Fraser Valley – FVN Fraser Valley News will highlight all the Federal Candidates covering the three riding’s that make up the Fraser Valley.
We ask all candidates to submit their bios and reasons for running. The editor retains the right to edit for brevity and content.
Thomas Cheney– Green Party – Chilliwack-Hope
I have been interested in environmental and social causes since I was young. I also believe in working towards a balance of various goals, namely economic prosperity with environmental protection. Because of my interest in these matters I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and a Minor in Economics. Currently, I am completing my Masters Degree on climate policy and renewable energy. In my spare time, I garden and read.
Why I am Running
I am running because the country is moving in the wrong direction. In particular, I feel the government’s inaction on climate change is unconscionable. We should not be blocking progress towards a global climate deal. We have a duty to give future generations an opportunity to have a good life. Sabotaging climate negotiations as done, as by the conservative government, is wrong and diminishes our great nation. Canada can and should do better. A clean energy future can revitalize a sluggish economy and yield great health, geopolitical and social benefits. There are no jobs or profits on a dead planet.
I am also concerned about the direction of the economy and the decline of shared prosperity. Too many people are working hard and falling behind. The middle class is essential for a strong democracy. My generation is the first in recent history to have a lower standard of living that our parents. This is not acceptable when Canada has never been richer. We need to make sure the economy works for everybody.
The increasing authoritarianism of the Prime Minister’s Office and the inability of MPs to represent their constituents must end. Canadians have fought and died to protect democracy and freedom. We should not let this great, hard-won heritage be whittled away by those who value power more than our country’s wellbeing. We need to restore balance and work towards a hopeful but realistic future for our country.
What I want to do
If elected my priority will to increase economic activity and tackle climate change by jumpstarting a transition towards renewable energy and phasing out fossil fuels. The clean energy revolution will create opportunities for an army of tradespeople throughout our country. In this region we have many opportunities in small-hydro, solar, and energy efficiency. A green energy economy means keeping jobs at home, not in Fort McMurray or Fort St. John. I will also work to ensure investment in public transit including enhancing the Fraser Valley Express bus service and restoring service to downtown Vancouver by the interurban line.
Secondly, I want to fix the root causes of many of our current economic problems. We need to reform the monetary system to reduce debt and make sure trade deals to not lead to net job losses. NAFTA and the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership deals are a nail in the coffin of the middle class. These deals give corporations the power to sue governments if they pass legislation that reduces profits. I will also work to make sure the government encourages small business and cooperative enterprise investment. We should focus on making strong, resilient local economies.
More action needs to be taken to restore the quality of democracy. This means giving MPs real independence to represent their constituents, not be trained seals of party leaders. I also believe that every vote should count, which is why I will be a strident advocate for proportional representation.
I will also take action to protect salmon by banning fish farms and restoring habitat protections gutted by the government.
The Greens have a different vision of Canada, a Canada that works better together. To learn more about our campaign in Chilliwack-Hope, please visit thomascheney.greenparty.ca.