Ron Broda, candidate for the People’s Party of Canada, campaigning with volunteer Bridget Burns, sees himself as an advocate for the people with disabilities. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

North Saanich candidate steps up for other amputees

Ron Broda talks about his journey with a prosthetic limb

Ron Broda, candidate for the People’s Party of Canada in Saanich–Gulf Island, does not hold back when it comes to speaking about his prosthetic left leg. In fact, as he and volunteer Bridget Burns spend their lunch hour door-knocking in downtown Sidney, he suggests a headline along the lines of ‘local candidate on the stump.’

It is with this sort of folksiness and frankness that Broda hopes to unseat local MP and Green Party leader Elizabeth May.

While Broda says he is in the race to win, he also hopes that this campaign will help restore trust between politicians and their elected officials through ethics of questioning that eschews blind trust and favours public discourse through a more rounded information experience.

Former Saanich cop who lost his leg in collision running against Elizabeth May

“Questions really are the answers,” he said. “People need to start questioning things more, and then actually think about what they are told,” he said. “If I give any one message to voters this election, it would be ‘don’t believe anything you hear. Listen to it and then check it yourself.’”

Broda is certainly willing to talk openly about his experience of campaigning with an artificial limb. “I’m not shy talking about it, because I think it is important for people to understand the issues that people with physical challenges have,” he said. “It was a real education for me. “

Broda lost his leg in July 2013 after an SUV struck him while he was riding his motorcycle. Broda, who said he has no memory of the crash, later sued the driver of the SUV, claiming he had been deliberately struck. The driver received 60 days in jail and a driving prohibition of five years in October 2016, after being found guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. In September 2017, a court upheld this sentence.

While most people rarely raise the prosthetic leg in conversation, when he is campaigning, some do with their line of questioning varying.

RELATED: Ron Broda waiting for a leg up on the Saanich Peninsula

“Some people want to know more,” he said. “Some people don’t.”

Broda certainly has not shied away from speaking on behalf of others like him. Less than one year after he lost his leg, he became a volunteer peer support visitors for amputees, and now serves as a trainer. He has also been lobbying for the greater availability of osseointegration, a process that directly incorporates artificial implants into bones.

Broda underwent the procedure in April 2018 after travelling to Australia at his own cost of $112,000. But it has been worth every penny, said Broda, pointing to the limited availability of the procedure in Quebec. It also promises to reduce the side effects of losing a limb, including weight gain and diabetes.

Broda said wearing his first prosthetic was painful. “I was limited really by how far I could walk because my first prosthetic was a vacuum-suction style, which is more comfortable, but it is not very secure because your leg shrinks during the course of the day, the seal breaks,” he said. “I have a very short residual limb, so if I flex my knee too far, that would cause the vacuum to break and because my stump — the politically incorrect term that I don’t mind — because it is so short, in order to have maximum knee flex, the socket has to have a fairly deep cut. But if it cut too far, there is not enough left to hold it on.”

Broda, who worked as a border guard, also had to have a second prosthetic for his job. While its use of screws made it more secure, it was also very painful.

The surgery behind osseointegration was not really complicated and has helped him lose weight and improve his quality of life.

“I am now able to walk around the airport with my daughter,” he said. “That is 10 [kilometres]. With this I actually scramble over logs like I used to.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang. depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Saanich–Gulf Islands

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Small crowd gathers to watch 231-tonne stacker-reclaimer load onto barge crane

The Dynamic Beast barge crane, known for work with Johnson Street Bridge, makes a return

National Drug Drop-Off month aims to reduce substance abuse by house-bound youth

Expert says there is misconception prescribed medication is safe to take

Saanich Peninsula Hospital Auxiliary hosts pop-up fundraiser in Sidney

Temporary store to feature unique hand made gifts, collectibles, clothing, books and more

Victoria mayor wants newspaper boxes removed from downtown streets

Mayor Lisa Helps says the boxes are not needed, often filled with garbage

Esquimalt artists take to great outdoors amid coronavirus

Group invites budding, or just willing artists, to join at Saxe Point

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Most Read