For Gary Jensen, much of his decision to run for the South Surrey-White Rock MP seat as a representative of the People’s Party of Canada had to do with freedom – freedom of expression, freedom around making medical decisions and freedom around gun ownership, to name a few.
After all, come Sept. 20, he wants to be able to vote his conscience, while offering others greater choice in voting theirs.
The South Surrey resident said he didn’t feel it would be possible if the only boxes on the ballot were for the three major political parties, so he threw his hat in the ring.
“For the longest time, I supported the Conservative party. I just felt… since Trudeau got elected, they kind of moved away from conservatism. It’s kind of Conservative-light,” the married father of one explained.
“I just felt like none of the parties represented my views.”
The People’s Party of Canada (PPC) platform “lines up mostly with how I feel about freedom and the condition of our country, where things are going,” he said.
The party was formed by Maxime Bernier in 2018 after he lost the Conservative leadership race to Andrew Scheer. Its platform in this election focuses on 17 key issues, including COVID policy, health care, freedom of expression, Indigenous issues and firearms.
For Jensen, freedom of speech tops the list.
“People are getting fired, in some case, just for tweeting something years ago, or misstepping with somebody’s pronoun. It’s gotten so divisive,” he said.
“I feel like the government shouldn’t be the ones locking down on that. If somebody’s clearly being a jerk-face, we as a society have the power to discourage that.”
Freedom also factors in when it comes to COVID policy, he noted, citing the recent announcement of vaccine passports that will be needed to access various venues starting Sept. 13.
“The government shouldn’t be coercing or forcing people to make medical decisions based on science that isn’t necessarily 100 per cent proven yet,” he said.
“People need to be able to make those medical decisions for themselves.”
Gun-control legislation is also a concern for Jensen, who works as a concept artist for a mobile game studio in Vancouver. A gun owner himself, Jensen said government is targeting law-abiding citizens and “ignoring the real problem, which is the gangs, the drugs.”
“Two million people (legally) have guns. We’re all usually pretty good citizens,” he said. “Government taking firearms away is just another form of control.”
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