I have been politically active in the environmental movement throughout my adult life. Because of my many years of experience, I know that to create a just world for all we need strong advocates from outside the system pushing for positive change and leaders within government willing to make that change happen. I have spent the past decade as a professional and an activist pushing for action on climate change, protection of natural areas, as well as equity and diversity in scientific fields in order to create a just, sustainable, and prosperous Canada for all.
After completing my Masters degree at Dalhousie University, one of my first major environmental projects was assisting with community organizing in Nova Scotia to protect wild areas in Guysborough County. Having grown up in Scarborough, I returned to Ontario where I worked in the Rouge Park to advocate for stronger legislative protection for our National Parks and the need to restore natural areas in near-urban environments. During this time, I also actively fought against the transportation of corrosive, unrefined oil through decades old pipeline networks across the GTA. These experiences allowed me to work with and develop positive relationships with all levels of government as well as meet with politicians and community leaders from almost every political background. However, what truly brought me to this moment in time and my candidacy to become the Member of Parliament for Ajax as part of the Green Party was my experience fighting the development of the Duffins Wetland in Pickering this past Winter. Our successful campaign overcame poor government policy, powerful corporations, and ultimately upheld community values to sustain our flourishing community.
The Green Party of Canada is not merely the strongest party on environmental policy, it is also the only party that is discussing the implementation of sustainable social and economic policies too. From the Guaranteed Livable Income, that will reduce the costs of social services, to the implementation of a wealth tax, we can fund the policy priorities Canadians deserve. By investing in alternative energies and technologies - which already exist but require support for implementation - and not wasting time on ongoing unsustainable and irresponsible oil production, Canadians can be at the forefront of new job creation, which communities around the World are already beginning to enjoy.
I am so grateful for my political experiences as well as the ongoing support I continue to receive from friends and community members. This support, along with my commitment to positive, responsible, and sustainable change, has brought me to where I am now. Creating strong connections in the community fueled my desire to contribute to Canadian politics in a different way - one in which Canadians of all backgrounds and identities can be leaders and advocate for necessary changes for our wellbeing as well as the health of our community and planet.
Leigh Paulseth, your Green Party of Canada Candidate for Ajax