On June 8th, 2018, one day after the provincial election, I threw my papers in to be vetted as a possible candidate for the Kingston-and-the-Islands Green Party nomination in hope of being the next Green candidate. This is what the last 11 months have been for me.
In May 2018 I started asking close friends and family what they thought about the idea of me running and asked if they would support my candidacy. After enough people said they would, I waited to put my papers in and stayed focused on the goal at hand: electing another Green MPP to Queen’s park.
By June 8th, my papers were in and the Green Party in Kingston was polling under 4% according to 338 Canada. My goal was to get Kingston Greens support to 10% before the nomination. At this time we had no idea that PEI Greens were going to be polling first in their election, we had no idea that New Brunswick was going to get 3 Greens, and finally, we had no idea that Nanaimo-Ladysmith was going to have a by-election. So my goal was 10% and I was ready to build a strong Green presence before the writ dropped for the election. Whether I was the Candidate or not, I knew the Greens could win here if we were the first party out; that’s why I put my papers in early, and I haven’t looked back once.
After I put my papers in I spent the summer going to events, not as a Vetted Green Nominee, but instead as an ordinary person that was interested in the community, its politics, and building a campaign team. I asked people in the community what issues were the biggest to them.
By September the campaign grew from a one-man team to a 10-person team with a financial agent. The team was built of young people, old people, people from all parties. We spent September going to a few events and building connections within the community. At the end of September, I got to go to my first Green Party of Canada convention. My goal there was to learn as much as I could and bring back the knowledge I gained there to apply it to the campaign. That goal was completed. I then returned to Kingston, on-site to help build a CA and EDA for Kingston-and-the-Islands with other Green volunteers. By the end of September, we were polling just under 5%.
In October I was vetted to run as a Green nominee. We were finally allowed to advertise that we were running for the Green Party nomination. I and my Financial agent ordered business cards to help advertise the nomination campaign at events. I didn’t go to many events because I focused more on the CA and EDA. A CA was formed and I ran for the communication director position. Unfortunately, no EDA was formed. With much talk about the Greens because of local members who organized the EDA meeting, we were polling just over 6%.
In November and December, the campaign team spent many hours building our platform and our campaign strategy for the remainder of the nomination and hopefully the federal election. We opened up the campaign bank account. We also went to a few events, including speaking to students at SLC. By the end of December, we were polling 8%.
In January and February, I spent most of my time in meetings and at events while having team meetings every two weeks. We were now polling at 10%, more than what we had revived during the last federals and provincial election.
March was the biggest month for the campaign (so far) and for the Green party. We launched our website with a complete local platform. We were out in the public loud and building a strong Green presence. At the end of the month, we hit an all-time high in polls—12%!
In April I attended some events including going up to Queen’s Park. April was the high point for Greens everywhere. We elected North America’s first Green Official Opposition. At the end of April, we hit 13.2%. In May I spoke at the climate rally outside of City Hall and have gone to a few events already. Once again Greens had another historic win; the Green Party of Canada now has its second seat in the House of Commons. The Greens’ Paul Manly won roughly 40 percent of the votes in Nanaimo-Ladysmith. Last Sunday we hit another all-time high in the polls: 15.7%, right behind the NDP.
The nomination is on May 30th. I took the time to write this article to talk about what the Nomination Campaign has been up to over the last 11 months and how it’s been the greatest thing ever to watch Green support grow throughout the country, with historic wins and all-time high support. I always knew we could win in Kingston and the Islands; more and more people are looking at the Green Party and I’m ready to be part of Kingston-and-the-Islands’ historic 2019 win, as your Green candidate or as a volunteer. You can count on one thing in Kingston! This will be our best election.