The Alberni Valley News will be running candidate submissions for every candidate running in the Mid Island-Pacific Rim riding. The following is the submission filed by Green Party candidate, Evan Jolicoeur.
Throughout my life I’ve done my best to be of service to others. From my years spent as a registered nurse, focusing on addiction and mental health, to developing policy and legislation in government, to project management and entrepreneurship, I’ve led and been guided by compassion, respect and inclusion.
After spending years working behind the scenes in politics at the federal and provincial level across three provinces and two parties, I’ve watched a lot of politicians playing politics. And like many of you, it’s hard to relate to politicians today.
That’s why I’ve decided to step forward now, because we need bold, people-powered leadership.
John Horgan has put politics over people’s health by calling this snap election during a pandemic. This is clearly about the NDP’s thirst for a majority and seeing an opportunity for unchecked power.
But here we are. And we have to find a better way, because the same old, same old isn’t working.
Many of my past experiences have prepared me for this crucial and challenging moment—three crises are plaguing our communities and ripping apart our sense of connection.
As a registered nurse who has spent years working in public health, I know how this virus and the related health restrictions are impacting our lives. As a mental health and addictions clinician, I’m well aware of the devastating impacts a poisoned drug supply has on our families. We need leadership that lifts up people who are struggling by increasing funding for community mental health and addiction services.
Our province has had forestry and logging as a foundational industry since settlers first came to these lands. This industry is vital to the livelihoods of our families and health of our communities. But the current model is not sustainable. We need leadership that prioritizes ecosystem and economic resilience. This includes investments in community forests, locally owned mills, value-added manufacturing and protections for old-growth, leading to healthier forests and communities that thrive for generations.
The government also needs to take a hard look at deeply entrenched systemic discrimination hindering the success and well-being of Indigenous communities. We need to get out of the way and allow Indigenous communities, businesses and people to become self-determined and self-governing over their own affairs.
I’ve also heard from community members who are worried about affordable housing and unable to pay rent. I’ve heard from families who have shared their hopes and dreams and fears with me about their children’s futures. And I’ve heard from small business owners who aren’t sure if they’ll survive. This is a pivotal opportunity to invest in a Green recovery that works for all people.
On Oct. 24, I’m inviting you to consider trying something else on. My promise to the people of Mid Island-Pacific Rim is that I’ll listen and bring forward a new way of doing things, a new way of representing communities and a new way of politics. Our future depends on it.