Tiffany Rose wants to ensure no one gets left behind while running for a political party pledging to “choose forward.”
Announced as the Liberal Party of Canada candidate for Red Deer-Lacombe on Sept. 23, she’ll now be amongst those challenging incumbent Conservative Party MP Blaine Calkins for a seat in Ottawa Oct. 21.
“The Liberals have, in their plan, put forward some really strong ideas for ensuring no one gets left behind. When people talk about pipelines and when they talk about wanting to ensure people have good jobs and can support their families, I think what it all boils down to is we want to make sure we have a future for our kids and want to make sure our families are taken care of,” she said.
“I’m just so honoured to have the opportunity to represent my friends and family in central Alberta and I’m passionate about ensuring all families are taken care of and our kids have a future.”
Running in her first election for a party the area hasn’t historically voted for since the early 1900’s, Rose says it’s important for central Albertans to know that not everyone has the same viewpoints, and being someone willing to be a voice of opposition and express those differing viewpoints, she hopes to be their voice and representation in the election race and beyond.
Originally from Kitchener, Ontario, Rose moved to Red Deer in 2006 and has lived in the community with her daughter ever since. She’s primarily worked in the non-profit sector in public relations and marketing, but is perhaps better known in the community as a yoga instructor and the owner of LacOMbe Yoga. As per her official bio, she helped to pioneer trauma informed care in Canada’s yoga industry and as such considers herself a strong advocate for disability justice.
With ups and downs in the economy and public health issues, she said she was inspired to do more and get involved at the political level. While she admits she never thought she’d be making a political run before she hit her 50’s, she was asked by a friend, 2015 candidate Jeff Rock who has since moved out of the riding, to run, and she decided to follow in the footsteps he took in the last election.
Among the many issues in the election, the one that one that resonates with her most is mental health services and pharmacare.
“One of the things that really gets me fired up and makes me feel really passionate is the fact we need more mental health supports in our communities,” she said. “We need community support for our families who are dealing with one parent who possible works away for a long period of time and is separated from their support network and also for the people at home holding things down. Those pressures really impact the mental health of everyone involved and so it becomes a community issue.”
As part of their campaign, the Liberals have pledged to spend $6 billion over the next four years as a “down payment” to improve Canada’s health care system, including mental health supports, but it’s unknown how much of that $6 billion would be allocated to mental health.. At present, 7.2 per cent of the federal health care budget goes towards mental health services, and the Canadian Mental Health Association says increasing that number to nine per cent would require and additional $3.1 billion a year, and still fall short of what they would like to see.
Given her work and advocacy for mental health, however, Rose had to do some consideration about standing with the Liberal Party under the leadership of Justin Trudeau in light of his blackface scandal.
“It’s something I really had to think about and was, understandably, concerned about. For me, the question I asked myself when I was deciding to run for this party was, as somebody who’s been a liberal supporter, do I think changing things in the party happens from within or without? Can I be effective running for the party, or can I be more effective not running for the party?” she said. “Obviously, I made the decision that I could be more effective running for the party and that it’s possible to change things from within.
“Overall, beyond anything that has happened in the party or with Justin Trudeau, my commitment and my loyalty lies with my friends and family that live in Red Deer-Lacombe and I’m passionate about making sure that our kids have a future and our families have good incomes and good jobs and have the community supports to take care of us.”
Rose will take part in the Lacombe Chamber of Commerce forum Oct. 9, where she and other candidates, including Calkins, the NDP’s Lauren Pezzella, PPC candidate Laura Lynn Thompson and Sarah Palmer, who has replaced Desmond Bull of Maskwacis as the Green Party candidate, will discuss a variety of topics.
Those looking to get in touch with Rose and learn more are asked to messaging her through her Facebook page, Tiffany Rose, or view the platform on the Liberal Party website. Signs will be available in the near future.
The federal election will be held Oct. 21.