Meet the candidates
in NDG-Westmount

Sam Fairbrother, candidate for the Green Party of Canada in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce–Westmount

Candidates in the riding of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce-Westmount were invited to submit a text describing their platform for publication in The texts are published in their original format, as received, without correction. Here is the article submitted by Sam Fairbrother of the Green Party of Canada.

My name is Sam Fairbrother and I am running to represent you, the people of N.D.G.-Westmount, as a Green Party candidate in this current federal election. Like many of you, news about the climate crisis has always caused me anxiety, especially when combined with our government’s history of hollow promises and regular inaction. In a loop that I am sure is familiar to others, I would stumble between despair and ambivalence. It was not until the climate strike of September 2019, that I felt truly inspired and galvanized. Being involved in such a vibrant expression of constructive energy and discontent with Canada’s political leaders energized me in a way I had never felt before. I knew then that I could no longer dwell on my anxiety and had to turn myself towards positive action.

I began studying Environmental Sciences at McGill University following the Climate Strike but that did not feel sufficient. Working on tangible solutions and grasping the extent of the problem would not help anything if we lacked the political willpower to act on the science. The swell of popular enthusiasm I saw during that march made it clear that the majority of the Quebec population grasped the urgency of the crisis—a gut instinct that has since been backed up with polling data—however, the hypocritical half-placations from those in power convinced me that a green future could only be achieved if a serious political turnover could be accomplished. I started advocating for the Green Party during the previous election. As a result, both experiences, that of the academic and that of engaging with the community, served me immeasurably. They showed me both the political and technological possibilities for addressing the growing climate crisis. The Climate Strike introduced me to the popular enthusiasm for a green future, but it was going door to door during the last election, speaking with my neighbours, and hearing in their own words the various grievances and anxieties that they expressed, that cemented my conviction that a new path forward—a green path forward—was both possible and necessary.

That path, though global in ambition, starts very much at a local level. A green future, to truly be sustainable, must be rooted in a healthy and durable community and I believe the seeds for just such a community are available here in the riding of N.D.G.-Westmount. If elected as your MP, my simple goal would be to grow those seeds and help spread them across the country. This means planning our response to the environmental crisis in a manner that uplifts the community and benefits everyone you know, beyond mitigating and reversing apocalyptic levels of environmental degradation. This means making sure that our local businesses get the help they need to create thriving local economies and investing in those entrepreneurs that share a green vision for the future. This means creating and maintaining gardens, parks, and other green spaces that mitigate our carbon footprint, improve our quality of life, and increase our sense of unity and community. This means fostering programs and organizations that ensure every citizen of our riding feels safe, seen, and supported. Through these three pillars: subsidies to small businesses, local green space initiatives, and the elaboration of community support networks and organizations, we can make sure that our green future is a future rooted in a thriving, united, and locally sustained community. Furthermore, this community is also just, prosperous, and full of opportunity.

Forcing an election in the middle of a global pandemic is not ideal, the disregard for the health of Canadians—particularly our most vulnerable community members—that such an action represents is frankly worrying. However, as the climate crisis only worsens, decisive action needs to be taken to mitigate its excesses and now is the best time to start. The climate crisis is here, after the events of this summer—and the last—it can hardly be denied. Though the problem is planetary in scale, the solution starts here, with what we can create. I’ve lived most of my life in this riding and I know the people of N.D.G.-Westmount want to continue to provide a thriving community for their children and future generations. We can’t plan our future on empty and broken promises, we need solid and sustainable solutions. Together with the Green Party we can stop being anxious about what the future holds and start getting to work on making it better.

With that in mind, I hope you will vote Green and vote for me this September 20th!

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