| Feb 22, 2007

Feature Article - February 22, 2007

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Feature Article - February 22, 2007

Green Party names federal candidateby Jeff Green

With the possibility a federal election at any time, the Green Party Riding Association of Lanark, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington conducted a selection meeting in Napanee last Saturday. Both prospective candidates live in Frontenac County . Chris Walker lives near Inverary, and Robin Davey-Quantick lives south of Sydenham.

After what riding association chair Bobby Clarke called a very close vote, Chris Walker was chosen as the federal Green Party candidate in the riding.

Chris Walker is a self-employed home renovator with extensive experience installing renewable energy systems. He recently completed a Master’s degree in sustainability leadership in Sweden . He has been a Green Party candidate in the past, most recently running provincially in Hastings Frontenac Lennox and Addington in 1998.

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Buoyed by the impact that new party leader Elizabeth May has had on the party’s fortunes, and by the interest Canadians are now taking in environmental issues, Walker says he is ready to run hard in LFL&A whenever the next election is called.

"In my heart I always knew that in time we would become players but I never dreamed it would happen so soon and so fast. At the moment there is heightened public awareness of the need for truly sustainable government policy. Combined with the great work of our new leader, Elizabeth May, this means we will be a force to be reckoned with in the next federal election," he said after his nomination.

Reached by the News a few days later, Chris Walker said that the environment is now a hot button issue that all of the parties are taking on. “The other candidates are going to have a very difficult job of trying to glue sustainable policy onto an essential unsustainable framework, whereas we [The Greens] are sustainable at the core,” he said.

One source of the problem that the Liberals and the Conservatives face, according to Chris Walker, is the way they measure economic growth.

“I don’t think using the Gross National Product (GNP) as a litmus test for economic success is useful or desirable. A disaster like an oil spill adds to the economy, if you go by GNP, because of the amount of economic activity the clean up generates,” he said.

Walker does not think that a sustainable economy is necessarily a weak economy. “An economy that increases the efficiency of industry, that saves money by using energy efficiently instead of artificially keeping energy costs low, would not be a weak economy.”

While Chris Walker said he is happy to see all the parties put forward good policies, he thinks the public is rightly suspicious of the sudden interest that parties are taking in all things environmental.

“The public is quite fed up with the Greenwash offered by parties with very suspicious levels of commitment to the policies. The Green Party will hold them to their commitments,” he said.

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