Green leaders look to gain ground in future

Threatening grey skies were the backdrop for a Green Party love-in Thursday as federal deputy leader Adriane Carr and provincial leader Jane Sterk spoke at a potluck lunch in Nanaimo.

Federal Green Party deputy leader Adriane Carr

Federal Green Party deputy leader Adriane Carr

Threatening grey skies were the backdrop for a Green Party love-in Thursday as federal deputy leader Adriane Carr and provincial leader Jane Sterk spoke at a potluck lunch in Nanaimo.

The lunch was held in the backyard of Anne Marie Benoit, a candidate in the recent federal election  who announced plans to run in the next provincial election.

Sterk said the provincial Green Party is facing an ominous battle in its efforts to ramp up for what could be a snap election call, which she said could take place as early as Sept. 6 for an Oct. 4 election date to not interfere with the scheduled municipal elections in November.

“We were working on a four-year strategy that was based on a May 2013 election, but everything has changed now, that plan had to be tossed out the window,” said Sterk, the party leader since 2007. “No matter what, we need to identify our candidates so they are prepared for a fall election, but anticipate we could go as far as a spring election, a fall election in 2012 or even the fixed election date, which is May 14, 2013. That’s a lot to ask of a candidate and a lot to ask as a team.”

In the most recent provincial election in May 2009, the Green Party finished third overall with 8.1 per cent of the popular vote, but no candidates were elected. Green candidates finished in third place in all 14 Island ridings.

Sterk said trying to rally 200 to 600 volunteers per riding to support candidates to run against NDP and Liberal incumbents is the party’s biggest task.

“We need to have these people in place and ready to communicate our policy,” she said. “That’s a huge challenge to accomplish in such a short period of time.”

Harold Henn, a Green supporter since 1983, said the party will have difficulty gaining traction if the national media continues to ignore it.

“They’ve ignored us, completely left us out of the conversation,” said Henn. “I think our party has earned respect on a provincial and federal level and we’re just not getting it from the media.”

The federal Greens have had more success, but only slightly.

After party leader Elizabeth May was elected to the House of Commons in May, the Greens have gained confidence in getting more candidates elected, but they aren’t relying on invites from national TV stations to participate in future television debates.

“We’re not counting on it,” said Carr, who helped co-found the Green Party of British Columbia and worked as its leader from 1983 to 1985 and 2000-06. “We put a tremendous amount of resources into Elizabeth’s campaign win, resources we couldn’t possibly provide for every candidate. But we proved we can win, we got our foot in the door, and we’re not going to let it close on us.”

In the 2011 federal election, Carr finished with 15.4 per cent of the vote to finish in fourth place behind the Liberals, Conservatives and NDP in her riding of Vancouver Centre. She ran federally for the first time in 2008.

Wearing a pale green jacket and thumbing away at a bright green Blackberry, Carr told the News Bulletin funding will be the party’s biggest challenge after the Conservative Party eliminated voter-direct financing.

“The per-vote and voter-directed financing was a beautiful part and a very democratic part of our voting system and I’m really chagrined to see the Conservatives have maligned and misrepresented the fact that each voter, by voting for a party, sent just a tiny bit of their taxes our way, to a party they voted for,” she said.

Carr, the head of the party’s fundraising committee, said that will leave the party on its own to make up for the $1.8 million in lost revenue.

“It’s 15,000 people giving $10 a month, so it’s not so bad when you break it down that way,” she said. “But we’ll be moving forward with a solid plan that supports our grassroots and our associations.”

The Green vision at all levels of government includes a green economy, cutting wasteful subsidies, building communities and families and protecting the environment.

Just Posted

Young people graduating in COVID-19 times have shown resilience. (Stock photo)
Editorial: Class of 2021 has shown smarts and resilience

Congratulations and good luck to Grade 12s who have persevered during the pandemic

The Nanaimo Business Awards are accepting nominations now. (Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce image)
Nanaimo Business Awards accepting nominations of worthy winners

This year’s awards aren’t until the fall, but the nomination period ends June 28

Retailers say they’re ready for the ban on single-use plastic checkout bags in Nanaimo when it takes effect July 1. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Retailers report they’re ready for Nanaimo’s single-use checkout bag ban

Business operators say there’s been plenty of time to plan and prepare for bylaw that kicks in July 1

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews on scene at a boat fire near the boat ramp at Long Lake on Sunday, June 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

Jet skiers attempt to put out fire by circling around to spray water on burning boat

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

John A. Read, who was inspired to leave his former career to become a professional astronomer by the purchase of a $13 telescope, will give beginning astronomers key pointers on how to set up and get the best performance from their instruments at Nanaimo Astronomy Society’s meeting June 24. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Read)
Astrophysicist will talk about getting the most out of a telescope at Nanaimo astronomy meeting

John Read’s purchase of a $13 telescope led to a degree in astrophysics and a career in astronomy

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

Most Read