Q and A with Green Party candidate Kevin Shaw

Q – Voters seem discouraged by their options this election. What are you doing to woo the disenchanted?

A – I’m hearing from many people that they are disillusioned by the traditional parties and their inability to work together for the people of Ontario.  For many people this is the first time that they are taking a serious look at Green Party policies.  They’re learning that the Green Party has a forward-thinking and balanced approach that is both supportive of small businesses and families, and is economically and environmentally responsible.

I’ve been reaching out to people and organizations to listen to their concerns and challenges.  The Green Party understands that many issues are complicated and require honesty and collaboration to find solutions.

Q – The Green Party intends to legalize marijuana. As a high school teacher how do you feel about that?

A – Any changes to laws relating to marijuana fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government. The Federal Conservative Party is working on changing Canadian laws to make possession of small amounts of marijuana result in a ticket instead of a criminal charge.

I’ve never smoked marijuana, or anything else for that matter, but I know that some high school students do.  The use of marijuana can be abused and we should all be concerned about teenagers getting involved in activities that could result in impaired judgment or permanent harm to their bodies.

Q – Are you on board with your party’s plan to merge public and Catholic school boards into one French and one English system.

A – Yes.  The Green Party’s position on combining the school boards stems from the issue of fairness. Ontario is the only province in Canada still funding the Catholic faith and no other religion. The United Nations challenged Ontario’s Catholic School funding as far back as 1999 on the grounds that it is discriminatory towards other religions.

I want to be clear that the Green Party is not against religious schools.  In Sarnia-Lambton some parents already choose to pay money to send their children to privately funded religious schools.  We are simply saying that Roman Catholic schools should be funded privately too.

Q – Two Sarnia day-care centres are about to close for financial reasons. What’s the Green plan for childcare?

A – The ability for parents to access affordable, high quality childcare has been shown to be the fastest path out of poverty, offering hope for many Ontario families. The Green Party is committed to provide funding for a Guaranteed Annual Income that would pay one parent to stay at home. If parents choose to work, the Green Party would provide access to flexible, private and publicly funded, non-profit child care.  The Green Party would also encourage workplace childcare and job-sharing. Finally, the Green Party would support better-paid day-care workers to reflect the important work they do.

Q – Name one thing you would do for Sarnia-Lambton that the other candidates can’t or won’t?

A – In all likelihood the election is going to result in another minority government with many of the same MPPs as before the election.  The main three parties have proven again and again that they will fail to work together to find solutions to the problems Ontarians face.  As a Green Party MPP I would collaborate with MPPs from all parties in order to represent the people of Sarnia-Lambton.  Electing a Green MPP would show people in Ontario, Canada, and around the world that Sarnia-Lambton is ready to welcome industries that will enable families to have a vibrant and sustainable future.

– Tomorrow online, NDP candidate Brian White