Steve Ranta will again be running as an independent candidate in the upcoming federal election in Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge.
“Our political system is broken,” he said in a press release on Tuesday. “For decades, citizens have been calling for real action to deal with fundamental problems such as climate change, inequality, homelessness, and inadequate health care. Yet all these problems are just getting worse.”
Ranta also ran as an independent in the 2015 federal election, and in the 2017 provincial election.
Ranta attributes the failure to act to the nature of political party politics.
“The combination of party marketing machines and mainstream media constantly presents a soap opera of personalities and distractions. The real issues are ignored, except every four years when lip service is given to proposals which are absolutely inadequate.”
Ranta is especially concerned about lack of action on climate change.
“We’re not getting real leadership from our political parties, just delay. Voting for the current system is a waste of time. They don’t seem to have any care for or sense of urgency about society’s basic needs. We need to act now.”
Ranta is a spokesperson for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows chapter of the radical climate change activist group Extinction Rebellion, which has been requesting that Maple Ridge council declare a climate emergency.
He grew up in Maple Ridge, and worked for 30 years as a teacher in South Peace, Maple Ridge and Surrey. Ranta was active in his teacher’s union, running for vice-president of the BCTF, and for many years serving as a shop steward and local executive member, and for two terms as full-time grievance officer for the Surrey Teachers Association.
He is also known locally as a musician and was vice-chair of the Community Heritage Commission.
Meanwhile, the Green party is having a campaign launch and meet-the-candidate night this Friday, Sept. 13 at the ACT in Maple Ridge, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Green candidate Ariane Jaschke will be kicking off her campaign. Jaschke formerly ran for Pitt Meadows council. Tickets are $50.