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'Lot of momentum': Schreiner makes late campaign stop in Barrie

'We have a track record now and people have seen how much we have accomplished at Queen’s Park the last four years,' says Ontario Green Party leader

Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner made a quick pit stop in Barrie on Monday afternoon as he and fellow Green candidates make their final push before Thursday’s election.

Schreiner kicked off the Ontario Greens’ home-stretch tour, The Final Charge, with Deputy Leader Dianne Saxe in University-Rosedale before making tour stops across the province, including along Barrie's waterfront, where he joined local candidates Bonnie North (Barrie-Innisfil) and Elyse Robinson (Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte), and then onto Angus with Simcoe North candidate Krystal Brooks and Simcoe-Grey candidate Allan Kuhn.

Schreiner told BarrieToday he was feeling “excited” leading up to election night on June 2.

“We have a lot of momentum, especially coming out of the leaders' debate and I think people really liked our positive approach to politics and the fact that we are offering new solutions to old problems," he said, "especially when it comes to addressing health-care capacity and mental health especially.”

Schreiner noted voters seem to appreciate the party’s housing affordability plan as well as how they plan to address the cost-of-living concerns. 

“I am confident that we can double or even triple our seat count at Queen’s Park and grow our vote across the province to set us up for success in the next election," said Schreiner, who was the only Green Party candidate to win a seat in the 2018 provincial election. 

Locally, Schreiner expressed pride for how the party has attracted young people into politics.

“We had a Young Greens news conference on Sunday morning and Elyse (Robinson) did a great job, along with a number of other young Greens. I think it’s just so important to have young voices in politics and I am really proud of the fact we have a lot of young, inspiring, articulate candidates who can continue to carry the Green message forward," he said. 

"And to have somebody like Bonnie (North), who has had some experience doing this to mentor someone like Elyse shows just how we are growing our movement over time," Schreiner added. 

Since 2014, North has run under the Green banner four times before in both provincial and federal elections. 

Both Robinson and North say they are feeling good about their campaign efforts.

“I am feeling really excited this last week especially,” said Robinson. “We are seeing so many people very supportive of us at the door, a lot of seniors saying they want to protect the future for their children and their grandchildren, people who are really impressed with our climate plan and by Mike at the leaders' debate.”

North told BarrieToday that, despite going up against some pretty strong candidates, the Green Party will still give the other political parties a run for their money. 

“Whether we win or not, we continue to change the conversation and influence the policy. That is absolutely crucial and that is absolutely what we are doing," she said. 

Voters' views of the Green Party have definitely changed in recent years, acknowledged Schreiner and he believes that is a positive trend will only continue to grow.

“We have a track record now and people have seen how much we have accomplished at Queen’s Park the last four years. Like in other provinces, our hope is we win that first seat, we win that second seat and then if you look at the P.E.I. Greens, now they are the official opposition,” he said. “We are growing our movement… and here we are having a tremendous impact at Queen’s Park even with one seat.

"Imagine how much more we can do to benefit people’s lives with more Green seats.”