Justin Reist, a Toronto area native entering his third year at Carleton University, is hoping to become Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry’s next MPP.
Reist is joining the race as a member of the Green Party and has chosen this riding because of its close proximity to the Ottawa campus as well as its need for a Green Party candidate.
While Reist will be busy with school, he maintains that he will still be available to the people of his riding via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter.
Reist is currently pursuing an Honours degree in Political Science with a minor in Communications.
In a recent e-mail interview, Reist was questioned about his priorities and how they will affect the small towns and communities of SD&SG.
In reply, Reist revealed: “I think my priorities and those of the Green Party of Ontario are ones shared by most Ontarians.”
“I am deeply committed to improving standards of living for all residents in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry in a way that is economically and environmentally sound. I should clarify what I mean when I say the environment is a priority for me.”
“In developing our environmental policies, the Green Party doesn’t just look at traditional environmentalism. We look further than the simple or immediate solution, and work to lessen our environmental impact in a way that boosts the economy and improves residents’ standards of living.”
“By investing in green technology and shifting to a less carbon-intensive economy, we create jobs not just for the next three years, but jobs that will be around for the next 15 or 30 years and contribute to healthy communities.”
Reist had the following to say about SD&SG’s voter priorities: “I believe residents of Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry are focused on job creation, improving our health care system, and keeping their communities healthy and vibrant for years to come.”
“I am very much committed to addressing the needs of residents of my riding, and I’m looking forward to speaking with them and finding other areas where I can represent their needs.”
Reinforcing his commitment, he said, “I can really be the voice for the people in my riding. Above all, that is any MPP’s job, and one that I aspire to.”
Finally, Reist, who is 19 years old, addressed the issue of whether voters might think he was too young to be an MPP: “To those voters that may say I’m too young, and I’m sure there are many who think that, I would say that being young is one of the greatest assets I bring to the table.”
“My age gives me a different approach to politics – one that is based on sound policy rather than entrenched ideological views. It gives me the flexibility to learn and grow in this position, and makes me more open to other voices.”
“Even more importantly, being this young means I have much more invested in the future than those older than me. Every issue this province is facing right now is one I will be facing for twice as long.”
In conclusion, “I feel a great sense of duty in making sure that Ontario and Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry have a sound economic and environmental future for myself and the generations after me.”
Will readers vote Green Party on October 6th? We will have to wait and see.