In the lead-up to the May 2 federal election, the Yarmouth Vanguard's newsroom staff interviewed the four candidates who are vying for the West Nova riding seat.
By Carla Allen
Ross Johnson is the candidate for the Green Party in the riding of West Nova.
A resident of Saulnierville since 2000, Johnson attended the April 10 Yarmouth rally to return ferry service. He refers to the loss as a “travesty of justice.”
“There’s been nothing but lies after lies. Who really knows what is going on with that situation,” he said.
“Tourism is the next biggest (issue) on my list. After a 65 per cent drop in the last few years something needs to be done.
“We don’t need consulting firms from away to tell us what we need. We know: better advertising of Nova Scotia and West Nova, better roads, better infrastructure, getting a bus line, and better taxi service. Having the railroad back would be nice but that’s a dream that probably wont ever happen,” he said.
In addition to the ferry issue, he’s heard from others in the region about aquaculture in St. Mary’s Bay, employment, fisheries, and farming.
He says he has been involved with the aquaculture issue for a while, has written the official conducting the environmental assessment and planned on meeting with the group last week.
Johnson says trying to attract business to West Nova is “quite the challenge” and needs attention, in addition to retaining established industry.
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Voter apathy is something he has noticed during his days on the campaign trail. He’s found that many people don’t vote because of dissatisfaction with the present government.
“The grumble is same old, same old,” he said.
Johnson will be speaking to several schools in an effort to get young people involved in politics and “most importantly, just getting out to vote.”
“Many a young man and woman has given the ultimate sacrifice for democracy and to give us this chance to vote and have a say. I think we owe it to those that sacrificed to at least vote,” he said.
Johnson has worked as a plumber, ship builder, sawmill foreman and business operator. He now works as a certified home inspector. His interests include photography, history and music.
Green Party platform initiatives include the creation of thousands of jobs in renewable energy, the expansion of rail and modernizing freight, support of a healthy fishery with an end to “devastating draggers,” the cutting of wasteful subsidies to corporations and nuclear and fossil fuels.
“Sharing the load by having more people working fewer hours,” flexible hours, and support for those who stay home to raise their children are other goals.