I’m going to start my story back in my youth with memories of my Dad helping older members of our congregation at our United Church. He was always involved in outreach services and making sure we did what we could to help those in our community who were less fortunate. I think the values I was raised with nurtured a desire to serve others. For me it was serving those with hearing loss as I pursued a career in Audiology. A career I’ve thoroughly enjoyed for over 30 years! In 2014, I joined the Rotary Club of Guelph and eventually their Indigenous Awareness Committee in hopes of finding ways to give back by using my skills as an audiologist. This allowed to me to learn more about the local indigenous community and led me to be part of a Rotary driven project helping children hear in the Canadian Arctic. I developed an appreciation for the stewardship of the land that indigenous people hold sacred. I have participated in over 15 trips throughout the Canadian Arctic over the past six years which changed my view of our world by providing me a glimpse into Inuit culture and its people; a very humble people who display a quiet wisdom and a people who live in harmony with the land and have for thousands of years. The gaps we see in health and educational outcomes for indigenous Canadians need to be addressed with policy change. We need a more fair and just society for all. I also was able to experience the pristine Arctic landscape; a landscape that offers a place of renewal and instills a sense of wonder, a landscape that is changing rapidly due to climate change. With my newly developed world view, I changed from being a longstanding Liberal Party supporter to voting Green for the first time in the last Provincial election. In 2020, my daughter gave me Naomi Klein’s book “This Changes Everything” and for me it did. The social isolation resulting from the Covid 19 pandemic, afforded me the time to expand my knowledge on climate change and social justice issues and to investigate further how each of the provincial parties are dealing with these issues. I now know that we need a Government that will whole heartedly support a green and just recovery. I am more than ever convinced that once we all become informed and engaged, more people will vote Green. Change can only come when the collective voice is big enough to tip the scale. For me the Green Party is the vehicle for change. It is by far the only Party that has the vision and values that align with mine. This is the party that will build a fair and just society and it is the party that has the courage and vision needed to address the existential crisis of climate change.
Why did I vote Green in the last provincial election? I’m not Irish. Lack of experience? Envy? I pondered this question as I sat in the shade by the river Speed on a hot summer day. I reflected as I cross country skied in the new fallen fresh snow last Christmas. I wondered as I realized this senior still enjoyed a bike ride, a swim and a walk. The sensation of a cool glass of fresh Guelph artesian water. The elevation I felt taking in a full breath of air. The wonder I experienced as I looked at the natural world around me and heard the trees whisper, the birds sing, the crickets chirp. The awe I felt as I watched as the stars reveal themselves the moon shine. Looking up in the night sky I thought, what matters? What really matters? Sure the economy is important, yet there are new ways we can move an economy forward, leaving no-one behind. Is there a better way to harness energy and lessen waste? Is there a political movement that takes into account that for now this planet is our home and acceptance is a quickest pathway to justice? For it is true that we are all one: we can celebrate our differences through cultural expression yet we must never forget our similarities with each other and with all living things. We are beings of nature. We are to quote a cliche, stardust. Nature can be cruel, violent, rough, but in the end nature is all we have. What political party took these ideas seriously? Stood up for all, was caring, insightful and faced the big questions head on and sought solutions to problems. That’s why I voted Green.