ANTIGONISH: The NDP candidate for Central Nova says the current state of the environment feels like a runaway train and was the key reason why she entered the federal political ring.
Betsy MacDonald – an Antigonish native and StFX grad who has spent her career doing a combination of community development work, political work and has been a community grassroots activist – said she felt motivated to enter politics to change the way society does things, and lead towards a more hopeful path.
“I’m a mother of a seven-year-old; I was primarily on the climate crisis and the fact that her generation is facing a very uncertain future,” MacDonald told The Reporter. “Not just uncertain in terms of what’s happening to our planet, but uncertain when you look at our economy, and what opportunities or challenges my daughter and her peers are going to be facing down the road.”
MacDonald indicated when her daughter turned seven; it struck her how close she is to having to face the reality to what’s happened to the planet.
Being a part of a whole generation who are working, raising families and have a lot to contribute to society, MacDonald said there are still things holding people like herself back, like; lack of affordable childcare, the cost of living, the precarious state of the economy, the cost of healthcare services and medications that should be free.
“What I would like to see is a society where we’re taking away the barriers that keep people from reaching their full potential,” she said. “When I look at Central Nova, we already have the makings of a green economy; farmers markets, craft breweries, renewable energy projects and local sustainable agriculture – these are things we need to be investing in and fostering more.”
MacDonald said she’s at her best when she’s facing a complex and challenging situation and believes her ability to dive in and meet a challenge without being overwhelmed is one of her strengths.
“Because I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a doctor; I’m a regular person – I relate with regular people,” she said. “I combine a strong set of progressive values, with a genuine desire to understand people and their struggles to work with them to make life better.”
MacDonald will begin knocking on doors across the riding, talking with people and listening to her potential constituents about what matters the most to them, and what they want from officials in Ottawa.