The 24-year-old NDP candidate for Red Deer-Lacombe, Lauren Pezzella, says she couldn’t sit around and stay silent with the current state of government.
She says running with the NDP was the best choice when she saw some political candidates “deny climate change and insist fossil fuels are our only future.”
According to the young candidate, she wants to see her home begin to lessen its dependency on fossil fuels and look at using new carbon-neutral energies.
“It may just be the business student in me, but that doesn’t seem right. I want to help bring Alberta into a new economic era, where we are world leaders, not just citizens clinging to a disappearing resource,” Pezzella said in an email.
For Pezzella, the climate crisis is a serious issue that needs to be addressed and strongly believes Canada needs to diversify its portfolio away from fossil fuels.
She says Canadians need to commit to science-based targets, like those detailed in the NDP’s ambitious New Deal for Climate Actions and Good Jobs.
“Our priority is in making sure that public money is invested in renewables, and that we’re developing that energy infrastructure, and getting Canadians trained up for these good jobs. Alberta is an economic powerhouse and I want to ensure that our workers are ready for our changing economic realities.”
Along those same lines, Pezzella says the carbon tax is simply one tool to fight climate change, a tool she says works.
“Putting a price on carbon pollution gives Canadian businesses a clear incentive to reduce emissions … Some of the biggest carbon-producing companies in Canada have come out for carbon taxes for the simple reason that they are proven to lower emissions and foster growth in carbon-neutral energies,” she said.
“It’s not a matter of either/or when it comes to the environment and affordability – we can address both with bold solutions 9the ones suggested in the NDP platform).”
Along with climate change, Pezzella says making sure Canadians are taken care of across the board ranks high on her list of importance.
She says she wants to see everyone, no matter their gender, sexual orientation, race or economic standing, be taken care of.
“We need to take better care of each other. It’s time to lift the debt burden from our young people, make sure that everyone has an affordable place to live, and expand public health care services to areas like prescription drugss,” she said.
Pezzella says she is an advocate for women’s rights, and will work for “full equality for LGBTQ2+ Canadians.”
She also says she is committed to “meaningful reconciliation” with Indigenous peoples.
“Under [the NDP] plan, Indigenous communities can have safe housing, clean drinking water, access to health care and quality education,” Pezzella said.
Pezzella says if elected she will bring a fresh perspective to politics and policies in Canada.
“I have lived in this riding my whole life and I understand what it means when you call this wonderful place home.”