Green Party Leader in Town

By John Swartz

Green Party leader Elizabeth May visited Orillia Wednesday and had a town hall meeting at Lakehead University. The main floor lecture theater was filled with all seats (200) taken and more than a dozen standing.

Three area Green Party candidates, Erik Schomann ( Simcoe North), Marty Lancaster (Barrie Springwater Oro-Medonte) and Sherri Jackson  (Simcoe Grey) were introduced to the audience.

May fielded questions about changing voting methods (end first past the post), how to get off fossil fuel (get off gas vehicles), abortion (no commitment on third trimester offered) and one from recently announced Simcoe North People’s Party candidate Stephen Makk of Victoria Harbour who wanted to know what the Green Party would do with the Trans Mountain pipeline (take the $15 billion pipeline expansion money and put it into renewable energy). In answer to another question, May told the audience a Green Party with clout would seek to have social media companies regulated in order to tackle internet trolling with false information.

She also said under her leadership the Green Party would not make elected members vote party line, stating that is a major problem now because she said some members of other parties don’t necessarily want to vote how they are told to vote.

Area Green Party candidates
Marty Lancaster , Sherri Jackson and
Erik Schomann flank Elizabeth May.

Many attendees were in shock as they walked into the theater, seeing how many people were there. After the meeting May said she’s getting used to seeing larger crowds along her campaign trail.

“We’re seeing a huge groundswell across Canada for Greens. Almost every event has way more people than organizers expect. I was in Yellowknife July 4 and the local organizers thought they might get 50, but then they thought they better put out chairs for 100, just in case. We had 240 people in Yellowknife,” May said.

“I think there’s real thirst on the part off Canadians to actually put questions to anybody in politics who will answer a straight question and give a straight answer,” she said.

Recently nominate Liberal candidate Gerry Hawes, several others who are known to be NDP, conservative and Liberal supporters were in the audience.


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