Tag Archives: bill graham

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.”

A Future Voice

(To download or print this letter as a PDF, click here.) 

Last June our Member of Parliament, the Hon. Bill Graham, stood in the House of Commons to announce his resignation. As a result, a by-election has been called for March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, in Toronto Centre. In his final address to Parliament, Mr. Graham said, “[the] people of my riding, I hope, will understand why I believe it is important that they be represented by a future voice rather than someone from the past.” I couldn’t agree more.

We are at an exciting time of opportunity for our city, our country, and our planet. It’s up to us, as citizens, to seize that opportunity. I’m running to be your Member of Parliament because I believe it’s time for government to do better, to aspire towards greater goals, and to achieve them with pragmatic and innovative ideas. I’m running as the Green Party of Canada’s candidate because I know Greens have the best plan for our country’s economy, for our environment, and for Toronto.

I’ve heard from many of you who have voted Liberal in the past that you aren’t comfortable doing so this time around. You know that even though someone has “experience,” it doesn’t always mean they have the right kind of experience. If that sounds like you, you’re not alone. Many current and former Liberals are supporting the Green Party and my campaign, including Pierre Trudeau’s former Director of Communications Jim McDonald.

I’ve heard from many of you who have voted Conservative, but feel like your party has left you. You know that the firing of your duly nominated local Conservative candidate because he was too focused on social and urban issues sends a strong message that this Reform/Alliance/Conservative party has not only turned its back on cities, but has turned its back on all Progressive Conservatives. If that sounds like you, you’re not alone. Many current and former Progressive Conservatives are supporting my campaign, including former provincial Cabinet Minister Phil Gillies.

I’ve heard from many of you who have voted NDP, but are discouraged by their overly-partisan and negative tone, and by their tendency to be long on grievances and short on vision. If that sounds like you, you’re not alone. Many current and former New Democrats are supporting my campaign, including Cameron Miller, who worked directly with Jack Layton during his leadership campaign and is the past president of the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association.

These individuals and many others are able to come together for this cause for two reasons. One, because the Green Party’s vision for Canada transcends old-line politics, and presents a new proposition for voters tired by the left/right battles of the past. And two, because this by-election represents a unique opportunity.

We, the citizens of Toronto Centre, have the opportunity to send a strong message for change in politics. We have the opportunity to demand that our politicians offer real
vision and realistic solutions. And we have the opportunity to make history. I’m asking for your support in this by-election so that we can create that change together. I’m asking you to vote for a future voice, rather than for somebody—or some party—from the past.

Please contact me to let me know your thoughts on the important issues in this campaign, and browse this website to learn more about myself, my party, and the exciting path ahead.

Chris Tindal

ps. Successful election campaigns are not possible without your support. If you believe in what we’re doing, please request a sign, volunteer, or donate. Generous tax credits are available so the cost to you is minimal.

Thanks Elizabeth, Bill

Last night Elizabeth May came to Toronto Centre for two great events. The first was a Pride Week meet & greet at Byzantium on Church Street, where a diverse group of people gathered to enjoy a special “Green Martini” that had been prepared for the evening. Elizabeth re-affirmed our party’s commitment to LGBT equality, pointing out that the Green Party of Canada is the only federal party to have ever had an openly gay leader (Chris Lea), and was the first party to support equal marriage when we did so in 1996. The second event was an incredible meal at Jamie Kennedy’s Wine Bar (also on Church) with a packed room of about 90 people. Video of both these events to follow.

It was only upon arriving at the first event that I heard Bill Graham had announced his resignation, effective July 2nd, just hours before in the House of Commons. He finished his parting remarks with the following, which is worth reprinting here:

In closing, I want to say one thing about the civility of this place. There has been a lot in the press recently about the lack of civility in the House. It may be attributable to the minority situation we are in and it may be attributable to a lot of causes, but surely we owe it to ourselves to disagree without being disagreeable. We do not need to do that.

I believe everyone in the House carries within him or her the desire to serve our country and, whether one has that desire or not, the capacity to affect the future lives of every citizen of this great land, and to some extent others around the globe. Let us treat each other with the respect that thought brings. In what we bring to this place, let us respect one another and, in so doing, I believe our fellow countrymen will respect this institution and respect us for the work we do.

Those words informed my comments at last night’s dinner. It’s not just the lack of civility that’s worrisome, it’s the disrespect that this government is showing for Parliament itself. Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party have the right to believe what they do, to advocate for their positions, to run in elections, and to implement their agenda when elected. They do not, however, have the right to sabotage our democratic systems, which is what they are guilty of doing.

I want to publicly say again that Bill has been a good MP and that I’m grateful to him for his years of service. It was fun having him as an opponent. There’s one final quote I’d like to leave you with, again taken from his comments in the House yesterday, that I found particularly interesting.

“It is important that [the people of Toronto Centre] be represented by a future voice rather than someone from the past.”

Green Candidate Chris Tindal Congratulates Graham, Calls for Open Nomination


February 23, 2007, Toronto – Chris Tindal, nominated candidate for the Green Party of Canada in Toronto Centre, congratulated Bill Graham today on his thirteen years of service as the Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre, after Graham announced to his riding executive yesterday that he will not seek re-election.

“Bill is extremely well respected by people in this riding, myself included,” said Tindal. “He’s one of the best the Liberals had, and he’ll be hard to replace.”

Tindal ran against Graham in the last federal election, increasing the percentage of the Green vote by a factor of 47%.

Tindal is the Democratic Reform advocate for the Green Party, and called on the Liberal Party to ensure a fair and open nomination contest to select its next candidate. “It’s very important to the health of our democracy that local party members be allowed to select the candidate who can best represent them.”

The Green Party is the only party to have nominated a candidate in Toronto Centre for the next federal election, which could come as soon as the spring. Party leader Elizabeth May has said that Toronto will be a priority for Greens in the next campaign.