By Nicole Hunt
Born, raised and educated in Ottawa, Richard Eveleigh is running as an Independent candidate in next month’s election in hopes of making his city a cleaner, greener place.
“I would like to see Ontario become a better province,” says Eveleigh. “I would like us to be more responsible with our resources, more responsible about waste.”
Eveleigh says his major concern is that the current system for recycling, which is voluntary and provides no tangible rewards to the average person, has reached its limit. He says there needs to be more incentive for people to recycle, and that a deposit on recyclables, much like the deposit already paid on alcohol bottles, is just the incentive people need.
Eveleigh says he is most concerned about issues that have a direct effect on residents. In addition to recycling, he advocates finding alternative solutions for waste diversion sites, as well as the redirection of gasoline taxes.
Eveleigh says he believes that Ontario’s natural resources are extremely undervalued, and could be taxed to help pay for city infrastructure projects such as Ottawa’s light rail system or bridge repairs, or to contribute to OHIP.
Eveleigh says he is running as an Independent because it allows him to advocate for more widespread policy change.
He says he is concerned about the protest vote because he feels that people are voting against one party as opposed to another party’s platform.
“People say to me, ‘I won’t vote for you because my vote won’t count,’” Eveleigh says with a sigh. “That’s not the way it should be, but it seems a lot of people feel that way.”
Eveleigh says he believes that this attitude is one reason to support the referendum on electoral reform, because it is a step towards a more proportional representation at Queen’s Park.
He says he also believes that the current controversy around faith-based education funding is a distraction from the real issues.
If elected, Eveleigh says he will listen to both sides, present the issue first to his constituents and then to parliament to see what the democratic consensus is.
Eveleigh says his policy passion is his commitment to the environment.
He says he hopes to promote a “cleaner” use of coal as opposed to an outright replacement with nuclear power.
While Eveleigh admits that he is not well-known, he says he believes it’s important to have the opportunity to bring these issues to the table so voters can decide for themselves.