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This Thursday through Sunday, I, Liam Kelly will be in Halifax at the Liberal Party of Canada's National Convention. My first convention was in 2016 in Winnipeg making this my second national convention. I'm 16 and as a rural Canadian resident, I understand the importance of having rural representation at the federal level. Too often our voice isn't heard and we aren't given the opportunity to speak. By attending the National Convention, I intend to try and change that.

This year, the Federal Liberal Party will examine 30 policies that have been submitted from grassroots Canadians all across the country. This is one of the ways Canadians can influence the federal government, and you can bet I'm going to be there to represent my rural background.

Of the 30 polices that will be looked at this year, I've narrowed down 3 that I believe are very important to Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound and will have a positive impact here. The first policy is: Implementation of a guaranteed minimum income model. In a riding where 28,385 residents earn less than $20,000 a year (Stats Canada), this guaranteed minimum income would lift thousands of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound residents out of poverty. Millions of dollars would flow into Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound and would be very beneficial to local businesses.

The second policy that is important and speaks to Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound residents is called: Supporting Innovations for Local Food Production. Agriculture and food production is a major part of the local Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound economy. This policy seeks to have the Liberal party of Canada encourage the government of Canada to develop a plan for all jurisdictions to have a locally grown food supply that would maximize the use of local labour and local resources and minimize regulatory hurdles, and to consider new methods and technologies of food production that would support northern, rural, and remote communities in increasing local food production. The importance of local food production for rural economies and the role it plays in reducing our green house emissions can't be ignored or valued less, and therefore, I will be voting in favour of this policy.

The third policy that is important to Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound residents is: The establishment of a Seniors' Ministry. Our riding is a proud home to over 25,000 seniors. This represents nearly 25% of the total Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound population. Another 26,000 are between the ages of 50 and 65. For a total of 51,000 people, either a senior or nearing that age. A Seniors' Ministry according to the policy would have a mandate toconsult and engage with Canada's seniors; protect and vigorously promote the needs and interests of seniors, as well as the value of seniors to civil society; establish a national seniors strategy that defines common goals and standards from coast to coast to coast; liaise with provincial, territorial, municipal, and Indigenous counterparts on areas of mutual concern or overlapping jurisdiction including but not limited to health care, housing, income security, home care, long term care, pharmacare, social isolation, elder abuse, and ageism; and develop national standards and monitoring protocols for seniors' programs. This policy would help Bruce Grey Owen Sound seniors by projecting their voice and by making their lives easier.

As a young Canadian, I have come to further realize that seniors are an important part of society and should be celebrated, therefore once again, I will be voting yes to this policy and yes to seniors!

These policies, whether it be guaranteeing no Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound resident will live in poverty, or encouraging local food production to grow our local economy, or to ensure that Canada's largest age demographic gets a stronger voice in the federal government, I will be there to vote for them. I will be there to represent rural Canadians and I will be there to ensure my future is what I dream of.



Liam Kelly




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