From The Mirror
Local candidate has integrity, decency: May
March 7, 2008 03:55 PM
Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May dropped by Toronto Centre to promote local byelection candidate Chris Tindal at an election rally Thursday night. Dozens of Green supporters turned out to the rally, at the Pantages Hotel and Spa, cheering on party luminaries such as May, Tindal and Willowdale byelection candidate Lou Carcasole.
May spoke highly of Tindal and his role within the Green Party. As a second-time candidate, and one who increased party support greatly during his last campaign, Tindal is a member of May’s shadow cabinet as the Green Party’s democratic reform critic.
“Chris is a shining, bright example of Canadian youth, and he’s a fantastic asset to this party,” May said. “He’s always open to new ideas and has the ability to bring people together around ideas.”
May said Tindal’s integrity and decency made him an ideal representative of the Green Party, taking a swipe at the Conservatives by noting that the Greens were happy to have their candidates speak out on issues in their own words.
“You look at the way (Stephen) Harper fired (former Toronto Centre Conservative candidate) Mark Warner for being outspoken and passionate about strong issues,” she said. “We want people like Chris who can and will be themselves. They know what the party stands for and they got involved because they share those ideals.”
May also took the opportunity to critique the Conservatives’ recent budget, calling it “a budget that militarizes Canada” and “a Big Brother budget.”
She warned that the budget does little to address pressing issues such as the environment in favour of more so-called security measures.
“There will be more policing along polluted waterways, not cleaning it up,” she said.
Former Green Party leader Jim Harris addressed the assembled Green supporters by noting that the party has grown from roughly 700 members in 2003 to over 10,000 members across Canada today. He added that the budget Tindal’s campaign in Toronto Centre was more that twice as large as the entire Green Party’s federal campaign budget in 2004.
“There’s a huge opportunity in this riding for the Green Party,” he said. “We have more than 100 volunteers working on this campaign alone.”
Tindal added that support in the riding has been far greater than ever before and, though he offered a tip of the cap to his high-profile Liberal opponent Bob Rae, he said he has noticed a desire for change in the riding.
“(Rae) speaks very passionately about his vision for Canada,” Tindal said. “But in this byelection, we have a unique opportunity where we’re not choosing the government; we’re choosing one MP. If we vote in another Liberal, another Conservative, another NDP, then we’ve changed nothing, but if we make history by electing the first Green MP, then we’ve changed politics in Canada forever.”
The byelection will take place on Monday, March 17.