Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Mark Grenier, Welland
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Mark Grenier is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Welland riding. Wikinews' Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.
Minor alterations not affecting the content have been made to this interview; the original text is available by clicking on the tab marked "Collaboration" for.
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?
- Sitting on the sidelines doesn't work for me and I live in the Riding.
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?
- I ran in 1993 Federally and in 1996 Provincially in BC and sat on the boards of some non profit societies as well. Simply promise less and deliver more... that works in business and in life...
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?
- Unseating an incumbent is always a monumental task.
- Why? Pete is well known and has held the seat since 1988.
- Desirable?... lol... a fresh outlook, new blood as it were... and the most progressive and comprehensive policy platform of all the parties on all aspects of governance, the environment, taxation, education and healthcare delivery, public transport and law reform.
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?
- The most important issue is the Referendum on Election Reform... with that real progress can be made in all aspects as the process becomes more transparent and democratic. Bad process like we have now invariably leads to bad results... just look back at the last 17 years in this province!
- As always citizens are concerned about education & health care... and rightly so as these have taken a beating under the current autocratic regimes of the last 12 years.
- Yes they are [the same top three issues]... without proper electoral process we can't possibly hope to repair the erosion of services in education and health. Perhaps taking a look back at the way education was a priority in Ontario from the 1950s to the 1980s... almost 40% of the provincial budget in the 1960s! Now barely 20%... hmmm... do you sense something afoot here?
What should be the first order of business in the 39th Legislative Assembly?
- Electoral reform to get rid of the "first past the post" system.
Are the property taxes in your riding at a fair level for the amount of services received in the municipality?
- As you are aware it's the municipalities who set the rates... so much is dependent on what infrastructure projects are on the table, projected costs of snow removal, street repair, recreation investment, garbage removal and disposal, a myriad of everyday services we sometimes take for granted that I can't really do justice with a yes/no answer. And also bear in mind that municipalities can't run deficits so investments are made with forethought on most occasions.
How can the province lead the way in stimulating job creation?
- This one is too simple....investments in quality public education coupled with timely and broader based health care delivery has been shown to attract real investment in new business...if you build it they will come...best example is Ireland...Universal education and health care and one of the highest literacy rates in the world. Gee I wonder why it's at full employment? Wake up Queen's Park...no need to reinvent the wheel here...
- 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?
- This one I am going to leave alone for the time being, as periferal issues change with circumstances and reiterate that bad process leads to bad results... improve the process, starting with voting "yes" in the referendum!
What are your views on the mixed member proportional representation (MMP) referendum?
- 100% in favour of a system that reflects the voted wishes of the citizens of Ontario... Please, please vote yes on Oct 10th on the issue.
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?
- The internet is for sure the most level playing field for information dissemination... anyone anywhere has access to every POV including their own! Wonderful medium!
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?
- This one I am going to leave alone for the time being, as peripheral issues change with circumstances and reiterate that bad process leads to bad results... improve the process, starting with voting "yes" in the referendum!