Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May makes a speech Sunday at Nanaimo’s Beban Park social centre at a candidate acclamation meeting. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Federal Greens undaunted after provincial Greens’ vote count dips on the Island

Elizabeth May foresees a federal byelection on Vancouver Island in advance of the October election

A lack of provincial Green votes in a byelection on Vancouver Island doesn’t temper high expectations for the federal Greens, says the party leader.

Elizabeth May, Green Party of Canada leader, was in Nanaimo on Sunday to celebrate the acclamation of Paul Manly as the Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidate, and May said “you can’t read anything” into the Nanaimo provincial byelection results. On Jan. 30, the B.C. Greens saw their vote share drop from 19.9 per cent in 2017 to 7.4 per cent in 2019.

May said she thinks voters “felt that this is not a time that they wanted to take a chance with such a narrow margin (in the B.C. legislature).”

Manly had a similar take and said he was “not at all” concerned by the B.C. Green Party’s vote count.

“I think people understood that the government was hanging in the balance,” he said, adding that he heard it said that the Nanaimo byelection was viewed as a sort of referendum on the confidence and supply agreement between the B.C. Greens and the B.C. NDP and it became a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question.

May noted that she didn’t get involved in campaigning in the Nanaimo byelection, whereas she has generally campaigned in other provincial votes.

“I felt that the provincial situation in this particular byelection had downside risks for people that would make them afraid,” May said. “The reality of the federal byelection is there’s no risks, none at all. Vote Green, vote for what you want.”

She said hopes there is a byelection because it would be “unconscionable” to leave Nanaimo-Ladysmith without federal representation for so long, she has “heard a few rumblings” that a byelection will happen, and she thinks it will happen in early spring.

“We have legislation that matters, we have issues that need to be discussed and the voters of Nanaimo-Ladysmith have a right to be represented in the Parliament of Canada,” she said.

May said there are a lot of parts of Canada where there are signs that the Green party has momentum going into the October 2019 general election, and so a Green MP at her side during that campaign could mean even better results nationally for her party.

Editorial: Federal byelection, if it happens, is no reason for voter fatigue

At Sunday’s acclamation, both Manly and May talked about the urgency for climate solutions. Manly took issue with the federal Liberals’ messaging of equating the economy and the environment.

“The economy shifts and changes and moves and we can change the economy. That’s a human construct,” Manly said. “The environment is a natural construct that we require to survive and they are not the same thing.”

People don’t need to leave the Island to go work in the “tar sands or in the fracking fields” if there are good-paying jobs in geothermal and other clean technologies closer to home, Manly said.

“We have all the solutions and technology that we need to avert a climate crisis,” he said. “What we need is the political courage to make those things happen.”

May recalled this past fall’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that suggested that there’s still opportunity to hold global average temperature to sustainable levels.

“Being hopeful is a political act because it gets harder and harder and harder to be honest and hopeful at the same time,” May said. “But that is our obligation to our kids, our friends’ kids, our grandkids, the Earth itself. Our relatives the whales, our relatives the samon, everything we love is at risk and this is our last election with a chance to change it.”

RELATED: Manly will give it another go with federal Green Party



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

VicPD seeks person of interest after short-term rental ransacked

Combined losses for damage and theft are over $5,000

Whitecaps favourite switches to the Island

Marcel de Jong worked to end Whitecaps contract, joining Pacific FC on the ground floor

RCMP ask for public’s help to determine cause of weekend fire

RCMP are investigating the cause of the South Island Concrete fire

UVic’s cutting-edge centre leading the way in drones and AI

Centre For Aerospace Research works with partners including Department of National Defence

Langford barber shop donates cuts for veterans’ cause

Hair cuts raise funds for Wounded Warrior Run, which travels from Port Hardy to Victoria

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

Most Read