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The Winnipeg Green Party Enters the Fray

September 8, 2006

Just a few days ago I bemoaned the fact that the upcoming Winnipeg civic election what sorely lacking in interest, candidates and, ultimately, democracy. Today, things are a bit different, and my faith in the state of the city a bit more buoyant.

This morning, the relatively new Winnipeg Green Party announced that it was running a slate of six candidates in various wards around the city in an effort to bring various issues, including the Olywest Hog Processing plant and Rapid Transit, to the campaign trail. (For the record, they’re for rapid transit and against the Olywest plant).

Also, the six ridings they’ve chosen to run candidates in—St. Vital, Elmwood, Mynarski, St. James Brooklands, Transcona, and St. Norbert—include the four that were previously uncontested, bringing an element of grassroots democracy to those wards, and, most importantly, ensuring that the councillors in Transcona, Elmwood, St. Norbert and St. Vital will be kept honest and won’t be as easily acclaimed. The people have choices now when they approach the voting booth on October 25.

The Greens represent a significant leap in Winnipeg civic politics: One, they’re running openly as a party with the same essential platform (other councillors may be endorsed by a particular party – the NDP, the Conservatives, etc., but that’s usually more hush-hush). And, two, their platform focuses on Winnipeg as a whole, as one entity that can not simply be split up neatly into wards where one ward’s problems suddenly end at their boundaries. The challenges facing Winnipeg as we move forward—environmental, social, economic—can only be solved by taking the entire city into account and working together for the good of the whole. Like a particular human health problem, if one ward, one piece of the puzzle is faltering, then this living organism that is the City of Winnipeg as a whole suffers.

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