A professional forester and land management specialist, Laura Frost spends her days on the land. But if she gets her wish, some of those days will soon be spent in Ottawa. Frost is running to represent Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke for the Conservative Party of Canada in the Sept. 20 election.
She was motivated to run in large part out of gratitude for Canadian veterans.
“I just really felt in my heart how much we owe this country, our veterans who have stood up for us. I just don’t feel like… it’s like we don’t recognize it in Canada. They’ve done so much and they need support when they decide to finish their career and get a normal job,” she said, emotion clear in her voice.
“We seem to have lost touch with this very important aspect. Our rights and freedoms are just key. They’re key to everything, our ability to chose in life, how we live life, what happens with our bodies, how we move through life. And I believe in that for every single citizen.”
After feeling the call, she chose the Conservative Party for its platform of fiscal conservatism, clear, jargon-free language and for matching her own views. “Fiscal responsibility is really important to ensure our freedom,” she said.
The top priorities she sees for this riding are affordable housing and a critical shortage of medical specialists. The latter is a provincial issue, but she said Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole wants to increase health-care transfer payments to the provinces. He’s also talked about freeing up federal land for housing, a move Frost fully supports.
“Housing is a problem across Canada, but we are tight here. We are beyond tight. We just have to be thoughtful about what kind of housing we build.”
The opioid crisis is another priority for Frost. Someone at her church died of an overdose, as well as a close friend’s son, both while seeking help. “It’s a horrifyingly common experience now.”
Animal welfare follows close behind and one she’s happy to see in the Conservative platform, which focuses on getting rid of puppy mills and protecting animal welfare.
Regarding climate change, she’s deeply concerned about the heat wave that hit western Canada in late June that caused hundreds of deaths in B.C.
Frost says we need to focus on adaptation and resiliency, and things like a heat pump program to increase the number of homes where people can shelter.
Asked about a more comprehensive climate change platform, she said she’s still waiting for O’Toole to roll out the party’s 2050 target for fossil fuels, and is confident it will be in the right direction.
In her work as a land management specialist Frost says it’s about agreeing on a vision for the landscape
“The landscape is getting smaller, there are more demands from industry, there are more environmental issues and concerns, so how do we get a vision to move forward?”
When asked about the situation in Fairy Creek, a perfect example of a place where industry demands and environmental concerns seem at odds, where many of her would-be constituents have an interest on one side or the other, Frost couldn’t comment, saying she wasn’t well enough informed but felt it was more of a provincial issue.
“What I can say as a professional forester in B.C., is that they’re really working on this issue of defining old-growth and it’s a very pivotal discussion, so I hope they move forward with a strategy on that very quickly.”