August 22, 2015 - 1:05 PM
KAMLOOPS – To understand Green Party federal candidate in the riding of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, you need to understand the Green Party.
Matt Greenwood, 35, says his party is the alternative choice to the Conservatives.
“In this particular campaign I think there’s a pretty big segment of voters out there who are probably feeling politically homeless,” Greenwood says.
“Any small-c conservative voter who has sincerely held conservative principles and they’re tired of the big-C Conservative party taking them for granted… I’m here to say you have a home with the Greens.”
The Green Party platform is about sustainability, whether it be environmental, social or fiscal, which is actually a conservative value. Greenwood says the “conserve” in the word conservative is what his party believes in.
“Sustainability means a lot more than just the sort of green buzz word it’s often taken to mean,” Greenwood says, adding the party is often pigeonholed as environmentalist and, therefore, left.
Greenwood is a Green Party veteran who ran in the 2006 election.
A great admirer of federal party leader Elizabeth May, Greenwood had an opportunity to work for her during her Saanich Gulf Island riding campaign in 2011. He calls it easily one of the best months of his life.
Greenwood says he is interested, curious and engaged, and if elected, he will not always accept and will always question.
“One of my favourite taglines is ‘citations needed’. I’m not always going to take everything at face value," he says. "I want to see where did this number come from, where did that fact come from.”
As an intake worker at ASK Wellness, the Aids Society of Kamloops, his job is to connect people with what they need. He believes this is exactly what a good member of parliament must do.
“I love being able to connect people with the things, people, and the information and the resources they need. I’m kind of a link-o-holic,” he says.
Greenwood says the Greens are the only Canadian political party that doesn’t ‘whip’ votes, meaning MPs bring the needs of the riding to Ottawa and does not impose the agenda of Ottawa on the riding like the other federal parties.
Candidates agree to the basic principles of the Green Party or the six global green principles: non-violence, sustainability, social justice, ecological wisdom, participatory democracy and respect for diversity.
Greenwood says respect is a key part of the party's platform, which means respect for taxpayers, retirees, the troops and veterans, privacy particularly as it pertains to bill C-51 and "actual" conservative values.
He believes the Harper government, on issue after issue, has alienated its voter base.
“If that's not what you signed on for as a Conservative supporter, then you have to show them. And I think the best way you could show them is to vote Green this time.”
To contact a reporter for this story, email Dana Reynolds at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email email@example.com or call 250-718-2724.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015