In high school he was voted most likely to be prime minister. Now, twenty-eight-year old Aldershot resident Christian Cullis is stepping into the political ring. He is running for the Green Party in Burlington.
“The main thing that I would like to do is reach out to young voters through the new forms of social media. First time voters, young votes and children are our future”, said Cullis during a weekend interview.
Cullis believes that the City of Burlington faces the same climate change challenges as the rest of the world. “Next year will be hotter than this and the year after hotter than that. We should start preparing now. We are citizens of Burlington, but we are also citizens of the world”.
Cullis has lived in Aldershot since 2005. He graduated from McMaster University with a B.A. in Political Science and a Masters Degree in International Relations.
He is hoping his party wins big in the election but is realistic. “I’m hoping we pick up more seats”. Currently the Green Party holds only two seats in Parliament.
If he doesn’t win Cullis has a game plan. He is considering joining the army because he likes how it stands for Canadian security, including its responseS to environmental emergencies. He has not however rejected the idea of running provincially or municipally. “Those are bridges to cross when we come to them”.
Cullis is sympathetic to Burlington City Council’s struggle to make its much-criticized Private Tree Bylaw more effective and efficient. He said the effort is worth it. “If it’s a bad policy, we can rewrite it, but trees are living things, part of the ecosystem……..without them we’re dead. We should go about preserving them in a smart and cost-effective manner.”
Commenting on the recent Cootes To Escarpment Eco-Park System report on south Aldershot, Cullis agreed with the concern that the rising population and intensification in Aldershot has the potential to negatively impact the area’s unique environment. He also agreed with the report’s concern about salt solutions being used on local roads to clear snow and ice in the winter.
“It’s such a given that we use salt in the winter and we haven’t been thinking about the long-term impact. That salt goes somewhere. It doesn’t just magically vanish. It runs off and continues to have impact. It’s what we’re used to though. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine what the alternatives are”.
Also running in Burlington are Karina Gould for the Liberals, Emily Brown for the Conservatives and Nick Page for the New Democratic Party. Story by By Rick Craven