SCUGOG: Sarah Whalen-Wright is the federal NDP candidate for the Durham riding. Ms. Whalen-Wright told The Standard while she loves her job as a teacher, she saw the effects cuts by the Ontario Conservative government to the education sector had, and felt her voice could be useful on a “bigger platform.” She talked about what it’s going to be like trying to win a seat that has been held by the Conservatives for a while. “It’s going to be a challenge for sure, but I want to promote the NDP values, and help people connect on a human level with it,” Ms. Whalen-Wright said. “I’m not naive to the fact [the Durham riding has traditionally voted Conservative] but through talking to people, you never know.” She pointed to the progress the NDP made at the provincial level in the last election as a reason to be positive about her chances. “I am optimistic. I saw the progress made [on provincial candidate Joel Usher’s campaign]. We want to push the idea that there are more than two parties,” she said. “We’ve seen things shift before.” One of the parts of the NDP’s platform, Ms. Whalen-Wright pointed to as important is the Green New Deal. “We have a whole population that green technologies could make a really a big difference for,” she said. She told The Standard what she’s heard from talking to residents regarding the issues they feel are important in the 2019 election. “The really big ones are the environment and climate crisis, education in general and healthcare. People are worried about the privatization of these services and the NDP are not interested in that.” She said the NDP may appeal to people who are “frustrated with the Liberals and Conservatives.” Ms. Whalen-Wright explained her role as an educator has given her experience with people from all walks of life, and has taught her how to work “with people who may not always agree.” “The key to this is relationship building,” she said. She also promised North Durham will not be an afterthought in her campaign. “I want to show that we care about all parts of the riding,” she said. “I’m willing to work with any constituent if elected.” For more information on her campaign, go online to sarahwhalenwright.ndp.ca.
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