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Politics

Halifax West Green Party candidate on hunger strike to force action on climate change

Richard Zurawski.
Richard Zurawski. Richard Zurawski official website

Richard Zurawski is running in the federal riding of Halifax West, where he’s served as city councillor since 2016, with the hopes that more can be done about the climate crisis.

On Tuesday, Zurawski announced on Facebook that he will consume only water and coffee until election day on Oct. 21 to force action on climate change.

“I don’t think climate change is being taken seriously by the other parties,” said Zurawski.

He said he made the decision after watching the English-language debate, and after seeing the Extinction Rebellion protesters at MacDonald Bridge being arrested by police on Monday.

“I understand the Extinction Rebellion closing down the bridge, and the conversation gets lost as to why they’re doing it because people are inconvenienced. My hunger strike isn’t inconveniencing anybody. It’s a personal statement.”

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Zurawski said he put out his announcement on Facebook to have other federal candidates join him on his hunger strike and to eventually have them join him at the table to talk seriously about how to meet the goals of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

READ MORE: Climate change emerges as one of the top ballot-box issues among voters: Ipsos poll

The IPCC is the UN’s body for assessing the science related to climate change.

“The reason I’m doing this is to draw attention to the climate crisis and hopefully show people that in 30 years from now many of us will be looking at food as the main issue in Nova Scotia. And that’s because of the climate crisis,” Zurawski said.

Global Climate Strike: Protesters march worldwide to demand climate action
Global Climate Strike: Protesters march worldwide to demand climate action

But in order to counter that future problem, Zurawski said as part of his Facebook announcement that he wants the other parties to adopt the Green’s climate change platform.

“It’s really an important issue to me that we do something about the climate crisis that we just don’t pay lip service to it. When I listen to the debate most of it revolves around things that really have nothing to do with the climate crisis with the exception of the Green,” he said.

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READ MORE: Why is climate change still so controversial to some people?

“We’re just going down a very deep rabbit hole and … some of the worst case scenarios are just absolutely apocalyptic.”

Zurawski is going against Liberal candidate Geoff Reagan who was re-elected to his seventh term in October 2015 as MP for Halifax West.

He also ran for elections against Reagan in 2015, but only got around four per cent of the vote.

So far, he said his campaign has been going “amazing.”

“We’ve got incredible volunteers. Every day we get new volunteers, every day we go out and knock on doors. The support has been phenomenal.”

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