Originally published in The Sudbury Star: http://www.thesudburystar.com/2015/01/07/n-politics-green-party-leader-in-city-sudbury-should-send-green-voice-to-queens-park-schreiner on January 7, 2015.
The leader of the Green Party of Ontario says Greater Sudburians can make a strong statement about the “political games” being played by more established parties in the upcoming Sudbury byelection.
“I think the musical chairs we’ve witnessed in the last month here in Sudbury is indicative of a larger problem with politics right now,” said Mike Schreiner, who visited the Nickel City for the Greens’ nomination meeting on Tuesday. “Politics should be about putting forward solutions to challenges and issues we face that are good for the people of Sudbury and the people of Ontario, and not being focused on what’s good for political parties or for people’s political self interests right now.”
David Robinson, an economics professor at Laurentian University, won the nomination Tuesday.
“The best way to send a message to the folks at Queen’s Park that these types of political games have to stop is to vote Green in this byelection,” Schreiner said.
Former city councillor Joe Cimino won Sudbury for the NDP in the June 12 provincial election, but resigned after less than six months on the job, citing undisclosed personal reasons.
Andrew Olivier, the Liberal candidate who lost to Cimino by less than 1,000 votes, announced almost immediately he would seek the nomination again, but later bowed out after he was asked not to run.
Dissatisfaction over that move turned to anger when Sudbury NDP MP Glenn Thibeault abruptly quit the party and was appointed to run for the provincial Liberals.
Olivier has since announced he’ll run as an independent.
“At the end of the day, regardless of who’s elected, we’ll have a Liberal majority government at Queen’s Park,” Schreiner said. “It’s not like a general election where people are voting to decide who’s going to form government or not, so if people want to send a message that things have to change at Queen’s Park, that politics has to once again be about honesty and integrity and smart public policy, the best way to do that is to vote Green in this byelection.
“A byelection doesn’t tend to be as much about strategic voting, which can sometimes hurt the Green Party, because people are more concerned about voting against someone than for what they want. In fact, I’d argue the strategic vote here is for the Green Party, because it’s a chance to register their disgust at these status-quo political games.
“It’s also an opportunity for Sudbury to put itself on the global political map for being the first city to elect a Green MPP in Ontario.”
But he hopes recent political drama doesn’t overshadow other issues of importance to Ontarians.
Ontario is facing a climate crisis and a jobs crisis, he said, and his party has plans to address both.
“I think we’re offering the smartest solution on both of those,” Schreiner said. “I get so discouraged every time I’m at Queen’s Park and they’re so little discussion on the way climate change is already negatively affecting our communities. There are so few real solutions being put forward for how we can capitalize on the emerging opportunities in the clean economy globally. Here’s a perfect chance to send a Green voice to Queen’s Park and put forth smart solutions to address the climate crisis and the jobs crisis at the same time. Sudbury could be at the forefront of doing that.”