Sean Manners, Green Party candidate for Beaches-East York, answers four questions from Beach Metro Community News regarding this month’s federal election.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: candidates were instructed to keep their answers to approximately 150 words, and some of the responses have been edited to keep them as close as possible to the agreed word count.)
QUESTION 1: Please tell our readers a little bit about yourself and why you decided to run in this election?
I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario by my parents of German and Caribbean descent. I completed my B.A in Political Science and Environmental Ethics at the University of Toronto and am a graduate student in Environmental Policy at Memorial University.
I currently live in the Beaches—East York, where my parents, siblings and myself have lived for 22 years.
I’m running because I got tired of the lack of diversity, not only in gender or ethnicity, but also a lack of diversity in the ideas and life experiences included in making decisions about the future of this country.
We have roughly 10 years to make a dramatic shift away from fossil fuels. This presents us with an incredible opportunity that we must seize now if we are to set Canada on the necessary path to a green economy based on principles of sustainability, and equality.
QUESTION 2: Are you in favour of a national ban on semi-automatic assault rifles and handguns? Why or why not?
Yes. My family, and many other families and individuals across this country have been affected by gun violence.
I understand that we must achieve a balance between the rights of law-abiding gun owners and the right of every Canadian to live in safety, without fear of being the victim of gun violence. The Green Party respects the legitimate ownership and use of firearms by hunters and farmers.
We need to strengthen measures to combat gun smuggling and the possession of banned weapons. We must ensure that law-abiding citizens pursuing legal activities in target shooting or hunting are free from unreasonable threat of criminalization.
QUESTION 3: What do you think is the issue in your riding that you can have the most impact on if you are elected MP?
What I’m hearing from people is that they are concerned about the climate, but they don’t know how they can get involved, there are funding programs and initiatives and reports but people need a way to utilize them!
If elected MP I would work with my partners at both the municipal and provincial levels of government to address issues of local capacity and enhance community responsiveness to changing environmental conditions such as increases in air and water pollution, flooding and promoting and protecting green spaces. It starts with a human right to a healthy environment.
QUESTION 4: What do you think are the two most important national issues in this election, and why are you and your party the best ones to deal with these issues?
I think climate change and the cost of living are impacting all Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
These two issues are interconnected, as the climate continues to change, impacts to health, housing, and ecosystems will exacerbate pre-existing inequalities in our society and drive up the costs of living. Having spent the last three years studying and working on climate change impacts around Canada
I have seen first hand the socio-economic challenges this can place on communities and individuals.
I am proud that the Green Party’s platform acknowledges that we cannot have climate security without equality.