Meet the candidates: Huron-Bruce – Victoria Serda

Victoria Serda, Green
Hometown: Port Elgin, raised: Owen Sound
Occupation: Homeschooler, municipal councillor; was an organic farmer, private school teacher, personal care attendant for the disabled
Political experience: Lobbying of municipal government on pesticide by-law 2001-5; past federal Green Party candidate, 2006; policy coordinator for the Green Party of Ontario 2006; deputy leader of the Green Party of Ontario 2006-present; municipal councillor 2006-present.
Community involvement: One of six Ontario Climate Change Messengers trained by Al Gore, having given 64 presentations to date, speaking to over 11,000 this year across Ontario. Board member of the Lake Huron Learning Collaborative; membership secretary for the Saugeen Speakers Toastmaster Club; core group member of the Creating Community Network; past member of the Owen Sound Little Theater; pianist/singer, fundraisers for charities & community groups, homes for the aged, the Bruce County Museum; founder/spokesperson for Green Horizons Eco-Action

What is the best way to stimulate the economy in your riding?
Bringing post-secondary education into our communities, encouraging green-collar jobs by promoting renewable energy sources and technological advancement, implementing good agricultural policies to ensure that farmers get a living wage and have opportunities to make money on value added products produced locally.

What is the biggest environmental issue facing your riding and what can be done to solve it?
Climate change is the biggest environmental issue, and we need to encourage everyone to become more efficient by using the taxation system to shift taxes off of income onto pollution and resource use (pay for what you burn, not for what you earn).

What is your solution for Ontario’s energy needs?
Energy efficiency in homes, businesses, industry; more small water power generation, more small wind and solar, better standard offer contracts, raise the electricity prices to what the real cost is and help people of low income to become more energy efficient as well as ensuring that all people have their basic needs met.

Should we favour consumption taxes over income and corporate taxes?
I agree 😉 Al Gore supports this concept, and it works well in European countries. Tax the bads, not the goods.

Do you think the minimum wage should be raised to $10 per hour?
Yes, and even higher until all workers in Ontario have a living wage.

Do you support public funding for all faith-based schools?
No, I believe that our education system needs money so our students are receiving a good education while having the funding they need to have textbooks, as well as environmental education and other subjects like music that were dropped in the past. We need to have one school system that is secular so we can cut administration costs, keep more rural schools open, and have the money to properly fund our students.

Which electoral system will you be voting for: MMP or first past the post?
I will be voting for MMP. It will engage more people in our democracy, because they will be able to vote with their head and their heart: for their favourite local candidate and the party with which they connect.