Not quite a green party machine

 

 

     
Not quite a green party machine
September 2, 2009

 
Adriane Carr
Green Party
of Canada
Deputy
Leader
Rebececa
Harrison
Whitby
Candidate
Gail
Bates
Oshawa
Candidate
Kevin Smith
Scarborough
East
Pickering
Candidate
 


By Lindsey Cole
The Oshawa Express

Gail Bates is a registered nurse. She is a long-time resident of Oshawa and has raised a
family here in the city. While she sounds like any other resident, she has a passion for the environment and the policies that coincide with the Green Party of Canada. Such is the reason why she has chosen to run as the Green Party candidate for Oshawa. She, along with
Rebecca Harrison, the green candidate for Whitby and Kevin Smith of the Scarborough East
Pickering riding, were at the Durham College Whitby campus to get some muchneeded advice from Green Party of Canada Deputy Leader Adriane Carr. Should a fall federal election ensue, Carr, along with these candidates, want to make sure the Green Party is adequately represented and their ideas for a stronger economy are heard. For Bates, some of the key issues in Oshawa pertain to sustainable jobs and the Oshawa harbour.“Just look at the mess we have in the Oshawa harbour. Nothing has been done,” she says.

“I’d like to see it returned to the city. They can do a deep cleaning. Make it more friendly for the people that are down there.” Along with her fellow candidates, Bates also says creating jobs that are not necessarily related to the auto sector are key for moving forward in Oshawa.“We can’t depend on the auto industry,” she says, adding retrofitting factories to become more environmentally friendly as well as creating products that are not auto related could benefit employment in the city. This echoed Carr’s main economic stimulus plan, which she highlighted just a few hours before her training session with the candidates.“In the next election the issue no doubt will be the economy. How do we stimulate the economy?” Carr asks rhetorically.“People across Canada are looking for a new economy.”

She says developing green technologies as well as creating parts for vehicles that are a low carbon format will not only help the environment, but will create jobs. Solar panels, wind turbines and other alternative energy sources were also mentioned as areas where jobs could be created, as these items must be manufactured.“There is where the growth is going to take
place,” she explains. When it comes to the region she says the Energy from Waste facility (EFW) isn’t the way to go in terms of growth, as it will cause more harm than good to the air quality and won’t create that many jobs in the long run. She also mentioned the EFW facility isn’t definite, as it does still have to be approved by the provincial government. The Regions of Durham and York submitted the Environmental Assessment to the Ministry of the Environment for approval on July 31. While job creation was a key issue for Carr, she also says more money from the federal economic stimulus plan needs to go towards green initiatives. The current conservative government, she says, has hit rock bottom with only eight per cent of the money going towards green infrastructure.“We’re (the government) an embarrassment in terms of the direction we’re moving in.”

 

With more support, Carr says the Green Party may be able to make some positive changes to the country in the future. Currently the Green Party is poling at 11 per cent countrywide, and has remained at that number for sometime. This is encouraging to Green Party members as it shows support. Visiting 90 electoral districts on her journey, Carr is wrapping up her tour with a few last stops. Oshawa is one of them.

With her advice and some feedback from candidates, Carr says she hopes more people will come aboard and realize the Green Party isn’t solely about saving trees, they care about much more than that, including democracy.“It’s really exciting to meet with greens at the grassroots level. But frankly we are not yet there as a green machine.”

 
     
     

 

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