The Green party has gained it’s first ever federal member of Parliament — even before an anticipated fall election call.
Green party Leader Elizabeth May introduced Independent MP Blair Wilson — a former Liberal first elected in 2006 — as a Green MP at a news conference Saturday morning in the capital.
May characterized the move as an historic moment, and said it provides her fledgling party with an entry into the mainstream media election debates.
“With a Green MP sitting in the House of Commons, it will now be impossible to exclude the Green party from the televised leaders’ debates in the next election,” said May.
Wilson said he approached the Green party about possible representation only within the past week and “the sun and the moon and stars all lined up,” to get him aboard.
The party’s 1.5 million votes in the 2006 election, combined with continued strong national polling numbers near 10 per cent and federal byelection results that have placed Green candidates ahead of other mainstream party contenders all point to a legitimate political entity, said May.
“We’ve established ourselves as a party that cannot be described as fringe.”
But whether Wilson ever enters the House of Commons as a Green party MP will likely be determined by voters in his riding of West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country later this autumn.
That’s no sure thing.
The Vancouver MP resigned from the Liberal caucus last fall after allegations of spending irregularities in his 2006 campaign.
Elections Canada finally cleared Wilson this summer of any improprieties following an eight-month investigation, and May said he shared “deep and detailed” financial information with the Green party over the past week that proves his innocence.
Wilson is also contemplating a defamation suit against family members following an ugly financial dispute.
Wilson won his Vancouver seat, which had been held by Conservative party stalwart John Reynolds, in a tough three-way fight with the Tories and NDP after Reynolds’ retired from politics and did not run in 2006.
“Not only do I embrace the policies of my new party, I will feel that all my past difficulties are justified if, by my actions, I can make a real difference by ensuring Elizabeth May is included in the leaders’ debates,” Wilson said in a statement.
“There is a democracy deficit in Canadian politics and this is one step in restoring effective democracy in Canada”.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is widely expected to dissolve Parliament next week before the fall sitting resumes, sending Canadians to the polls for a vote in mid-October.
Harper was to meet with NDP Leader Jack Layton later Saturday, ostensibly in a bid to seek opposition support for the Conservative government’s fall legislative agenda.
Photo courtesy BlairWilson.ca .