I had a fantastic week on the lower mainland and interior helping a wonderful group of Green candidates. I promise I was careful in the pandemic.
My husband, John Kidder, drove me and we did COVID pandemic compliant campaigning – sign waves and masked indoor visits. It was so much fun to have a road trip with my wonderful husband and our extremely cheering small wonder dog- Xo!
We boosted Nicole Bellay, Green candidate in Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, the riding containing the burnt out shell of Lytton. John was the 2019 candidate in Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon. The many campaign stops for Nicole were like old home week. We also got to Kamloops, not far from my husband’s family farm in Ashcroft. With the long-time Conservative MP Cathy McLeod retiring, I am hopeful for gains for our well- known and respected candidate for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, lawyer Iain Currie. (By the way, many thanks for all the messages of support and concern for Ashcroft, in the midst of heat waves and evacuation alerts. We were relieved to have a night’s stay there and be reassured that it is in good shape. A number of strangers have been staying there as evacuees from nearby Spence’s Bridge. What a nightmarish time it has been for people in interior BC. Good neighbours all – looking out for each other.)
Back in the Lower Mainland, I did several backyard events with additional people joining us by zoom for fundraisers for Mike Simpson (West Van-Sunshine Coast- Sea-to-Sky Country) and Dr. Devyani Singh (Vancouver Quadra).
On Thursday, we had a fantastic press conference on Kits Beach emphasizing the climate champions running in and around Vancouver. Dr. Devyani Singh, climate scientist, Maureen Curran, SFU educator and Green candidate running against Jagmeet Singh, who has literally being living in the forest canopy to stall the construction of the TMX pipeline, Dr. Cheryl Matthew, Simpcw First Nations and running in East Vancouver, Dr. Farrukh Chishtie, a climate scientist with an extensive background, currently a visiting scientist with Environment Canada and Climate Change, (Vancouver Kingsway) and Mike Simpson, international development and global climate activist. I am so proud to be running with these – and many other fantastic candidates across Canada. But sadly, a press conference about the climate emergency does not get coverage.
Later, I was interviewed by CBC for The National, (an interview that aired Friday night). I thought the story would focus, or at least reference, the climate emergency. Nope. The CBC story was solely about internal GPC aspects of the election. Edited out of the story was my response to the question what I thought of the leader campaigning only in her own riding. I said I supported her decision. It took me five years from when I was elected Green leader to win a seat in the House. I think it is terrific that the Green Party is supporting Annamie’s decision to focus on winning her own riding. I was shocked when watching the news to hear the story that there was no money for the leader to travel. Not so. The party had, as in previous years, lined up a substantial bank loan for use in the writ – secured by the Elections Canada rebate rules. As soon as the writ dropped the party had over a million dollars to be spent over 36 days.
So, while voters are saying loudly that climate is their top issue, the way to get media coverage is any unfounded rumour that paints the Green Party in an unfavourable light. I will stay positive and keep campaigning as hard as I can for Green votes. But when the election is over, we will need a serious review and search for explanations about the many false threads and unhelpful unnamed sources.
Back on Vancouver Island, I was happy to have a wonderful event for Nick Loughton (Victoria Green). Every time I hear him speak, I am more impressed. At 23 years old, he is a phenomenal choice for MP.
And Saturday I was at the Saanich Fair. It is the oldest continuously running fall fair in Canada – this is the 153rd year. Of course, it was cancelled last year, and significantly scaled down this year.
One corner area of the commercial booths area features political parties – federal and provincial – BC Liberals, far from federal Liberals, a shared NDP tent (Horgan and Singh are cozy), and of course BC Greens and federal GPC. The hay bales strewn around reminded me of Naheed Nenshi’s great line about one of Calgary Stampede’s most iconic pancake breakfasts – dubbed the politicians’ petting zoo!
I stayed all day, taking occasional breaks to follow my physio’s advice. I will be back today (after church) and then all day Monday. I am so happy to be seeing people in real life again! Of course, we are all masked and I have to really work at seeing peoples’ eyes and wondering if we have already met. I was very heartened by the favourable reception.
Observations from Saturday’s fair: David Busch, Conservative candidate and his volunteers were not masked and did not observe COVID protocols, shaking hands and gathering in pre-pandemic fashion. The scarce Liberal volunteers did wear masks, but their booth was more noticeable for the absence of any photo of Justin Trudeau – an image that usually dominates their Saanich Fall Fair booth.
And Saturday’s big news for Greens – the removal of the disgraced Liberal candidate for Kitchener Centre! That is big news for Greens because our 2019 candidate. Mike Morrice, came in second to the Liberal. And Mike Morrice is running again, with a very strong campaign. The riding tends to go back and forth between Liberal and Conservative — Liberal from 1997 to 2008, then Conservative 2008-2015, and then Liberal Raj Saini took the seat. Now it will have no Liberal on the ballot.
So here we are. Fifteen days from E-Day. Many people are telling me they have already voted. If you live in Saanich-Gulf Islands, go to Mary Winspear Centre if you want to vote early- even on Labour Day! Find the list of all locally planned candidate debates on our events page.
Please watch for events on our campaign website “elizabethmay.ca” and please follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and share and spread good green news. Please join the campaign. We always need more volunteers. In this weird COVID campaign, we are doing far more phone canvassing than door knocking. If you have time to volunteer or want a lawn sign, please reply to this email and your message will reach the right person.
MANY thanks for your continuing support!