Armed with determination for change in federal politics, Shaunna Salsman is aiming for a seat in Ottawa.
“I hope to bring common sense back (to federal politics),” Salsman said.
Salsman is the new face of the Green Party in the Esquimalt- Juan de Fuca riding. “I am just frustrated,” Salsman said explaining why she decided to run for MP. “I am surprised the Green Party hasn’t gotten in yet.”
Health care is an important issue for Salsman and if elected she plans to work hard to keep the Canadian Health Transfer a federal program. The CHT is a federal program that collects and transfers funds to each province for health care.
Salsman, 33, said the current agreement will expire in 2013 and it’s up to the elected officials to look after the program.
“A lot of parties want to go back to the old way and have it provincially run,” Salsman said. “That could be disastrous for low-revenue provinces. I want to keep it national to ensure everyone gets a fair share.”
Salsman was born and raised on Vancouver Island, she currently lives in Sooke. With her roots in the community and a passion for the environment, Salsman feels strongly about banning raw log exports.
“They are Canadian natural resources. We need to keep them here to help create jobs,” Salsmans said.
By banning all raw log exports, all the timber harvested would have to be processed into lumber in Canada before being exported.
When talking specifically about the Equimalt-Juan de Fuca riding, Salsman said, “I know there is a lot of urban sprawl coming our way. There is a lot of concern. But I feel there are a lot of green opportunities too.”
Helping people create zero waste is something Salsman would like to do. One idea for this would be to create a composting site.
“It would bring down our landfill,” Salsman said. “We aren’t doing that yet. People are always telling me that they want to be more green.”
Salsman is a wife and mother of two children, ages 16 and six. After having her youngest child, Salsman made the choice to stay home with her daughter. Her husband was the sole income provider for their family.
“It’s extremely hard for one family member to stay home,” Salsman said. “It’s time to put families first. At the federal level we can do a lot.”
While this is her first election and she has no prior experience in politics, Salsman is confident she would do a great job if elected as MP.
“I will use my vote in parliament to say ‘yes’ to what my riding wants and ‘no’ to what they don’t want,” Salsman said. “I have a lot of experience with government (in my daily life). I’ve felt it, seen it and heard it.”
A challenge Salsman faced early on was not having the backing of a Green Party riding association. Without one she was banned from accepting donations or spending any money on her campaign.
“I couldn’t spend any money until the election ball dropped.”
Candidate at a glance
Home municipality: Sooke
Occupation: Stay at home mom
-Main campaign issues for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca: Health care and keeping the Canadian Health Transfer a federal program, banning raw log exports, building a community compost site.