AMHERST, N.S. – The Veterans Coalition Party of Canada (VCP) isn’t on the radar of most voters, but Randy Joy hopes to change that before the Oct. 21 election.
“We currently have 71 candidates running in ridings across Canada, including candidates in nine of the 11 ridings in Nova Scotia,” Joy said.
Joy, the founder and leader of the VCP, was in Amherst Aug. 31 to meet with Cumberland-Colchester candidate Jody O’Blenis, along with several other Atlantic Canada candidates.
The VCP is made up of Armed Forces vets and ordinary Canadians such as O’Blenis who believe the major political parties have lost touch with Canadians.
“I didn’t want to end up on the political spectrum as a far-left or far-right party,” Joy said. “While building the platform we took left and right concerns into account by putting Canadians at the forefront and engaging them.”
Joy sees too much power concentrated in the prime minister’s office and hopes to loosen its grip on policy, adding that his party will put the power back into the hands of the people.
“The way the system is, the country swings back and forth between two parties and nothing changes. The debt grows and the cost of living grows.”
He says strong leadership is needed to implement policies that improve the lives of ordinary Canadians, the kind of leadership he learned through his 29 years in the military.
“The military training system is all about leadership training. You learn leadership styles and how to engage people and how to engage the public,” Joy said.
Joy was deployed in Afghanistan for two tours of duty, and, also, one United Nations Peacekeeping mission in Syria/Israel.
“When you’re deployed, negotiation is an important skill. If you can’t talk to the locals, you’re making enemies and not friends.”
Joy is originally from Cobalt, Ont., and retired in Cape Breton where he is running as a candidate in the Sydney-Victoria riding.
His opponents include Liberal candidate Jaime Battiste, who won the Liberal nomination following the retirement of Liberal MP Mark Eyking, and Conservative Candidate Eddie Orrell.
The VCP’s 20-point ‘Party Vision Statement’ can be read by going to veteranscoalitionpartyofcanada.com, and then clicking on Party Vision at the top of the web page.