Election 2015: Green candidate says region poised to be technology hub

NANAIMO – Paul Manly hears jobs are a serious issue for voters in Nanaimo-Ladysmith.

Paul Manly is the Green Party candidate for Nanaimo-Ladysmith in the 42nd federal election.

Paul Manly is the Green Party candidate for Nanaimo-Ladysmith in the 42nd federal election.

Documentary filmmaker Paul Manly is the Green Party of Canada’s Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidate for the upcoming federal election.

Manly, son of former MP Jim Manly, was born in Port Alice and resided in Ladysmith between grades 4 and 10. He has made his home in Nanaimo since late 2001.

He has a diploma in broadcasting, as well as a degree in global studies and media studies. A majority of his documentaries are social and environmentally themed.

Having spent his formative years here, Manly said he knows the riding. He has actively represented the community in the non-profit sector, working with the Council of Canadians and sitting on the Mid-Island Co-op board.

He said he feels he has a good grasp of the issues.

“I think jobs are a serious issue in this riding,” said Manly. “A lot of people have to commute to work elsewhere and so, knocking on doors, I’m finding people that have to go and work in camps in northern Alberta or elsewhere, and I’m looking right now at a loading facility for shipping raw logs out of the country.

“We used to have a lot more value-added work on Vancouver Island than we do now and we’re shipping off our resources rather than having them processed here.”

Manly also said climate change is a pressing issue for residents of the riding.

“We’re realizing it right now based on the drought that we’re seeing and we’re actually watching the effects of climate change, so the need to switch our economic model away from one that’s dependent on fossil fuels to one that’s reliant on clean, renewable energy is becoming more and more imperative.”

He said Vancouver Island is well placed to become a technology hub for clean green technology, as it has access to renewable energy sources, such as tidal, wind, solar and geothermal. There is also a growing knowledge base and tech sector that is drawn to the quality of life offered in the mid-island.

Health care is also an issue, as previous governments have made cuts.

“We’ve really moved away from what medicare should’ve been about, which is not just taking care of people when they’re sick, but making sure that we save money in the system by having more preventative care, community care, home care and taking better care of people in the community to have actually a more robust system,” Manly said.