The final in our series, here are the answers to our questions from Jodie Emery, the Green Party candidate for the Vancouver West-End riding.
Why do you want to be the MLA for Vancouver-West End?
I would like to bring a fresh green voice to the Legislature in Victoria, because I think our entire province needs complete financial transparency and honesty from the government. We need an open and accountable government that will always be honest and fair to the taxpayers – that is the only way to begin getting taxpayers the improved services we need and deserve for the high price that we already pay.
What is the #1 issue facing British Columbians and how will you and your party work to address it?
The biggest issue facing my riding – and every provincial riding – is the expensive, unacceptable government mismanagement of taxpayers’ dollars, and the secrecy and dishonesty that goes with it. We need a completely open and transparent government that is always honest and accountable to the taxpayers. Taxpayers fund every program that government manages, plus the wages of government employees, but are not getting a good return on their investment. The job of government is to provide essential services, and ensure it delivers the best possible product to the taxpayers for the lowest possible price. That isn’t happening now; taxpayers get very poor service from the enormous amount of money they provide to government through taxation. This is an issue that every riding in our province faces and needs addressed.
What is the #1 issue facing residents of Vancouver-West End and how will you and your party work to address it?
My response to this is the same answer as for question #2 – and also, if the voters of BC choose to elect BC Green Party candidates to the Legislature, we would be able to begin “looking at the books”, as BC Green Party leader Jane Sterk said during the televised party leaders’ debate. Having the BC Green Party in the Legislature would ensure a higher standard of accountability, and a push for re-prioritized spending to ensure that the government provides the best possible service to the taxpayers for the lowest possible price. We can – and must – get better results from government without raising taxes or reducing essential services.
What is the #1 issue facing the LGBTQ community in British Columbia and how will you and your party work to address it?
The biggest issue for the LGBTQ community is probably discrimination and bullying, but government cannot mandate or control people’s behaviour. What we can do, as individual human beings, is publicly condemn cruel and unwelcome behaviours through social pressure and campaigning – and also ensure that government representatives themselves do not engage in bullying, harassment, or any kind of negative behaviour towards other people (which, unfortunately, is the way MLAs often behave in the Legislature). Every individual deserves to be treated with kindness and compassion, and the BC Green Party always advocates for equality and fairness in dealing with all humans and living things.
What will be your first priority should you be elected?
I will demand honesty and total transparency and accountability from government. No matter where one places themselves on the political spectrum, most people know that every problem with government is caused by the lack of honesty, openness, accountability, and fairness. Almost every government problem we face as citizens of BC relate to the need for more funding, and that massive problem exists because of government mismanagement of tax dollars – and only through total open accounting can the taxpayers see where their money is going, and then figure out how to re-prioritize and cut waste to ensure pain-free adjustments for improved public services at a lower price.
Who is your personal hero and why?
My husband Marc Emery is my hero, for always standing up for what’s right, devoting his entire life to defending personal freedom and civil liberties, advocating for peace and non-violence, and pushing for important law reform in order to save people’s lives. He is a hero to millions of people worldwide, because he has always given himself selflessly to a movement for equality, peace, fairness, justice, and liberty.
What one word would describe you as a person?
For more information on Jodie Emery and the Green Party of BC visit http://www.greenparty.bc.ca.