This is Melanie Holm’s first foray into politics, at least as a candidate.
She has worked behind the scenes during local Green Party campaigns, but for the hastily-called federal election, she agreed to be front and centre. She admits when the election was called she was scrambling to prepare, but the Green Party has a strong platform from 2019, and is offering a “fantastic program” to fight climate change, which was Holm’s incentive to run as a candidate.
The environment is definitely my focus,” she says, “and the reason I’m running. I’m definitely interested, and I’ve volunteered for other campaigns, but this is a first for me as a candidate. This is where I thought I will be able to make the biggest difference, and bring the biggest issues to the attention of people.”
Holm, originally from B.C., moved to Niagara Falls with her husband 10 years ago, where she is currently staying at home with their two little girls.
While the Green Party is on the right track, she says, “I think we have a lot of work to do, to really make a difference.”
Campaigning during a pandemic “is absolutely a concern,” and her party was still discussing knocking on doors, and looking at Election Canada suggestions on how to campaign safely, she says. “We’ll definitely be doing everything we can to do this in a safe way. I respect people’s homes as their safe place right now, and I don’t want to do anything to upset anybody.”
If she does go door to door, she expects to stay in her own neighbourhood primarily, and will have to figure out a way to reach people in other areas.
Her leader, Annamie Paul, like Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is calling this election “a pivotal moment in history.”
In a speech following the election call, she said, the Green Party has a chance “to revitalize the economy with a robust green recovery plan that will transition Canadian workers to the clean economy of the future, while forging a just society in which all Canadians can live with dignity.”
However, she also criticized Trudeau’s decision to call an election with a fourth wave on the horizon, with wildfires burning out of control and as events in Afghanistan put the lives of Canadians and their allies at risk.
“There was a time when calling an election under the current circumstances would have been unimaginable; a time when any one of these events would have provoked an emergency recall of Parliament. Yet here we are.”
Paul referred to more pressing issues that should be addressed, such as forest fires, rising temperatures putting the lives of Canadians at risk, and the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic as kids get ready to go back to school.
The Green Party is also looking at the future as the “greatest opportunity since the industrial revolution, and is estimated to generate $3 trillion U.S dollars a year by 2030.”
She says this is the time for Canada “to accelerate its transition to a net-zero economy and become a global leader in cleantech and green infra- structure.”
To learn more about the Green Party platform visit www.niagaragreens.com/ melanieholmniagarafalls