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Is southwestern Ontario the new power base for the Green Party?


Southern Ontario is leading the way for the Green Party.

There are 11 elected Greens at the federal level in the provinces and territories. Compare that to Kitchener and Guelph, where there are three, representing over 25 per cent of elected Greens in Canada.

For Ontario Green Party leader and Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner, it’s no surprise they’ve found support in southwestern Ontario.

“There's so many businesses here that are succeeding in the innovation economy, in the emerging climate economy, that are making real contributions to reducing climate pollution,” said Schreiner.

Beyond the party’s environmental platform, Schreiner said people have gravitated to their “people first” ethos.

“I think one of the things that [Kitchener Centre MP] Mike Morrice, [newly elected Kitchener Centre MPP] Aislinn Clancy and myself have talked about is putting people before party politics, running people-centered campaigns versus party-center campaigns.”

But how successful can the Green Party be in this part of Ontario?

Without making any predictions, Schreiner said the Greens have room to grow.

“Certainly there's fertile ground here for green values, vision and policies,” said Schreiner. “We see other opportunities and other ridings in this region to engage, mobilize and inspire people to be a part of that type of new political movement.”


Simon Kiss, an associate professor of political science at Wilfrid Laurier University, agrees there may be room to grow but it may be a difficult road.

“Once you get outside of downtown Kitchener, the demographics start to change pretty quickly,” he said. “So if anything they might try to prioritize taking Waterloo especially if [NDP MPP] Catherine Fife decides not to run, but we don't have any indication that she won't run.”

Kiss added that it’s very likely the Green Party will focus a great deal of time and effort on this area in upcoming general elections.

“You'll see more visible Green campaigns, you'll see more visits by Green Party leaders, you'll possibly see more local issues, appearances and Green party platforms. Something like transit from downtown Toronto to the outer edges of the Golden Horseshoe is important for an area like Kitchener.”

The next general election in Ontario is expected to be in 2026, and federally, voters could head to the polls in 2025. Top Stories

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