Although a provincial election is still about two years away, the P.E.I. Green party is already taking steps to grow the party’s support across the province.
The party held sessions this weekend in Hampton, where members were taught how to become better trainers, facilitators and team leaders in order to help build up the party’s base.
President Anna Keenan said because of the party’s smaller size there hasn’t been many members experienced in organizing volunteer teams and taking on leadership roles.
The hope is that members of the training session will also organize the party’s upcoming convention this spring, which Keenan said will include hundreds of members from across the province.
“We want to bring those hundreds of Green supporters together in person to really meet and connect,” said Keenan. “What we’re doing today is training the people who are interested in leading teams that volunteers can get involved with.”
The weekend covered a number of topics of how to become a better trainer. Those included using experiential education, creating campaign strategies, and designing effective agendas for meetings and events.
Charlottetown resident Melissa MacRae was one of the participants after joining the party a few months ago.
“I’m an Islander, my community is very important to me and I found in the last couple of years I’ve really been identifying with the Green party,” said MacRae. “I’ve just been thinking a little more about what kind of leadership we need on the Island and wanted to be a little more proactive in my own community. I feel this is a good way to go about that.”
Keenan said the polling numbers have never been better for the Green party on P.E.I.
According to a Corporate Research Associates poll released last week, Green leader Peter Bevan-Baker is the most popular party leader in P.E.I. with 34 points, an increase of three points.
The Green party is also the second most popular P.E.I. party with 26 per cent of support, which was up from 22 per cent last quarter.
“There’s obviously much stronger support now. Peter is a wonderful leader and people are really seeing the integrity, compassion, kindness and honesty he’s bringing to politics,” said Keenan. “We’re trying to demonstrate it’s much broader than just Peter. The Green community is full of these same values that he demonstrates.”
MacRae said she feels one of the party’s stronger points is how it connects with P.E.I.’s smaller communities on a personal level.
“They’re making a grassroots connection with Islanders that is really appealing right now,” she said.
The party plans to continue engaging with Islanders across the province leading up to the election.
Keenan said that after the convention, the party plans to hold potluck meetings every month in districts across P.E.I.
The party will also announce more members of its shadow cabinet over the coming months, said Keenan.
“We have some leaders of very high calibre,” she said. “We’re trying to build the party to be credible and strong and to be a place where people can place their votes with trust.”