By: Mason Radies, GreenPAC Parliamentary Intern for the Environment
It's Not Just Your Occupation
My grandparents and uncle have a mixed grain farm where we grow wheat and canola. I was raised in the city but would go there as a kid and was introduced to a completely different way of living. Whether it’s watching my uncle repair machinery, driving a combine, or getting eggs from the neighbours’ chickens - it’s all about understanding the land and the deep, complex biology it holds. It’s not just your occupation, it’s also your lifestyle.
I’m still very connected to my grandparents’ farm and work harvest every year. Having these experiences definitely affects the way I think politically and communicate with and try to understand people.
The Disconnects Between Perspectives
Having spent time in both rural and urban environments, I’ve seen that there are very different understandings of how others live and the issues that impact them. This disconnect can create real issues in policy-making, especially when the people most affected aren't being collaborated with. The short timeframe for policymaking within our electoral cycle creates similar problems. MPs are expected to become overnight experts on all issues brought to them - which isn’t realistic.
Looking to Others to Strengthen Your Voice
I think MPs need to recognize that they have a lot of power to address these problems. Actively listening to people can really help get the cross-collaborative solutions that we need. Climate change can’t be addressed by one individual idea or party. My work as a Parliamentary Intern has shown me how organizations like GreenPAC help make environmental problems less divisive - which is important since a unifying problem needs to have a unifying solution.