Adriane Carr predicts “bigger breakthrough” for Greens in 2015 federal election

City councillor expects gains in Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island

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      Twelve is the magic number the Greens are hoping for in this year’s federal election.

      That’s a dozen Green MPs after the votes are counted.

      Twelve gets the Green Party of Canada official party status in the House of Commons. That means parliamentary funding for research, and more chances to be recognized during question period.

      A dozen MPs may not sound a lot, but in a minority government, that number would wield tremendous influence.

      According to former national deputy leader and now Vancouver Green councillor Adriane Carr, getting 12 Green MPs elected is achievable.

      “It could be incredibly important that the party, the Green party, holds those 12 seats,” Carr told the Straight in a phone interview.

      With recent successes at all three levels of government in B.C., Carr believes that 2015 is going to be a breakout year for the Greens not just in the province but across the country as well.

      “I think there will be a bigger breakthrough,” Carr said.

      Carr and the Vancouver Greens are the latest success story.

      In last year’s municipal election, four of the seven Green candidates were voted in at all three levels of civic governance. Carr won a second term on council and she received the most votes among candidates for council.

      “B.C. has been at the leading edge of breakthroughs in Green politics, and I expect the same thing federally,” Carr said about Green prospects in the 2015 national election.

      It was in B.C. that Elizabeth May became Canada’s first Green MP in 2011. In the same year, Carr was elected to her first term in Vancouver council. In 2013, B.C. elected its first Green MLA, Andrew Weaver. In the 2014 municipal election, Vancouver voters elected the largest Green caucus in the country so far.

      “It’s just a signal that the electorate is looking at Greens in a whole new way, looking at us as really important representatives of people,” Carr said, “and they just like fairness and transparency and democracy as well as obviously raising issues around the environment, global warming, sustainability that I think are top of mind for most Canadians.”

      “I think we’re going to see a lot of people saying, ‘It’s time to get the Greens a chance,’” Carr also said about 2015.

      Although Carr is busy with Vancouver civic affairs and not on top of the federal Green campaign, the city councillor indicated that the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island are where she expects the national Greens to have a bumper harvest.

      “The polling has been strong especially on the West Coast, here in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island,” she said. “I’m expecting that this where we’re going to see, you know, the election of a Green caucus federally.”

      There are currently two Green MPs: May and Bruce Hyer, the representative from Thunder Bay-Superior North who left the NDP in 2012 and sat initially as an independent before joining the Greens in 2013.

      Vancouver Green park commissioner Stuart Mackinnon is not involved much with the federal party.

      But according to Mackinnon, he’ll support Green national candidates in Vancouver, knocking on doors or mainstreeting especially in Vancouver South where he lives.

      Mackinnon also indicated that he’ll give a day or two for the campaign of Lynn Quarmby, an SFU scientist who was arrested in 2014 during protests against the Kinder Morgan oil pipeline expansion project, and is now candidate for the new riding of Burnaby North-Seymour.

      The Green park commissioner also said that Quarmby and former Whistler mayor Ken Melamed are two “stellar candidates”. Melamed is running in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, a riding held by Conservative MP John Weston. Former West Vancouver mayor Pamela Goldsmith-Jones is running for the Liberals in this riding.

      Suggesting that the Green wave in B.C. provides good momentum going into this year’s national election, Mackinnon told the Straight by phone: “The success of the Greens in general in the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island bodes well for the federal party in the election.”



      James Blatchford

      Feb 5, 2015 at 12:09pm

      Pure Green guarantees us four more years of Stephen Harper.


      Feb 5, 2015 at 12:25pm

      Uh hoping for 12 seats out of 338 at a time when Harper's Cons are just heading for the home stretch on their plan to wreck the country - this brings me no comfort at all. Do Green voters understand the MPs they elect can vote however they want on any question, with no further recourse until the next general election in 2019?
      If I wanted an Independent MP then I could vote for one and hope for the best. Greens refer to their party policy as "values-based", but when it comes time to vote in the parliament, their MPs can ignore it anytime they want. EG. Bruce Hyer on Iraq and MIA for the critical vote on CSIS Bill C-44. This is what their smooth-talking leader calls "working across party lines". In effect, the Green Party with their "every vote is a free vote" policy, acts merely as a front for a bunch of free agents, who if they ran as Independents (which in practice they really are) would not have access to the perks and privileges that come with their much sought after official party status. At least when I vote for a real progressive candidate I know what I am going to get, pretty convinced Green voters don't get it. BTW I don't support every vote being a whipped vote but this is just going to far in the other direction. I was pleased to see the Delta Richmond Greens using the hashtag #votegreenforarealconservative and wish they'd target ridings where they could pick off Conservative candidates. EMay did it once when she defeated Lunn. So vote Green if it makes you feel good, but be prepared for another 4 years of Harper.

      Specific Ridings

      Feb 5, 2015 at 12:31pm

      I hope the green candidates just field candidates in a few ridings. Only in places where they can win. I do not want the conservatives to win again because of a left split vote.


      Feb 5, 2015 at 12:50pm

      You'll be looking to take those additional 11 seats away from the Conservatives, right?

      Good grief.

      Stop Harper

      Feb 5, 2015 at 1:21pm


      John Northey

      Feb 5, 2015 at 1:41pm

      Elizabeth May took her riding from a Conservative cabinet minister, while Bruce Hyer beat a Conservative (they came in 2nd) last election. It is the Liberals and NDP who will be trying to split the vote in these ridings, not the Green Party.

      As to the other ridings, take note about how Elizabeth May's riding had a massive turnout (by 2011 standards). Green's are chasing those who are not out voting and trying to get them to vote. If the NDP or Liberals did that then there would not be a Conservative majority right now. We need more effort to engage non-voters and get people involved, ideally via positive messages about what a party will do, not just to keep someone else out.


      Feb 5, 2015 at 4:14pm

      FYI Another Emay theme huge turnout -actual increase was 4.68% over 2008 and the riding has a history of high voter turnout - huge retired population. This time around for many of us, t's not about splitting the vote, it's about stopping Harper. Ironically the only leader that has promised to deliver prop rep (and theoretically will have more than 12 seats) is Mulcair. Under the current vote count that would guarantee Greens seats in 2019 and actually mean less for the NDP. Many people are going to vote with their feet this time around heading straight to whatever they decide has the best chance of stopping Harper, and along the way they might actually want to vote for someone with a chance of forming government.


      Feb 5, 2015 at 5:30pm

      I will never vote Green since the leader of BC Greens endorsed Christy Clark, ex Enbridge lobbiest. Who the hell do the Greens work for? No standard policy, just bullshit across the country.

      Guilin fish

      Feb 5, 2015 at 8:11pm

      The NDP has a very green environmental platform.
      I think voting green will only result in a split vote and four more years of Stephen Harper.

      bill jones

      Feb 5, 2015 at 8:17pm

      Actually exit polling in all elections in living memory, shows that by an overwhelming majority, the not so "Green" Party voter's second choice is Liberal, or NDP. Only a tiny percentage chose the "Tea Party" or "None of the above" options.

      The myth that the not so "Green" Party recruits disinterested voters, is just another of the clever talking points Canada's Tea Party provides its' operatives over at their "Green" farm team.

      Just like Ralph Nader, whose US Green Party destroyed the election hopes of the Greenist president there ever would have been - Al Gore, and electing in his place George Bush, murdering millions worldwide in military and climate disasters, Lizzie May and gang rolled the dice and Mother Earth took a mighty blow. The world will never recover from George Bush and his election courtesy of the Green Party may eventually lead to the world's destruction in a global warming holocaust.

      Last federal election, exit polls showed that people who thought the environment was most important issue voted overwhelmingly Green ensuring that Canada's Tel Party got to spend a few more years destroying Canada's environment.

      Are Greens Canada's dumbest voters?