After running in both the previous federal and provincial elections, Catharine Kendall is once again running for the Green Party in the Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies riding.
Kendall not only ran for the Green Party of Canada in the 2019 federal election but also campaigned as the BC Green candidate for the Prince George Mackenzie riding in the 2020 provincial election.
“It's exciting because there are more and more people recognizing the crises that are upon us require change,” said Kendall.
“Those are the things that I've been speaking to at both elections, that change needs to happen now and not in twenty and thirty years. Certainly, COVID-19 has taught us that when a crisis hits we are forced to change, businesses were forced to close and so we are at that point now with the climate crisis.”
Kendall is the Executive Director of the Connaught Youth Centre Society in Prince George, which provides programs for vulnerable children, youth, and families. She also runs a community development consulting business, where she lends her expertise from years of grassroots work to non-profit organizations.
“I have a variety of experiences that may bring me to this position to stand up for the voices of people that may not necessarily either vote or are interested in having a say, but definitely want to see things change.”
One of the issues Kendall is tackling while campaigning is transitioning to a green economy.
“We're looking at more wind and more solar. These are free naturally occurring power sources that we can utilize,” said Kendall. “It's important that the green economy be brought to the forefront especially in a Conservative dominant region, but also a region dominated by the oil and gas sector.”
As Kendall is also very active in local and regional agriculture, another issue important to her is food security.
She has been the Vice President of Eaglet Lake Farmers’ Institute for 12 years and is an active director of Local Food Prince George, a non-profit aiming to create a Prince George Food Charter and educate community members about food insecurity, buying local and growing more local food.
“We have blazes across the province of British Columbia that are still blazing at this moment, where people's lives and livelihoods are at risk. We have wildfires down in California and droughts in California that are affecting the food that will come across the border to us up here and living in a rural Northern Region,” said Kendall.
“We all rely on food, and we really have to bring that to the forefront.”
Kendall said she is excited to be able to speak to the issues she’s most passionate about during this campaign and to help people understand why voting is so important.
“I'm running on the premise that there are crises, immediate crises, that need to be dealt with and they are not being dealt with from our Conservative or Liberal representation,” said Kendall.
“It's important that we hear all spectrums of voices and at this point with the climate crisis, the Green Party offers a very different perspective, you know, we're looking at how it is that we make a transition sooner rather than later.”
Kendall also said mental health, the opioid crisis, and lack of housing in northern and rural regions are issues that aren’t being adequately addressed.
“It's important to recognize that these issues aren't being dealt with, in a way that is safe or attending to the individual's needs,” said Kendall, before urging everyone to get out and vote.
“It's a luxury in this country to be able to bring our voice to the table to make change – voting is so important.”
The Green Party is helmed by leader Annamie Paul and currently has about 240 candidates running out of a full roster of 338.
However, Dr. Leigh-Hunsinger Chang is running for the Green Party in the Cariboo-Prince George.
Kendall will be taking on Conservative incumbent Bob Zimmer, Liberal Candidate Amir Alavi, NDP candidate Cory Longley and PPC Candidate Ryan Dyck.
Voters head to the polls Sept. 20.