Name: Brogan Anderson
Community: Kentville, Nova Scotia
Family: My partner is Peter Gillis, executive director of the Valley Community Learning Association. We have two children ages 16 and 9.
Profession: I have worked at the Wolfville branch of the Annapolis Valley library for the past 18 years. The library is one of the few free public spaces where people from all walks of life are welcomed. During my work I encounter people from a diversity of backgrounds. They come in for reading material, but also to gather, to access the internet, or to connect to government services and online job applications. This work has helped me to see and understand the diversity of needs in our community.
Why are you running?
I became a candidate because of a deep concern for the environmental situation. With global warming meeting and exceeding all the predictions of the scientists in the last couple of decades, there is urgency in this matter, and I am concerned that our leaders are not moving forward on significantly decreasing Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning the economy off fossil fuels.
What do you see as the top issue in your riding?
During canvassing and through researching local issues, I have learned so much about the diverse realities in this riding. One in five Nova Scotian children is living in poverty according to the 2016 census. Many families are struggling. What are we going to do to create employment?
It is estimated that the number of jobs required to transition from the old economy could be in the millions in this country. The transition from fossil fuels will mean job opportunities for our young people, right here in Nova Scotia.
We’re going to need trades people to jump-start the wind energy and geothermal energy sectors; we’re going to need carpenters, electricians and plumbers to make our homes as efficient as they can be. These are good jobs, both in the skilled and unskilled sectors, and they would provide opportunities for our young people to find employment here.
We’re also going to need to support small businesses and entrepreneurs—70% of employment is generated by small- and medium-sized businesses in this country. The Greens have a plan for a Green Venture Fund to provide start-up funds for local, viable green businesses.
In collaboration with our provincial counterparts, we need to revitalize our agricultural sector and shift to more sustainable methods of growing our food. Promoting ‘buy local’ and targeting funding to local infrastructure would increase efficiencies in the system and provide farmers with a steady income.
Then, after creating the conditions to generate employment, the next task of government is to adequately fund all the supports that enable people to access those jobs and maintain themselves while doing it. Transportation, so people can get to work; Pharmacare, so people can get the medication they need to control health issues before they barrel out of control; a health care system that is adequately funded so people are well served through preventative and patient-centered care; education, so people can be properly trained for the jobs of the future, and so they have the skills to navigate transitions as our world and job market change; and affordable housing, so people aren’t scrambling to keep a roof over their heads when they should be able to focus on work, family, and quality of life.
Do you have a hidden talent?
For most people in my riding the fact that I am fluently bilingual is a hidden talent. I grew up in Quebec, with a truly dual identity, as I went to French school and considered myself Québécoise. Speaking a language is about more than knowing words in a different tongue, it’s a cultural knowledge and an understanding of the perspective of different peoples. It would be useful for an MP to speak both official languages.
What is your hope for your riding?
I hope for everyone to have a renewed sense of pride of place, that young people feel they have a future here. I hope for a more involved electorate, for people to feel that their voices count, for more dialogue within our communities.
I hope that by sending a strong representation on climate action to Ottawa, we can change the legacy for our children and grandchildren.
I also believe the benefits of transitioning to a green economy will be felt overwhelmingly in Atlantic Canada, where we have watched generations of our youth leaving for employment opportunities elsewhere.
How to contact you?
Brogan.firstname.lastname@example.org or text 902-670-8378