During the 2009 BC Election Campaign, an opportunity has been provided to all election candidates in the riding to post a brief message to their constituents. These messages will not be edited.
Matthew Laird is well known in New Westminster for his advocacy for a more liveable city. He has a strong record of service in this community and can always be seen volunteering at events around town. As a founder of New Westminster Environmental Partners, and VP of both the Quayside Community Board and Royal City Farmers’ Market Society, he also has proven leadership and a connection to the community. He was drawn to the Green Party platform by their focus on forward thinking and prevention.
Too often governments act in a reactive fashion: after someone is sick and needing hospitalization, after a crime has occurred and victims are suffering, after our transportation system is in gridlock and we’re facing a climate crisis, after the economy has collapsed due to lack of regulatory oversight Most crises can be predicted and planned for, saving money and lives. Matthew believes now is time to transition our economy to a more sustainable model. One based on local business and a steady state economy – which the UK government has recently released a report advocating for. Matthew believes we can build a sustainable economy where everyone prospers.
Matthew’s priorities are:
- Advocate for innovation in our healthcare system, programs to streamline and better use existing resources while maintaining a fully public healthcare system. (recommended reading: Dr. Michael Rachlis, Prescription for Excellence)
- Establish a “wellness” priority for our healthcare system, the best way to lower healthcare costs is to keep people out of hospitals to begin with
- Establish a transit-first strategy for addressing our regional transportation crisis, because no city has ever built their way out of congestion
- Ending our reactionary justice system and instead preventing crime before it occurs by proactively addressing its root causes: poverty, addiction, mental health issues
- Raise the minimum wage and work with the Federal government on a “guaranteed minimum income” program, because even $10/hr is still below the poverty line
- Properly fund our education system, because a growing district should never have to contemplate school closures