Candidates: Show concern for the common good

PARADELA

This is the second installment of One Vote, a feature where voters  talk about what it will take to get their support in the June 12 Ontario election / By Teri Pecoskie

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Christina Paradela’s vote in next month’s provincial election hinges on two C’s: consideration for the community and consideration for the common good.

“I think the primary thing that I need to see in any candidate is someone who reflects my faith perspective,” says the 55-year-old diaconal minister for the United Church. “Tell me how the impoverished are cared for, how the least of us are cared for.”

“That’s what matters,” she adds.

Paradela, a Dundas resident, is a single mom to a 21-year-old daughter. She has worked in the ministry since 2000 — the same year she moved here from Toronto.

As part of her day job, Paradela oversees two congregations in Flamborough, at the Lynden and Rock Chapel churches. She works closely with her 70 or so congregants, offering guidance about their choices and goals.

Off the clock, Paradela is a founding member of the local chapter of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East. She also sings in a women’s choir whose repertoire is justice-oriented.

“Almost everything I do is somehow connected to the ministry,” she said. That’s why it’s so important her chosen candidate understands her ideals.

Besides seeking a contender who’s caring and compassionate, Paradela said she’ll be looking for someone with clear plans for poverty, education and health care when she heads to the polls June 12.

Dollars and cents, on the other hand, aren’t a factor.

“I do not care about a budget,” she said. “I believe in an ideology of abundance, not scarcity. We create scarcity out of fear.”

In Paradela’s view, one of the challenges facing the church today is relevance in the community. She suggested more political involvement could help.

“We have to learn how to be political and understand that the essence of non-partisan politics is how we function as a society,” she said. “It’s how we care for one another, honour one another, and because the world is so big, we have to create systems to do this.”

tpecoskie@thespec.com

905-526-3368 | @TeriatTheSpec

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