Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green Party candidate Gordon Kubanek, Nepean Carleton
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Gordon Kubanek is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Nepean-Carleton riding. Wikinews' Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.
Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.
Why have you chosen to involve yourself in the political process? Why did you choose to run in this constituency?
- Three years ago I moved out of the city to live the country life but a virus from my new environment gave me congestive heart failure. During my three year recovery period I promised myself that IF I recovered I would find a new purpose to my life. That purpose is helping the Green Party to bring a saner and healthier way of living to Ontario.
What prior political experience do you have? What skills and insight can you bring to office, from other non-political positions you may have held?
- Previously I was the riding president for the federal Conservative party in Ottawa; am the federal Green party riding president; have helped out in 3 campaigns, worked with many school initiatives in the public school I teach in and on several committees in the school my children attend. My experience living and working in Europe, USA, Australia and Canada have given me a global perspective that none of the other local candidates have. My consulting work of the Department of National Defence using a computer modeling methodology called "System Dynamics" [ the same method used to create scenarios for the world's future in the classic 'Limits to Growth"] give me a real experience how we MUST think ahead and act BEFORE big problems happen by changing how we live and behave pro-actively.
Which of your competitors do you expect to pose the biggest challenge to your candidacy? Why? What makes you the most desirable of all candidates running in the riding?
- The Conservative candidate is the biggest challenge as she is the incumbent and the voters currently see themselves as mostly 'conservative' – no matter what the facts are. I am perhaps not the most desirable but certainly most capable of guiding this riding into the 21st century as only the Green platform has new solutions to our new 21st century problems. I am also the only candidate raising his family in this riding and the only candidate with enough life experience to see that simple solutions to complex problems only make things worse.
What do you feel are the three most important issues to voters in your riding? Are these the same top three issues that are most important to you? What would you do to address these issues?
- Transportation/urban sprawl: We must redesign our cities around walkable communities linked by light rail; the Federal governments plans for the old Rockcliff air base is an excellent example of how the province should work with the cities to redesign how we live.
- I am focused on opposing the proposed MINTO development in Manotick because it will create traffic chaos, destroy the village character and legal status of the village, and make a real mass transit solution even more difficult to implement, and increase smog that increases the asthma rate among our children.
- The ticking time bomb in Nepean-Carleton is the rise in environmental illness. It is well documented that autism rates have increased 100 fold in the last 30 years in Nepean-Carleton. However asthma, peanut allergies, fatal responses to even perfumes are all indication that our autoimmune system is under great stress. I almost died of heart failure from a virus three years so I know personally what our environment is trying to tell us something significant: remove the toxic chemicals that have become integral to our lifestyle or our children and grandchildren will suffer the consequences
What should be the first order of business in the 39th Legislative Assembly?
- Stop the loss of well paying industrial job by investing in 21st century high tech and green jobs that cannot be done by 3rd world countries.
Are the property taxes in your riding at a fair level for the amount of services received in the municipality?
- The property taxes are high but that is not the REAL issue. The real issue is that the property tax system should be changed to a LAND value taxation system [LVT] that, for example, charges the same tax to a parking lot as a large building; or charge the same tax to a developer who sits on land with no buildings as it would if the land hand building. This will increase intensification in the city and stop developers from sitting on land and developing it when they want to.
How can the province lead the way in stimulating job creation?
- Invest in helping companies that do ‘green’ & high tech activities. Eg. Robotics.
What are your views on the mixed member proportional representation (MMP) referendum?
- I am VERY pro MMP as without it we have no democracy because in my view democracy means 50% +1. Now we have government with a majority elected by the minority who imposed its will on the majority – this is NOT democracy.
What role, if any, does “new media” play in your campaign, and the campaign of your party? (websites, blogs, Facebook, YouTube videos, etc) Do you view it as beneficial, or a challenge?
- My website has been my #1 campaign tool. I have post videos from Utube on my site and have a Facebook identity. I know that I should do more but frankly have not had the time to do it all.
Of the decisions made by Ontario's 38th Legislative Assembly, which was the most beneficial to your this electoral district? To the province as a whole? Which was least beneficial, or even harmful, to your this riding? To the province as a whole?
- I do no think that the government did very much. They are good caretakers in that we have had labour peace and they have undone some of the damage done to the environmental legislation created by the PCs. Their problem is that they have no new ideas on how to remove Ontario from being the province now lowest in job growth. We need NEW ways to move us forward and they need some the Green party platform ideas to do this.