The Animal Protection Party’s Victoria candidate wants to see the relationship between wildlife and people put at the centre of federal policy.
“We need a compassionate revolution in our politics that makes the link between health of people, animals and the planet in our social policy and we’re the only party that’s willing to do that,” said Jordan Reichert.
He’d push to have subsidies meant for animal agriculture be reinvested to renewable energy projects and retrofitting homes to be more energy-efficient.
“If we’re talking about ending subsidies to oil and gas, we need to also be talking about ending subsidies to animal agriculture as a major greenhouse gas contributor,” he said.
Reichert also wants the federal government to step in and advocate for an end to old-growth logging on Vancouver Island, “because it’s compromising the integrity of our environment and wildlife habitat.”
Addressing climate change and other issues would take dropping the first-past-the-post voting system and using proportional representation instead, he said.
Amid the ongoing pandemic, Reichert said zoonotic diseases (caused by germs spread between animals and people) are becoming a greater threat to humans. He pointed to a United Nations report from last year that said habitats being degraded – by such factors as unsustainable farming, wildlife exploitation and climate change – are contributing to an increasing emergence in such diseases (Ebola, West Nile virus).
“If we’re not talking about animals, then we’re not actually talking fully about the pandemic,” he said. “That’s why animals are essential to our politics and to our social well-being and it’s about time they had strong representation in Ottawa.”
That’s why he said Canada needs a minister for animals who could oversee and review the status and treatment of animals.
Acknowledging that safe and affordable housing accessibility is one of the biggest issues in his riding, Reichert said it’s much harder for people with pets to find housing that’s animal-friendly.
“That’s a provincial issue, but there’s no reason why the federal government can’t have sway,” he said.
Reichert also said he’d aim to educate people about the benefits of a more plant-based society, where animals wouldn’t be exploited for food, clothing and scientific experimentation.
Victoria residents aren’t happy with status quo parties and people are excited about the outside-the-box ideas he’s proposing, he said. He hopes animals will be heightened in the political conversation in the post-pandemic rebuild.
“People are looking for a legitimate alternative this election and there’s no reason why I can’t be it.”
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