Running as the Green Party candidate in Guelph Riding for the Oct. 19 election brings me enthusiastically full circle. I earned two degrees at the University of Guelph, and this is where my wife and I met and married. We started our family and I launched a business here. Since then, I’ve served in the provincial Environment Ministry and, for the past 15 years, as Ontario’s independent Environmental Commissioner. Along the way I’ve also led several non-profit groups. I even ran for office as a Progressive Conservative — back when that party was far less ideological and autocratic. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, especially as your environmental watchdog. I held Legislature members from all parties accountable on clean water and air, climate change and a whole range of issues that people here care deeply about. Now, I’ve returned to Guelph to complete what I began. With your support, I will join Elizabeth May and other Greens in Parliament to walk the same walk I’ve urged politicians to embrace over the years. I understand this community. I know, too, how bureaucracy and legislatures function and what Canada needs. I will work tirelessly and effectively to serve Guelph, to strengthen Canada’s environment, economy and democracy, and to ensure a sustainable, prosperous future for our children and grandchildren.
Most of us in Guelph and across Canada realize our federal government is badly off track. With an autocratic regime operating on ideology rather than intelligence, Parliament no longer functions as the centre of a healthy democracy and our environment, economy, social services and liberties — in fact, everything that has made Canada such a great country — are being eroded. Opinion polls reveal at least 70 per cent of Canadians are desperate for change. The Green Party represents by far the best hope to set Canada on a path we can once again take with pride and optimism. You’ll find detailed policies elsewhere on this website. But I’ll base my work as your Member of Parliament on clear principles: Innovation and sustainability build the strongest economy and most jobs. All Canadians have the right to equal opportunities in employment as well as health care, education and other services. Protection of our environment is essential, as is our right to privacy and liberty. Most of all, our democracy will survive only if government works transparently and collaboratively for the good of everyone and all MPs have a meaningful role. The election is expected to produce a minority government in which I, and all Green MPs, will play a pivotal role in creating the change we want and need. Your vote is crucial.