and Mission: Possible that tackle employment including green jobs, transportation, healthcare, education, and economic transformation. The Green Party is neither right nor left - it's justice, Indigenous Rights, good government, and inclusive government.

My own interests include but are not limited to:

1. Environmental reparations for extractive industries - and developing protocols into the future that no longer ignores what happens when the industry folds; 
2. A national fresh water audit and plans for protections - includes placing a value on wetlands so that the burden of maintenance doesn't rest with reserves, farmers or landowners;
3. A guaranteed liveable income for poverty reduction and possible elimination;
4. An improved health care system with more depth to respond to mental illness with sufficient support systems;
5. Fulfillment of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (which are not unlike those of the Royal Commission of 1996);
6. A social and educational system that places the rights of children first;
7. A justice system with increased interest in remediation and restorative justice for both victim and offender;
8. Since farmers are mentioned as some of the biggest offenders in carbon production by the UNIPCC, I would like to work with farmers and farming communities on approaches to climate crisis while still retaining production. What would it look like?

I am tired of seeing governments act as though they understand the wealth of scientific research on social, spiritual and environmental issues instead of acting as though they were run by polling agencies, based on popularity contests. It is reprehensible that our government can be made up of elected individuals with blinders to all but their pocketbooks and those of the company they keep.

We know what needs to be done - I believe in the potential of human beings to work together. Let's start doing it!

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