Our Green Candidate, Leigh Paulseth

Have your questions answered:

Why is Leigh running to become the Member of Parliament for Ajax?
I am running because I care about our democracy, I am concerned about climate change, and I know we can build back better by working together.

The future of our planet is deeply concerning for many people in our community and increasing numbers of citizens understand that we only have a few years to drastically change the trajectory of our warming climate. As an environmental activist, I also understand the limits of science and the power of community activation in creating change. I want to be part of that change. I want to lead that change and contribute to creating a healthy future for my community and future generations. 

I feel that the best way to accomplish this is by running as a Green Candidate in Ajax. Green Party policies are grounded in science and equity, which I value and believe are cornerstones of a healthy democracy. I moved to Ajax two years ago to put down roots and start a family, which is why I have no time to waste in ensuring the future is clean, sustainable,  and green for everyone!

Can Leigh win in Ajax?
I am a winning candidate because during my time working with citizens from across Durham Region I have already had the opportunity to represent the people of Durham during which we won important concessions from the Ontario Provincial Government on an crucial environmental issue. Recently, Triple Properties (a developer) attempted to construct a warehouse for Amazon on a provincially significant wetland on the border of Pickering and Ajax through the use of a Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO). Through working with the community, we were able to fight them and apply enough public pressure to get them to back down. Together, we won and we saved valuable wetland for our community in the future.

I know how to work with people to win. It takes determination, energy, and persistence, and with your help we can win here too. A win in Ajax would change conceptions about what is possible for the Green Party in Canadian politics and indicate to the current and future governments that it’s time to take saving the planet seriously.

Leigh on the campaign trail with supporters

Even though it’s Green values that I believe in most, I don’t want the Conservatives to win the election so I’m voting for the Liberals.  Why is strategic voting a bad idea?
Many electoral races in this country are won or lost by only a few hundred votes.  This may make you think that you need to vote against the party that you don’t want to win.  For most people leaning Green, this means voting against the Conservatives.  Unfortunately, this also means voting for the Liberals, the party that has been in power for six years, the first four with a Parliamentary majority, and has not made anything like a concerted effort to address climate change.  When you vote for the Liberals, they interpret this to mean that their policies are sufficient and mirror your wishes.  This message leads to more wasted years in the fight against climate change, years that we don’t have.

Why should I vote Green?
In a democracy every vote counts. When you vote Green, you send a message to the government of the values that you hold dear and the actions that you feel are needed.  If enough people vote Green in a riding to elect a Green MP, that message is sent to Ottawa, and keeps getting repeated at every opportunity in Parliament.  However, even if your vote does not result in a Green MP, it still counts.

The Liberals and the Conservatives keep very careful track of voting results.  If a significant number of people vote for the Greens, whether they elect an MP or not, the Liberals and Conservatives both realize that Green values are very important to those voters.  If they want those voters to become their supporters, they have to change their policies to be more like those of the Green Party.  In the end, what the world needs is not necessarily a Green government, but a government of any colour which enacts legislation to address climate change in a meaningful way.  Green voters need government to do the right thing.  All voters need government to do the right thing.  This effect is not theoretical – you only have to look at the fact that the Conservative Party, after campaigning against a price on carbon for decades, has adopted a price on carbon as part of their climate change plan.

In the end, the more Green MPs that get elected, the easier it will be to enact ambitious climate action, and for a Green government, it’s priority #1.

Where does Leigh stand on pipelines?
I have spent over 10 years fighting the use and expansion of pipelines in our community. My action on this issue began with organizing against the Line 9 pipeline, which runs through Ajax and the rest of the Greater Toronto Area. While we didn’t win that fight as the Line 9 pipeline is currently operational in Ajax, I do believe that the large-scale action on this issue and the publicity it received set the stage for projects like Energy East to be cancelled.

As a member of the science community I know that if we continue to develop the tar sands – some of the most carbon-rich oil in the world – it is game over for our climate. I am against any expansion of our pipeline system, including the Trans Mountain Pipeline. Furthermore, I support frontline communities, including Indigenous communities, who are bearing the brunt of these struggles in Canada. The violence inflicted by RCMP officers in Fairy Creek, Wet’suwet’en and other communities, is in direct contravention of Treaty rights, Indigenous law, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Canada’s economic future depends on developing new technologies

I support the Green Party in terms of its social and environmental message, but I’m concerned about what their policies mean for the Canadian economy and Canadian jobs?
Leigh and the Green Party believe in supporting the creation of sustainable jobs and preparing the Canadian economy for the future. Please check out Our Vision for more information on the Green Party’s plan to drive affordability and the Canadian economy forward, while ceasing our reliance on nuclear and carbon-based energy sources.

How can I get a sign?
Getting a sign is easy and free! We also collect them at the end of the campaign. See our Get Involved page to sign up.

How can I get involved?
We have many ways you can actively show your support and get involved. Visit our Get Involved page or sign-up to receive our E-Newsletter and see how you can help. You can also support our candidate on social media (see below).

Get your sign and show support for Green values today!

How can I know more about upcoming Green Party events in Ajax?
Visit our Homepage and our Get Involved page to find Green events and initiatives in Ajax. Or, you can follow your candidate on social media and show your support! You can also sign up for the Ajax Green E-Newsletter. See our Get Involved page to sign up.

How to Contact Leigh and Show Your Support:

Contact Leigh, your Green Party of Canada candidate for Ajax (Leigh.paulseth@greenparty.ca)

The Green Party of Canada

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