Claire Card has been nominated as the New Democratic Party candidate for the Saskatoon-University riding. Card hopes to build on her 2015 candidacy and advocate for equal opportunity, accessible health services and action on climate change.
On March 3, Card, a professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, was nominated for the race in a Saskatoon University Electoral District Association meeting. Card is an active member of university politics and is engaged in a variety of volunteer activities in the wider community.
Currently the University Council Large Animal Sciences member, Card was the first woman to serve as UC chair. She is also part of the executive board of Veterinarians Without Borders, a volunteer in northern Saskatchewan wellness and spay-neuter clinics and a martial arts instructor in taekwondo.
Card first ran for the Member of Parliament position in 2015 and placed second. In an email to the Sheaf, Card says that her decision to run again in 2019 was due to “too much unfinished business” from the 2015 federal election.
“I am not satisfied with the Liberals opting out of electoral reform, their progress on climate change, growing inequality in society, not meeting the goals of the Truth and Reconciliation [Commission] and underfunding education and research,” Card said.
The federal NDP platform has not yet been announced, but Card says there are important themes such as equal “opportunity for all” in education, health and mental health and a “brighter future.” Additionally, Card says that “It’s pretty clear that Universal Pharmacare and mental-health services will be included.”
Card says that another platform point will be healthy societies and environments “where everyone benefits for a more secure and peaceful world and there is meaningful action on climate change” as well as equality for all in ending structural violence, racism and gender bias.
Reflecting back on her 2015 campaign, Card says that her approach to the candidacy will stay the same in some ways but with new approaches.
“We hope to build on that team and expand it to include more volunteers and build more capacity,” Card said. “I am running to be an MP to do something not to be somebody. That said, I have spent a lot of time analyzing current trends and best practices, so I am prepared to modernize some of our approaches.”
Card says that her leadership positions at the university, one of which is being in the U of S Faculty Association, have prepared her for the job.
“I have had a number of leadership roles here such as being the chair and member of many departments, colleges and University Council committees,” Card said. “Additionally, I have supported the union movement on campus as a member of the USFA and Concerned Academics.”
Card says that her role as a professor has made her notice the issues affecting post-secondary education.
“Escalating tuition increases over five per cent and food banks on campus aren’t inevitabilities, they are political choices,” Card said. “As a professor, I really understand what is going on with the less-for-more education model and how the shortfall in post-secondary educational funding results in problems in many ways, such as corporatization and the innovation gap.”
Card urges students to educate themselves on these issues and more in preparation for the federal election, which is set to take place in October.
“I encourage all of us to work together. It’s your future at stake,” Card said. “Make time to educate yourselves on the election issues, envision that society — that place you want to live in — and importantly, participate in democracy by voting.”
Ana Cristina Camacho
Photo: Claire Card / Supplied