DUNROBIN – Dunrobin’s Dr. Jennifer Purdy already has a pretty impressive resume, but she’s ready to add Member of Parliament to her list of occupations.
Purdy is representing the Green Party in Kanata-Carleton for the 43rd Canadian general election Oct. 21. Purdy sat down with West Carleton Online at the Heart and Soul Café last Friday (Sept. 6) morning to introduce herself to the West Carleton community and share her plans for the riding.
Purdy is a retired member of the Canadian military and a doctor with her own practice, Ottawa Lifestyle Medicine, in the Kanata area. She moved to Dunrobin with her family in 2015 on the Sixth Line where her husband William Whelan operates a small farm.
Purdy joined the military after two years at Queen’s University. She transferred to the Royal Military College “and then worked across the country,” she said.
She was eventually posted back in Ottawa and went to medical school at uOttawa. Purdy retired from the military in 2018 after 23 years.
Purdy says she wants to continue serving her country though, and after a conversation with her husband over climate change, came up with an idea of how to do that.
“If I was asked last January if I was running, I would have looked at you like you had two heads,” Purdy told West Carleton Online. “Last March I was griping about how nothing real was being done on climate change. My husband Bill said why don’t you just run. And I just never quite dismissed it.”
The Green Party held their nomination meeting last June. Purdy faced off against frequent Green Party candidate Andrew West who ran in the 2018 provincial election. Purdy won the nomination.
Purdy says a plan to tackle climate change doesn’t have to empty the taxpayers‘ pockets, but it does have to become a priority.
“We’ve had two floods and a tornado in the last three years,” Purdy said. “All of a sudden we have several in the same year. I don’t remember that happening 30 years ago. It’s been a terrible growing season. The farmers are noticing it. There’s all kinds of reasons the environment has to become the focus.”
Purdy says the Green Party has a plan that will reach greenhouse targets and that’s the difference between them and the other parties.
“Our key message is we can effectively address climate change and we can do it without downloading it on to Canadians’ backs,” Purdy said. “If we don’t do anything costs will go up. Insurance costs are going up, yet people affected by disasters are still paying out of pocket.”
Part of the plan includes doing something about corporate taxes.
“They have been at 15 per cent since 2008,” Purdy said. “It made sense then, there was an economic downturn. But that ended years ago. Our platform isn’t released yet, but the plan is to go from 15 to 18 per cent.”
Purdy would like to see dentistry and pharmacare provided for Canadians.
“It’s ludicrous we don’t have it,” she said. “One should be asking oneself why we don’t have this yet. Yes, the Greens are about climate change, but we have a platform to address all issues. For too long individuals have been paying too much income tax, payroll tax, we can do more.”
And Purdy says they will prove their budget too.
“The Greens are committed to having their election platform reviewed by the Parliamentary Budget Office,” Purdy said. “We will make sure the numbers add up.”
Purdy says it’s about time voters should be able to count on parties following up on their promises.
“2015 may have set a new standard for parties not keeping their promises,” she said. “It’s a lack of integrity. The Greens don’t have whip votes. I can vote for my constituents. We’re seeing this in British Colombia. It’s a bit of a different way of doing politics.”
Purdy says this election is full of possibilities.
“I believe it is more wide open then we’ve seen in a long while,” she said. “The Liberals have some ethical failings. For most families, there’s not much difference between red and blue.”