Colwood resident Harley Gordon is the Green Party of Canada candidate for Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke. (Photo courtesy of Harley Gordon)

Colwood resident Harley Gordon is the Green Party of Canada candidate for Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke. (Photo courtesy of Harley Gordon)

Greens pin hopes on forest biologist in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke

Younger age gives him long-range perspective on issues, says Harley Gordon

Ensuring the voices of local constituents get the attention they deserve is a central focus for federal election candidate Harley Gordon.

“Local representation is of key importance to me,” said Gordon, the Green Party of Canada nominee for the Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke riding. He was selected on June 24 during a Zoom meeting with 115 votes cast by party members.

“One of the reasons I’m running in the first place is that I feel we are currently underrepresented by status quo politicians who strictly vote on party lines and refuse to collaborate and work together. A Green representative will vote in the best interest of the local riding, rather than strictly in the interest of the national party.”

Gordon has volunteered on previous Green Party campaigns and believes his work as a volunteer with numerous environmental organizations and experience serving on the board of a host of non-profits and sports programs provides the expertise required to achieve results through collaboration and accessibility.

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“As a younger person running for office, I understand the need for government to make decisions based on a 50-year impact, not on the next four years,” said the 29-year-old, who was born in Prince George. His father worked in the forestry service, so the family spent time in different parts of the province before moving to Vancouver Island in 2010.

Gordon cites improving everyday affordability, providing more affordable housing and implementing a guaranteed affordable income as central issues to the Green party’s platform, which will be released soon.

“We want to provide universal pharmacare and universal childcare,” he added.

Protection of forests and coasts and ecosystems on southern Vancouver Island is critical as well to Gordon, who has an undergraduate degree in biology and a masters degree in agriculture from the University of Guelph.

“Two years in Ontario was enough,” he said with a chuckle, regarding his decision to return to the Island once he earned his degree. Gordon is currently completing his PhD in forest biology at the University of Victoria, where he teaches part-time.

He has written and reviewed scientific papers in the field of plant biochemistry and authored scores of articles dealing with topics that range from understanding the COVID pandemic to detailing how forestry policies can exacerbate damage caused during wildfire seasons.

Gordon has also worked as a chemist, a behaviour interventionist and an outreach co-ordinator, as well as a freelance writer on the subject of scientific communication.

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“It’s time to provide real protection to our environment,” he stressed. “We want to reduce oil tanker traffic along the coast and protect our rivers and Pacific salmon populations. Greenhouse gases have not gone down under six years of federal Liberal governments, and provincially, the NDP has increased fossil fuel subsidies. It’s time to stop spending taxpayer dollars on pipelines. It’s time for Canada to become a solution to the climate crisis.”

Gordon, who lives in Colwood with his wife and two dogs, is an avid hiker and kayaker who lists the Sooke Hills and Strathcona Park as two of his favourite spots.

Growing up in the forests, mountains and oceans on B.C.’s coast played a formative role in his upbringing, he said on his website. It has fuelled his passion for exploring the natural world and his drive to protect it for future generations.

“As the son of an immigrant mother and Black Canadian father, I feel very privileged to live here on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen-speaking Coast Salish people,” he said. ”Ultimately, my tag line is ‘Building a future we can all look forward to.’”

For more information, visit harleygordon.ca/

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com

Canada Election 2021Esquimalt–Saanich–SookeWest Shore

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