OTTAWA -The Green Party of Canada candidate for Ottawa West-Nepean minces no words when describing the lack of action of the other parties around the alarming rates of cancer in Canada.
Mark MacKenzie, also a board member of the group Prevent Cancer Now, says that the other parties are fiddling while Rome burns. People are afflicted with this terrible disease. Thanks to the complete lack of leadership demonstrated by the other parties, all we do is treat cancer after the fact. This approach is costing people their lives and draining our communities of talented and caring people.
"There is much that can be done to prevent the occurrence and reoccurrence of cancer. Why are the other parties so slow-footed in the face of the tragedy that has been unfolding for many a year? We all know people in our immediate families that have been afflicted. It is time for the silence to end and for our elected officials to be held accountable. As a candidate for public office I will make this a top priority," promises MacKenzie.
According to Prevent Cancer Now on average, 3,340 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer every week. On average 1,470 Canadians die of cancer every week.
"What is amazing to me is that the Liberals and Conservatives have come to view this horrible situation as a natural, normative state of affairs. No one except our party is raising a hue and cry. This suggests a complete divorce from reality on their part," asserts MacKenzie.
Hundreds of chemicals used in our everyday life carry risks of increased cancer, infertility, learning disabilities and other intellectual impairment, and damage to the immune system. There are less-toxic substitutes for many products, but industry lobbies to maintain their registration and legal use drown out the voices of concerned health professionals and families concerned about avoiding unnecessary sickness.
"When elected, we will treat the crisis head on and not allow another generation to suffer as this one has," promises MacKenzie.
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On Friday morning, mysterious Green chalk lines will lead the way to advance polling stations. Young supporters all across Canada are helping to bring a positive line to politics, a line that stretches from social media sites to the pavement in front of polls.
“The youth vote is building up momentum in 2011. The vote mobs are in the streets, and we’re going to give them a line to follow right to the ballot box,” said Scott Baker, National Coordinator for the Young Greens of Canada.
And the YG's need your help: visit younggreens.ca/greenline
Young Greens Facebook page
Twitter: #greenline @younggreenscan #gpc #elxn41
to get lined up with chalking crews, and to learn how to vote.
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Advanced polls are: Friday, April 22, Saturday, April 23, and Monday, April 25
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For Immediate Release
Ottawa- In what may surprise the voters of Ottawa West-Nepean, there is still no opportunity during this election period for voters to put questions to the four candidates in the riding in a public debate forum.
Having no such forum for voters to question candidates may benefit the big parties but it harms democracy, according to Mark MacKenzie, candidate for the Green Party of Canada.
"With only two weeks remaining in this important federal election campaign, I am calling on community leaders to rally together, get locations and dates on an expedient basis for public debate in Ottawa West-Nepean," urged MacKenzie, who ran in the 2010 provincial by-election that saw neither the Liberal or PC candidate attend the lone debate in that campaign.
"There is still time, and I am hopeful that this situation willnot be repeated. I am appealing to community leaders to take action now toorganize public debates that will be attended by all candidates," said MacKenzie.
MacKenzie has heard a lot of frustration about Nortel and other issues at the door. "People want to ask John Baird why somebody so highly placed in the Government of Canada did not represent his constituents, but sat around and did nothing while Nortel was wiped out and the best parts of it sold off to other countries. They want to know where the Liberal Party of Canada was while this was happening. They have many other questions as well."
MacKenzie said he is willing to put his team of volunteers behind promoting debates. Anyone in Ottawa West-Nepean is free to call him, he said, once they have a venue and date.
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Back then it seemed he was working for a party of change, said MacKenzie, that would remove the long-serving Liberals.
But after the Tories were elected, the party followed many of the habits – such as patronage appointments – that Mulroney had criticized as Liberal excesses and abuses of power in the 1984 election.
MacKenzie left the PCs and for the next two decades focused his efforts on building his environmentally-friendly businesses in the Ottawa west area.
The 52-year-old started Appleseed Farm, growing organic vegetables on a plot of land south of the Ottawa airport and later started Appleseed Organic Lawn Care.
MacKenzie, currently owns Appleseed Snow Blowing services, a company that uses vehicles powered by biodiesel fuel made from vegetable oil to lower vehicle emissions.
MacKenzie successfully lobbied the Ontario government to pass legislation banning the use of cosmetic pesticides.
MacKenzie joined the Green Party in 2002, a move that seemed a natural fit for the politically-active and environmentally-conscious businessman.
“I’m proud to stand with the Green Party because the Green Party is consistent,” said MacKenzie.
MacKenzie, who lives in the Ottawa area, holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Western Ontario.
A vote for the Green Party is a vote for true grass roots democracy, said MacKenzie, who promised to hold regular town hall meetings to discuss issues and legislation before the House of Commons.
“My caucus would be the community leaders and concerned citizens who have an interest in something passing on Parliament Hill,” he said.
The second major plank in MacKenzie’s platform is building strong communities, starting with health-care reform.
“The health-care system is a sickness care system,” he said. “What we’re lacking is a health-care system: keeping healthy people healthy.”
A Green government would improve public transit to take more polluting vehicles off the road and encourage companies to reduce greenhouse gas and toxic chemical emissions, said MacKenzie.
The Greens would also encourage companies to reduce additives and unnecessary chemicals in products found at the grocery store, he said.
“You need to be a chemist when you go the store to figure out all the things we’re eating,” said MacKenzie.
A Green government will build a “smart economy” for Canada, reducing the country’s dependence on oil, said MacKenzie.
A $150 spike in the price of oil in 2008 was largely responsible for Canada’s recession, he said.
“The more we use oil, the more we are subject to the next spike in oil,” said MacKenzie. “The Green Party doesn’t think that is smart.”
The Greens will encourage the use of alternative energies such as geothermal, solar, and wind; the government.
MacKenzie promised to lobby for money to turn the Merivale and Carling roads area into a walkable community with bike paths and for more.
The Greens will also encourage citizens to buy locally-produced food, he said.