By Jason Daley
Federal Green Leader Elizabeth May was in Charlottetown Thursday evening to put her support behind a provincial Green party candidate in the Nov. 27 District 11 byelection.
At a meet-and-greet event held downtown in honour of Hannah Bell, May alluded to the issue of being a party’s sole representative on a political stage, in reference to P.E.I Green Leader Peter Bevan-Baker, the lone Green party representative in the P.E.I legislature. She’s hoping Bell can join him.
“I’m a lone Green party MP. No matter how much people say what a wonderful thing it is to be there improving stability and working so hard, the reality is that it’s much harder to be alone,” said May, adding that electing a Green party representative to the legislature would have the greatest overall impact on Islanders.
“With Hannah Bell elected for District 11, the impact on that legislature will be far more, with all due respect for the other candidates running. Any other party winning a seat makes no real difference in that legislature.”
May believes that adding a second Green party member to the legislature can be done. She pointed to B.C. as an example.
“In May, three Green MLAs were elected in the general election in B.C. It’s made a huge difference. It means the Green Party in B.C. remains an opposition party but willing to work co-operatively with both parties in the legislature.”
Bell said she and the party are inspired by the representation they have received with Bevan-Baker.
“Peter has shown that it’s possible to elect a Green. He’s already broken that barrier.”
She said the main theme her supporters talk to her about is the need for the Green party to continue to make progress in having its voice heard on the political stage.
“Despite the fact that we don’t have proportionate representation, we’re still managing to break down those barriers of the traditional systems. The response that I’m getting is that people are really looking for that change. And they’re going to make it happen with or without proportionate representation. We’ve done it before. We can do it again. That’s so exciting,” said Bell.
The District 11 byelection was called following former Liberal MLA Doug Currie’s resignation in October. It is slated for Monday, Nov. 27.
The other candidates running are Liberal Bob Doiron, PC Melissa Hilton and Mike Redmond from the NDP.