James Arruda is a first-generation Portuguese-Canadian from Montréal, Québec. He recently obtained a Bachelors in Economics, with distinction, from Concordia University. While studying for CEGEP and university, James was actively involved on campus, ranging from banning plastic water bottles on campus, to developing a scholarship and resettlement program for refugee students in Kenya and Malawi.
Presently, James is pursuing a Master’s degree in Ecological Economics at York University, on the implications of settler-colonialism in economics education, and its impact on the general Canadian curriculum. Moreover, he has developed a methodology to calculate the ecological footprint of the bitumen industry.
James moved to Willowdale in September 2014, and he quickly joined several activist groups on campus. For instance, he is assisting the solidarity and resistance initiatives of First Nations Support Working Group (FNSWG) from York University.
Politics has always been of great interest to him, but it was only the recent affronts to democracy that James chose to offer voters a fresh alternative to the current partisan politics. His pursuit of a federal seat in Willowdale as the Green Party’s candidate in the 2015 federal elections, is the opportunity to produce the change that he constantly hears from his peers and neighbours.
As a Green candidate James wishes to focus on the Green Party of Canada's environmental and economic platform.. Since the residents of Willowdale will be affected by a spill from the 40 year old Line 9 reversal to carry bitumen from Fort McMurray to the port of St Johns, N.B., his intention is to reconfigure the National Energy Board to strongly focus on the concerns and issues of the people surrounding any energy plan. In so doing, communities can finally work together to have a sustainable future. James's politics are simple and transformative: With a healthy environment, a healthy economy will follow.