Barry Randle is Central Nova’s Green Party Candidate.
Randle, owner of The Stone Soup Café in Pictou with his wife, sits on the board of the Downtown Business Association and teaches adult education classes at PiCCoLA and NSCC in Stellarton.
“Greens are showing the good they can do when they get the opportunity to bring their values to govern in NB and PEI, and people are responding to these results,” says Randle in a release from the Central Nova Green Party Association.
During an interview, Randle said that he’s “delighted” for the chance to work for the party that he’s been involved with since 2008.
“I put myself forward because somebody’s got to do it. I’ve been an activist since I was 15 years old and this is the next step in trying to make the changes in the world that need to be made.”
Those within the Green Party have attributed momentum they are experiencing to the effects of climate change Canadians from coast to coast are experiencing.
“People are tired of going around and around the same circle,” said Randle. “Red tie, blue tie, red tie, blue tie. It makes no difference. This time voters want real change, there is no more time.”
Extreme weather events which include droughts and forest fires in Western Canada have been attributed to climate change in the American Geophysical Union’s Earth’s Future Scientific journal, and two consecutive years of historical flooding in Quebec and New Brunswick, as well as the findings in the 2018 IPCC report, have forced party leaders from across the political spectrum to acknowledge the scientific consensus around the issue.
But, Randle says that they’re all talk.
“The Liberals talked about this in the last election then went out and spent 4.5 billion on a pipeline,” said Randle referring to the purchasing of the Trans Mountain pipeline by the federal Liberal Party.
“These parties will talk about climate change because to them it’s a buzz political issue rather than the actual existential threat that it is,” said Randle. “Whereas, the Green Party has been actively campaigning on this issue since there’s been a green party. We have real concrete plans in our policies to address this issue, and others, but this is the most pressing one.”
When the scope of concerns is narrowed down to Pictou County, Randle, whose café sits directly across the harbour from the Northern Pulp Mill, says that corporations need to take a bigger role in mitigating the environmental and economic impacts of their operations.
“We need to make sure the employees that are currently working for them and the people working in the forest industry are compensated for the loss of those contracts and those agreements,” said Randle.
A campaign kick-off party will be at Shaun’s Place at 136 Provost St, New Glasgow on May 24 from 7-9 p.m.