A spotlight on New Westminster-Burnaby’s Green Party Candidate
By Mercedes Deutscher, News Editor
Canada has already experienced an eventful election season, and there’s undoubtedly more to happen over the next six weeks before voters head to cast their ballots. Many voters will become so sensationalized with a party’s leader that they may forget to become informed about the workings of their riding’s MP candidates.
One of those candidates is Kyle Routledge, the Green Party candidate for the riding of New Westminster-Burnaby.
Routledge places an emphasis on issues of student concern, particularly the ability of post-secondary graduates to be able to find work in their field. Routledge says that he understands the struggle that many graduates find upon completing their education, as he graduated from post-secondary in 2008 and had difficulty finding a job in his field until three years later.
In relation to the Green Party platform, Routledge desires for students to have easier access to post-secondary education. The educational platform includes abolishing tuition fees for low-income students and loan forgiveness for student loans that exceed $10,000.
Transportation is an issue that Routledge recognizes resonates with New Westminster residents. Routledge has taken note of the growing population of New Westminster as a factor to consider with the development of further transportation infrastructure, focusing on public transit and the Pattullo Bridge in particular.
“I would be a champion for the people of New Westminster in Ottawa to improve our public transit system, and to look at all the different improvements we need and see how we can implement them through federal funding,” Routledge explained to the Other Press. “I realize that the need for growth is there.”
Another issue Routledge wishes to tackle as an MP is the export of US thermal coals, particularly by train, through New Westminster. Routledge is the only candidate in the New Westminster-Burnaby riding who is in opposition of shipping these coals, as opposed to other candidates who wish to deliberate another option and to conduct environmental assessments.
“I do environmental assessments for a living…” explains Routledge. “I will tell you that it does not matter how well the assessment is done or what changes are made to the system, nothing will change the fact that the people of New Westminster do not want this coal dust blowing into our communities.”
Routledge also explained how the Green Party functions, in particular to voter autonomy. Unlike other national parties, Green Party MP’s are not required to vote alongside party lines.
“That’s one of the great things about the Green Party; they truly represent their constituents.”
Those who wish to know more about Kyle Routledge, other candidates, or the Green Party in general, can visit the Green Party website: greenparty.ca