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 I went away to university” she says. Born in Bowmanville and raised in Bethany Fraser is a third-year environmental studies student at Ottawa’s Carleton University.
“I started to realize how important politics is . . . getting youth involved in politics is such a huge issue” Fraser says referencing the typically low voter turnout rate among young people in Canada.
Fraser has been involved with the Green Party since starting her degree. She is a member of the Young Greens founded the Carleton University Green Party Club and volunteers in the office of Green Party leader Elizabeth May. She’s worked for Health Canada and currently 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 greenhouse gas reduction targets; ending all fossil fuel industry subsidies; divesting federal money from fossil fuels; abolishing college and university tuition and introducing a debt cancellation program for those with more than $10000 of student debt and introducing proportional representation among many other policies.
“One that might be more specific [to the riding] is the money they would put into municipalities” Fraser says noting that HKLB consists of a number of small rural municipal governments.
Increasing long-term municipal funding is part of the Green plan with a focus on sustainable transportation as well as introducing the type of internet infrastructure providing reliable high-speed connectivity “so people can tele-work if they want to.” Fraser points out these initiatives could help lower municipalities’ carbon footprints and says she also likes the party’s policy proposal around creating 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 centrist than a lot of people realize” she says acknowledging that while the riding 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 business policies which include the establishment of a federally funded Green Venture Capital to assist local sustainable start-ups eliminating duplicative tax filings and holding taxation at no more than nine per cent.
“I’m excited to be able to have meaningful conversations with people in the riding” Fraser says.
She will join Liberal candidate Judi Forbes NDP candidate Barbara Doyle and People’s Party of Canada candidate Gene Balfour in challenging incumbent Conservative MP Jamie Schmale.
To learn more about Fraser visit https://www.greenparty.ca/en/riding/2013-35034