The Green Party doubled its caucus in the byelection and thinks it can further build on its numbers later this month.
Green Party leader Elizabeth May was in town for a rally Saturday night at the Beban Park social centre, and expressed optimism that the green movement is growing.
“We’re not going to sweep the Lower Mainland, but I think we can sweep all of Vancouver Island,” May said. “We’ve got seats that we could get.”
She said she’s being told the party stands to win seats in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
“We need Green MPs in force and boy, do I need Paul Manly there to help train up the new rookies,” she said.
At Saturday’s event, May and Manly talked about the climate marches, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report on the urgency of keeping global warming to 1.5 C, pipeline politics and tree planting.
May compared Justin Trudeau’s announcement that a Liberal government would plant two billion trees to the Green Party’s wishes to plant 10 billion. May said Trudeau’s plan would be paid for using pipeline revenue.
“Here’s how you save some steps: You use the money for the trees and the renewable energy electricity grid and you skip the pipeline,” she said.
She said she thinks Trudeau “actually understands climate change better than Andrew Scheer or the others, but that’s a low bar.” May said the pipeline is worth a fraction of what the federal government paid for it, and thinks Canadians will be on the hook for $10-13 billion more.
“For a pipeline to violate indigenous rights, threaten the survival of the southern resident killer whales, run across – from the Alberta border to the terminus in Burnaby – 800 different stream and river crossings with diluted bitumen that nobody in Asia wants to buy,” May said.
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— Nanaimo Bulletin (@NanaimoBulletin) October 6, 2019
Manly said Green Party voters in Nanaimo-Ladysmith “turned up the heat in Ottawa” in the byelection and got all parties talking about the climate crisis. He said after four weeks in the House of Commons, he’s “got to go back because there’s lots to do” and rallied supporters to join him in the push toward election day Oct. 21.
“On Monday it’s two weeks to the election. Next week is advance polls and we have thousands of doors to still knock on and I need all the help I can get,” he said. “We cannot take anything for granted. We need to work hard. This is what Greens do. We are a movement. We are a community.”
Advance polls are Oct. 11-14 at various locations; visit http://elections.ca for more information The other Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates are Bob Chamberlin, NDP; James Chumsa, Communist Party; Jennifer Clarke, People’s Party of Canada; Michelle Corfield, Liberals; John Hirst, Conservatives; Brian Marlatt, Progressive Canadian Party; Geoff Stoneman, independent; Echo White, independent.