New political party offers new hope to veterans
The Veterans Coalition Party Of Canada, a new political party dedicated to veterans and other vulnerable members of society, recently launched in Nova Scotia. Despite being in its infancy, the group says their party will offer the change some Canadians are looking for.
Leader of the Veterans Coalition Party, Randy Joy, says it's a name that holds a close connection to his heart after 29-years of service.
“When I was building this, one of the things I was looking at was 'who are the people hurting most in Canada right now?’” says Joy.
Being approved to run in the upcoming federal election, the party believes it has a fighting chance.
And they have loyal supporters. Cumberland-Colchester Candidate, Jody O'Blenis, is already on board and has been canvassing door to door – spreading the word of the new option for voters and hopes to get his name on a ballot.
"Every candidate has to have one hundred and fifty signatures from different constituents in the county,” says O’Blenis. “It doesn’t matter who it is; it’s the final process in order to run – so we're working on that now."
While the party’s platform focuses on rights for Canadian Forces veterans and providing them with lifetime pensions, the broader goal is to take care of seniors and other vulnerable demographics.
“Seniors with the CPP, they don’t have a lot when they’re taxed again on their pension cheques at the end of the month,” says O’Blenis. “And Aboriginals, they don’t have clean running water in some places and lack of education."
Meanwhile, veterans like Oxford, Nova Scotia resident, Randy MacKintosh, agree that they aren’t being compensated properly after serving their country – making the party’s promises appealing to them.
"I served my country for over 23-years, and the pension I get isn’t great,” says MacKintosh.
With four major parties vying for votes in October, the Veterans Coalition Party joins an increasingly crowded race – hoping to find a niche in Canadian politics and offer dissatisfied voters a new choice.
"Some of them say 'oh a new party—interesting—never heard of you,’” says O’Blenis. “So, it’s kind of a shock, but it’s a look of surprise on their face and a smile – because it gives them a different option."
Meanwhile, candidates continue to canvass door to door, informing resident about who they are, and what they stand for.Joy says after this election, he hopes the party will garner enough recognition to create provincial level parties.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kate Walker