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Laura Campbell determined to spark a “green wave” in Dufferin-Caledon ahead of 2018 provincial election

September 29, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Pickford

There’s a third name in the running locally for next year’s provincial election, with Orangeville business owner Laura Campbell last week revealing she would be running for the Green Party in Dufferin-Caledon riding.

Set to do battle with Liberal nominee Bob Gordanier and incumbent Sylvia Jones, Ms. Campbell readily admits she faces an uphill task as she seeks to become the first Green candidate to secure a seat at Queen’s Park.

A 31-year-old mother of two, Ms. Campbell owns and operates Pia’s on Broadway alongside her husband. On top of that, she is also a PhD student at the University of Toronto, studying international relations. At last Thursday night’s local Green Party of Ontario (GPO) nomination meeting, Ms. Campbell was the only one to stand for nomination. She told the group of 20 onlookers, which involved GPO Leader Mike Schreiner, that she hopes to inspire a new generation of voters in Dufferin-Caledon come June 7, 2018.

“This means so much to me,” an emotional Ms. Campbell told the crowd of cheery supporters. “I’m so excited to get to know even more people here in Dufferin-Caledon. I’m young, I’ve got lots of ideas and I’m really passionate about this. I feel pretty confident in saying I’m here to stay in the Green Party of Ontario.”

While she committed herself to running a “clean campaign” over the coming months, stating she looked forward to seeing what sort of platforms her opponents intend to run on, Ms. Campbell was not shy in letting people know where she believes the problems lie right now in Ontario politics.

She criticized both the Liberal and Conservative parties for their lack of action on environmental issues over the years, slamming both the Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne administrations for fumbling the Green Energy Act. She chastised the current government for failing to implement “proper” upgrades to the province’s transit system and, with its new controversial Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, turning its back on Ontario’s small business community.

“Citizens feel so removed from the political process that they don’t want to get involved. I want to change that. I need to change that. I want politics to be accessible to everyone, I want everyone to feel like they can participate in the process. I want people to want to participate,” said Ms. Campbell. “To do that, I need to engage people and tune them back into politics. I will be going door to door, I will be compassionate and I will convince people that it’s the right decision to elect a Green candidate in this region.”

Mr. Schreiner officially welcomed Ms. Campbell to the fold, expressing his belief that the time was now for the Green Party of Ontario to step up and finally secure a seat at Queen’s Park.

“Now more than ever, this is an exciting time to be Green. There’s a real wave starting to take place across this country, a wave which began with Elizabeth May in British Columbia,” Mr. Schreiner said. “I’m excited to be here in Dufferin-Caledon this evening to welcome an incredible candidate to our team. Laura is a successful local business owner, she is a PhD candidate and, more importantly, she is a remarkable human being who I know will do a fantastic job for us in this riding.”

He added, “To have someone like Laura on board, someone who is so passionate, so enthusiastic and who understands what small businesses mean to a community, it’s invaluable to the GPO. She has a real vision on how to be inclusive in politics and I truly believe she can energize the young voters in this riding. We trust that she will bring the Green message to the people of Dufferin-Caledon and, given the chance, will make an excellent MPP at Queen’s Park.”

Ms. Campbell says she will make a concerted effort to encourage the riding’s young populace to turn out in full force next year in an attempt to bring about much-needed change in the provincial political spectrum. Over the next few months she expects to engage with people over such things as spiralling hydro costs, burgeoning classroom sizes and dwindling local water sources.

As well as discussing what she refers to as “provincial issues”, Ms. Campbell says she will be discussing the federal government’s supposed commitment to fighting climate change. Speaking to local media, she didn’t believe Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his team were doing enough to truly make a difference.

“I know, as a country, we’ve agreed to uphold a climate agreement, but I wonder what we’re actually doing to meet our targets. We’ve spend billions of dollars trying to find out what to do to combat climate change, but we already have the answers… We’re just not moving on them and that’s infuriating to me,” Ms. Campbell said.

“Climate change is now. This is not something that is going to happen in the future, it is something we’re living today. I have children I want to protect, as we all have people we’d like to protect. I believe we should be doing more to meet our targets, and I will be communicating that with people in Dufferin-Caledon,” she added.

“More than anything though I’m just excited to get started. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. I’m excited to learn and I’m excited to share my ideas. Regardless of the stereotypes the Green Party of Ontario is not a one-issue party, we just feel if we start with the subject of environment it reverberates into every facet of life,” Ms. Campbell concluded.

For more information on Ms. Campbell and the Green Party of Ontario, visit gpo.ca.

         

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