Trent Ernst, Editor
Liz Biggar stands a snowball’s chance of getting elected.
Indeed, it seems not even her own party thinks she has a hope, as a month after becoming the official Green Party candidate for this electoral district, she is not even listed on the party’s website.
Go to the Elections Canada official list of candidates, and you’ll find Biggar listed, but with no phone number listed to get in touch with her. Her Facebook page, where she encourages people to follow her, has only 225 likes so far.
“I’m running this campaign on $2000,” says Biggar at the all-candidates forum held in Tumbler Ridge last week.
Indeed, Biggar’s previous claim to fame was getting run out of Fort Nelson last year, getting fired from her job as Eco-advisor for NEAT, after banging heads with mayor Bill Streeper many times.
Indeed, Biggar wasn’t sure she wanted to do it herself, refusing the Green Party’s invitation multiple times.
Biggar is originally from the Lower Mainland, but moved to Fort Nelson at the turn of the century to work and eventually buy a house, which she currently rents out to oil and gas workers.
During her time as Eco-advisor, Biggar started a recycling program in Fort Nelson as well as a clothing exchange program.
Biggar says she has had a lot of opposition from friends and people in Fort Nelson. “I have had a lot of people write to me and say that they don’t believe that they can vote for the Green Party and me, or support me, because they work in the Oil and Gas Industry. I am here to tell you that this is exactly why you should vote Green. Fort Nelson is a ghost town right now.
“Many of my friends have lost their jobs. Just yesterday, some dear friends of mine put their dream house up for sale because they can no longer afford it. I myself have invested everything I had into a home in Fort Nelson. I consider myself lucky that I was able to find renters to just cover the mortgage.
“We currently subsidize the Oil and Gas Industry here in Canada. It makes no sense to subsidize the wealthiest companies on Earth to make the world’s most profitable product − a barrel of oil. The 2010 report of the International Energy Agency called for the removal of fossil fuel subsidies. Globally, they amount to over $300 billion a year, while renewables received approximately $30 billion. We NEED to subsidize Green Technology. We need to invest in Renewables. For our planet. For our people. For the animals…. And of course, For the jobs.”
Biggar takes over the riding from previous candidate Hilary Crowley, who got less than six percent of the vote in the last election.
While Biggar could be written off as an anti-industry activist, she puts her rather limited money where her mouth is. Currently, she works down in Vancouver at a food bank, providing food to people living on the streets. When she worked in Fort Nelson, she and three friends raised $30,000 to sponsor building two homes for street kids in Uganda. Her first foray into recycling in Fort Nelson was run out of her basement to support the project in Uganda. If she seems anti-industry it is because her passion is people, especially the less fortunate.
Part of this is her own upbringing. Biggar spent some time on the street herself. She says that it’s tough for kids on the street to worry about bettering themselves, to worry about their education, when they couldn’t even find enough food to eat. “I was homeless when I was 17,” she says. “I didn’t go to school. I struggled to make it through day to day.”
People who know Biggar describe her has “passionate,” and having “a heart of gold,” but lacking in public relations and social media etiquette.
While she initially said no to the nomination (“I said no ten times,” she says,) she finally said yes. Part of the reason, she says, is because of the party platform. “The Green party is not a one trick pony,” she says. “Yes, I’m going to talk a lot about climate change, but there are other issues. The Greens are going to abolish student debt. Strengthen health care. Eliminate poverty. I work in a food bank in the downtown east side. Nobody is going to get ahead. We have a housing first policy.
“Right now Canada invests $1-billion subsidies in Oil and Gas. Fossil fuels are on the way out. Renewable energy is on the way in. Germany has 75 percent renewable energy. What if we were to take that money from subsidies to oil and gas and invest in green energy? What if we were to take one point from the GST revenue—$6.4 billion—and start building infrastructure? We’d unleash an army of carpenters, welders, workers. Everyone would start working right away.
“I see our world as a whole, and see what the First World can do for the third world. I want Canada to change, and I want to see a government that can lead us to change. We need to start changing, and we need to start yesterday.”