Politics a new game for CAP candidate 0
Politics is a new game for Thornbury-based Canadian Action Party candidate Gord Cochrane.
Cochrane, 49, works in sales for a local hotel. From Toronto originally, he spent 12 years in B.C. working for Whistler Blackcomb, before moving to Thornbury in 2004 with his wife, Adriane, and two daughters Devyn, 10, and Breanna, six.
"We moved here to make a life," said Cochrane. "My wife and I, we were looking for a place where we could have skiing and water and all of the things that we love doing, but live in a real community instead of just a resort."
His wife's parents, his mother and most of his family - he has five brothers and sisters - live in Ontario, so it made sense to make the move, he said.
"We would be able to raise our girls in a nice community here, Thornbury, which is full of wonderful people and it's safe and secure and nice - all those good things a parent wants for their children."
He studied environmental studies at Queen's University and at one point intended on becoming an environmental lawyer.
"I always had an interest in politics," Cochrane said, adding he met Mel Hurtig, the founder of the National Party of Canada, in the early 1990s and was inspired by Hurtig's ideas about strengthening Canadian sovereignty and protecting Canada's resources.
"He was very much about Canada for Canadians," said Cochrane.
"I think Canada is the greatest experiment in human existence and I have always believed that. There are people from every race, every religion and nationality living in this country," he said. "I think we need to protect that."
Cochrane said the philosophy of the nation has changed over the past decade.
"In the last decade I've seen a tremendous shift in focus in Canada from peacekeeping and moral high ground to pre-emptive wars and (being) an aggressor state, and that's not what I want. I don't think most Canadians want that."
About three months ago Cochrane said he was looking for a party which shares his beliefs and stumbled upon the Canadian Action Party.
"When the election was called I decided, rather than sit on the sidelines, it was time to get up and do something about," said Cochrane before quoting philosopher Edmund Burke: "All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing."
The party's platform focuses on five pillars: parliamentary reform, monetary reform, sovereignty, civil and human rights, and the environment.
"The public really has no access to the parliamentarians anymore. The decisions made in Ottawa I don't think really have anything to do with grassroots people - I think it has more to do with corporations and profit," said Cochrane.
"We need to be able to move the electoral process into the hands of Canadians. Make it transparent - make it so that people actually have a voice so that it's ruled by people for the people instead of a dictatorship run on high," he said.
"We believe in fair trade, we believe it free markets. What's operating in the world right now is not a free market, the invisible hand of Adam Smith doesn't really exist, there's just way too many checks and balances," said Cochrane.
"When they announced NAFTA, I was disappointed, because I thought it was a bad deal," he said.
The party's platform includes the abolishment of the trade agreement.
"Our party believes in the fact that we have to protect our farmers, our industries, so that we can compete."
The party also has policies to protect the environment.
"The air, the water, the soil - we're in big trouble. We have watched successive governments ignore the environment for decades and decades."
Cochrane said monetary reform is the linchpin of the Canadian Action Party. The strategy would be to "re-empower" the Bank of Canada and move away from borrowing from private banks.
"The Bank can issue the money, then loan it to the government. Even if they did charge a bit of interest, it would go back to the Bank of Canada, which all proceeds go to the Government of Canada, which is the people," explained Cochrane.
"It closes the circle and stops the bleeding of money out of system into the hands of frankly, people who are so insanely wealthy now they don't need it," he said.
"That's why I'm doing this - I've got two young girls and I want to seem them live in a country that is as good as it was when I grew up," said Cochrane.
"I'm not running to not work hard," he said. "If elected, every day I would raise a bill."