Gary Caldwell - a seasoned campaigner
Ste.Edwidge-de-Clifton business owner and municipal councillor, Gary Caldwell, is running in his fourth campaign this time around, his second as the Green Party candidate. “I felt that they needed a Francophone, female candidate for this riding, but because of the position I took on the ‘In and out’ scandal, Elizabeth May asked me to run. The four Conservatives in that scandal were just found guilty of scheming to get around the electoral law by the Federal Appeal Court. That is a criminal offence that comes with jail time. One of the four was the Director of the campaign during that election, Doug Finley, who is now a senator,” explained Mr. Caldwell.
Mr. Caldwell will be pushing three themes in his campaign: green energy; liveable communities; and parliamentary democ- racy. He won’t be running a conventional campaign of going door-to-door and putting up signs every where, but instead will be pushing these issues during all of the upcoming candidates debates.
When asked about ‘strategic’ voting, the Green candidate said: “This time people should vote with their hearts and not vote strategically. The Bloc will see to it that the Conservatives don’t get a majority. But if we get the Green vote up, almost one in ten Canadians voted Green last time, we could get a Green MP in parliament and get the environment back in the forefront. Each party gets $2 per year for every vote that is cast for them. It makes a huge difference and is intended to level the playing field in conjunction with the limits on how much parties can spend. The Conservatives spent $1.3 million over and above the limit during the last election.”
Commenting on the Conservative’s environmental record, Mr. Caldwell said “One problem is their refusal to ‘cap and trade’ on fossil fuels. They encourage the oil sands instead of green technology and are not taking part in international efforts to eliminate climate warming; they’ve not taken any leadership. Canada and other countries have benefited the most from industrialization and we will suffer the least because of where we are located on the globe. Other countries will suffer the consequences like drought and rising sea water levels. We have a moral commitment to do something.”
When asked what he thought of the suggestion that the Greens should get together with another political party, Mr. Caldwell replied: “It’s a very good suggestion. Contrary to what Mr. Harper says, he’s pretending that coalitions are illegitimate, there’s no reason why people can’t cooperate. There could be a ‘coalition’ or an ‘alliance’; in the British parliament right now there is an ‘understanding’. These things can reach a tipping point – I think we’ll have May in May!”
“I believe we need to attach more importance to good, liveable communities; they are the basis for economic prosperity. We need a solid civil society, that’s where entrepreneurs and initial financial support for new companies comes from. That takes solid communities to happen,” concluded the Green Party candidate.