Green Party candidate for Kingston and the Islands Eric Walton believes his diverse personal and professional background has taught him to understand the “triple bottom line issues.”
“Triple bottom line accounting is where you look at social, environmental and financial issues and look at how they relate to each other,” he said. “Good government is understanding the relationship between the three.”
The pursuit of a higher education is what first drew Walton to Kingston. He graduated with a BA in political studies from Queen’s in 1983.
“I grew up around the world. My parents were in the Foreign Service,” he said. “The place where I put down roots is Kingston. I feel like this is my home base.” Walton co-founded his first business, Odyssey Travel, during his time at Queen’s.
Walton’s other business ventures include LogKit, a Kingston based log-home builder and most recently co-founded a multi-doctor family medicine clinic in downtown Kingston.
“I’ve been very involved in the last 25 to 30 years in small business ownership and environmental activism within the Kingston community,” he said. “I feel my experience and background would give me some knowledge and understanding as an MP to see issues from a more entrepreneurial perspective.”
Walton was a founding member and agency co-ordinator for the Kingston Environmental Action Project.
He has also served on the board of directors for The Social Planning Council, Kingston Employment and Youth Services, Opportunity Kingston, The Kingston Global Community Centre and was a member of the City of Kingston Pesticides Committee and the Healthy Communities Initiative.
Walton said he feels as though Kingston as a city is still a work in progress.
“Personally I think we need to change the way we do things in Kingston so that we reach our potential. The highest percentage of public sector jobs in Canada is in Kingston. Sixty per cent of the jobs in this city are within the public sector,” he said.
“We also have the highest percentage of PhDs in Canada and an abundant number of natural resources. … We haven’t socially, politically and economically reached our potential.”
Walton said Kingston’s diverse socioeconomic make-up must be better addressed on the federal level.
“Kingston is very polarized economically. Going door to door, it’s phenomenal to see the difference between classes in the commuity,” he said. “One thing we need to do is see how we’re in it as a community together competing with the world.”
Walton said there is a need in Kingston for government subsidized “green social housing” units.
He said the Green Party has committed to building 20,000 new units and retrofitting 10,000 affordable environmentally sustainable units per year over the next 10 years using capital grants and changes in tax and mortgage insurance regulations. “Green social housing is the single best anti-poverty initiative you can do,” he said. “It’s very energy efficient and you will begin to see a shift on not only a social level, but an environmental one as well.”
To read Eric Walton’s full platform, go to kingstongreens.ca. For the Green Party’s full platform, please see greenparty.ca.
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