BY JOSH PEDERSON
Although it might not look as if we are getting a Green Party Prime Minister in Canada any time soon, the left-wing political party is quickly gaining notoriety within various municipalities across the country and soon may become a real contender at the provincial and federal levels.
Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May currently holds the only seat in the House of Commons for the Green Party with her win in Saanich-Gulf Islands in British Columbia. However, Guelph may be one of the cities contending for a spot on that list.
Ontario Green Party leader Mike Schreiner kicked off the Green Vision Tour of Ontario on March 20 in Guelph to promote his party’s policies leading up to the June 7 election.
The Green Vision Tour is a 10-day tour of the province where the Green Party will gain public feedback and find out what matters most to people in Ontario.
“Our Green Vision charts a course of how we can do politics differently,” said Schreiner.
“The Green Vision revolves around three pillars: people, jobs and planet. The goal is to provide for the basic necessities of all Ontarians by rolling out a basic income guarantee,” he added.
Schreiner, who is currently running for candidacy in Guelph, is eagerly hoping to defy the odds and win Ontario’s 42nd General Election by defeating his political rivals. They are: Kathleen Wynne, the Liberal leader who is seeking re-election, Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford and New Democratic Party leader Andrea Horwath.
Attendees who gathered all patiently waited to hear the experienced politician speak on behalf of The Green Party and to address the problems currently affecting the public and more importantly, what his party plans to do about it.
Audience member Scott Sprinks asked, “Where do the Greens stand on drug coverage for all of Ontario?”
“We support universal pharma care and dental care and we are going to continue fighting for that,” said Schreiner.
Melissa Coulbeck asked, “Can we ban bottled water?”
“The Green Party supports the position that the Wellington Water Watchers have taken which is that we would phase out single use plastic water bottles over the next 10 years. We need to do it responsibly and in a way which can transfer people working in the industry into other jobs,” Schreiner said.
Questions from the audience and from Facebook Live ranged from the continued operation of a nuclear power plant to the looming possibility of a bus service from Guelph to the tri-cities.
Increased mental health services and affordable housing were also discussed in great detail throughout the evening.
Schreiner ended the night by bringing awareness to the importance of the hashtag #PeoplePoweredChange and its symbolism to the Greens of putting the people first.