After boosting his party’s fortunes four years ago, he’s ready to give it another go.
Paul Manly will be acclaimed next month as the federal Green Party candidate for Nanaimo-Ladysmith.
The party’s 2015 candidate told the News Bulletin this week that he had always been considering another run for office and had hung on to his election signs just in case.
“It always depends on where you’re at in life and things change, so there was no guarantee I was going to do it again,” Manly said.
But since the last election, he’s become a grandfather and it’s reinforced his beliefs that “we’re really running out of time with the climate change issue” and he said political action is needed.
“Last summer was really foreboding with the fires and the drought and watching our forests slowly die around us and realizing there’s a lot more work to do…” Manly said. “I’m in it to make change for my children and my grandchildren so they, along with the rest of humanity, have some kind of future.”
He said aside from environmental impacts, the effects of climate change impact jobs and livelihoods, insurance costs and even health care.
“It’s not the economy versus the environment,” Manly said. “We can’t have a healthy economy in an unhealthy environment. That’s not going to be sustainable. I think people are getting a grasp of that.”
Manly is a filmmaker and has been working in the non-profit sector on skills training for people with barriers to employment. Since the last election he has remained involved with the Green Party in its shadow cabinet as the international trade and investment critic.
Manly and the Greens were fourth in the 2015 election in Nanaimo-Ladysmith with 19.8 per cent of the vote. The riding was new, but Green candidates in the area in the 2011 federal election had received between 6.8-7.8 per cent of the vote. Manly said he thinks voters in 2015 were fearful of another four years of Stephen Harper as prime minister and ultimately voted strategically. He said he thinks community support for the Greens has grown and said the party has a better ground game now.
Manly said it’s “really hard to tell” if a byelection will happen in Nanaimo-Ladysmith, and said the federal Liberals will decide what makes sense for them politically.
“I think a byelection gives the people an opportunity to vote for what they want. It’s not going to change the government, the Liberals will still be in power,” he said. “I’d welcome a byelection.”
Manly will be acclaimed at a nomination meeting Feb. 3 from 2-4 p.m. at the Beban Park social centre. Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May will be in attendance.
A byelection could happen as early as the first week of March, but may not be called at all. The general federal election is scheduled for Oct. 21.