In what’s probably an indication about the odds here in Guelph, and maybe the odds up in Parry Sound-Muskoka, Guelph’s incumbent Green candidate and leader of Ontario’s Green Party, spent the last Saturday before Election Day supporting another candidate in another riding. Schreiner’s visit to the eastern end of Georgian Bay sets up the Green Party’s best bet to double the size of their caucus this Thursday.
“With over four hundred volunteers, our campaign has listened and continues to listen to the people of our riding. There’s so much energy,” said Parry Sound-Muskoka Green candidate Matt Ritcher in a statement. “What we’re hearing at the door, on the phone, on mainstreets and in small businesses, is that the people of Parry Sound–Muskoka are ready for real change and new solutions.”
Schreiner’s day in the riding started with some sign waving on a busy corner in Parry Sound before canvassing in the downtown area. He then had lunch with Green Party volunteers in Bracebridge before starting a canvas in different areas in the Muskoka Region.
“Every time I come up to Parry Sound–Muskoka I see more green signs, I see more volunteers and I see more people that are ready for new solutions to old problems,” Schreiner said in a statement. “Matt has the leadership to build the caring, connected, climate-ready Parry Sound–Muskoka that people want. And with more Green MPPs at Queen’s Park, we can make real change with new solutions to people’s old problems.”
So how might Parry Sound-Muskoka end up going Green? In the last provincial election, five-term Progressive Conservative incumbent Norm Miller won with 48.07 per cent of the vote, while Richter, running in his fourth election as the local Green candidate, finished in third place with 20.02 per cent.
A 28 per cent vote difference seems a lot to overcome, but in this election the seat is empty. Miller opted to retire from provincial politics this year, and Liberal candidate Barry Stanley had to be removed from the ballot after it was disclosed that he wrote a book with some homophobic insights, so there’s no Liberal candidate in the riding.
“I’m feeling pretty good. Obviously, we have to work hard for it,” Schreiner told Open Sources Guelph in an interview last week. “I’m feeling confident we are running a strong campaign in Parry Sound-Muskoka, and it feels a lot like how Guelph felt in 2018. I think we have a real possibility of doubling or even possibly tripling the size of the Green caucus, which has me very excited because I keep telling people, we need to export more of Guelph to the rest of Ontario.”
On Sunday, Schreiner will hold a virtual panel with young Green candidates in the morning, and then canvas in Waterloo Town Square and Guelph before finishing the day the Guelph Food Truck Festival in Exhibition Park.
Election Day is June 2.