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

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

Just Posted

Oak Bay council places 60-day protection order on Island Road house

Developer pulled heritage agreement over ‘exorbitant’ $417,000 fees

Saanich council to dig into long-awaited garden suite study

Detached suites keep families close, provide financial flexibility, mayor says

BIPOC artists come together to paint mural highlighting racial injustice in Bastion Square

‘More Justice, More Peace’ to go beyond cycle of hurt and sadness

Victoria man charged in stabbing death of Vancouver overdose prevention worker

Maximus Roland Hayes, 23, is facing one count of manslaughter in connection to the killing

Firefighters tackle medium-sized grass fire on rural Saanich property

Saanich Fire Department issues warm weather fire safety reminder

VIDEO: Greater Victoria police officers try bhangra dancing with social media star

Gurdeep Pandher leads bhangra lesson on front lawn of the BC Legislature building

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Hundreds of sea lions to be killed on Columbia River in effort to save endangered fish

Nearly 22,000 comments received during public review were opposed, fewer than 200 were for

Most Read