Green Party nominations open; barbecue this weekend

Wycliffe Regional Park, Sunday, July 2, 4 p.m. for Green Party get together

There will be a federal election in 2015, although the actual date is still up in the air. Some pundits predict early spring, others believe it will be later in the year.

However, political parties are organizing riding by riding, getting candidates in place.

In Kootenay-Columbia, the Green Party is preparing for a nomination contest for candidates to run in this riding. The actual vote to select a candidate will take place later this year.

This weekend, the Kootenay Columbia Greens are hosting a barbecue potluck at Wycliffe Park, to give local greens a change to meet each other — and to start planning for the next election. The barbecue begins at 4 p.m. Sunday, July 27 at site 5B Wycliffe Regional Park. Anyone attending is asked to bring something to grill and something to share.

Devon Caron, Chief Executive Officer of the Green Party Electoral District Association for Kootenay-Columbia, says there are already two candidates seeking the nomination.

“We are excited to see a real nomination contest forming in Kootenay-Columbia,” Caron said. “We encourage anyone who wants a voice in selecting the Green candidate to become a Green Party member today.”

Caron says that the names of the candidates are not being announced until nominations close.

“We will announce all the candidates once the nomination period closes. There will be 45 days to campaign.

“Then we hope to be able to do a whistle-stop tour of Kootenay-Columbia with the candidates. It’s such a giant riding.”

In the last federal election in 2011, Kimberley’s Bill Green ran for the Green Party, finishing with 310 votes, third to Conservative David Wilks and NDP candidate Mark Shmigelsky.

The Green Party is feeling optimistic seeing as Green Party leader Elizabeth May has been joined in the House of Commons by MP Bruce Hyer, an independent who left the NDP and joined the Green Party in 2013. They are also buoyed by the election of MLA Andrew Weaver provincially.

“With the Conservative government’s recent approval of the Enbridge pipeline, it is more important than ever for us to stand up and say enough is enough,” Caron said.

“Now is the time to take the first steps in changing the way we are represented in Ottawa.”

The riding being redrawn to include the Nelson area is a positive as well, Caron believes.

“I think it definitely changes the numbers. In the provincial election the Green Party got 25 per cent of the vote in Nelson.

“With our new electoral boundaries, we are excited to have Greens in the old riding get to know their new friends in the Nelson area — and to select a great candidate to represent us in the next federal election.”