Fourth-place finish encourages K-W greens

Stacey Danckert poses with her husband James. (Photo by Cristina Rucchetta).

“We’ve accomplished so much [in comparison] to what we’ve been able to accomplish in the past,” said Stacey Danckert, the Green Party of Ontario candidate in Thursday’s Kitchener-Waterloo byelection. While Danckert finished fourth out of the ten candidates, the party’s supporters were pleased with the result.

“It’s just a matter of having the wind in our sails,” said Matt Casselman, a general volunteer with the Green Party since 2004 and director of the board for the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union. The unofficial numbers from Elections Ontario showed that the Green Party finished with 3.4 per cent of the vote, compared to 2.64 per cent in last October’s general election.

Many eager supporters and volunteers showed up at Honest Lawyer in Downtown Kitchener clad in green and optimistic about the party’s achievements in this campaign.

“I’m very happy with the campaign we ran, I think Stacey is a fantastic candidate, and I’m proud of the stance we took on some of the issues,” said Mike Schreiner, the provincial leader of the Green Party. Those issues include standing up to the proposed Highway 7 plan, which plans to as Schreiner put it, “pave over our farm land,” as well as supporting fair schools in the education system and signing the non nuclear cost overrun pledge.

“I think its important for someone like Stacey to show that kind of leadership, take a stand on important issues like that, and I couldn’t be more proud of the campaign she ran and the great job she did,” added Schriener.

The results of the election ensure that the Liberals will not gain a majority in Queen’s Park and Danckert is content with that.

“I think that we need a minority right now,” Danckert said. “I think that at this point, especially given Bill-55, that we really need to make sure to hold the liberals accountable and hold them to task and make sure that there is someone keeping track of what they’re doing.”

Added Schreiner, “I think having an minority government is positive, we are eager to work with any party that’s willing to make a minority parliament work and to… work on issues around environmental, financial and social sustainability.”

While Danckert is “not making any promises “ about running again, she will “certainly be participating.”

Look for more coverage from Thursday’s byelection in Wednesday’s issue of The Cord.

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