Amanda Cain, Green Party candidate for Scarborough Southwest, 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 am a Scarborough resident, born and raised here in Scarborough Southwest. With an education in Corporate Communications, I have been managing Youth Economic Development Programs for the past 15 years, and worked in the arts and entertainment industry prior to my work in the non-profit world. An active community advocate, I’ve has been addressing issues of education and training, economic development and civic engagement in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (NIAs) of Toronto for the past 20 years. My activism started early on, while still a student at R.H. King Academy, where my recognition of social and racial inequity led me to found the United Cultures of King. I have been honoured with an Ontario Volunteer Service Award and a Toronto Dollar Award for my ongoing commitment to social change and advocacy.
QUESTION 2: Are you in favour of a national ban on semi-automatic assault rifles and handguns? Why or why not?
The Green Party of Canada will introduce balanced and fair measures to ban handguns and semi-automatic firearms and eliminate their use through consultation and a full buy-back program. We will ensure law-abiding citizens pursuing legal activities in hunting with long guns are free from the threat of criminalization. We will provide increased support for Integrated Border Enforcement Teams in gathering of intelligence and arresting gun smugglers. We will put strict measures in place for those who attempt to cross the Canada/U.S. border with illegal firearms. We will ensure that gun smuggling is prosecuted as a gun crime rather than as a customs violation.
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?
Scarborough Southwest small businesses deserve support from the federal government to ensure they are able to adapt to potential disruption in their supply chains due to our changing climate and transition to efficient operations to reduce their carbon footprint. Hiring locally and supporting initiatives such as community benefit agreements, we can provide jobs to local residents, while providing a ready work force to local projects and development. Developing a stronger local economy is good for community, families and the environment. I will conduct a full asset assessment to target companies and growth of local business’ to expand into Scarborough that are not in the sales and service industry.
Toronto faces great challenges with rental housing affordability and a changing job market. We must focus on solutions that are sustainable, while delivering positive results within the next four years. We can build on local assets in the co-op housing sector partnering to expand new affordable housing developments.
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?
We can no longer stand behind the status-quo. The Green Party’s commitment to solving our climate crisis with its ‘Mission: Possible’ action plan solidified my resolve to run for the party. The latest IPCC report makes it clear that we need to have implemented solutions in place to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius within 10 years.
The Green Party is the only federal party that has a detailed, fully costed and fiscally responsible plan to meet these international commitments. Determined political action needs to be taken now or we face a climate catastrophe.