Animal Protection Party candidate for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, Kira Cheeseborough, hopes to help inspire younger people to vote, as well as advocate for her party's platforms, which include animal protection, environmental responsibility and Indigenous reconicilation. Photo submitted

Animal Protection Party candidate selected for riding

Kira Cheeseborough said among her party's platforms, she also hopes to inspire the youth vote

The Animal Protection Party (APP) has selected its candidate for the riding of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo.

Kira Cheeseborough, a third-year bachelor of social work student at Thompson Rivers University, said among promoting her party’s platforms, she also hopes to inspire the youth vote in the upcoming election, which takes place on Oct. 21.

“There aren’t as many young people that should be voting and I think one way for young people to get involved in politics is to see other young people taking the leap and going for it,” said Cheeseborough, who at 25-years-old, is the youngest candidate running in the riding.

Cheeseborhough noted that encouraging younger people to get involved with politics is important as the world has been rapidly changing and it’s the youth who have grown up through these changes.

“I think it’s important because I feel a lot of older politicians are very set in traditional views. They still see the world as operating the way it always has — and that’s the only way it can — and I think people around my age can see there is potential in an alternative about how we can go forward,” she said, adding climate change is a particular issue at the front of young people’s minds, especially because it’s the younger generations will have to deal with the effects the most in the years to come.

“There’s a concern as to our current policymakers and politicians. Are they going to be the ones addressing it? Or are we going to have to take it into or own hands.”

One of the reasons she chose to get involved with the APP is because of her passion for animal advocacy, something she noted is lacking in the policies of the major parties in Canada.

The APP has specific policies regarding animal protection as well as the environmental impacts animal agriculture has on the land, the latter of which is also lacking in other party platforms, said Cheeseborough.

Policies regarding animals are only one aspect of the party, however, with the aforementioned climate change, as well as Indigenous reconciliation, also playing heavily into the group’s platforms.

“For those concerned about climate breakdown, there aren’t adequate suggestions being thrown forward by the major parties to be able to address this; there is no one looking at our current agricultural industries and the impacts they have,” Cheeseborough said.

“As it currently stands, we’re putting funding into these harmful industries and research initiatives within these industries to make small tweaks and adjustments onto something that’s historically environmentally irresponsible, instead of redirecting it to help support families — the people who sustain their livelihoods on these industries — and help them into transition to emerging better practices.”

As for the Indigenous reconciliation issue, she agreed it’s something other parties talk about, but she feels their needs to be a stronger focus on how government can help First Nations peoples uphold their self-determination as well as Indigenous-led initiatives that are already in motion, while also returning resources that were taken from them during colonization to help bolster their autonomy.

This should be done by keeping open discussions between government and indigenous groups, she said, and by keeping these groups involved with every single process that affects them.

“We have to let them make the decision of what’s best going forward because we’re not the ones who have that experience with colonization,” said Cheeseborough.

Those who want to meet Cheeseborough and learn more about the APP can attend the meet and greet she has scheduled at the ahhYaY Cafe in Kamloops on Sept. 23 from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

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