Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May and her husband, John Kidder, were in Mission last week. Kidder is hoping to win the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon seat in the October federal election. / Kevin Mills Photo

Green candidate John Kidder says he has to attract Mission voters

Touring Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding with his wife and party leader Elizabeth May

Green Party candidate John Kidder and his wife, party leader Elizabeth May, were in Mission last week as part of Kidder’s tour through the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding.

Kidder is the Green candidate in the riding in the upcoming federal election scheduled for Oct. 21, 2019.

He will be trying to unseat current MP Jati Sidhu (Liberal), who will be seeking re-election. Other announced candidates vying for the local MP seat are Brad Vis (Conservative) and Julius N. Csaszar (Peoples Party of Canada).

Kidder said he knows that the riding is a challenge, considering the size and the amount of communities.

“It’s a good chunk of territory,” he said with a laugh.

However, he added Green supporters are volunteering throughout the riding to help spread the message.

“We’re getting a pretty good team starting to build now, here in Mission and up in what the other contestants call the northern part of the riding, as if it were somehow distinct.”

While Kidder is using social media as a tool to communicate with voters, he is also planning on doing a series of drop-in meetings during the campaign to hear what the contentious issues are.

One subject that always comes up is local transportation.

He said as Mission keeps growing, and there are no rapidly expanding services to get people back and forth to Vancouver, he hears more and more concerns.

He said because Mission is, more or less, a bedroom community, they are more aware of the transportation challenges of getting to larger urban areas like Vancouver.

“So you have all those travel issues, you’ve got housing issues … At the same time you have a connection to a strong forestry and agricultural resource space which is, to some extent, being a bit harmed by all the things we know about climate change,” he said.

Kidder believes that Mission is the key to winning the riding.

“I obviously have to focus a lot of effort on Mission. There is no question about that. If one doesn’t actually attract voters in Mission, one does not win this riding. It’s pretty clear. At the same time, the smaller communities in the northern part of the riding seldom get any attention at all.”

Last election, the Green Party did not fare well in the voting. Liberal Jati Sidhu won the riding with 16,625 votes while the Green Party candidate, Arthur Green, finished fourth with 2,293 votes.

However, Kidder said the public’s view on the Green Party is “changing pretty rapidly.”

“The nature of the urgency of the climate crisis is coming to people’s hearts and minds all across this riding and across the country as well.”

Elizabeth May said the goal going into every election is to form government and “it could happen, but I’d be amazed.”

Realistically, she has another goal.

“For the health of our democracy, what I’m really hoping is that Canadians turn out in larger numbers than ever and everybody votes for what they want. Get rid of the notion that I have to vote for a party I don’t like very much to avoid the party I like least of all,” May said.

She believes if everybody votes for what they want, considering there will be at least five national parties on every ballot, there will be a minority government.

“And Greens should have enough seats to play a significant influential role.”

Currently, the Green Party has only two seats in Parliament – May in Saanich-Gulf Islands and Paul Manly, MP of Nanaimo-Ladysmith – both in B.C. and both on Vancouver Island.

May believes this time, the Greens could win seats in the Maritimes as well as Ontario. She also thinks the party could have a “Jack Layton” moment in Quebec.

“That orange wave that rolled in, in 2011, is going to completely recede in 2019 … We have a real potential for major gain in Quebec.”

She also said she feels Kidder will win here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mission Institution has highest number of positive results for COVID-19

11 inmates test positive for coronavirus, more than any other federal prison in Canada

VIDEO: A message from Mission’s mayor

Pam Alexis asks residents to support local businesses, stay strong during COVID-19 pandemic

Mission developers donate $10,000, challenge others to donate as well

Gary Toor and Jason Tiegen gve the money to Mission Community Services, hope to raise $20,000

You can design a new banner for Mission’s downtown area

Mission Downtown Business Association is presenting its second annual banner design competition

One woman arrested in Abbotsford on Sunday after stabbing

25-year-old man sent to hospital with serious injuries following incident

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Most Read