Green and growing

My story about being a Green politician in Canada, and why it was the best thing I ever did.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The campaign continues

It has been some busy times since I last posted. I have had a couple of all candidates debates, I have ridden a tractor through downtown Wallaceburg to protest farm policy, I have conducted numerous media interviews, and I had the good fortune to spend some time with the leader of the Green Party, Jim Harris.

First, Jim was not invited to the leader's debate, and let's face it, he should be. There are two more debates, and there is still time. Please sign our petition to add the Green voice to the national debate. We have over half a million votes, a million dollars of your money, and we have 308 candidates once again. Interesting statistic: there were approximately 10,000 emails from Canadians asking various questions to the leaders. We have more than 30,000 names on our petition, three times the interest level! Please add your voice to ours.

Second, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed campaigning with Jim Harris. He is a great speaker, he knows his subject matter, and he has both intensity and a sense of humour. He is very passionate about the issues that Canadians face, and I applaud his sincerity and his commitment to the Green movement.

Third, I want to comment on the two all party get togethers in Lambton-Kent-Middlesex that I attended. One was a debate, and we made speeches at the other. The debate was regarding the need for cleaning up the environmental safety of the St. Clair River. It is so sad to read the list of spills into the river from chemical valley in Sarnia. It is time to isolate these industries from the water and put safety first, where it always should have been. The time for action is right now!

In Wallaceburg, I heard first hand the frustration of the farmers of the region, whose commodity prices are often below input costs. Since then, there has been a temporary countervailing duty imposed on corn, which will help in the short term, but does not represent a long term solution to the problem. We need to move to fair trade over free trade, and build an agricultural support system which will assist the farmer in developing new markets, new distribution and direct access to consumers, so that they can get their fair share of the retail dollar. You will notice that the retail price of beef did not drop by 80% during the BSE crisis, but the price farmers got for cattle did. The processors and distributors still did all right during that time, because we kept eating beef, but very little of that money ended up in the producers pocket.

More later ..


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