Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a federal election Sunday, leaving the local Green Party of Canada (GPC) and New Democratic Party (NDP) scrambling to find a candidate for Simcoe North.
Erik Schomann, a federal member at large for the Simcoe North Green Party, says the Green Party has a local candidate that is being vetted by the party.
“We know that things are going to be imminent, so we are trying to see what we can do to expedite that," he said.
“The candidate that we hope to have is a young Indigenous woman, and we are quite excited about the prospect of being able to run with this candidate.”
Schomann says the Greens will be making their candidate public as early as next week, assuming the federal election does begin on Sunday.
While past history shows the Tories have dominated the riding, Schomann admits the prospects of winning the upcoming election aren’t likely, but he is hopeful the Greens can use the upcoming election as a building block.
“This is a special time where there are better opportunities than there have been in the past. But to be honest, we are trying to stay as locally relevant as possible,” he said.
“Typically, we go in, and we are called the Jiminy Cricket party. When I ran in 2019, my job was to go out there and try to keep those other legacy parties honest by bringing up issues such as climate change, environmental ecological bio-mass, and those types of issues.”
Schomann says a win for the Greens would be getting their messages out to the public with their limited resources.
“The goal is to at least get the other candidates to say something publicly that we might be able to hold them to account later on. We try to move the dial on the conversation,” he explained.
“We are a party that is committed to the issues, and as long as they can take root into broader Canadian society on a broader political and social level, then that’s the most important part.”
During this election, Schomann says the Greens' message will remain mostly consistent, but they also want to draw attention to the issues surrounding the Indigenous communities.
“I think the time is right to draw attention to the Indigenous issues. That’s where the national conscience is right now, and those are the conversations we need to be having in addition to climate change as the country is literally on fire,” he said.
In a written statement to OrilliaMatters, federal member at large for the Simcoe North NDP, Brandon Rhéal Amyot, said the NDP has had several Simcoe North residents express interest in seeking the nomination and more details will be announced in the near future.
“New Democrats are ready to lead us forward together, get results for Canadians, and rebuild better than ever,” Rhéal Amyot said.
While the NDP is expected to name a candidate in the near future, Rhéal Amyot says the NDP believes the time for a federal election is not during a suspected fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our NDP MPs have been fighting hard for Canadians and working to ensure that the federal government delivers for them,” they said.
“That's why we released our Ready for Better commitments, which focus on recovery and a vision for a better future.”