Top News

Elizabeth May says Greens' byelection win a sign of things to come for P.E.I.

Federal Green Leader Elizabeth May, left, meets Thursday with Hannah Bell, the Green party’s candidate in the upcoming District 11 byelection.  ©THE GUARDIAN-Jason Daley
Federal Green leader Elizabeth May, left, met Nov. 23 with Green candidate Hannah Bell in Charlottetown prior to the District 11 byelection. Bell won the byelection on Monday. (Jason Daley/THE GUARDIAN)

Federal Green party leader Elizabeth May believes Hannah Bell’s victory signals that big changes are in store for Prince Edward Island.

May told The Guardian on Wednesday that she not only thinks it has implications for the next provincial election, but it could also lead to Islanders electing a Green member to the House of Commons.

“I work closely with the four Liberal MPs from Prince Edward Island and wouldn’t say anything against them on a personal basis because they’re all friends, but I think the potential is there for a Green federal MP,’’ May said. “I think there is the real potential for voters in Prince Edward Island to pick the right candidate to be a Green member of Parliament.’’

Related: P.E.I. Green party’s Hannah Bell wins byelection in Charlottetown-Parkdale

Right now, May is the lone Green member in the House of Commons. May said she literally runs between committee meetings in Ottawa and would love some help.

May said it is significant that Bell’s nomination race was the first time in P.E.I. that there was a contested nomination for the Green party.

“We have more of those all the time across Canada. More candidates are saying they are seriously considering running.’’

“I think those values appeal to people who have traditionally voted for other parties, and they don’t have to feel like a traitor to their traditional party in deciding ‘I want to give the Greens a chance.' They know we’re fair.’’
-Elizabeth May

One thing is for certain, Bell’s victory proved Peter Bevan-Baker’s win wasn’t a fluke or an isolated victory as was the case when Herb Dickieson won a seat for the NDP in the legislature in 1996.

The Green message is resonating with voters, said May, who thinks people like the fact the party doesn’t spend its time attacking Liberals or Conservatives, typically the parties of choice in P.E.I.

“We don’t operate in attack mode. We operate from, ‘Let’s work together, let’s find a way to co-operate.'’’

May notes that Greens try to bring respect for democracy and respectful discourse to politics. And, they never worry about being partisan.

“I think those values appeal to people who have traditionally voted for other parties, and they don’t have to feel like a traitor to their traditional party in deciding ‘I want to give the Greens a chance.' They know we’re fair.’’

These are exactly the kind of traits, May said, that Bell will bring to the P.E.I. legislature.

“She’s diligent and community-minded and committed to Prince Edward Island. (Bell’s win) buoyed us all up across the country. I’m (also) so happy for Peter Bevan-Baker because he’s covering all of the committee meetings; every issue on his own and to have Hannah Bell, who is an extremely competent individual of real depth (is important).’’

 

Twitter.com/DveStewart

Recent Stories