[attach]4584[/attach]Public service is something Cortney Pasternak says she is accustomed to.
That’s why it seemed like a logical progression to go from being a professor at Ryerson and a journalist for the last 15 years, into being Parkdale-High Park’s Liberal candidate in this fall’s provincial election.
“I feel as a journalist and an educator I’ve already been in public service for so long that this is a natural extension,” Pasternak said. “And I think now is a critical time (to run for office).”
While it might be serving the public interest that pushed her to run, she said it was also something she wanted to do for her family.
“For me, it was about ‘I’ve got to do this for my kids, I’ve got to do this for my family’,” she said. “We can’t go back to what we had eight years ago.”
While some polls have been showing a lack of support for the Liberal Party, Pasternak isn’t fazed by it. In fact she says she can understand why, but at the same time is hearing a lot of people who are also concerned with a return to the past.
“Even if they’re mad at Dalton McGuinty — which I completely understand as a reporter having covered and criticized this government — but even if they don’t like some of the things McGuinty’s done … what they’re really scared of is returning to a Harris-style government,” Pasternak said.
Despite who voters may choose in the upcoming election, Pasternak says there are important issues being faced by both Parkdale-High Park and the province as a whole.
“There are some broader issues and there are some very localized issues,” she said. “If we’re thinking about broader issues, I think about green energy … If we’re talking about the area of Bloor West for instance, what I’m hearing at the door constantly is daycare.”
As for how to address those issues, Pasternak says it will come down to whoever has the best plan — regardless of where on the political spectrum it comes from.
“I’m not hyper partisan,” she said. “I’m looking for the best answer, I’m not looking for the answer on the right or the left. I’m not bound by any of that.”
Aside from the best ideas, Pasternak is also looking for the support of the community she identifies with in Parkdale-High Park. Though she currently lives just east of the riding around Christie Street, the self-described west-ender hopes the constituents embrace her as she has embraced their community.
“I really feel like part of this community, we’ve even been looking for a house here for the last year and a half,” she said, mentioning strips along Bloor West and Roncesvalles that her family frequents. “I identify with the riding, I’m here so much.”