Since announcing her candidacy for the Green Party in the upcoming federal election, Rossland’s Samantha Troy has literally been run off her feet.
That’s not because it’s her first shot at public office, but just the sheer size of the South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding which she has been criss-crossing for nearly two weeks.
“It really is a lot of area to cover, but it’s really been great to be able to get out and talk with people about what the local issues are,” said Troy, 46.
Troy decided to run when she learned there was no Green Party candidate for the riding. She liked the Green platform and so decided to fly the party colours in the election.
“With the world as it is, we need to start making some really concrete … choices,” she said. “ I sure like the way Elizabeth May (Green Party leader) has presented herself over her time in parliament, and not too much research to go look up the Green Party platform and go, ‘Wow, that really makes sense, and it’s actually pretty doable.’ And for all those reasons we should have a candidate in this riding, and I can be that candidate.”
Among the main issues she sees for this region is the controversial establishment of a national park.
“I do stand in support of a national park, it definitely falls in line with our Green Party mandate to support biodiversity and there’s no doubt that area is an important ecological area we need to preserve,” said Troy, acknowledging there is valid opposition as well. “I have confidence that by getting all the parties back to the table, that being the federal, provincial and particularly the local First Nations and municipal bodies would go a long ways to hacking out an agreement.
“It seems to me if we could get park status that would mean a lot of federal money could be available for that area and that money could be used to, not just be protecting species with park status, but to also to insure that ranch owners, for example, would be compensated and other user groups and rights could be compensated and respected.”
Troy has lived in Rossland since 1996 and has one more visit to the valley scheduled for Oct. 13 when she plans to be at Penticton Secondary School.
A self-professed “outdoor person” when not trying to keep up with her son Zachary on the mountain bike, she is busy in the community on skiing and boarding trips to Red Mountain where she works.
As a teen, Troy also volunteered with a local theatre company in Kamloops and she said a recent stop in Oliver at the Frank Venables Theatre brought all those memories back.
“I learned so much stuff there (Kamloops), and it was a pretty big responsibility,” she said. “It really instilled a good sense of teamwork and being in that theatre (Venables) gave me a lot of flashbacks.”
For Troy, the most important issue this election is changing the election system.
“I think I feel most strongly about working hard with all the parties to get proportional representational voting,” she said.
Moving away from a fossil-fuel-based economy is also important to her.
“I’d really like to see us branching out into more sustainable options, embracing new technology,” said Troy.
— With files from Chelsea Novak/Black Press