Thaila Riden has two main reasons he is running as the Green Party of Ontario (GPO) candidate for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell. He loves the region and is deeply concerned about the effects climate change may have on it.
Riden has extensive business experience in organic and sustainably based businesses and has lived in East Hawkesbury most of his life. He said the recent unusual May heat wave was an example of climate change. Riden referred to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has called for urgent action to be taken around the world to mitigate the effects of climate change, some of which could be irreversible.
“We’re locked in for a lot of change,” says Riden.
According to Riden, livelihoods and the foundation of the economy depend on sustainability and taking action on climate change. He refers specifically to farmers changing what types of products they produce and planting cover crops as examples of climate change adaptation in agriculture. Riden has been active in recent months, encouraging municipalities across Prescott and Russell counties to adopt climate change action plans.
As for the sort of representation Riden would offer voters, he promises to listen and to be a catalyst for for change.
Riden says it is possible to balance climate needs with the needs of people and prosperity. He understands the anxiety some people feel about climate change and the future.
“We want to provide a vision of what the future is going to be,” he says.
Riden says affordable housing, an emphasis on locally produced food, and cash incentives for electric vehicle purchases are part of that vision. The Green Party of Ontario would also give more power to conservation authorities, strengthen the environmental consultation process on development, and fully restore the source water protection program.