If you’re not happy with something then make it change, says Fanina Kodre, president of the newly formed Century Party of Ontario.
“If you sit back and do nothing, then you are just as guilty as everyone else,” added the 61-year-old communications specialist.
“I feel an obligation to do something.”
A year ago, Kodre returned to Sarnia with her husband after years of working for the United Nations in Kenya. Previously they lived in Forest while she worked for the Canadian government and he worked in Sarnia.
They returned in large part because her children and grandchildren live here. But she immediately found she wasn’t happy with the state of health care, social assistance and other government-provided services in Ontario.
“Life in Kenya wasn’t easy. There wasn’t proper health care and we lived surrounded by electric fencing. I looked forward to returning to Canada, the land of milk and honey,” she said.
“But we immediately saw changes for the worse. The first thing was the medical system — not enough doctors or nurses, long waiting lists and hospitals having to fundraise to have enough money for equipment.”
Kodre was also struck by the number of visible homeless persons.
With a provincial election looming, she spoke with her brother-in-law, John Taylor in Toronto, and they discussed starting a new political party.
The Century Party of Ontario formed in February and targets the “working class” with policies that would redirect gaming revenue to patient care and social assistance; not tax anyone making $40,000 or less; surprise ministry programs with audits; and increase sales taxes.
“We propose to increase sales tax on luxury and non-essential items and introduce new taxes on stock trading,” Kodre said. “We will start taxing spending rather than income.”
She said she is helping to create a new party rather than join an existing one because none of the others reflect all her values.
“I really just want people to hear what I have to say,” she said. “Change has to be drastic. We must make ourselves heard.
“It’s a huge challenge to implement change but if I can actually influence the province to move in the right direction, I am going to try.”
Kodre is officially running as an independent while the party works on adding additional candidates for the next election.
Name: Fanina Kodre
Party: Independent, supported by the Century Party
Occupation: UN advisor on climate change. Previously worked for 21 years for the federal government.
Previous elections: None
Marital status: Married, two children and six grandkids
Most important issues: Healthcare; clean, sustainable and affordable energy, seniors.