It was no surprise this week when the federal Liberals announced they were going ahead with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The alternative would have triggered screams for secession from Alberta – not a pretty soundtrack during an election campaign – and grave misgivings from across the country about Justin Trudeau’s economic priorities. The political price was in committing a final betrayal of the Liberals’ progressive-environmentalist base on the West Coast – and gifting the ascendant Greens with a golden opportunity.
“The Green Party’s time has come” was actually Dana Taylor’s rallying cry after he was confirmed as candidate for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country on June 18 in Squamish. Taylor finished ahead of Sunshine Coaster Lars Guignard, who by all indications would have made a strong candidate but couldn’t match Taylor’s impressive credentials.
Taylor, a West Vancouver resident since 1987, carried the Green banner in the 2017 provincial election and came in a solid second behind incumbent Jordan Sturdy; he served for two terms as a councillor for the City of North Vancouver; he is said to have been instrumental in forming B.C.’s first Green Chamber of Commerce and sits on the board of its successor organization, the Board of Change; he served for almost 30 years as the executive vice president of the Mechanical Contractors Association of BC and has been active in groups like the Save Howe Sound Society.
Taylor’s message will resonate in this riding: “The world is waking up to the need for society at all levels – with governments at the lead – to take ambitious action to halt the devastating effects of climate change. Of all the national parties, only the Green Party has a concrete, thoroughly-costed and achievable plan of action for leading the country through the transition to a carbon-neutral economy in the short time left before the decay of the world’s climate becomes irreversible.”
He plans to launch his campaign with a “Listening Tour” and says the ideas and concerns that he hears will form the foundation of the message he takes to Ottawa. The Green riding association says it will be “throwing everything we have” into getting Taylor elected.
By comparison, the Conservatives have had candidate Gabrielle Loren in place for seven weeks but have done little to build her profile in the riding – and now a confident People’s Party of Canada candidate, Doug Bebb, is on the scene and will be trying to chip away at the Conservative base. The Liberals and NDP are even less prepared, with no candidates on the ground or nomination meetings scheduled.
The election will be held in exactly four months. In this riding, the Greens appear to have the edge so far in both energy and organization.