There could be a federal election next Spring and Green party leader Annamie Paul is looking for promising candidates. Also, the Canadian Government is expected to release its proposed climate legislation on Monday. These were a couple of the ideas mentioned Saturday, when the North Island-Powell River Greens hosted a ZOOM conference entitled Annamie Paul in conversation.
She was joined by three Green candidates from the recent provincial election. Kim Darwin received a third of the votes in Powell River-Sunshine Coast. Alexandra Morton and Gillian Anderson received just under 20% in North Island and Courtenay-Comox, respectively.
While none of these women were elected, their near successes illustrate how close the Greens are coming to a tipping point – beyond which they could become real contenders.
Annamie Paul had a similar experience herself, in the Toronto Centre byelection last month. Instead of the 7% predicted by pollsters, the new Green Party leader secured 32.7%. She placed second in a riding that has been Liberal since 1993 and way ahead of both the NDP and Conservative candidates.
The fund raising
Former Powell River candidate Kim Darwin said the thing that really surprised her about BC’s provincial election was the fund raising.
“People were so generous with their funds. In 2017, I spent so much time fund raising in order to run a campaign. This Campaign was different. I don’t expect it to always be this way, but it just shows the amount of support people have for the BC Green party. The number of former NDP, lifetime NDP … They realize they have to make a decision to vote for what they want instead of doing the fear tactics that we’ve all heard,” she said.
After 45 years supporting the NDP
Former Courtenay-Comox candidate Gillian Anderson entered politics as an NDP campaign worker, “My first desperate need was to get rid of [former Premier] Christy Clark, of course some years ago; Horrible, horrible negative leadership for BC. I worked very hard on Ronna Rae Leonard’s campaign here for the NDP. I believe they campaigned with a very positive environmental platform to get the environmental votes and, once they got in to power, methodically ignored or broke all of those environmental commitments. That is why I gave up 45 years of allegiance to the NDP and became a Green member. And once you start voting Green, you can never go back.”
Everybody knows what needs to happen
Alexandra Morton said she felt like an imposter, a biologist with no experience of politics prior to becoming the candidate for North Island in the recent provincial election.
She was surprised at the way people opened up to her, “I took advantage of that and called teachers, and nurses and loggers and fish farmers and everyone I could think of. Mayors of tiny, tiny remote communities. I was struck by the fact everybody knows what needs to happen. So I don’t understand why government doesn’t do what people need to thrive, because really all we want to do is commit economic activity and be happy good citizens.”
Past and future campaigns
At this point, the Green party does not appear to have chosen their candidate for North Island Powell River for the next Federal election.
Annamie Paul says, “I’ve essentially, one way or another, been running for the Green Party non-stop since June of last year.’
She first put her name forward as a candidate in Toronto Centre during the last Federal election. After that, came the election for Green party leader and, more recently, the by-election in Toronto
As regards the anticipated Liberal climate legislation Monday, she said, “People should know what ideas the Green party of Canada has on Climate action, given that we really still are the only party that is proposing real targets that correspond to the science, that have a credible well thought out plan, and are really committed to real climate action. It is really important and reminds me of the reasons I decided to do this.”
Top photo credit: Heriot Bay, on Quadra Island, at low tide by Gerry Thomasen via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)
This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative.