Green Party of B.C.
Ian Gartshore is hearing from many discouraged community members, especially the younger generations, and the overriding sense of hopelessness has motivated him to throw his name in the hat.
He said people are discouraged about low-paying local job opportunities, and about the future of the planet, education costs and the rising cost of living at a time when wages aren’t going up.
“I think people are rightly angry,” said Gartshore. “I think the Green Party is the only party that has got short-term and long-term solutions.”
This is not Gartshore’s first stab at politics – the 58-year-old, who has lived in Nanaimo for the past 15 years, ran in the last provincial election as well as in a 2011 City of Nanaimo by-election.
He has a long list of involvements with community organizations: he founded the non-profit organizations Shore Counselling Society and Energy Solutions for Vancouver Island and has actively participated in several other non-profits including Harewood Community Centre Co-op, the Greater Nanaimo Cycling Coalition, and the Nanaimo Carshare Co-operative.
For work, he is a therapist with his own private practice and he also owns Shore Energy Solutions, which does energy auditing of houses to help people lower energy bills and tap into sustainable energy sources such as solar power.
As a politician, he puts a big emphasis on sustainability and re-localizing economies.
Gartshore hears many stories about local residents going elsewhere to work in the oil and gas industry, and believes that investing in renewable energy projects to harness wind, wave and tidal power on the Island would create well-paying jobs here.
He wants more funding for sustainable transportation systems and believes more money spent on promoting good health will help counteract skyrocketing health costs.