Sarah Hutchinson

Mushkegowuk—James Bay

About

Dear Constituent,

As we have seen with the B.C. election, just one Green candidate can be a powerful ‘king maker’ in close elections.  As your representative at Queen’s Park, I will put Mushkegowuk-James Bay communities ahead of all other concerns. Please email me directly telling me of your hopes for your community, and our vast, beautiful region, so that I may put your issues in front of the media and debates during this election.  SarahHutchinson@gpo.ca

I was born in Terrace Bay. I am a teacher on Manitoulin Island and my family also runs a tourism resort.  My Green platform tailored to Mushkegowuk-James Bay priorities includes:

Community involvement in education goals tailored to local needs.  This is includes French-language and Cree, Anishinabek or Oji-Cree language instruction; business, trades and science ESL programming, including adult education tailored to the changing economies in the North.  

Dedicated tourism funding.  I am well familiar with the obstacles and rewards of this industry, and I know that in the long run our riding will become a Mecca for adventure tourism.  It’s time for Queen’s Park to get behind this vision with dedicated planning dollars and infrastructure.

Ecologically and Socially sound development of the Ring of Fire, Natural Gas, and other resource extraction   It’s time ‘negative externalities’ like species loss, toxin release into our ecosystems, and habitat destruction become ‘internalized’.

  • big companies must post reclamation bonds at the outset of any activities, so that if environmental remediation is required, and the company no long exists, the money is still there to do the clean-up.  
  • Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) is recognized as first-hand evidence in study, planning, and operational stages.  
  • Infrastructure, by air, overland and by sea, is developed with long-term community needs as the highest priority, so the money stays in our communities.

Self Government and Reconciliation.  As a long-time student of Indigenous politics, I believe that the Province is a Crown representative with fiduciary and moral responsibilities as per the Royal Proclamation and spirit and intent of the Treaties.  Ontario must embrace legal obligations to embed Indigenous stakeholders at all stages of economic development for our region and its rich resources.  Also, Ontario must embrace the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  I feel strongly that long-term dedicated funding to a pan-Ontario healing foundation can facilitate sharing of best-practices between First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.    

Water – it’s a human right. Housing, we all deserve one.   Communities such as Attawapiskat are in a perpetual state of crisis. As the Member of Provincial Parliament for Mushkegowuk-James Bay I will demand the Province, Federal government, and industrial operators reaping profits from traditional territories all sit down with the community members and sign a short-term emergency agreement as well as a long-term community plan to ensure these Canadians have the safe water and housing, just like the rest of us.   This situation has gone on far too long. I stand with the members of these remote reserve communities: I will put your communities in front of the media spotlight, at home, nationally, and internationally, and hold real results for your communities as a pre-condition for any collaboration required to form a government should I become that ‘kingmaker’ in a close election.

Triple Bottom Line planning.   Humans, ecosystems, economy.  These three are not independent of each other, and one is not more important than the other.  All three need to be considered as a living system, with long-term vision beyond ‘five year election’ cycles.  Only the Green Party philosophy works this way. It’s time to bring some sanity to our planning. We are on the cusp of huge influxes of mining, exploration, tourism, and fishing new-builds.   Let’s get this right the first time. Vote Green to ensure our riding stays beautiful, our ecosystems and wildlife stay vibrant, and our new-builds around infrastructure keeps profits and jobs in our Northern communities for generations to come.   

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