A diverse set of candidates

Here are Adriana’s answers from the Mirror newspaper’s questionnaire article on Toronto-Danforth candidates:

Andrew Lang (Liberal), Jack Layton (NDP); Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu (Green), Katarina von Koenig (Conservative).

1) How will Toronto benefit from your party’s platform?

The Green Party has received the endorsement of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for the second time in two elections. Our platform has an outstanding and innovative collection of programs that help cities rebuild infrastructure toward a low-carbon future, build future oriented industries, develop skills for our youth and give them jobs, as well as maximizing local community input.

2) Tell us about a local issue you plan to champion as MP and how it will affect your local constituents?

Ever since I moved here eight years ago, I’ve been concerned about the air quality in Toronto-Danforth and the implications on our health. I’d like to enshrine the right to clean air and water into the constitution and force governments at all levels to address the abysmal standards here. The Green Party’s tax shift would also put more money into people’s hands and force polluters to pay more, discouraging vehicle and industrial emissions. We would also encourage deep energy retrofits, making our homes more comfortable while clearing the air.

3) Would you vote against your party if an issue came up that did not align with the feelings of your constituents?

There is remarkably little that I even quibble with in the Green Party platform. And one of the things the Green Party excels at is ensuring our federal priorities can be delivered in ways that respect local needs and values. We have a lot of flexibility. We are a party of long-term thinkers who recognize that inconvenient changes are sometimes necessary. So I wouldn’t go against my party just because my constituents thought a particular policy was troublesome in the short term. However, my commitment to good policy trumps my commitment to any party. If I was persuaded a policy my party was promoting was actually bad for my constituents, I would not support it.

4) Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born in Brazil and grew up in Toronto. I studied anthropology at the University of Toronto, got married and spent 15 years raising a brood of adopted and birth children. I was always interested in human rights, science and ecology. Eventually my concerns about the gross lack of adequate policy to address what is almost surely humanity’s greatest challenge led me to political action. I believe good parliamentarians are active in and responsive to their communities.

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