Meet Yukon's candidates: PPC's Joseph Zelezny says he's for 'equal opportunity'
Zelezny thinks Canadians are ready for the People's Party, after decades of 'institutionalized corruption'
This is the fifth in a series of profiles of Yukon's five federal election candidates. Another will be published each day this week, in alphabetical order by the candidate's name.
All candidates were asked the same questions. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.
Joseph Zelezny is a first-time candidate in Yukon, running for a new party — the People's Party.
He's got a varied resume, citing work experience in oil and gas, alternative energy, water and wastewater, and information technology. As a student, he studied political science, history and international relations. He's also been a gymnastics coach.
"You name it, I've done it," he says.
Why are you running for the People's Party?
"The message resonates with Canadians, especially after decades of basically institutionalized corruption.
"I'm quite literally a regular Joe, and countless other candidates running for the People's Party across Canada are as well. They all have different backgrounds, some of them have been in biotech, or engineering, professors — you name it, there's somebody that has that life experience. So the message of personal responsibility, individual freedom, fairness and respect really resonate.
"And you know, people might make all sorts of accusations, but they're unfounded. Essentially, they resort to insults that actually demean even the word that perhaps is used to attack PPC candidates."
What are the main issues for you in this election?
"I think the economy is number one on everybody's mind. People might see that there's low, low unemployment numbers, but also you've got to factor in that statistics can be made to convey a particular message. Also, the lower the unemployment number, the more difficult it is for people to get EI benefits. And so that isn't really serving Canadians.
"I myself have gone through several jobs in the last years, each time essentially lower and lower paid, because high-skilled, good jobs are going away. They're going out of the country where there's more favourable investment conditions — so, lower taxation and more straightforward regulations. I see that as really critical because if there's no actual economic growth then you won't be able to afford or maintain social services and a standard of life that we've become accustomed to.
"Moving forward, what's there to look forward to when you've got such onerous regulations that don't benefit the environment? We've got actual environmental issues that affect people's health on a daily basis that aren't being observed. There's countless boil advisories, there's raw sewage being dumped into Canadian waterways.
"People use certain words to virtue-signal, but they don't actually do stuff. And so the PPC has attracted people that are interested in actually doing things."
Briefly, why should people vote for you?
"I think the PPC has the best platform for Canadians. Getting rid of the carbon tax and not replacing it with anything is number one. The cost of living is exploding, and giving certain groups more doesn't help everybody equally. So if we have equal opportunity, that's the most important for Yukoners to be able to get ahead."
What would your go-to karaoke song be?
"That was unexpected! 'I saw the sign, it opened up my eyes.' [The Sign by Ace of Base]"
Profiles of Yukon's other federal candidates were published through the week, in alphabetical order:
Written by Paul Tukker, with files from Kaila Jefferd-Moore