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This article was published 22/9/2015 (2311 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Adam Smith is hoping his lifelong passion for politics will help propel him all the way to Parliament Hill.
The 27-year-old River Heights resident is the Green Party of Canada’s candidate in the Winnipeg South riding in the upcoming federal election, which will be held on Oct. 19. The eastern part of the riding includes the Greendell, River Park South, and Dakota Crossing neighbourhoods.
The riding has been represented by Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge since 2006, when he defeated Liberal incumbent Reg Alcock by just 111 votes. Bruinooge announced in January that he would not be seeking re-election. The Conservative candidate in Winnipeg South is Gordon Giesbrecht, the Liberal candidate is Terry Duguid, and the NDP candidate is Brianne Goertzen.
Smith, a self-described "politics geek" who grew up in Wildwood Park and whose parents and grandparents hail from Fort Richmond, said his interest in politics has been there as long as he can remember.
"My friends and family encouraged me to run in the riding, as I’ve always had a love of political science and I was always writing letters to the editor (of various newspapers)," he said.
The Vincent Massey Collegiate alumnus has an honours degree in political science from the University of Winnipeg, and is nearing completion of his master’s thesis, which focuses on mental health issues, at the University of Manitoba.
Smith also works as a teaching assistant at the U of M, where he gets to lead academic tutorials and discuss issues such as democratic participation and sustainable economic development, and he is a rehabilitative care manager, helping people with physical and mental disabilities. As well, he volunteers with Canadian Blood Services.
Smith’s interests are aligned to the four key issue areas of the Green Party’s platform — economy, communities, government, and climate, and he also believes his passion for nature and the environment, as well as an ability to empathize with individuals with different beliefs and perspectives, are ideally suited to the party.
"The Green Party is the only party that has a comprehensively thought-out environmental plan. One key issue is the party is highly opposed to urban sprawl, where commuters are stuck in rush hour traffic and adding to the pollution," Smith said, adding that increased federal funding for active transportation initiatives and/or increased taxes on fuel consumption could be potential solutions.
"In terms of personal qualities, I have a tendency to listen to all sides of the argument, rather than be ideologically-driven, because it’s important to try and reach a consensus," Smith said.
In keeping with his love of nature, Smith is "an outdoors guy" that enjoys hiking, camping, martial arts, and yoga. He also completed his first full marathon this year, finishing in 95th place.
For more information, go online at www.greenparty.ca/en/riding/2013-46013
Simon Fuller is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 204-697-7111.