The Green Party’s barbecue circuit fired up some hot topics in Coldstream Monday.
Adriane Carr, national deputy leader for the Greens, stopped in town on her B.C. tour aimed at building the party and celebrating Elizabeth May’s win in the federal election.
“That’s something to just stop and savour over a barbecue,” said Carr, of May’s win – the first Green seat acquired since the party’s inception.
“And the barbecue circuit can be a lot of fun.”
It’s not just May that did well, the Okanagan-Shuswap riding (led by candidate Greig Crockett) was one of the party’s best showings.
“We did well,” said Carr, meeting with more than a dozen supporters at the Kalavista Lagoon log cabin in Coldstream. “It (Okanagan-Shuswap) was one of seven ridings across Canada that got over 10 per cent (representing more than 6,000 votes).”
But the Greens could have done better, if it weren’t for May being blocked from the national televised debate, claims Carr.
“The result would’ve been a Green and orange surge.”
Still, with their first leader in Parliament, Carr says the door has been opened for more.
And with May, that Green light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter.
“She’s doing an excellent job as MP,” said Karen Durant, Okanagan-Shuswap Green Party events co-ordinator from Enderby. “She’s not sitting back, she’s out there.
“She is amazing.”
Moving on the momentum of May’s win, Carr encourages supporters to utilize the opportunity through such measures as petitions – which May can present in Parliament.
“To try and raise enough public will to impress other parties to make change and legislation,” said Carr.
“It’s about doing something that’s in the best interest of the country.”
Working at the grass roots, the local riding can collect signatures opposing everything from the farm gate sale restrictions and HST, to region-specific issues like the Lumby prison.
Dave Smith of Coldstream says there’s no need for a prison in Lumby, let alone a prison anywhere.
“The larger issue is around incarceration – incarceration of our youth.”
Meanwhile issues like local infrastructure can also be addressed federally, something the Greens are working on as they try to get the federal government to fund aging urban infrastructure.
But even with May, Enderby resident Lewis Zambon isn’t convinced the feds will turn their focus to B.C.
“The federal government doesn’t care west of Ottawa.”