Laurier professor to represent Green Party

Walsh nominated for Waterloo riding in federal election


Richard Walsh - ONLINE Will
Photo by Will Huang

A Wilfrid Laurier University professor will now represent the Green Party in Waterloo for the upcoming federal election.

Richard Walsh, a professor in the psychology department at Laurier, was nominated on March 1 to represent the Green Party Waterloo riding.

As a past representative for both the New Democratic Party and most recently running as an independent in 2011, Walsh has ample experience in politics in the community.

With the next federal election tentatively scheduled for October, Walsh is sure to have a busy upcoming few months.

“I’ve been a psychologist in this region since 1979 — initially with the child and family centre, which is the children’s mental health unit at Grand River Health Centre. Then in 1986 I joined the academic staff at Laurier,” Walsh said regarding his experience in Waterloo region.

Walsh said his over 35 years of experience in the community as a professional will help make him a suitable representative for the Green Party.

He has a strong connection to the local community as he co-founded the Alliance Against Poverty, an organization comprised of individuals living below the poverty line who call for economic justice.

Additionally, as a member of the community psychology graduate program at Laurier, Walsh studies the well-being of community members, groups and society as a whole.

The chief reason Walsh said he is running is because the core political parties, which consist of the Liberals, Conservatives and NDP, simply do not pay enough attention to the consequences of climate change.

“This is potentially catastrophic, certainly for Canadians and the entire globe, [and] we need an informed plan to respond to the realities of climate change and the only political party that is facing that reality is the Green Party,” he explained.

However Walsh emphasized that the Green Party is “not a one-horse wagon.”

Many people assume the Green Party’s priorities center solely on eco-environmental concerns, but Walsh explained this is not the case.

The Green Party focuses on five core aspects in its platform, he said.

“So not just the ecological but also the economic, social and the question of what should be democracy in Canada and finally how should Canada connect internationally with other nations.”

Walsh says he decided to switch to the Green Party primarily due to the shared core values he has with the party that include justice, peace and respect for human diversity.

If elected as a Member of Parliament, Walsh hopes to be a strong leader for the Waterloo community while still being an inspiration for students at Laurier.

“You can’t have a healthy economy in a sick environment. The message of the Green Party is we have to learn to live in our ecological means.”

 

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