UVic prof seeks Green Party nomination, student engagement

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A hopeful for nomination to the Victoria MP candidacy, Donald Galloway, made his announcement in front of UVic’s Petch Fountain on Sept. 13. Galloway, a professor in UVic’s Faculty of Law, seeks the Green Party nomination at a Sept. 29 meeting.

Since the NDP’s Denise Savoie announced her resignation from the House of Commons on doctors’ recommendations Aug. 23, Elizabeth Cull (former deputy premier and finance and health minister), Charley Beresford (a former school trustee) and Murray Rankin (an environmental lawyer and former UVic law professor who opposes the Northern Gateway pipelines project) have come forward seeking NDP nomination. Paul Summerville (former chief economist for Royal Bank of Canada) has stepped up seeking Liberal nomination. Trevor Moat, a James Bay Neighborhood Association board member, and Mark Loria, the development director at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, are also seeking the Green Party nomination. As of press time, no one has come forward seeking the Conservative nomination. The federal government will likely schedule a by-election to happen before December.

Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands and leader of the Green Party of Canada, was first at the podium for Galloway’s announcement, saying, “I’ve proven, and I think it’s pretty clear, that one MP can do a lot.”

May said she was saddened that Savoie had stepped down.

“But then it began to dawn on me,” said May, “I don’t have to be in Parliament by myself anymore. We can elect another Green Party member of Parliament. We can double the Green Party caucus coming from Southern Vancouver Island. Saanich-Gulf Islands and Victoria together can lead Canada.”

When Galloway took to the stand, he said, “There is no other party in this country that bases its economic and political programs on environmental principles rather than vice versa. It has to be that way from now on.”

“I actually just stumbled upon this, but I’m really excited to see Elizabeth May,” said crowd member Tanya Taggart-Hodge, a McGill arts and science major in environment who has a particular interest in the polar regions and the tropics. “I thought it was a really lucky surprise for me to be here. I didn’t know she was going to be speaking today. I’ve always been a fan of hers. Environmental causes, things like climate change, are obviously really important to me, so I think [Galloway is] going to be a really good representative.”

Galloway professed an agenda that links human rights to sustainability and climate change, and went on to say, “I cannot hope to fill Denise’s shoes, but I can say that I’ve watched and I’ve listened and I’ve seen how she’s done it. She is a listener. She intervenes. She helps. She manages. She develops policy.”

Galloway said he will attempt to emulate Savoie’s human qualities. He said that electing a second Green Party member to Parliament will attract international attention to this pocket of the West Coast and bring international students, international conventions and green businesses because they will respond to the political situation this by-election will create. 

Climate change scientist Andrew Weaver introduced Galloway, who is also officially endorsed by environmentalist David Suzuki and author Farley Mowat, among others. 

Galloway said his supporters represent reason, passion, compassion and hope. He added, “I’m going to stand between them, and I’m going to drive the Green Party into a position where they can reshape democracy in this country.”

After his speech, students came forward to chat with Galloway.

“We are actually going to make a huge change, and we’re not going to do it without the students. We cannot do it without the UVic students,” Galloway told the Martlet. “This may be one of the few elections in their lifetime where they can make such a big difference.”

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