Ottawa West-Nepean candidates take questions from Ottawa Citizen Editorial Board
Thursday,April 14,2011 from 11 a.m. to noon
“People are very confused. They don’t feel like they have a good option with either of the two major parties, certainly on the ethical issue. Going around door-to-door, you meet a lot of people that are Conservative-leaning but they are very much undecided. So, it is going to be a very interesting election to see how that plays out,” he said.
“We are taking votes away from the apathy party; the biggest group of voters last time was not those who voted Conservative but those that didn’t vote.”
The Green book
MacKenzie’s comments came at Ottawa-Orléans Green candidate Paul Maillet’s official campaign launch last week, which was timed to coincide with the release of the party’s Green book.
”We have a serious crisis in government ethics today,” said Maillet. “The Conservative government has fallen over a matter of disrespect for democracy in Canada.”
Candidates say a Green government would overhaul Parliament, increase corporate taxes, eliminate personal income tax for low-income earners, and legalize pot.
The Green party failed to secure a seat in the last federal election, but won the support of one million voters.
“We do have one million votes and if you put them in one province – that’s 25 seats, so the trick now is to get some sort of voice in Parliament,” Maillet continued.
Sylvie Lemieux, Green candidate in the Glengarry Prescott-Russell riding, says it all boils down to who voters can trust.
“In my riding, I have a lot of undecided people, so I am telling them to vote for the first MP here that would give them a great voice, an opportunity to know what is going on exactly,” she said. “At the end of the day, people have to decide who they can trust.”
Greens field business owner in Ottawa West-Nepean
Ottawa- The Green Party has pound-for-pound more business owners than many other parties. But in running Mark MacKenzie against career politician and Conservative incumbent John Baird, the contrast is stark.
MacKenzie, who owns multiple small businesses, is best known in the riding of Ottawa West-Nepean as 25-year owner of Appleseed Snow Blowing Services. With 100 part time employees and 8,000 customers, MacKenzie said he champions small business and job creation better than his opponents.
"Voters are worried about the economy and job creation," MacKenzie said. "Unless you've been in business, unless you've been forced to maximize your input costs and minimize waste, you can only use empty rhetoric to trick people into trusting you."
Using biodiesel fuel, Appleseed achieves a significant decrease in vehicle emissions. MacKenzie is also a strong advocate for organic farming, operating two small vegetable farms and selling all produce locally. In Wakefield, Quebec, he helped renovate an 1838 mill into the province's 2007 Hotel of the Year.
MacKenzie joined the Green Party in 2002 with a desire to make a difference for his family, his community and his country. Like many other citizens, he believes the Green party is the only party which truly listens to the voters and enacts the will of the people for the well-being of the people.
MacKenzie is proud of his past work as President of the Organic Landscape Alliance and their successful campaign, in concert with many other NGOs, for the development and enactment of Bill 64, an Act to ban the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides in Ontario. As the owner/operator of Appleseed Organic Lawn Care, he helped Ontarians to understand toxic chemicals are not required to maintain beautiful living spaces.
MacKenzie is also a board member with Prevent Cancer Now, a national organization with the dream of defeating cancer through prevention and environmental health promotion. He strongly believes Canadians cannot stand by while so many fellow citizens head down the devastating path of cancer.
"I'm an honest guy who's worked for the other parties in the past. But the other parties are governed by what the backroom boys tell them to do," he said. "I'll do what's right for the people of my riding. That simple."
MacKenzie and wife Kathy have two sons Kyle, 10 and Ryan, 8. His two older daughters, Kara and Stephanie, are now out on their own.
Mark MacKenzie Campaign office Opening is Friday April 8, 2011 at 6 pm at 23 B Tristan Crt.
For more information or to contact:
Ottawa- The Green Party of Canada is concerned that voters are disengaging because politics have become so toxic. During the first week of the election, the Greens are challenging the other parties to be more positive by showing an ability to cooperate on policy proposals.
“More Canadians didn’t bother to vote in 2008 than voted for the party that formed the government. We need to prevent Canadians from giving up on being involved in democracy,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May. “One way to engage voters is to show cooperation and goodwill. Today, we’d like to hear from all parties agreement to support and protect Canada’s national health care system.”
The Greens are asking all parties to clearly state support for the five principles of the Canada Health Act: public administration, comprehensiveness, universality, portability, and accessibility. That means every Canadian must have equal access to necessary medical treatments, covered by public insurance, and managed by a public, not-for-profit system.
“Every party should be able to stand up today and clearly state that we all support the Canada Health Act and that we will do more to address national wait times for health care,” said May.
While there has been some progress, there is still a long way to go to fulfill promises made to reduce wait times on all medical procedures. The Canadian Wait Time Alliance 2010 report card on wait times notes that, despite improvements, ‘long waits for care continue to be an issue and much of the wait time picture remains clouded in mystery.” As that report notes: “When it comes to wait times, Canadians are selling themselves short.”
“Instead of seeking wedge issues, the Green Party prefers to address the issues that unite us as Canadians. So the Green Party calls on all parties to speak out and agree today: on the issue of protecting the Canadian Health Act, and living up to the promises to reduce wait times everywhere in Canada, we stand on common ground," said May.
The statement is on the Green Party YouTube channel.
SIDNEY, B.C. - The Green Party of Canada has released its second policy proposal in its challenge to all parties to go positive and find common ground in an effort to keep voters engaged.
“We are calling on all parties to agree that Canada will benefit environmentally, socially and economically from investing in high-speed rail on major corridors across the country. Fewer voters will stay at home on election day because they feel disgusted with the whole political process if we can show them some cooperation between parties,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May.
The Green Party is proposing a national project to establish separate high-speed rail lines on the Windsor-Quebec and Calgary-Edmonton corridors, as well on the Halifax-Sydney and Regina-Saskatoon routes. These lines will as much as halve the travel time between major centres. With downtown-to-downtown service and no airport security delays, it will make taking the train faster and easier than flying.
“For example, high speed rail would cut travel time between Calgary and Edmonton by as much as fifty minutes compared to driving – to a busy family trying to fit everything into the day, fifty minutes is a lot,” said May. “Not only would the development of high speed rail infrastructure create jobs, but with the average Albertan spending 13% of their total household budget on transportation, it would provide commuters significant savings.”
According to Calgary-Edmonton High Speed Rail Pre-Feasibility Study, the average number of vehicles per family is 1.66 and the average distance traveled is 18,900 km per year, with an average vehicle operating cost of 25 cents per km. Given these costs, a high speed rail line could save a family up to $4000 per year.
“I believe we can all agree the benefits of high speed rail links would be significant for both regional and national economies,” said May. “Building the necessary infrastructure will create jobs. Separating freight from passenger rail traffic will allow both to move faster and cheaper, enhancing Canada’s economic competitiveness. And better rail service will take cars off the roads and reduce air travel between major cities, reducing our national greenhouse gas emissions and congestion on our highways.”
“High speed rail on major corridors in Canada. I think it’s an idea where all parties can find common ground and agree,” said May.
The statement is on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ckm-otj7UU
Saanich-Gulf Islands Communications Director