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Kevin Shaw says Green Party offering local voters a real change

Published on

Pam Wright

Kevin Shaw says he’s running as the Green candidate this election because his personal values and those of the party dovetail nicely.

“We have good policies to promote sustainability and there’s an opportunity for jobs for Sarnia-Lambton,” he said.

“I want to be the voice that gets the word out there.”

Shaw, who grew up on a farm near Brigden, doesn’t need to win an election to prove his success.

A math teacher at Great Lakes Secondary School, he’s also the founder of a busy sports news website used by half the high schools in Ontario.

A self-confessed “sports guy,” Shaw tries to run at least three times weekly and assists with the sporting activities of his three young sons.

Each summer, the family goes camping in Canada and makes good use of bike and walking trails. Those experiences make him eager to expand and improve access to green spaces locally, he said.

The June 7 election marks Shaw’s second shot at Queen’s Park, having run for the Greens in 2014. The Party has a clearly laid out policy that includes combining Ontario’s four major school boards into one board to save $1.6-billion a year.

“That money could be returned to education” with further investments in rural schools, he said.

The party would also increase the minimum wage to $15 and raise the ceiling for the small business payroll tax to $1 million from its current cutoff of $450,000.

“This election the Green Party’s policies are more middle-of-the-road and balanced,” he said, noting the Conservatives haven’t even released a policy platform.

“Not to have policies isn’t being responsible.”

Shaw believes the main parties are shortsighted when it comes to climate change and sustainability.

“We have to concern ourselves with the next 200 to 300 years,” he said, adding businesses needs to tap into the sustainability piece.

The petrochemical industry has done well in Sarnia-Lambton and Shaw said he would like to see it expand. And the innovative technologies being developed at the Western University Research Park will help, he said, citing Comet BioRefining, which turns crop waste into dextrose, as an example.

Like many others, Shaw left Sarnia-Lambton to attend post-secondary school and find work.

After graduating from the University of Waterloo with a degree in mathematics and computer science, he and wife Laura, also a teacher, began their life together in the Kitchener area.

The couple decided to move back to be near family, but also for Sarnia-Lambton’s affordable housing and high quality of life, Shaw said.

He said there’s a lot of misinformation about the Green Party out there and he hopes to change the local mindset.

“People are ready for change and the Green Party offers that.”

He’s also noticed a steady decline in traditional news media, and the loss is negatively impacting Canadian democracy, he added.

“Unfortunately, we live in a sound-bite society and everyone is busy. It takes a lot of effort of learn about the issues.”

Shaw said he is an admirer of Green Party leader Mike Schreiner, a successful entrepreneur and small business owner who grew up on a farm.

“I respect him,” he said. “He isn’t afraid to say what he thinks.”


Name: Kevin Shaw

Age: 45

Occupation: High school mathematics teacher and entrepreneur

Previous Election Experience: Green Party candidate in 2014 provincial election, unsuccessful.

Marital Status: Married, three sons

Most Important Issue: A thriving, sustainable economy





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