This is the first in a series of brief articles that will look at where the political parties of Ontario stand before the provincial election. The opinion largely draws on the last candidate debate on May 16, 2022. A call (opinion) will be made in the final article on who will win the election with each article before offering a supporting view.
The Green Party
Mike Schreiner, the leader of the Green Party of Ontario put on an absolute clinic in the Ontario Leader’s debate. He demonstrated the characteristics of a leader with the confidence and knowledge to compliment a modernized plan for all Ontarians. Using the environment as a foundation, he layered policy on health, education, and economy, while establishing an approachable persona. A pillar of his messaging that hit home every time he said it was, “put people first”. He said it in different ways too like, “put people before profit,” and “the biggest stress on our healthcare system is poverty”. Mike Schreiner cares about Ontarians, including the “28 thousand young kids on (a) mental health wait list.”
He also presented a strong opposition to paving over farmlands. Given the rise in the cost-of living, farmlands are a key to providing affordable and local food to a growing population and Schreiner wants to use those farmlands to feed Ontarians and strengthen the economy in the process. The farmlands would provide long-term food sourcing and employment. Schreiner called out Doug Ford saying, “he wants to build a fiscally and environmentally reckless highway. He will roll out the red carpet to support the Amazons of the world… but when it comes to supporting local farmers he’ll pave over their farmland.”
I was reminded of a podcast segment I had recorded on The Future of Farming after listening to Mike Schreiner. The segment provides information on modernized farming approaches to help control the rising cost of food as well as some of the new technologies driving it.
The question now is whether this wealth of knowledge, determination, and innovative ideas will translate into votes?
How Will The Party Show?
If the debate was the measuring stick that determined the next Premier, Mike Schreiner would be your winner. He made Doug Ford looks sour, Steven Del Duca compliment him, and Andrea Horwath try to ride his green initiative coattails.
While the Green Party has gained popularity and may increase its vote share, it won’t form the next government because it hasn’t yet sold Ontarians on its vision outside of the environment. It needs to reach more people and communicate all its other platform visions and plans, which are indeed solid because they’re planned and transparently flexible within a realm of possibility. They needed more runway, more exposure, more Mike to take on more support. It’s not going to be enough for Mike to become Premier, but he accomplished two significant things:
1. Ontarians who watched the debate will remember Mike Schreiner.
2. The Green Party has shown it is ready to be a viable alternate option for Ontarians.
In order to keep the momentum going, they will have to find a way to continue campaigning and educating Ontarians on their platform and vision more aggressively over the next four years leading to the next election. If you want to learn more about Mike Schreiner and the Green Party of Ontario platform, you can visit their website.