On 20 February 2004, Sharolyn Vettese was nominated as the Green Party candidate for Willowdale in the upcoming federal election. "I am honoured to give the voters of Willowdale a viable alternative to the status quo," she said. "I think Canada is on the cusp of a major political change, and it will be an exciting time for Canadians. The people I meet want to hear new ideas, and new solutions instead of the same old thing."
Sharolyn joined the Green Party of Canada after being disillusioned with the Conservatives and the Liberals. "The Green Party of Canada has the platform, and the 10 Key Values to lead Canada into the twenty-first century," she said.
Over the twenty years that Sharolyn has lived in Willowdale, she has watched it evolve into a bustling multi-cultural community. "When I moved into the Yonge and Sheppard area, it was exciting as white bread, and the neighbourhood elementary schools were slated for closure," Sharolyn said. She became involved in her community when. Mayor Lastman was proposing the creation of a big, brand-new downtown in their midst. As the volunteer President of her local association, and also as Chair of YSARA, a ratepayer coalition, they worked co-operatively along with the city and developers to create a city centre that could co-exist with the existing neighbourhoods. "Today, when I walk towards Yonge Street, most of the development is built, and it's rewarding to see how our innovative planning process worked out so well. The added bonus is that our neighbourhoods are also undergoing a renewal. It's great because existing infrastructures were maximized, and reduced the need for urban sprawl," she said.
Sharolyn is also a household manager and mother of three children. As a parent, Sharolyn appreciates the Green value of Non-Violence. She knows how much more difficult it is resolving differences without violence. "But, in the end, living in peace is precious, and it's worth the effort," Sharolyn said.
As the principal buyer for her family's needs, she became aware of the connection between consumers and producers. "It started when I was buying for my children these amazing plastic figurines for $7, and then I was wondering why a few pieces of packaged Lego cost $12. The only explanation was how and where they were made, " That awareness extended to knowing how food is produced to using household cleaning products without the corroded hand symbol," Sharolyn said. She also applied the same thinking to gardening. "I evolved from having a complete chemical arsenal to having the garden certified as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat. In one way or another we are all consumers, and it's important to make informed choices. By having full accountability and complete transparency, we can all do our part to make a difference."
Sharolyn is bilingual, and has written a parenting book, Life Teacher, the Role of a Parent.
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