The Crayon Box: Education & Open Dialog

For this week’s column, I sat down with two members of the Progressive Conservative Party, Gary Crosman (Hampton) and Bruce Northrup (Sussex-Fundy-St. Martins). Mr. Crosman started out by telling me about his father, a WWII Veteran who was a member of the legion for 60 years. His father told him to stay in school at a time when many were dropping out early and also instilled a good work ethic in him. Mr. Crosman became a politician because he wanted to give back to the community, while Mr. Northrup originally had no interest in politics. However, he was eventually convinced to run in the 2006 election.
Mr. Crosman, who has taught for 32 years, spent a lot of our time talking about the education system. He advocates for meeting the needs of the individual and giving all students opportunities to succeed. He says that the school system does not have the resources available to cater to all students, only some. He thinks that children who want to try the trades should be able to properly experience them. He feels that young children shouldn’t be held back a grade, as it ruins their social life, something more important to their development than the curriculum.
Mr. Northrup stressed the importance of keeping the local people here and creating opportunities for the youth. He says he wants to see the potash/salt mine reopened and also wants to lift the moratorium on drilling for natural gas regionally, but not for the whole province. He feels as though we have enough rules and regulations to ensure that the drilling is done correctly and in a way that won’t destroy the environment.
On healthcare, Mr. Crosman noted the importance of nurse-practitioners and felt as thought we should pay more attention to them and what they could do for our system. Mr. Northrup wants to ask the doctors for opinions on how to improve the healthcare system, which he views at vital. As he points out, “if you don’t have your health, you don’t have very much.”
When asked about the perception that politicians don’t always keep their promises, both candidates told me that they have ever only made one campaign promise each. Mr. Northrup’s was about something he knew was going to happen the very next day, while Mr. Crosman says he always promises to voice people’s concerns and to do the best he can. They both said that you shouldn’t make promises you can’t keep. They also both expressed that politicians should work as a team, and that the party in power should keep an open dialogue and listen to the opposition, which is something they feel doesn’t happen enough.
Finally, I asked the politicians what advice they would give to the youth. Mr. Crosman says that they should work hard and remember that the loudest voice doesn’t always speak for the majority. Mr. Northrup noted that education is very important, and advised that people get a good one. He says that people should try new things, and if they fail, try again.
We have added another two blue crayons to our Crayon Box. Turns out, according to studies, blue is the most popular favourite colour, which might explain why most people seem to pick it.