Hey, fellow workers. My name is Kim Siever, and I’m running as an independent candidate in the 2021 federal election.
Who am I?
I’m a family man. My spouse and I have been married for over 26 years, and we have 6 children. Our two oldest are living on their own, and one of them is engaged to be married.
I’ve been a working man my entire adult life: fry cook, construction labourer, courier, gas jockey, carpet cleaner, stock boy, delivery driver, website designer, inventory coordinator, dispatcher, and communications specialist. And that’s influenced my politics.
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We’ve lived in Alberta for 23 years, and during much of that time, I have volunteered. A lot. I’ve served on over two dozen boards, committees, and panels, including in executive positions. I’ve volunteered with the soup kitchen many times and have patrolled with SAGE Clan week in and week out.
I received a multimedia production diploma from Lethbridge College and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Lethbridge. My spouse obtained an undergraduate degree at the U of L in 2019 and just defended her master’s thesis in August 2021. Our oldest is currently enrolled at Lethbridge College.
Why am I running?
Partisan politics is failing Lethbridge. Our elected representatives are more interested in representing their parties than they are representing the people who elected them.
If an issue comes to the floor of the House of Commons that I think won’t benefit the Lethbridge riding, I can vote against it.
As an independent candidate, I have no party leadership to answer to. I have no party whip to make sure I tow the party line. I am free to say what I want and vote my conscience.
In fact, I tried running for a federal party this year, but the vetting team told me I’m too prolific and provocative. That’s code for I say what’s on my mind. I’m not afraid to take bold stances.
And it makes them uncomfortable.
But what they see as a liability, I see as a strength.
I’m willing to stand up for what’s best for Lethbridge, even if it’s what people don’t want to hear. I won’t give you a politician’s answer to avoid losing your vote. I’ll tell you like it is, warts and all.
What’s my platform?
Because I don’t belong to a party, I can’t promise you attractive, big ticket items, whether they be tax breaks or universal day care. Even though I might vote for them if one of the parties introduces the programme. That means that I have a pretty lean platform.
And it comes down to one word:
Solidarity with workers
Solidarity with workers. I’ve marched in countless worker actions, ranging from wildcat strikes to information pickets. Even though I wasn’t a member of the unions organizing the work actions, I was still there in solidarity. Because I believe in the freedoms of workers enshrined in our constitution.
And it doesn’t matter to me which side of the political spectrum you’re on, I’ll stand up for your rights as workers to organize and demand better treatment from corporate owners.
Workers are the backbone of the Canadian economy, the Alberta economy, and the Lethbridge economy. They generate wealth through their labour and through their purchases of the products of other workers’ labour.
Workers deserve a larger share of that wealth, to take care of themselves and their families properly, both now and into their twilight years.
Solidarity with the marginalized
I believe that everyone should be treated equally, regardless of gender, orientation, ethnicity, economic status, ability, or religion.
When I vote on something in the House of Commons, I’ll ask myself if it’ll help reduce the inequality that exists in our society?
Inequality is at the root of many of the problems within our society. Income inequality drives crime. Racism drives hatred. Religious inequality drives intolerance. And so on.
The methods we’ve been using to address what’s wrong in society clearly aren’t making a large enough difference. I believe that if we address the underlying causes, we can make a better society for everyone.
My past solidarity with the marginalized has included, as I mentioned above, volunteering with the soup kitchen and SAGE Clan, as well as attending vigils for the victims of the Québec City Mosque shooting and the victims of residential schools, marching in the Pride parade and with Sisters in Spirit organizers, and attending rallies for immigrants and GSAs.
Solidarity with the environment
The environment is critical to life in the Lethbridge area. The land grows the food produced on farms and ranches in the area. The rivers and streams and creeks fill our taps, water our crops, and nourish the animals that roam our coulees and river valleys.
Clean, fresh air is important to our health, and that’s been made ever clearer this summer as we’ve lived downwind from wildfires burning in BC and Alberta.
The parks and natural spaces around the region—from Cypress to Waterton and from Keho Lake to Park Lake—clear our mind and keep us connected to the world that sustains us.
The land has been here longer than any of us. It was here before our ancestors arrived a hundred years ago or more. It was here before the Blackfoot people started hunting bison. It was here before the dinosaurs roamed. And it will be here for a long time still.
And if we want our descendents to enjoy in the future the beauty and sustenance from the land and its bounty that we enjoy today, we must take care of it.
We are stewards of the land, not owners of it.
How can you donate?
Just as I’m running on a lean platform, I’m running a lean campaign. That means I’m trying to campaign on as few donations as possible. I’m not taking money from businesses or unions or lobbyists of any kind. And just to be safe, I’m taking donations from pretty much no one.
I’m running a unique, unconventional campaign. You’re not going to see advertising, or handouts, or campaign headquarters, or decaled vehicles.
How can you get a lawn sign?
And speaking of which, you also won’t see lawn signs. I’ve been a critic of political campaign signs for over a decade, and it’d be hypocritical of me to ask people to put up signs for this campaign.
Election signs are a form of visual pollution, and unless you run again and can find somewhere to store them for four years, they end up in the landfill, too. They’re wasteful and expensive.
How do you show others that you support my campaign?
Talk to them. If you believe in me and what I stand for, and you think I’ll represent Lethbridge and the county well, then tell others about me. Tell them what I stand for and why they should vote for me.
Putting up a lawn sign doesn’t engage with others. I don’t want people to vote for me because they remember my name. I want them to vote for me because they are confident that I’m the best person to represent the community they live in.
Also, I need to collect 150 signatures to file my nomination papers. Contact me if you’re interested in adding your name to the list.
How can you engage with me?
You can follow me on social media (see below). You can send me an email. Or you can book a fireside chat.
I hate door knocking. It’s inefficient. You’ll only ever meet a tiny fraction of the people in the riding (especially in a federal election), which means it won’t significantly alter the election outcome, especially in Lethbridge, where people traditionally vote for only one type of person.
What I want to do instead is participate in fireside chats. These can be in person or online. We schedule a day, you invite your family, friends, and neighbours, and then we chat about the issues you face each day.
A big problem with door knocking is that no one else hears your questions and my answers. In the fireside chat, everyone there gets to hear the questions and answers.
To set up a fireside chat, fill out the form below:
Where am I on social media?
The Alberta Worker is a proud member of the Canadian Association of Labour Media. Kim Siever is a member of The Canadian Association of Journalists.