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This article was published 15/4/2016 (1314 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May is hoping her Winnipeg visit will help boost the Greens into the Manitoba legislature for the first time.
May is the only federal party leader to make an appearance during the Manitoba election campaign and made a few stops with James Beddome, Green Party of Manitoba leader, and David Nickarz, the Green’s candidate in Wolseley, on Friday.
"David Nickarz has a great chance to be the first Green MLA in Manitoba and I want to make sure I do everything I can to make that happen," May said at a news conference Friday afternoon surrounded by about 25 Green candidates and supporters.
Earlier in the day, May, Nickarz and Beddome made a brief appearance at a Fight for 15 rally put on a group fighting for the minimum wage to be increased to $15 an hour and also met with residents at Lions Manor. Both appearances led to Nickarz and May touching on the Greens’ policy regarding a higher living wage and more seniors programs.
Nickarz said May’s visit might just be the push he needs to take Wolseley from incumbent Manitoba NDP MLA Rob Altemeyer, who was first elected in 2003.
"We’re going to get a boost from Elizabeth and this might actually put us over the top," Nickarz said. "We’re going to work hard until the last minute and we’re going to do our best to get out the vote on Election Day."
Nickarz has been putting in that hard work himself. He said he’s personally knocked on 3,000 doors, with his volunteers knocking on many more.
"This is, like Elizabeth said, the strongest Green riding that we have in Manitoba," Nickarz said. "We’ve done the work and there’s been a lot of volunteers behind me on this."
May said she wanted to come to Manitoba to alleviate voters’ concerns about voting Green only to have one member of the party in government. She cited the instance of British Columbia Premier Christy Clark backing BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver’s private members bill, which would require all post-secondary institutions to create sexual violence policies.
"The fear factor is the only thing to worry about here," May said. "The people who want to vote Green and want to see David Nickarz in the legislature, want to see James Beddome in the legislature, their friends will be saying to them, ‘oh that’s not such a good idea.’ So I wanted to make sure I was here to backstop anybody saying that one MLA can’t do anything because the evidence is clear."
Meanwhile, Beddome said he believes undecided voters could end up deciding the outcome of April 19 while giving the Greens a chance.
"They have the power to elect whoever they want right now, and obviously I’m hoping they’re going to choose to elect Greens — not just here in Wolseley where Dave Nickarz has the best chance of any Green candidate in Manitoba getting elected, but across Manitoba," Beddome said.
"What I’m hearing at the door is, ‘we can’t go to any of the major three, we’re fed up with them all.’
"My hope is that they’re going to come to the Greens and we’re going to see a drastically different legislature because of it."