Though they’ve yet to find a candidate, the Green Party in the Boundary Similkameen is determined they will find one.
“The Green Party has fielded candidates in the district for every provincial election since 1986,” said local organizer Dave Cursons. “I know, because I was one of the first ones.”
Cursons, who ran in the ‘80s and ‘90s for the Greens, said he expects to be able to present a candidate for Boundary Similkameen by the end of February. The provincial election is scheduled for May 9.
There are a number of factors leading to the region’s longstanding interest in the Green Party, according to Cursons. Over the years he said, activists have gathered over issues like uranium mining, spills and other issues around water, air and soil.
“During that period, that was in the ‘80s, a lot of people came in contact with each other over broader issues affecting the environment and those people tended to galvanize around the Green Party,” said Cursons. “I’ve just been one of those people. Usually, I find the people who I need to in order to get the ball rolling.”
Boundary Similkameen, currently represented by Liberal MLA Linda Larson, extends from Manning Park in the west to Christina Lake in the east and from the U.S. border to Penticton. In 2009 and 2013, the Green Party collected about nine per cent of the popular vote.
Cursons said another factor in support for the Greens may have to do with the Similkameen being the organic growing capital of Canada.
“Not because we grow more organic food than any other area of Canada, but because there are more organic farms here than in any other area,” said Cursons. “They are usually small holdings. Those kind of lifestyles lend themselves to environmental activism and periodically, when election time happens, to involvement with the Greens.”
The Greens will endorse nominees once they have concluded an online vetting process through firstname.lastname@example.org, and then party members in Boundary Similkameen will choose their candidates. There isn’t a Green Party candidate for the Penticton riding, which covers Penticton, Okanagan Falls, Naramata, Summerland and Peachland.
Cursons said he is looking forward to having a Green MLA to work alongside Green Party Leader, Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head.
“With a Green Party government in Victoria we will get along better with shelter, food and jobs at the local level and so do better through the current and coming environmental challenges,” said Cursons, adding that dream could come true if all those who say they would vote Green if they could win did so.
Inquiries about The Boundary Similkameen Green Party Association can be directed to 250-499-5417. More information about the provincial party and its platforms is available at www.bcgreens.ca.
Confirmed as candidates so far for the Boundary Similkameen are incumbent Linda Larson (BC Liberals). The NDP nomination convention takes place on Jan. 15 in Oliver.
In the Penticton riding, confirmed so far, incumbent Dan Ashton (BCLiberals) will be running against Tarik Sayeed (NDP).