Like me, I know many of you have been saddened and outraged by the fuel spill that has desecrated English Bay. It has been like a punch to the stomach for me, but I was so encouraged and proud to see elected Greens from our Municipal Government standing alongside three exciting candidates at yesterday's press conference on the spill.
Lynne Quarmby, Ken Melamed and Claire Martin, along with Councillor Adriane Carr and Parks Board Commissioner Stuart McKinnon, all took a stand and eloquently pointed out exactly why who we elect matters if we want to ensure a better future for ourselves, our children and the beautiful planet that we rely on for life.
The policies, changes to acts, and funding priorities of Stephen Harper's Ottawa cumulatively led to this disaster, but it's moment's like these that we are reminded why the Green Party has such momentum right now, why this party matters more than ever. People feel and people know that we are on the right side of history.
Shortly after Claire Martin's announcement this past week that she will be the candidate with the Green Party in North Vancouver, we received more exciting news that Pete Fry, who was nearly elected to City Council this past November, is now standing for nomination in the by-election in the provincial riding of Vancouver-Mt. Pleasant. He is contesting tech entrepreneur Matt Toner's nomination. The fact that we are seeing these kinds of contested nominations with increasingly high profile industry and community leaders is further proof that we are a party on the rise. If you live in the riding sign up here before midnight tonight to be eligible to vote at the nomination meeting later this month.
As we get ready to launch our campaigns across the country it's important for us to prepare counterpoints to the attacks and criticisms we'll likely receive. I want to share with you a recent piece I wrote in the Observer about vote splitting and voter turnout, which we will need a strong counter narrative regarding. It will be used by the NDP in particular to discredit the Green Party and its candidates and possibly even to disparage its members and supporters. We don't need voter suppression tactics like this in Canadian democracy, we need campaigns that engage with clear values, goals and ideas, built on the input and aspirations of citizens. This in order to elect governments who will put forward legislation founded on empirical evidence, compassion and sensibility.
With so many of us across the political spectrum disgusted with the Harper Government the strategic voting argument can be compelling, but it was at a little lunch reception after Claire Martin's announcement on the North Shore that I had an eye opening conversation with Elizabeth May about vote splitting and strategic voting. Her words inspired me to write this article recently published in the Vancouver Observer, which I feel provides a strong counterpoint to vote-splitting concerns and strategic voting in general, particularly for a riding like ours which I believe is too progressive, too compassionate, and too innovative to elect a Conservative. If there is a riding in Canada where the Anyone But Harper argument is a non-issue, this is it. Residents in Vancouver East should feel glad to be able to vote for the candidate and the party that truly resonates with them.
If nominated to be your candidate at the April 24th nomination meeting we will run a campaign unlike anything this riding has seen, to get voters truly excited about the prospect of change and engaged on the issues we face. I have a campaign team with years of experience forming, we have donors lined up, our volunteer list already growing, we are building a strategy, we continue to sign up new members, the energy continues to build. We're ready to go!
Looking forward to continuing my phone conversations with all of you, and to seeing you on the 24th. Thanks for all the feedback, questions and encouragements.
Wes Regan Nominee, Green Party of Canada - Vancouver East