CARBONEAR, NL — The Stone Jug served as a base of operations for supporters of the Green Party of Canada and its leader, Elizabeth May, Friday afternoon.
May has been spending part of January touring the Avalon and other parts of Newfoundland in early preparation for the upcoming 2019 federal election.
Building up to the major political event, May has been on the move, meeting and speaking with Green Party of Canada supporters and trying her best to bring forth the party’s positions to those who may have questions.
During her visit to Carbonear, where residents of the community and other local areas gathered to meet and mingle with the political leader, May spoke to the crowd about what the Green party stands for, specifically within the province.
“It’s been a tremendous trip so far, absolutely wonderful,” May told the Compass. “We had a session this morning at city hall in St. John’s alongside Equal Voice, who aim to promote women as candidates and women getting elected on all levels of government.
“I gave a speech about women in politics while I was there, and then we drove out here to Carbonear, so it’s been a busy, but exciting day, and the tour as a whole has just been grand.”
May’s presence also helped celebrate the recent launch of the Green Party’s local riding, with representatives also present.
May has been leader of the Green Party since 2006 and has been elected as Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands in Southern Vancouver for several years.
Since being elected federally, May was pleased to note the party has been successful in electing a lot more representatives across the country, and she’s hopeful the trend will continue into Newfoundland and Labrador.
May also explained that part of this tour was to inform people that, despite common beliefs, the Green Party is not solely based on environmental issues.
“We’re definitely growing in Atlantic regions,” she said. “We want people to know that our policies are not just environmental, which is what many people think when they see the name Green Party, and they think that’s it; but we’re also very engaged in social justice, the protection of human rights, seeking positions of peace and non-violence, and have a really strong commitment to grassroots democracy – that’s one of our core values, which is why I was so honoured to be on the parliamentary committee on the electoral reform.”
Another major aspect of the party May wants to share with voters in the province is its effort to promote and improve Canadian democracy. She told the Compass that voter turnout is something she really wants to focus on and improve, adding she felt as though younger voters are losing confidence in the voting procedure as major promises get broken by elected politicians.
“We want to touch base with as many people as possible, and a quick trip to Newfoundland now in January will hopefully be the first of many trips throughout the year,” she added. “Newfoundland and Labrador is actually the only province in Canada where we don’t have an affiliated provincial party. We’re not looking to start up a party, but it means that our focus is often all federal.”
Friday’s meet and greet at the Stone Jug lasted for approximately two hours. May got to meet plenty of her supporters, as well as old friends from the days when she would take part in political and environmental campaigns in the province.
She told the Compass that, following a successful Avalon tour, she looked forward to strengthening the Green Party’s presence in Newfoundland and Labrador in preparation for the upcoming federal election in the fall of 2019.