Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon Green Party candidate Nicole Bellay’s campaign received a boost on Monday (Aug. 30) afternoon as both former party leader Elizabeth May and former federal candidate John Kidder attended a rally on First Avenue in Mission.
They were joined by an enthusiastic group of supports who stood by the downtown post office holding signs and waving to oncoming traffic.
“I’ve done a lot of door-knocking over the last week and talked to a lot of people. There are a lot of people who are having a hard time affording the cost of living right now and a lot of people who are worried about climate. This is what we stand for, the Green, we want to help the people and the planet at the same time. You can’t do one without the other,” said Bellay.
Other concerns that the public have voiced to her include Covid vaccinations, transportation, housing and even health concerns.
Bellay said the size of the riding has its own challenges.
“It’s big and has different priorities.”
She said some of the smaller communities have no funding or public bus service and are still dealing with the wildfires and smoke.
May said Bellay “is a friend and a wonderful candidate” so she wanted to come to Mission and show her support.
“Nicole is doing really well here and Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon is the crucible of the climate emergency. This is where Lytton burned down … This is the place where I think a lot of people never thought about voting Green before are now thinking if we don’t vote Green now, after the summer we’ve had, when are we ever gonna realize we need to send a message,” said May.
As for the election itself, May said the party was ready for it to happen, but was hoping it wouldn’t.
“I was really hoping that Justin Trudeau wouldn’t call an election, this is ridiculous. We are in the middle of a pandemic, the province is on fire, Afghanistan fell to the Taliban the day that the writ dropped. None of this is good timing. There is no reason that the Liberals are calling this election except that it’s a very cynical power grab to have a majority government.”
May said it isn’t a new strategy by the Liberal noting that John Horgan’s provincial NDP government did the same thing last year.
The Green Party of Canada has been dealing with some internal issues in the past few months.
Leader Annamie Paul had to fend off a non-confidence motion 10 months into her leadership and just weeks before the federal election was called.
May said she is hoping that Paul wins a seat in her riding of Toronto Centre. When asked about the leadership of the party, May said its the membership that really counts.
“The party’s philosophy and constitution means that the leadership is really our membership. That’s the leadership of the party. The people in charge are the members and the members determine party policy. So our members are at the grassroots and that’s my boss.”