Get to know Stefan Wiesen – Green Party of Canada Nomination Candidate for Dufferin – Caledon
Why did you choose to seek the Dufferin-Caledon Green Party nomination?
At my business, we have enshrined what is called a ‘triple bottom line: people. planet. profit.’ These are principles that we need to bring to politics. We regularly give back to our community in a wide variety of ways. Personally, my civic engagement includes everything from planting trees to volunteering on various boards such as the Orangeville’s BIA, the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, and the Career Education Council.
Politics and public service is in my family’s DNA. My father was attorney general of the province in Germany where I was born, and I can hardly remember a Sunday family dinner where conversations did not revolve around current affairs in our town, our province, our country and the wider world. No surprise, I ended up as one of the youth leaders of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (their centrist party), and was editor in chief of the largest political student newspaper.
After finishing my University degree in business, my work in the private sector and starting a family took up the majority of my time. We came to Canada in 1993 and after receiving citizenship, getting involved in our community became more and more important to my family and I.
For several years, I considered joining one of the established political parties, but after being introduced to Green Party of Ontario leader, Mike Schreiner, and watching my daughter Laura Campbell’s long-time advocacy for the local Greens here in Dufferin-Caledon, I was convinced that they were the real deal. They care deeply about the every day concerns of citizens, and coming up with practical, workable, and sustainable solutions to society’s problems.
How will you represent Dufferin-Caledon at the federal level?
The philosophy of Greens is: doing politics differently. We are not hyper-partisan, and are willing to work with others, just as we do in our daily lives, to make difficult decisions.
While I believe that our first-past-the-post electoral system has in many ways lived past its time, I DO believe that my role as MP would be to represent the interests of my constituents, first and foremost, before any considerations the party may have.
What do you consider are the top 2 issues on Dufferin-Caledon voters’ minds?
Most politicians are rightfully criticized for being bad listeners, and I want to do things differently. I want to hear from citizens first-hand and understand what’s on their mind, rather than make assumptions. I would encourage everyone to email me and share their thoughts on what our biggest issues are. I’m here to listen: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is your plan to connect with residents?
Aside from canvassing neighbourhoods, and attending community events at every opportunity, I’ll also be organizing several events throughout the campaign that will give people an opportunity to meet with me and share their concerns and their own visions for what good governance would look like.
What is unique about you that you believe sets you apart as a candidate?
For decades, Canadians have been told that fiscal responsibility, a ‘jobs-first’ agenda, and efficient government are incompatible with a politics that protects and restores the health of our planet. My personal and deep conviction, is that the only way we can have a healthy economy, with well-paying jobs, and social justice, is if we embrace the jobs of the 21st century in clean technology. After almost 4 decades in the private sector, and as an entrepreneur, I have developed a keen sense of capturing opportunities. We are at the brink of the 4th industrial revolution, and every single Canadian will feel the benefits of the clean tech sector if we have a government willing to capture that opportunity.