Linda Chenoweth

Hamilton East – Stoney Creek – MPP Candidate

I am a former elementary school teacher who retired 3 years early from teaching with the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board due to my disillusionment with education in Ontario, many reasons of which I have written about in the Hamilton Spectator. I have covered issues such as the invalid and unreliable EQAO testing; violence in schools; low math scores on EQAO and moving students on in the primary grades in math and language when they haven’t mastered the curriculum; and putting students on Individual Education Plans. I ran for Public School Trustee for Ward 4 in the 2014 Municipal Election. 

After retiring early, I was volunteering at the school I retired from, when I learned about the ARC Accommodation and Review proceeding that was proposing to close 4 schools in East Hamilton to build one large elementary school by combining 5 schools. I did some research, knowing the harm such a decision would have on community schools, families and their communities. I learned about the politics behind the rigged ARC process and the trustee coalition controlling HWDSB at the time. 

I spoke about this rigged process at the ARC meeting and the HWDSB Liaison Committee Meeting with The City. That is when I decided to run for Public SchoolTrustee for Ward 4 in the 2014 Municipal Election. Unfortunately, I was running against an incumbent who had been the trustee for 40 years and since elections are really popularity contests, the results turned out as expected. 

As I learned more about our politics I became aware of the lack of democracy we really have and the corruption in our governance. In the last provincial election I put a sign on my lawn saying, “No one to vote for! I decline my ballot.” to educate people because most people, like me until I did some research, did not know you can decline your ballot when you are not happy with any of your choices. Not only does the government not want people to know this they also discourage people from doing it by making them decline their vote at the registration table and not in the privacy of the poll booth as they are entitled too. 

I went on to research the registered political parties in Ontario and found The None of The Above Direct Democracy Party or NOTA Party. I am now running for MPP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek in the upcoming provincial election on June 7th.  What initially started out as a desire to have the option to voice my displeasure with the choices on the ballot with the words “None of The Above” has turned into a full out effort to educate people about our current party system, their “games” and how we need legislative and electoral reforms for a return to true democracy and a good life that everyone should be enjoying and not just the “privileged elite.”

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