Finding solutions outside of the box

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To solve complex problems we need to think of issues from different angles and from different perspectives. As we can see in this recent journal article (Predator Control Should Not Be a Shot in the Dark, Dr. Adrian Treves, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment), whether we are talking about a cure for cancer, or shooting wolves from helicopters, we need new, innovative, collaborative, and cutting edge approaches to our thinking.

In the Comox Valley, we are plagued with a host of social issues that span far beyond any individual politician’s experience. I have spoken with community members who have taken on caring for children and now find the government will not support them; I have spoken to seniors about independent living and families who would like simple monthly assistance for temporary respite; I have met with residents and listened to clean water concerns, traffic concerns, and laments at how absent the current government is in their care for the Valley. As one resident farmer put it, “It’s like they (the government) forgot about us and the only thing that matters is which local politician is next in line for a bigger paycheck, nobody actually cares anymore.”

While this short blog was initially meant to write about the B.C. wolf culls and a recent journal article, I find myself thinking more about how we approach our politics, and how we represent our fellow citizens. We need new and fresh ways of thinking to solve our social and political problems. The status quo and political resumes are simply no longer good enough in the shadow of a globalized world that is experiencing rapid climate change, sinking rural economies, loss of farmlands and suitable aquaculture waters, and urban sprawl.

I had the pleasure of meeting the author of the above study, Adrian, earlier this year at the University of Victoria during a conference. While talking about the “gold standard” of research, he also referenced making difficult decisions and how it often costs us friendships, and sometimes even family. It takes immense strength to break the mold, to stand out, to make a difficult decision for the betterment of society – and that is what I am here to do.

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Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash