Voters in Nanaimo, B.C., have gone green, electing the Green party’s Paul Manly as their new member of Parliament, barely six months before October’s federal election.
With about 60 per cent of the ballots counted in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection, Manly has taken about 38 per cent of the vote.
John Hirst, the Conservative candidate, is a distant second with 24 per cent of the vote.
Manly will become the second Green party member in Parliament, joining Leader Elizabeth May.
He told crowd of jubilant supporters that he will work hard to do better for the community.
“How we can change the economy – that we are working in to protect the environment that we need for our health, for our children, for our grandchildren,” he said. “How we can do a better job of taking care of people who are less fortunate.”
He said governments should stop subsidising the “old” economy.
“We moved beyond the horse and buggy and its time to move beyond the internal combustion engine,” Manly said, as the crowd cheered.
It’s also time that the government stop giving foreign multinationals tax breaks that “frack our environment and expand oil production,” he said.
“Those days should be over. It’s time to move forward,” Manly said.
“I will not compromise on the future of our children and our grandchildren.”
The riding has been vacant since January when former New Democrat MP Sheila Malcolmson resigned the seat to run successfully in a provincial byelection in Nanaimo.
This is the third election in eight months for residents of this Vancouver Island city.
Seven candidates were in the contest, which saw five federal leaders visit the riding, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.
The Nanaimo area has traditionally swung back and forth between New Democrat or Conservative-leaning MP’s.
Story by Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press