Jessica Wegg is running as the Green Party candidate for North Island - Powell River in the 2021 federal election. Photo supplied

Jessica Wegg is running as the Green Party candidate for North Island - Powell River in the 2021 federal election. Photo supplied

North Island-Powell River Green Party candidate sees climate as only issue in election

Jessica Wegg’s background in human rights law has prepared her to make institutional changes

For Green Party candidate Jessica Wegg, everything comes back to the environment.

“The climate, this summer, closed businesses. It was too hot for people to be working in the kitchens. It closed schools. It’s touching on every single aspect of our lives. For me it has to be the main, if not only question during the election. Who is actually going to stand up to make the hard decisions necessary to stop this madness and do what we can to reverse the damage that we have done?” she said.

She is hoping voters in the North Island – Powell River riding decide that person is her.

Wegg has built a career of taking on big institutions in the name of social justice. She works as a human rights lawyer in Comox, having previously focused her practice on prisoner rights and representing victims of institutional sexual abuse. Since moving to the Comox Valley, she has expanded that practice to work with the K’ómoks First Nation researching issues related to treaty preparation.

To Wegg, climate justice and social justice are two sides of the same coin.

“I don’t actually think that there is that much of a difference between social justice and environmental justice. You can’t have one without the other,” she said. “The question of whether having clean water to drink is more of a social justice issue or a climate issue… there is not a distinction there. People need clean water to drink. It’s both. They really complement each other.”

As a parent of young children, Wegg’s focus crystallized even more.

“I’ve personally been… more acutely aware of how things in our environment affect the people we love and the people we care about,” she said. “It’s impossible to see your children suffering. I just needed to do everything that I could to prevent my kids from having to suffer. We see it getting worse and worse. They didn’t miss school because of COVID… but they made attendance optional because the heat was unbearable and dangerous.”

Ultimately, that led her to the decision to run in this election. She says her focus on making meaningful change combined with her desire to make corporations and governments act on the climate emergency.

“I saw an opportunity to do more. I’m qualified. I’m passionate about doing everything in my power to stop the madness. To make corporations and governments act on this climate emergency and I want to do it. That really was the impetus for me wanting to run,” she said.

Wegg understands that there are multiple sides to every issue. She said she will listen to people’s arguments and do her best to make the right decision. At the end of the day, all Wegg wants to do is make the world a better place.

“People should vote for me because I listen and I care very deeply about everyone’s position. I’m not in this for any reason other than to try to make the world a better place. I’ve got no ulterior motive, no hidden agendas. I am not going to be bought out by any companies,” she said.

“It’s not that hard to be a good human being if you listen to the people around you and are willing to work with the people around you towards a common goal. I think we can all agree that kids deserve better than what we’re giving them,” Wegg added.

Wegg can be reached at the Green Party website, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify and by email.

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marc.kitteringham@campbellrivermirror.com

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