With campaigning for the B.C. election having officially begun, Green Party candidate Alicia LaRue is voicing her passion for democracy and a positive, sustainable future for the Mid Island Pacific Rim.
LaRue has been a Port Alberni resident for the past three years and has since immersed herself deeply into the community. When not working on a graphic design project, LaRue is involved in local politics, works on Alberni Thrive projects—a grassroots journalism initiative and news show, and is part of the Young Professionals of the Alberni Valley.
Living her dream by running for MLA, LaRue said she believes the Green Party can bring a balance to the legislative assembly.
“The Green Party can easily bring this government to a minority government,” she said. “Basically all of the parties will have to work together for different policies, for different bills to get them passed through the legislative assembly. There’s not going to be any of this one power holds all…it’s going to be more of a cohesive working together government which I wholeheartedly believe in.”
In addition, LaRue strives to promote a sustainable environment and economy as a Green Party candidate.
“We are not anti-industry, we are definitely pro sustainability within industry,” she said.”We’re going in from a time period, an age of abundance, to more of an age of preservation and that’s where we need to get for our future because I have a daughter and I want to give her a future that we can create, and that future is not taking everything that we can and leaving destruction.”
LaRue said she’s been interested in politics since a young age and has even helped out with Green Party campaigns in Alberta in her 20s.
Having felt disengaged with the political system at a point in her life, LaRue hopes to be a voice in creating a more balanced B.C.
“I don’t want to see B.C. fall behind on where we’re going because we have a great future ahead of us and we need to see that, and we need to make it happen because right now the future that we’re going towards is not for everybody, it’s for only the rich,” she said. “That’s where the Green Party is at, we look beyond our years of being alive and beyond our years of being an elected official, and that’s important.”
LaRue is also passionate about creating and sustaining local jobs, local manufacturing of natural resources and “living within our means without taking away the means of our future.”
“The area that we live in is so beautiful and I find it to be such a sad thing—the mismanagement of our resources—and even just being in Port Alberni and seeing these fields just get slaughtered and the raw logs are leaving… There’s no jobs here,” she said. “The Green Party is all about local jobs.”
Some highlights from the Green Party’s 2017 platform include, an affordable homes strategy that would invest up to $750 million per year to create approximately 4,000 units of affordable housing per year, free preschool for three and four year olds and an investment of $35 million into public education learning-readiness initiatives like meal programs. In addition, the Green platform includes post secondary education investment, climate change initiatives and income security.
Always eager to learn, LaRue said she is excited for the month of campaigning ahead.
“I love to talk ideas and I love to constantly learn. You can always learn from both sides,” she said. “I’ll be spending time in each community, canvasing door to door… I know there’s going to be challenges and I’m all about growing and being the best I can be.”
If elected, LaRue said she will continue to engage with the public by holding pubic forums throughout the riding.
“At least once every six months. People can come and yell at me or tell me what are some of the challenges that they need,” she said. “I will also be very open and very transparent about what I’m working on. To have that open dialogue with people at a grassroots level is very important to me.”
LaRue also finds importance in understanding each communities issues and challenges and having strong relationships with the municipalities’ mayor and councillors.
“How can we come up with solutions and how can I represent you in the legislative assembly, because that’s what I want to be; that voice for this area,” she said.
Sticking with a green initiative, all of LaRue’s campaign signs are hand painted on wood, are biodegradable and only cost about $1 each.
“These signs are more than just typical lawn signs, these signs are problem solving,” she said. “I see a lot of what government spends and I find it a little bit on the ridiculous side. I think that there are better solutions for problems that aren’t going to cost an arm and a leg. I’ve already got a lady who can recycle them.”
Signs, magnets and campaign information can be picked up at LaRue’s campaign office at 3092 Third Ave.