Cody Groat is currently working in the Department of History for the Indigenous Studies program at Western University. He's representing the NDP in the Oxford County federal byelection.
OXFORD COUNTY - An assistant professor at Western University would like to become our next Member of Parliament in Ottawa.
Cody Groat is running for the NDP and he's currently working in the Department of History for the Indigenous Studies program at Western.
He has lived in Oxford County since he was eight-years-old.
"When I was younger, growing up we lived in subsidized housing. We were a lower-income family, and my parents experienced homelessness and addiction and they were able to receive treatment and social services. That is not something we have ever been ashamed of, that is something that has really inspired and influenced who we are and how our family raised us. So those are things I want to represent in this election because I think it represents a lot of serious issues happening within our community and to be able to speak from those perspectives and lived experiences is something I am excited to do."
If he becomes an NDP MP for Oxford, he would like to address affordable housing, access to mental health services, affordability for seniors, and environmental sustainability.
"Here in Oxford County, we have two very significant employment bases; agriculture and vehicle manufacturing. Both of those can be at the forefront of sustainability if we make a clear transition to energy-efficient vehicle models and agricultural practices that really help support environmental sustainability. There is money out there to transition to sustainable business practices and we can bring that money to Oxford if we are really proactive about it."
Groat is also a Kanyen’kehaka (Mohawk) citizen and band member of Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve. His grandparents were survivors of the Mohawk Institute Residential School and his father was also a survivor of the Sixties Scoop.
"I think the fact that growing up as an Indigenous person in Oxford County there is this perception that Indigenous issues and reconciliation is something for more urban ridings, but we do see that there is a strong Indigenous population in Oxford as well. There are a lot of people who are interested in reconciliation moving forward following the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We also have to recognize that Indigenous services are a federal jurisdiction, so regardless of what the population demographics might look like in Oxford, this is definitely something I am willing to advocate for. These issues of reconciliation, Indigenous social services as well as a federal representative."
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh paid a visit to Oxford County on Friday May 26th in order to endorse Groat's campaign. He stopped by the Heart FM studio for an exclusive interview and you can listen to it online here.
The Oxford County byelection is scheduled for June 19th.