By Chad Ingram
Elizabeth Fraser is hoping residents of Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock will see Green next month.
Fraser is the Green Party candidate for the riding in the Oct. 21 federal election.
“I didn’t get involved in politics too much until Iwent away to university” she says. Born in Bowmanville and raised inBethany Fraser is a third-year environmental studies student atOttawa’s Carleton University.
“I started to realize how important politics is . . . getting youth involved in politics is such a huge issue” Fraser saysreferencing the typically low voter turnout rate among young people inCanada.
Fraser has been involved with the Green Party sincestarting her degree. She is a member of the Young Greens founded theCarleton University Green Party Club and volunteers in the office ofGreen Party leader Elizabeth May. She’s worked for Health Canada andcurrently works for the Canadian Revenue Agency.
Fraser told the Echo she believes the Green Party can be a viable alternative for voters in this election.
“I believe their financial and environmental policies can really make a positive impact on the lives of Canadians” she says.
The party’s platform includes increased greenhousegas reduction targets; ending all fossil fuel industry subsidies;divesting federal money from fossil fuels; abolishing college anduniversity tuition and introducing a debt cancellation program for those with more than $10000 of student debt and introducing proportionalrepresentation among many other policies.
“One that might be more specific [to the riding] isthe money they would put into municipalities” Fraser says noting thatHKLB consists of a number of small rural municipal governments.
Increasing long-term municipal funding is part ofthe Green plan with a focus on sustainable transportation as well asintroducing the type of internet infrastructure providing reliablehigh-speed connectivity “so people can tele-work if they want to.” Fraser points out these initiatives could help lower municipalities’ carbonfootprints and says she also likes the party’s policy proposal aroundcreating very specific sustainability requirements for public buildings starting with federal ones.
Policies that promote tele-working “just take cars off the road automatically” she says.
“I think that given the severity of environmental issues I do think the Green Party is a good alternative” Fraser says.
“Our economic policies are a little more centristthan a lot of people realize” she says acknowledging that while theriding tends to skew blue at the polls fiscally the Green Party may be more fiscally conservative than some voters think.
Noting that small businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy Fraser also references the party’s small businesspolicies which include the establishment of a federally funded GreenVenture Capital to assist local sustainable start-ups eliminatingduplicative tax filings and holding taxation at no more than nine percent.
“I’m excited to be able to have meaningful conversations with people in the riding” Fraser says.
She will join Liberal candidate Judi Forbes NDPcandidate Barbara Doyle and People’s Party of Canada candidate GeneBalfour in challenging incumbent Conservative MP Jamie Schmale.
To learn more about Fraser visit https://www.greenparty.ca/en/riding/2013-35034