Alberni voter asks candidates about justice system

Voter Profle - Tracey Kennedy.

Voter Profle - Tracey Kennedy.

This federal election, the Alberni Valley News  sought out typical Valley citizens, asked them a little about themselves and their politics, delved into the key issue(s) for them personally, and then took that issue to the candidates for a direct response. We’ll be posting these features online, at www.albernivalleynews.com, and we invite both other voters and candidates themselves to join the conversation through our Disqus online commenting feature.

A personal tragedy has spurred a Port Alberni college student to ask federal politicians in the Nanaimo-Alberni riding hard questions about the country’s justice system.

Tracey Kennedy, 45, is enrolled in the North Island College human service worker program.

Born on the Lower Mainland but raised in Port Alberni, she’s been aware of politics since her teens and exercised her suffrage as soon as she turned legal voting age.

She pays attention to issues and parties both federally and provincially, and voted for the Green Party in the last federal election.

“But that’s because I was pissed off at all the other parties,” Kennedy said.

“They weren’t doing anything that I stood for.”

Kennedy is aware of provincial educational issues after working in a local elementary school as part of a practicum.

But she’s also become aware of the country’s federal justice system, particularly as it pertains to murder.

A relative of Kennedy’s was murdered and the killer walked free, something that victimized the dead man’s family and left Kennedy shaking her head and demanding an answer.

“What are our politicians going to do to overhaul our justice system—what are they going to do to change it,” she said.

The election is looming and Kennedy hasn’t made up her mind who to vote for.

She was too busy with school, she says, to attend the federal all-candidates forum held at the Capitol Theatre.

Kennedy is going to take her time studying candidates and platforms before she votes.

“I’m trying to get through the rhetoric in order to determine who is selling what,” she said.

 

Tracey’s question:

How would you improve Canada’s justice system?

Myron Jespersen, Green Party:

We need to work with people who are disproportionately entangled in the justice system when it does not serve to either protect the public or restore the offender. We need to find smarter ways to provide justice.

 

Zeni Maartman, NDP:

New Democrats would invest in a balanced approach that involves prevention, policing and prosecution. We would increase funding of prevention programs, especially those that stop young people. We’d also put 2,500 new police officers on our streets.

 

James Lunney, Conservative:

Did not return a response to the question.

 

Renee Miller, Liberal,

Did not return a response to the question.