Steve Dyck is officially the Green Party candidate for Guelph in this October’s Federal Election. After four rounds of voting, and one recount, Dyck will run against Liberal incumbent Lloyd Longfield and try to push the Guelph Green wave into the House of Commons.
Before the vote, the CEO of Guelph Solar said he was a “trusted voice in Guelph” who would push for “real climate action” in Ottawa. Afterward, he said was humble and proud to be from the Guelph community. Dyck also called Green Party leader Elizabeth May a clear voice of sanity in the House of Commons, and one of the hardest working Members of Parliament.
“I would be so honoured to be standing next to Elizabeth May in our House of Parliament, building a democracy, building a country of justice and fairness. That is my hope,” Dyck said.
Greens across Canada are seeing opportunity between the potential for a provincial government in Prince Edward Island, and a second Green MP elected in the upcoming Nanaimo-Ladysmith by-election. May was supposed to attend the Guelph nomination meeting, but she’s been concentrating her efforts in the B.C. riding for its May 6 vote.
“People across Canada want more Green leadership,” said Dyck. “Here in Guelph we’re going to put the fun back in politics. We’re going to have an engaged and energized campaign office. We don’t call it the Green Party for nothing, we really party.”
A space for 200 people at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Centre was standing room only, and the venue had already moved once in the days leading up to the nomination due a recording-breaking increase in new members according to the local Green Party EDA.
A total of 360 people cast ballots for the Green Party nomination. Dyck thanked his fellow nominees, the Green candidates who’ve come before, and the crowd.
“Thank you so much for everything you’ve done in the last three months,” Dyck said. “It is my hope that you will remain involved, and that we will draw people in together.”
The other candidates running were Alex Chapman, Hayley Kellett, Ralph Martin, and Jax Thornton. Green Party members voted according to a ranked ballot, and counting proceeded until one person got 50 per cent plus one.
Dyck has long been an activist in many environmental and electoral reform efforts in Guelph, as well as being a local businessman. He also previously ran for office as the Green Party candidate in the 2011 Provincial election.
The Possibility of Guelph Stuff
Along with selecting a candidate, the message from the Green Party membership was that Guelph is a likely spot for Greens to pick up a seat in this fall’s election.
“People know stuff is going on in Guelph and they want to be a part of it as well. They know it’s a hot bed for Green activity,” said Brett Nodwell, who helped oversee the Green Party’s nomination process in Guelph.
That credit goes to Mike Schreiner, who achieved victory in the Guelph last spring in the provincial election, and was elected by an overwhelming margin.
“You have paved the way for us,” said Mike Morrice, the Green candidate for the federal riding of Kitchener-Centre. “The psychological barrier has shifted because you’ve proved it’s possible to vote for what we’re for, as opposed to what we’re against.”
Dyck said that Schreiner’s were big shoes to follow, and thanked the MPP for gaining the trust of Guelph voters. Dyck also thanked Schreiner for not heckling the Premier in Queen’s Park. “You continue to show respect, and I hope that when I’m Guelph’s Member of Parliament that I can follow your lead, your example,” Dyck said.
Schreiner tried to keep the spotlight off himself, and put it back on the party’s line-up of candidates.
“We need people with the love, courage, and vision to stand up for what they believe in, and do it with kindness, compassion, and co-operation, and that’s exactly what I heard on this stage tonight with these five incredible people,” Schreiner said.
Schreiner echoed Dyck’s sentiment about sending more friends to Ottawa for May. “After eight months of duelling Doug [Ford] on my own, I can tell you having some friends in Parliament would be more than welcome,” Schreiner joked.
“We’re in a historical moment right now,” Schreiner said seriously. “The one thing that truly frightens me, and we have to prevent it, is that we cannot allow Doug Ford’s politics “to be exported to the Federal level.
“The multi-million dollar campaign that the Ford government is now waging against climate solutions, is really a taxpayer financed effort to support [Federal Conservative leader] Andrew Scheer at the federal level,” Schreiner added. “We, as Greens across the country, have to say ‘No’ to that, and we have to ‘No’ to the divisive politics that will not lead to the liveable future for our children. It is absolutely critical!”
The Federal Election Day is Monday October 21.