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Green Party introduces Essex candidate



by Adam Gault

With Ontario’s Green Party looking to make some headway in June’s upcoming election, the party announced its candidate for the Essex provincial riding on May 9.

Nancy Pancheshan, a LaSalle resident and long-time ESL teacher, has been a voice for environmental issues in Windsor-Essex for some time now. She is probably best known for her involvement in the “Save Ojibway” campaign, which sought to prevent a big box shopping development from being constructed across from the Ojibway Nature Reserve.

“[Save Ojibway] is what inspired me to run. I had seen a lot of leadership that wasn’t strong, backroom deals, effects from lobbyists, and that’s where I saw change could be,” Pancheshan explained. “I’m looking to bring integrity and conscience to the campaign.”

Pancheshan explained the Green Party of Ontario is the only party that will make jobs, people, and the planet a priority going forward at the provincial level. She said the region is currently ill-prepared to deal with the impacts of climate change, and the increased risk of flooding events that come with it.

“Especially in Essex County, we have very little remaining natural areas left. We recently received an ‘F’ grade because we have 6.8 percent remaining natural areas, and that includes wetlands, tall grass prairie, and forests,” Pancheshan said. “With the recent flooding events, if you saw in LaSalle, the major flooding events were around where new development had occurred. Where the flooding didn’t happen in LaSalle, we have a much larger natural area than 6.8 percent, 9 percent. But even that little difference protected the community from having flooding effects.”

If elected, Pancheshan believes better transportation networks for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists would be a big part of her mandate at Queen’s Park, with the additional incorporation of more vehicle electrical charging stations as part of those networks.

“The Green Party is very much into electrifying our infrastructure and providing more outlets for pedestrians and cyclists as well, so we can move in a healthy and green-like way and reduce the carbon output that we put into the community.”

Pancheshan also wants additional focus on healthcare issues in Essex, especially as the region and province’s population continues to age.

“We have an elderly population and they’re not getting the care they need,” Pancheshan said. “The Green Party wants to focus health care on the frontlines, rather than administration. One of our mandate’s is to reduce all CAOs’ pay to be no more than the Premier’s pay.”

According to Pancheshan, a sense of distrust among voters with the current Liberal government could lead to some interesting shakeups at Queen’s Park come June 7.

“Even issues like Highway 3, they’ve been in power for 15 years and it still hasn’t come to be. You look at the candidates for the Conservatives in the area, I’m sure they’re nice people, but they may not be the strongest candidates either,” Pancheshan said. “The possibility of a Green candidate being elected is more likely than any other election. I’m a hard worker with integrity and conscience. The Green Party is the only party that puts jobs, people, and the planet first. I’m the only candidate that’s looking after climate change.”

For more information on candidate Nancy Pancheshan, and the Green Party platform, visit gpo.ca/candidate/nancy-pancheshan.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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