Karen Lee Wilde, independent 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. Candidates were also asked to send us a photo of themselves to use with this article.)
QUESTION 1: Please tell our readers a little bit about yourself and why you decided to run in this election?
My name is Karen lee Wilde, I’m a professional singer/songwriter, a cancer survivor, and the last few years dealt with effects from a car accident. As a big animal lover, I adopted Thor from the THC, a great place, about a year after my Shiloh passed.
One of the main reasons for me getting involved in politics was after witnessing how a senior lady in her 90s who had hearing and sight issues, yet still walked to do her shopping and banking, and sometimes take a cab home, was living in such horrid conditions. While walking my dog daily I passed her small seniors building, we had become friends. I’d often drive her to McDonald’s, or the beach. She had support come everyday to give her meds, and some basic care, with about a 15 minute window. I helped her with groceries, and when she turned on the kitchen light there were so may bugs, not just cockroaches, that ran from her cupboards, sink, microwave, floor. Thus began me to become an advocate for her, and awoke me to seriously neglect of many seniors, especially if there is no family involvement in their lives.This lead me to also see the problems with LTC in hospitals, and institutionalized LTC settings. Also the lack of affordable housing, for those on a fixed income or retired.
QUESTION 2: What will you and your party do to reach justice with Canada’s Indigenous Peoples regarding the past abuses of the Residential School system, and will you commit to fulfilling the calls to action made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015?
Transparency! There definitely needs to be more transparency between government and Indigenous Peoples. The years of delay in this has cut a deep hole in the healing and trust between the two. I would commit to fulfilling the calls for action for Truth and Reconciliation from 2015, and would consult more with Indigenous Peoples to do what is necessary to help heal this deep wound.
QUESTION 3: Given the high numbers of seniors who died in long-term care facilities from COVID-19 and the deplorable conditions many of them were found to be living in by Canadian Forces personnel called in to help, what steps will you and your party be taking to help protect seniors in the future?
God bless our Canadian Army, I’m sure they never thought one of their jobs would include having to go into seniors nursing homes/LTC to protect their own. While many global care workers fled to be with their families, leaving a lot of places short staffed during the pandemic, I would be promoting to train more local PSW’s and nurses, so this doesn’t happen. Let’s create an atmosphere of home and less of an institutionalized setting.
QUESTION 4: What do you think is the issue in your riding that you can have the most impact on if you are elected MP?
In my Beaches-East York riding, small business is a big issue, with so many not being able to last even a year or so. It’s sad to see so many closed stores. Even with government loans, which should be relief, the amount to lease a place shouldn’t be evaluated on having to have music festivals and events.
This also impacts housing prices, and the rental market. First we need a stable economy, which is hindered now due to COVID-19, and maybe we will have to bridle some of this capitalism in order to do it.