Green Party leadership candidate David Merner spoke at Courtenay’s Lewis Park this past Friday night. (Mike Chouinard/Black Press)

Federal Green leadership candidate making final push, but cancels event in Nanaimo

David Merner was supposed to speak at Bowen Park this past weekend

A federal leadership candidate had to cancel a visit to Nanaimo this week during a challenging time to be campaigning.

David Merner, Green Party of Canada leadership candidate, had been scheduled to speak at Bowen Park this past Sunday, but opted to cancel two days beforehand.

His campaign stops had already been physically distanced and held outdoors due to COVID-19, and then once smoky skies descended, people just weren’t comfortable outside, he told the News Bulletin in a phone interview.

Merner, who was a federal Green Party candidate in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke in 2019, said he had been looking forward to coming to Nanaimo as part of a final push in his leadership campaign. The deadline to become a party member to participate in the online voting has already passed, but the voting period is still to come, starting Sept. 26.

Merner is one of eight candidates in the running to succeed Elizabeth May as leader and he said it’s a diverse and talented field.

“How do you stand out among that? Well, one way is to stand out as a uniter,” Merner said. “Let’s pull together this group into a fantastic team … and I sincerely believe that I’m the best person to do that and maybe even the only person who can do that.”

He said he’s tried to stand out as a first choice, but right from the start of the campaign, it’s also been part of his strategy to try to be “everybody’s second choice” on what will be a ranked ballot. To that end, he said he hasn’t attacked other candidates, has sought to be positive, and has favoured what he called a “credible approach” to campaigning and creating a platform.

Merner’s major platform plank is a east-west-north electrical grid powered by renewables, which he said can be the largest job creation program in Canadian history and would have a huge impact on COVID-19 recovery.

He’s also campaigning on a social justice agenda and said he’d be proud to carry on the Green Party’s existing support for guaranteed liveable income and free tuition to colleges, universities and trade schools.

To win seats, the Greens will need to be the most socially progressive party but also the most fiscally responsible, Merner said, adding that the party has always costed out its promises and would continue to do so under his leadership.

Another Green Party of Canada leadership candidate, Dimitri Lascaris, campaigned in Nanaimo last month. The other candidates are Meryam Haddad, Courtney Howard, Amita Kuttner, Glen Murray, Annamie Paul and Andrew West. The party will announce its next leader Oct. 4.

READ ALSO: Green leadership hopeful brings message to Comox Valley

READ ALSO: Elizabeth May resigns as Green party leader



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

canadian politicsGreen Party

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

Just Posted

Heavy rain and strong winds in Nanaimo’s forecast

Environment Canada issues special weather statement as storm approaches

Hospice worker and patient butt heads in upcoming theatre production

Yellow Point Drama Group presents ‘Grace and Glorie’ at Cedar Community Hall

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

Nanaimo RCMP resumes fingerprinting, police information check services

Certain services now available by appointment at detachment

Masks and temperature checks now mandatory to enter Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Centre

Mall says it’s the first in B.C. to put the measures in place

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

Cowichan Valley family overwhelmed with 14 Lab puppies

Litter may be one of the biggest ever

First full day of B.C.’s election campaign begins amid COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson and the Green party’s Sonia Furstenau criticized John Horgan’s decision

RCMP issue two $2,300 COVID fines at same Metro Vancouver vacation rental within 24 hours

Cpl. Mike Kalanj said it was ‘quite frankly appalling’ to see parties breaking COVID-19 rules

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Here’s how voting amid a pandemic will happen in B.C.

Elections BC has worked with the provincial health office to determine safety protocols for voting

B.C. privacy commissioner will hear First Nations complaints about COVID

The hearing will rely on written submissions from the Indigenous governments as well as the Ministry of Health

Majority of Canadians support wearing masks during COVID-19, oppose protests: poll

Nearly 90 per cent felt wearing a mask was a civic duty because it protects others from COVID-19

Most Read