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The decision to step forward as a candidate for election is based in the same values I have lived my whole life. My family were first-wave refugees four generations ago. I was taught that as Canadians we enjoy a privilege that surpasses any other birthplace in the world. This privilege is not earned, and it makes me responsible to contribute in every possible way to my community.
I do so now under the Green banner because this movement recognizes that we need a new political model. Simply put, our culture, which includes our economy, cannot exist if we do not have air, water, and soil. Every decision we make about every resource that we access, must be filtered through that understanding.
Decision makers for the 21st century must move away from 19th century, growth-above-all, thinking and into a value system of a thriving, contained society.
We must also seek basic social justice for all our human family, and work to eliminate inequity. Natural environment, social environment, and economic environment, balanced, one not sacrificed for the other.
The Cariboo-Chilcotin can take leadership for the 21st century; this election is the time to get it right for BC.
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Rita Giesbrecht became a resident of the Cariboo Chilcotin in 1990, after having lived in regions of BC including the Peace, Vancouver, and Fraser Valley, and born on Vancouver Island.
Most recently her work has been in partnership with Chris Harris Photography, Studio and Gallery, and Country Light Publishing.
The working partnership of Chris Harris and Rita Giesbrecht is instrumental in the education and conservation efforts to preserve and protect one of the last, precious intact grasslands in the world, the Chilcotin; together they unveiled the virtually unknown geology of the volcanic plateau that is their home region, with the publication of 'Motherstone'; chronicled a chapter of BC history in the story of aviation in the Cariboo Chilcotin with 'Flyover'; and, now, in bringing to the world what may be the single most important conservation effort in the temperate world, established in secret by two activists over 25 years and only now becoming public, with the publication of 'Cariboo Chilcotin Coast'.
Country Light Publishing is an independent publishing company dedicated to increasing awareness and value to the Cariboo Chilcotin and has published 13 books in total, 11 of them exclusively on this region. As a key contributor for 5 of those books, Rita Giesbrecht has gained an insight and understanding of the region that only deep engagement can bring.
Rita is the mother of two grown children, raised in the Cariboo.
Her activities over the 25 years in the area have included;
Advocacy for sustainable agriculture as part of the Agri-Culture Enterprise Centre and South Cariboo Food Security Committee where she co-authored a Community Food Assessment and Food Charter, participated on the industry advisory committee in the innovative Applied Sustainable Ranching Program for TRUWL;
Participated in forming the Anti-poverty Coalition;
Board member and Chair of The Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre, the primary social services delivery agency in the South Cariboo;
Co-created a Board Development initiative to increase efficacy of not-for-profit boards region-wide;
Director and Chair; Central Interior Regional Arts Council; 100 Mile District Arts Council;
Tourism sector partnership with the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Assc.;
LGBTQ advocacy including Proud Parents and inclusion-policy writing for CFEC.
Rita is a proud tradesperson whose working life while parenting was as a hairdresser, internationally educated, owning several businesses and working as an educator in the industry.