By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – A Morinville stay-at-home mother has thrown her hat in the ring for the federal election, running as a Green candidate in the Westlock – St. Paul riding. Lisa Grant, who moved to Morinville approximately two years ago with her military husband, ran in the last provincial election under the Green Party banner, obtaining five per cent of the vote in the Innisfail / Sylvan Lake riding. This time around the decision to run was not an immediate one.
“It was a last minute decision,” Grant said. “It was mostly I needed somebody to vote for and I wanted to give the other 75,000 electors in this riding somebody to vote for. Everybody is getting sick and tired of the Conservatives and the Liberals and not a lot of people have faith in the NDP. The Greens are a good alternative to all that and if I didn’t run, they wouldn’t have anybody to vote for.”
The Green party was a natural fit for Grant who studied environmental sciences in college before moving on to study anthropology and obtaining her commercial pilot’s licence. But she also believes her party is a good fit for other Canadians.
“We have a fresh outlook on the world, on politics, on communities, on spending money,” the candidate said. “It’s a fresh outlook. It’s not the same old rhetoric we’ve been listening to for the past 150 years. It’s a new way of looking at things and obviously what we’ve been doing in the past hasn’t been working that well. Nobody’s happy, so let’s try something new.”
For Grant and her party that new outlook involves focusing on more long-term goals for the country and communities and even democracy itself. “There’s been a lot of talk in this country in the last few years about changing our electoral system,” she said. “When 33 per cent of electors can create a majority government, that really doesn’t seem fair. We need to change how our government is formed.”
As to her own outlook on politics, Grant said she is running her campaign on a platform of three concepts: accountability, sustainability and efficiency.
“I’m so tired of all the wasted money in our government,” Grant said. “You see so much money that literally goes down the drain. If we didn’t waste all that money, they wouldn’t have to tax us through the teeth.”
Grant said she has personally experienced waste from the military and corrections divisions of the government in terms of equipment and paper being disposed of as soon as it was no longer needed, but believes the waste is not confined to any one governmental department.
She believes the solution to a lot of government’s problems lies in increasing accountability of Canada’s elected politicians. “If our politicians are being held accountable for their decisions, they would be more likely to make effective and efficient choices,” Grant said. “I think every decision that is made should be looked at with the mindset of –is this sustainable in the long run? Is it something that can work for multiple years – for five or 10 or 50 years or is it something where we’re throwing money at a problem that we’re going to throw more money at next year?”
In fact, Grant said she sees accountability as the key issue of this election and that the Harper government seemed to think it could do what it wanted and get away with it. But while Grant personally sees accountability as the main issue, many people she has talked to see the key issue as the environment, something her party is well known for.
Grant explained there is more to sustainability than the environmental angle, although she understands the environment is what many voters think of when they hear the words Green Party. “We need to make sure that this world is here in 50, 100 or a thousand years, but not just the environment,” Grant said. “It’s all connected. We need to make sure we have the money to pay our bills for the next 100 years. We need to make sure we have the resources to keep our society going.”
The candidate said the Green Party has come a long way from its origins in 1983 when the party was primarily focused on the environment. “On the website for the Green Party there is a document called Vision Green, and it is a long detailed document on every aspect of life,” Grant said, adding the document outlines what the problems are, how the party sees the issue in the future and what the party’s short- and long-term solutions to the problems are.
For more information on candidate Lisa Grant visit.
Editor’s Note: We will be presenting an article on each of the four federal candidates over the next week.