4 grasp for Graham’s mantle

Taken from this full article in the Town Crier.

For Green Party candidate Chris Tindal, the Toronto Centre byelection comes down to choice. According to the party’s slogan, “Shift Happens”.

The 26-year-old is the youngest candidate in the riding, and he’s ready to be the first Green MP in the House of Commons.

“The need for Green voices in Parliament has only become more urgent,” he said Jan. 24 while taking in the atmosphere of a Yonge and King coffee shop. “I think what we need right now in Toronto Centre is a voice of the future, some fresh ideas, new energy and a different approach.”

Tindal, who finished fourth out of eight candidates in the 2006 election, is confident in his ability to represent his constituency in Ottawa.

This time around, the Green Party is better equipped and is garnering more support from residents willing to consider an alternative to traditional parties, he says.

“We’re better organized, have more volunteers, more funding, and we have a lot more supporters,” he said. “There is a lot of excitement around this byelection presenting a unique opportunity to send a strong message of change.”

That change is all about what people value, and right now the government is not focusing on what Canada needs, he says.

“I don’t think where our government is spending money reflects the kinds of things that people value,” Tindal said, adding family time, health, volunteerism and strong communities are top priorities. “Those are all the sorts of things that we want, and yet the actions that our governments are taking are not in aid of those things.”

Tindal emphasizes the Green Party is about more than the environment, although it remains of fundamental importance. He affirms that his party has positions on all major issues, from Afghanistan to crime prevention and health care.

Another point that Tindal says sets him apart from other candidates is his commitment to implementing a carbon tax.

He explains that a carbon tax would shift taxation from income to carbon use, thereby reducing the amount people pay in income tax and emphasizing smart energy use.

“It’s a critical tool if we want to tackle reducing greenhouse gas emissions effectively without harming the economy,” he said, “It’s the right thing for the economy and the environment, and I think both are in a crisis right now.”

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