“Anybody can take this riding, so why not give the Greens a chance?” she said.
May, the leader of the federal Green Party, was in New Glasgow Friday evening for the official launch of David Hachey’s campaign and spoke to The News earlier in the day. Hachey, the local Green Party candidate, operates a small sheep farm in Meadowville and has international business experience.
“I’m thrilled about David. I think he’s a special candidate.”
May, who ran unsuccessfully against Conservative MP MacKay in the riding during the 2008 federal election, is now the MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands in British Columbia. She made history in the 2011 election by becoming the first Green Party candidate to be elected to the House of Commons.
“I think we have a really good chance. We offer something different. A lot of that Green support hasn’t gone away,” she said, adding that she received 34 per cent of the vote locally in the 2008 election.
She said she thinks people want to see real change, and the Green Party will bring that. “We give people something worth voting for – the disenchanted, the cynical, the disgusted.”
May said the Green Party’s policies are very pragmatic, and are based on creating a healthier Canada by creating jobs while also protecting the environment.
May encouraged people to get out and vote, which is the only way that change can happen. Where the Green Party has been successful, she said, is in places where voter turnout has increased. For example, when she was elected, voter turnout was 75 per cent, one of the highest participation rates in the country.
Hachey said that with MacKay out of the picture, he hopes voters will look at the candidates with a fresh perspective. “I like to hope people will take a strong look at the candidates and platforms with a strong sense of freedom this time around.”
He decided to run as a candidate for the Green Party because he believes in sustainable prosperity, and because he sees a lot of mistakes being made in the way the country is run. “Damage is being done to the institution of democracy,” he said, mentioning scientists being silenced, the subsidy of the fossil fuel industry and the passing of Bill C-51.
Hachey said the anti-terrorism bill, which became law this spring, limits people’s freedoms and doesn't make people any more safe.
David MacLeod, who stepped down as Liberal candidate for Central Nova after that party supported passage of the bill, attended Hachey’s event.
“He’s taking every opportunity to speak out against Bill C-51,” said Hachey. “Having a former Liberal candidate speaking at a Green event is a big deal.”
May stopped in Central Nova after holding a press conference in Fredericton where she announced the Green Party’s plan to eliminate poverty in Canada, improve access to health care, reduce the crime rate, and create economic opportunity for Canadian families.
After her visit in Pictou County, she planned to travel to Cape Breton to visit family.
“Her time is extremely precious, so the fact that she found the time to support me is a huge deal,” said Hachey. “It means the world to me.”