Green Party candidate says there’s opportunity for change in New Brunswick

Tribune-Post Staff
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Megan Mitton

MEMRAMCOOK-TANTRAMAR, N.B. – Megan Mitton says the climate is right to bring some ‘green’ into the mix of New Brunswick’s political circles as voters head to the polls later this month for a provincial election.

“Right now there’s a real opportunity for change,” says Mitton, the Green Party candidate for the Memramcook-Tantramar riding.

Mitton says she believes New Brunswickers are fed up with the lack of transparency and local control in politics today and want more input into the decision-making that is happening in Fredericton.

“What’s happening in politics is not what I think should happen . . . and I think people deserve something better,” she says.

Mitton says she feels a sense of urgency to help New Brunswick make some changes for the better, pointing out it’s time to “vote for what we want.” She says the Green Party, with its environmental, economic and social values, is a great option for voters this coming election.

“Our communities can’t wait any longer.”

At 28, Mitton is a first-time entrant in New Brunswick’s political race but says she is passionate and committed to serving as this riding’s MLA if elected.

“I know we’re facing challenges but I see a lot of solutions and opportunities and I want to help take advantage of those opportunities,” she says.

Mitton has always had an interest in politics, including during her university years at McGill where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in international development with a minor in political science and women’s studies.

She is also heavily involved in community organizations, serving as a member of the Sackville Community Garden, EOS Eco-Energy and on the steering committee of the Tantramar Alliance Against Hydrofracking.

When she was asked to serve as the local candidate for the Green Party, she says she jumped at the chance to do so because she has confidence in what the party stands for – including developing resilient and self-reliant communities, transparency in government, and living within our financial and ecological limits.

“These values make sense to me . . . and I think these are values shared by a lot of New Brunswickers.”

If elected, she says her plan is to represent the people of the riding by bringing their voices and concerns to Fredericton, rather than the other way around – the MLA bringing back the government message and “towing the party line.”

“I’d like to work with the people of this riding with community-based decision making,” says Mitton.

She says Memramcook-Tantramar is a unique place, in that there is a mix of French-English cultures but still a strong connection between the two. She says the region is made up of vibrant communities with a good mix of young entrepreneurs eager to start small-to-medium-sized businesses that will be sustainable.

“There are ways to move forward and create jobs without sacrificing the things we love.”

As she goes door to door on the campaign trail, Mitton says the number one issue that is top of mind for area residents is the concern over shale gas development.

“People are really concerned about hydraulic fracturing,” she says.

Mitton says the constituents of this riding she’s spoken with don’t want to take the risk of doing damage to their environment for what will likely be a “boom and bust” industry that might bring only a handful of jobs to the province and less dollars than believed.

“Everyone I’ve talked to doesn’t want it. They want better options,” she says, noting New Brunswickers shouldn’t have to choose between the environment and the economy.

Mitton says the Green Party would instead look at developing strong local economies around “green-collared” jobs – tapping into the solar energy market, retrofitting homes, local food production and information technology.

“There is plenty of room for growth in those industries and it would provide jobs that would last.”

Mitton says the government also needs to do better when it comes to health care and the Green Party’s policies in that regard are strong.

“We’re focused on preventative health care and making sure people have access when they need it and to take care of their well being.”

Mitton says she’s been “humbled and excited” about the amount of support she’s received in the community during this campaign and believes this might be an exciting riding to watch on election day, despite the two incumbents that are on the ballot.

“I want people to know that a vote for the Green Party is not a wasted vote,” she says. “A wasted vote is when you vote for an MLA who can’t represent you.”

 

 

 

 

Organizations: Green Party, Sackville Community Garden, Tantramar Alliance

Geographic location: New Brunswick, New Brunswickers, Fredericton

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  • Leslie Chandler
    September 04, 2014 - 08:22

    Hi! I'm with Megan on this! This is definitely an election to vote FOR something...not against the tired old, awkward Alwards whose MLA's, and now candidates, are co-opted before they even get elected!!! Yes! Co-opted....Moncton East PC candidates, Jane Mitton Maclean and the Lib. Monique LeBlanc didn't even show to the all candidates town hall Q & A for which they received invitations on July 29th! Party apparatus has implemented roadblocks from these candidates meeting the public in these venues which at one time were standard procedure at election time! So, bravo to the candidates in Memramcook/Tantramar for accepting not only one invitation to a debate/Q & A event but THREE! Bravo to the candidates for accepting and bravo to the organizers for putting all these hopefuls through their paces. This is crucial in the climate we are enduring in N.B. nowadays. Did you know that one day every four years (if you are 18 or older) you have as much power as a member of the Irving or McCain families??? Your ballot, cast, is equal to that of any member of the oligarchial families in N.B. I hadn't thought of it in quite those terms but at the AGM of the Common Front for Social Justice on June 7th this year a young woman stood up, representing her workshop group tasked with figuring out how we can encourage voters to vote, and this is how she framed the argument. One could have heard a pin drop......... So, if the 30 to 40 percent of eligible voters came out on Sept. 22nd and voted FOR something...like Megan....quite frankly N.B. would immediately undergo an enlightened revolution and start down a path so many people are FOR!!! All it will take is for a critical mass of Greens, New Democrtas and Independent candidate, Charles Theriault - Restgouche West, to be elected and N.B. will be TRANSFORMED. Megan Mitton should be at the top of that list. I think Memramcook/Tantramar can do it! Respectfully submitted, Leslie Chandler