Skip to content

Green Party candidate vows to 'amplify voices ... often ignored'

'I’m doing this to continue spreading awareness on the housing crisis ... the many indigenous issues, and a lot of mental health issues,' Krystal Brooks says
Krystal Brooks
Green Party's Simcoe North candidate for the Sept. 20 federal election is Rama resident Krystal Brooks.

Editor's Note: This is the third of five profiles of the five candidates running in Simcoe North in the Sept. 20 federal election. To read the first profile on NDP candidate Janet-Lynne Durnford, click here. To read the profile on Conservative candidate Adam Chambers, click here.

The Green Party has chosen Rama First Nation resident Krystal Brooks as its candidate for Simcoe North.

“This is a great opportunity for me to amplify voices that are often ignored or silenced,” said the 28-year-old.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the other candidates, getting out there and interacting with the people of Simcoe North, and spreading awareness about certain issues.”

Brooks, who attended Park Street Collegiate Institute, admits she isn’t a typical politician, but she notes she has been an advocate for a good part of her life - something she vows to continue throughout the election.

“I’m doing this to continue spreading awareness on the housing crisis that we are in right now, the many Indigenous issues, and a lot of mental health issues. A lot of these issues are things that have affected my life and mean a lot to me,” she said.

“I myself struggle from mental health and things like addictions. I’m not terribly shy about the things that have happened in my life, and I have a very solid support system, a circle of care if you will," she said.

As an Indigenous woman, Brooks says the upcoming election is an opportunity for her to advocate and be a voice for her community.

“Many Indigenous issues actually do affect the general population, which I think is a common misconception that a lot of people have,” she explained.

“I think it’s going to be really nice to shed some light on the issues, and really enunciate how they affect everyone else as well.”

Brooks admits she feels she isn’t qualified to be the next MP of Simcoe North in some ways, however, she believes she can meet the qualifications of what people expect from a candidate.

“I do not have a vast education or job experience; I am somebody who has just been working toward a better life for myself and my children. I really feel that I can maybe help others along the way on my own journey, and that’s something that means a lot to me,” she said.

Brooks is a stay-at-home mother who also cares for her nephew. She is also in the midst of fighting for her own two children after taking them to a shelter in 2019. Two weeks later, their father obtained custody of the children under an emergency order.

“I would essentially be considered homeless at this point. I’ve been between temporary homes and housing, I’ve been stuck on waiting lists for two years now, it’s been really difficult. I know how dire the housing crisis is right now, and my personal experiences are what makes me feel that I am qualified for something like this,” she said.

Erik Schomann, the CEO of Green Party of Canada Electoral District Association for Simcoe North, says Brooks’ experience facing challenges that are relatable to everyday people makes her a worthy candidate.

“Her housing situation is an example of some of the issues that the community is facing,” he said.

While Brooks has questioned her own qualifications for the position, Schomann says the Greens have no doubt about her abilities.

“She’s 28 years old, she’s worked as a housekeeper, a hairdresser, and she may not have the qualifications that a drama teacher brings to the table, but she makes up for it in life experience,” he said in reference to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's previous job as a teacher.

According to Schomann, Brooks’ previous addiction issues are not a concern.

“If there is a sincere desire to be able to invite First Nations individuals to have a seat at the table for how we decide how this country is going to go forward, and if you are going to say that somebody with some kind of trauma-based addictions history is something that is an impediment, then it’s too large a swath of the population,” he said.

“The intergenerational trauma has affected almost everybody in Krystal’s immediate social circles and beyond, and what’s amazing is she is emerging from it and is doing a great job and we are very proud of her," he told OrilliaMatters.

Schomann says he and Brooks have spoken about election-related stress.

“It’s something I considered when I approached her to be the candidate. I’ve talked to her about what the stresses are that are involved with the position, and the reason I did that is because the last thing I would want is for her to be in a situation where there would be some kind of stressor that would cause her a relapse,” he explained.

“However, she’s been clean and sober for long enough, and seems to have a good head on her shoulders in regard to that.”

Schomann believes Brooks is a good candidate for the Greens.

“In terms of representation, I think it’s so valuable for people who have been in Krystal’s situation in the past to hear her story and to see that it’s possible to get out of it,” he said.


Verified reader

If you would like to apply to become a verified commenter, please fill out this form.

Tyler Evans

About the Author: Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans got his start in the news business when he was just 15-years-old and now serves as a video producer and reporter with OrilliaMatters
Read more