Meghan Lipka feels it is future generations that are most impacted by the decisions made by politicians today.
As a mother of two young sons, that is one of the major reasons why she has decided to seek the Liberal nomination in the riding of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.
“To me it has never been about me. It is about the riding and it is about the future because what we are voting for now, it doesn’t really impact us right now. It impacts the future,” said Lipka, whose sons are age 6 and 3. “I have two young boys and I want to make sure their future is secure and safe and they have somewhere that is beautiful that they can call home.”
Lipka said she wants to get young people engaged in politics as much as possible, something that can be difficult.
“When I go out and speak to young people they really understand my passion about it and they really value what I bring to the table,” said Lipka.
Among the issues that are important to Lipka are climate change, Indigenous issues, women’s issues, farming and small businesses.
“We see more and more small businesses struggling and needing a bit more help,” said Lipka. “There is a lot of focus on larger corporations, but it is time to help out more people than who we are already helping out.”
Lipka is one of three people vying for the Liberal nomination in the riding along with Tobermory hiberbaric medical technician Rod Anderson and former Sun Times managing editor Michael Den Tandt. A date and location for a nomination meeting has yet to be determined.
Lipka’s first major foray into politics was as campaign manager for Ian Boddy in his first campaign for the mayor’s chair in Owen Sound back in 2014. She said from then on she has been hooked.
“I love it and I think it is really important,” said Lipka, 37. “I think in this day and age we need a really strong voice to communicate the issues in our riding because they are different throughout.”
She said a lot of people in Hanover are concerned about a lack of housing, while in Owen Sound some people want the harbour dredged while others don’t. There are environmentalists who are concerned about the future, and then farmers have their own concerns as well.
“We have a little bit of everything in this riding,” said Lipka. “That is something a don’t feel like has really been paid enough attention to.”
Lipka has also become involved with the Liberal party locally, serving as campaign manager for Kimberley Love in the 2015 federal election. She is currently vice-chair of the Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Federal Liberal Association.
Lipka, who has been a drywaller for 15 years, said one of the things she has taken away from talking to people in the riding is that there aren’t a lot of people in Ottawa who are in small business, or even in the trades.
“To have good opinions in Ottawa you need to have as many different jobs represented as possible so you can get the views of everyone,” said Lipka. “It would be nice to have somebody from a small business in Ottawa.”
Lipka said current Conservative MP Larry Miller, who is a farmer, has done his job over the past 14 years in office and it is time for a change.
“It would be nice to have somebody in a different industry, and have a new voice over there,” she said, adding that the right person can defeat Miller in this fall’s election.
The decision to run for the nomination came after a lot of discussion with her family and they are ready to support her, Lipka said.
“I have a young family and they are not as involved in the community as they would be at an older age,” said Lipka. “Now is the time instead of waiting until later.”
Lipka said seeing others interested in the nomination is great for the process and the party.
“I think it is important for a healthy vote to have a few different people,” said Lipka. “You can really see who is willing to work the hardest, you can see who has put in the most effort in already and it gives our local association some energy and excitement.”