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Election 2021: Sarah Eves — Liberal candidate for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

Sarah Eves is an elementary school teacher in Logan Lake

Unsure who to vote for? Want to know more about your local candidates? Black Press Media has you covered with profiles of the candidates for Kelowna-Lake Country and Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola. As election day nears, we will publish short profiles of each candidate who responds to our request. These will be published on a first-come-first-serve basis as soon as the candidate comes in for a video interview and completes our written Q&A. All written responses are straight from the candidate, with edits only for grammar and style.

Provide a brief bio of yourself.

I am an elementary school teacher, specializing in inclusive education. I am passionate about helping people. I volunteer at the hospital, advocate for the LGBTQ2S community, and support students who have persevered to graduate with a scholarship my family established.

I am running because I saw the positive impact the Canada Child Tax Benefit had on reducing the level of need amongst my students. There is more work to do to ensure that no child in Canada is living below the poverty line. I want to help with this work.

I believe the most pressing issues facing our riding are climate change, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and affordable housing. We need to tackle these problems while stimulating the economy and recovering from the pandemic. Good governance means you can improve the life of a child while growing the economy. You can have both progressive environmental and strong economic policies.

How do you plan to lead this riding out of the COVID-19 pandemic? Do you support the implementation of a proof of vaccination program?

I encourage everyone to get vaccinated. I support the implementation of a proof of vaccination program. This is largely a provincial program, except as mandated for federally regulated workers and businesses. We are in a fourth wave of the pandemic. We do not want to see any more avoidable illnesses and deaths. We do not want to see any more health orders to close businesses because the case counts are high. Wewantoureconomytorecoverandgrow.

If we keep low case counts, then I and my Liberal colleagues will lead us out of the pandemic. We will help create $10 a day daycare, so women can return to or enter the workforce. We will stimulate the economy, while we tackle climate change, with an $8 billion investment in the Net Zero Accelerator fund. We will invest in the forest-based economy, directly helping those in our riding.

Can you name one recommendation from the TRC Calls to Action and any concrete plans to implement the recommendation if you are elected?

It is impossible to just pick one of the 94 TRC’s Calls to Action. I believe in Nation-to-Nation collaboration, so it is inappropriate for me to dictate the concrete steps I would take. The steps need to be determined through collaboration. That said, after meeting and talking with many of the Chiefs in this riding, one of the issues that came up, which is confirmed by my work as a teacher in the classroom, is Call to Action #1 - to reduce the number of Aboriginal children in care. With the historic agreement between the Federal government and the Cowessess First Nations, we know there is a path forward that will allow communities to handle their own child and family services. As more Indigenous groups notify the Federal government that they would like to follow this path, it will be important to collaborate with them, to make this happen.

What are your personal ideas regarding climate change and how do you plan to represent COSN’s specific interests in this regard, ie wildfires, extreme drought?

Climate change is a global crisis affecting us all. Our region is experiencing unprecedented heat, drought, and fires. We have to act quickly and responsibly while supporting our workers and stimulating our economy.

I will work tirelessly with our partners to protect our watersheds, ensuring water availability. Liberals will triple the investment in clean tech for farms, and I will help our farmers reduce their emissions by ensuring our farmers get their fair share. I will push to implement the Liberal affordable housing strategy in our riding, so homes are more affordable. This, along with our investment in green technology, will attract young green entrepreneurs and workers here, reducing emissions, providing good jobs and stimulating the economy. And when more fires come, I will ensure some of the 1000 firefighters the Liberals will train and the new waterbombers will help our residents.

Which Canadian political figure, past or present, inspires you the most and why?

In 1988, I was 12 years old, living in Ontario, and listening to the news on CBC. I heard something, I can’t remember what, but it really upset me. My dad told me, if I did not like something I heard, I should write to the politicians to get it changed. So, I wrote a letter to PM Mulroney. At the time, I did not understand the concept of Liberal versus Conservative or that the letter I got in reply was most likely written by a staffer, but it truly inspired me. The response I got back from PM Mulroney made me truly understand that if we see something in Canada that needs to be addressed, we as citizens must reach out to fix it. We must connect with the politicians and work with them to make the changes needed.

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