A new face representing the Green Party in a northern Saskatchewan riding plans to stand out against political veterans this federal election.

The Green Party’s Warren Koch is a nurse who’s been elected to represent nurses in provincial groups, but is the only candidate in Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River who hasn’t been a part of past elections – whether it be municipal, federal, or within FSIN.

Conservative MP Rob Clarke is the incumbent, the NDP’s Georgina Jolibois is the mayor of La Loche, and the Liberal’s Lawrence Joseph is a past FSIN chief. Joseph also ran for the NDP in 2011.

Last week, a University of Saskatchewan political scientist Dr. Greg Poelzer said the riding will likely be a competitive race. Poelzer also said he viewed the Clarke and Joseph as the frontrunners.

Koch said he isn’t surprised to be overlooked, since Green Party’s leader Elizabeth May has largely been left out of publicly broadcast leader’s debates leading up to the October election.

“It’s rather frustrating,” he said. “If you’re not allowed in the debate and you’re not given an opportunity to be included in the discussion, then yeah, it has a negative impact on – globally – on the votership.”

However, he said mobilizing those who don’t vote would change things in the Green Party’s favour.

“There’s a lot of people out there who, the current parties, and the current system, just isn’t working for them.”

The meaning of the word “democracy” is important to Koch, whose largest criticism of the current government and the other main parties are their failure to represent the people.

“I think we’re in danger of people being more loyal to their party than they are to their constituents. And one of the great things about the Green Party that’s embedded in our policies and platform is that we are accountable to our constituents and we have, as individual MPs or as individual representative would have the authority to vote against our party line if that’s what the constituents want,” he said.

Party lines shouldn’t keep different groups from working together for good government either, he said.

Ultimately, Koch said transparency is the biggest election issue.

“The Conservative Party is really good at marketing, they’re very good at staying on message and staying on point, but we need free flow of ideas,” he said.

In relation to his specific riding, Koch said First Nations citizens need their MP to address their concerns. As well, he said amendments to the Environmental Protection Act is particularly important in the Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River area.

Personally, Koch said he works with the First Nations and Inuit health branch and sees the need for more leadership as well as action on the Truth and Reconciliation recommendations.