I am running to make a difference.
I am incredibly proud to have earned Linda Duncan’s support for my nomination. I look forward to earning yours as well.
Like you, I was saddened to learn that Linda Duncan would not be running again for public office. Linda has been a relentless advocate for our community and an inspiring representative for our party.
I see the energy that Linda gives fighting for social, economic, and environmental justice. I have worked closely with Linda for several years as a sustainable development advocate and for nearly that long as a campaign and riding association volunteer, most recently serving as President of the Edmonton Strathcona Riding Association. I have witnessed first-hand, the effort and commitment it takes to be a strong Member of Parliament and an involved member of our community and I am ready to meet those challenges.
I believe that my life and my work have prepared me to be our next member of parliament for Edmonton Strathcona.
I have spent my entire professional life – more than 25 years – working for non-governmental organizations intent on improving people’s lives, while protecting our planet. I understand how government works at all levels, including the complexities of inter-governmental relations.
My experience includes development projects in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania where we built computing capacity, empowered women entrepreneurs, and helped Masai re-integrate indigenous farming practices to rescue their local ecology after the devastation of colonial agriculture. I have supervised projects in China, Bolivia, and Peru to promote environmental stewardship and strengthen rural communities’ environmental rights. I have worked to ensure Ukrainian democratic rights were protected as an international election observer.
For over a decade now, I have represented Alberta organizations – including our universities and colleges, and CSOs like Change for Children and Sombrilla – as the Executive Director of the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation. This work has provided me access to the highest levels of government, where I have worked in collaboration with community, civil society, professional organizations, federal agencies, and international bodies.
As an expert in sustainable development, I have presented at major international meetings and in Parliament. I have served as an advisor to the federal Ministry of International Development and as a delegate to the UN. I have worked directly with several provincial ministries coordinating community and international development efforts.
I played a key role in leveraging federal funding for small and medium-sized community-based organizations in Canada – a huge win for Alberta organizations – and created an internationally recognized global conference on development, bringing world leaders to Alberta, many for the first time.
My experience building communities, forging partnerships among organizations, business, and government, advocating for change, and seeing the profound impact that change can have has led me here.
I am running to be the next Member of Parliament for Edmonton Strathcona to make a difference.
I am running because I am angry and frustrated with what is happening in Canada. Harper’s Conservatives launched an all-out assault on Canadian values here at home and abroad. And the Trudeau Liberals are no better, promising change while guarding the status quo.
I am running because I know the difference that we can make in people’s lives when we work for people and a sustainable planet.
I am running because, together, we can make a difference.
We can make a better Canada.
Choosing to run for this nomination was an enormous decision and not mine alone. The profound support of my husband, Duncan, and our two children, Maclean and Keltie provided the opportunity. The decision, however, came down to this: I know the depth and breadth of our Edmonton Strathcona team, the team that put the incredible Linda Duncan into Parliament. I know because I’ve knocked on doors with them, stacked chairs with them, made phone calls with them, and sat in more meetings than I can count discussing what’s important to us as New Democrats and how we can fight and win – with you.
We can have better public health care and pensions, accessible, affordable post-secondary education, and just solutions for communities and workers to address the challenge of climate change if we elect people who share our values.
After devoting more than 25 years of my life to sustainable development, these are some of the values and issues that are important to me:
Tackling Climate Change and Ensuring Affordable, Clean Energy for all Albertans
The Trudeau government said the right things in Paris at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) on the need to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees but their actions have been counter-productive for energy conservation, tackling climate change, transitioning to renewable energy in a just and fair way, and ensuring that Canadians for generations to come have a healthy, sustainable environment.
- A just transition for communities and workers to clean renewable energy with clear, binding targets and clear pathways to get there, including incentives to the renewable energy sector to enable it to grow rapidly.
- A robust energy conservation strategy, including an energy retrofit program to assist families and small business to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and their energy bills.
- An energy strategy in Canada that recognizes the current need to ensure our natural resources garner the most value, while moving us towards a carbon neutral future.
- Eliminating the subsidies extractive industries receive while ensuring strong protections for workers and their families.
- Significant funding to support adaptation and mitigation for climate change disasters in Canada and around the world.
Thanks to the NDP, Canada has a great health care system that we all value highly, but there is much room for growth and improvement. The Trudeau Government failed Canadians when it decided not to negotiate a new Health Accord with the Provinces.
- A national pharmacare program to reduce costs and ensure all Canadians have access to health care they need.
- Dentacare, particularly for children and low income/no income Canadians.
- Equal health care opportunities for all Canadians in a free, public system that supports Northern communities as much as those in urban settings.
- A meaningful harm reduction strategy, including a concrete plan for managing the current opioid crisis.
I was deeply impacted by the Trudeau government’s betrayal of their promise to reform our electoral system. Canada needs to replace the “first past the post” system with a much more reasonable and democratic form of proportional representation. I feel that this was a cynical and very self-interested decision on the part of Justin Trudeau that shows he does not have the best interests of all Canadians at heart.
- A reformed electoral system based on proportional representation, implemented as quickly as possible.
Economic Inequality in Canada
I know many Canadians work hard but struggle to get ahead in a time of rising income inequality. As a mother with kids in primary and secondary school I am disturbed by the prospects that our young people are facing today. Those students fortunate enough to access post-secondary education graduate with preposterous debt. They are then forced to survive in a job market dominated by precarious work, and with few or non-existent benefits.
I have met so many of our seniors, people who have taught us and taken care of our communities for decades, struggling to get by and sometimes losing the pensions they worked to earn.
- Accessible Post-Secondary education for all Canadians by reducing tuition fees and relieving unreasonable student debt loads with the goal of eliminating tuition fees altogether.
- Expansion of the Canada Pension Plan and seniors’ benefits so that all Canadians can retire with dignity.
- Protection for pensions in the case of bankruptcy so that workers are put first not last when a company fails.
- A national housing strategy that can be implemented now, not in 10 years, and that includes renewed support for housing co-ops.
- Introduction of a postal banking system.
- Crack down on tax loopholes that benefit only the wealthiest Canadians.
Canada’s Place in the World
I am appalled by how far Canada has fallen in terms of influence and impact on the global stage. Leaders like Lester B. Pearson, Romeo Dallaire and Stephen Lewis had Canada hitting well above its weight class in terms of how we engaged with others around the world. Today, Canada contributes the lowest amount to overseas development assistance in our history. We now contribute about 0.25% of Canada’s GNI towards peace and sustainable development abroad. And while we have a new Feminist International Assistance Policy that we should all be very proud of, the current government refuses to provide resources to make this policy meaningful.
- A commitment by Canada to ensure all human rights are protected in Canada and around the world; including a refusal to trade with those countries guilty of human rights abuses.
- Regulations and oversight that prevent Canadian companies from failing to protect human rights when working overseas.
- A renewed commitment to women and girls, including a full range of reproductive health care with sufficient funding to accompany that commitment.
- The development of a clear, concrete strategy to increase Canada’s ODA contribution to 0.7% GNI within 10 years.
A respectful, Meaningful Relationship with Indigenous Nations
Canada pays lip service to its relationship with First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples while communities continue to suffer from poor housing, a lack of drinking water, substandard social supports, and imposed poverty. The shameful history of Canadian residential schools and the abduction of First Nation children are stains on Canadian history and they will remain until we fundamentally alter that relationship.
I am proud of the work done by the NDP caucus working to improve Canada’s relationship with Indigenous Peoples including Romeo Saganash’s bill to implement UNDRIP.
- The implementation of all UNDRIP recommendations.
- Building a new relationship with all Indigenous Peoples that ensures economic prosperity, enhanced social justice, and the inherent right to self governance.
Gender Equality and Human rights
I have a daughter and I want her to grow up in a world where gender equality is a given. I am proud of the work the NDP Caucus has done to promote LGBTQ+ rights. I stand with the NDP in its opposition to the Saudi arms deal.
- Pay equity legislation.
- A national child care program.
- An end to the discriminatory ban that prevents homosexual and bisexual men and trans people from donating blood.
- Suspension of the Canada/US safe 3rd country refugee agreement.