An otherwise humdrum provincial election campaign hasn’t hurt the momentum of the Green Party of Ontario, its leader said Wednesday, because the party made a final push for votes on election eve.
Constructing on their first win of a seat within the legislature 4 years ago, Green Leader Mike Schreiner said his party is running the largest campaign in its history, buoyed by a powerful performance on the leaders’ debate.
“The one party that seems to have momentum on this election campaign is the Ontario Green party,” Schreiner said during a stop in London Wednesday.
“We have now more resources, more staff capability, more volunteer engagement than we’ve ever had . . . . Electing that first seat in 2018 was critically vital. Electing a second or third seat even on this election is very important as we construct this political movement to construct the Ontario people want.”
In a campaign short on standout moments from all major parties, and after two years of pandemic-related disruptions, Schreiner said it’s “entirely comprehensible” Ontarians aren’t excited about politics.
“I do think the pandemic has affected campaigns for all parties all across the province. It’s been a tough two years,” Schreiner said.
“Those experiences have affected people and I feel they’ve affected engagement on this election.”
London was the Green party leader’s third stop of the day. He began with a morning stop in Brantford, followed by an event in St. Thomas, and was set to go to Kitchener to shut out the day.
The three other major party leaders focused their campaigns on Brantford and the Greater Toronto Area.
The Greens have been pushing to extend their vote share provincewide, re-elect Schreiner in Guelph and win one other seat in Parry Sound-Muskoka, an open race in a longtime Progressive Conservative stronghold with no Liberal on the ballot.
Wednesday’s London visit was Schreiner’s second of the campaign. Just days into the campaign, Schreiner announced free tuition for expert trades students training for green economy jobs.
The party also has made platform pledges geared toward boosting inexpensive housing, increasing public transit ridership and inspiring Ontarians to transition to electric vehicles.
The party received between 3.7 and 4.6 per cent of the vote in the town’s three core ridings within the 2018 provincial election. Provincewide, the Greens received about 4.6 per cent of the vote in 2018 and 4.89 per cent in 2015.