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Eyes on Wolseley: An Interview With Janine Gibson
Manitoba Green Party leader, Janine G. Gibson, has her eyes set on the legislature this October.
We’re halfway through the Manitoba election with only a couple of weeks left until election day and even less time until advance polling kicks off.
I reached out to Janine G. Gibson, Manitoba Green Party leader and candidate in Wolseley, to ask about the state of her campaign and to ask how Greens are managing this election.
We’re about halfway through the election now with two weeks to go until election day. This is your first time running as leader of the party, how has it been thus far?
Janine: Good teams are so important to this process, I appreciate my teams and my supporters. They make it fun! It is a privilege to be able to speak my truth and support our Green values through policies and procedures.
You’re running in the riding of Wolseley, a seat the Greens earned 36.3% of the vote last election in and the best in the province for the party. How has the mood in Wolseley been for you personally and how do you feel about your chances in the riding?
Janine: Feeling quite a bit of support from strong Greens. Some residents are stating they want to vote strategically to support the NDP to ensure defeat of the PCs which could negatively impact our required number of votes to win. They acknowledge the NDP incumbent is not strong on the environmental actions needed, so we’re working hard to engage stronger Green support for action in 2023.
I counter that with the need for a conscientious Green MLA to hold either party accountable for the immediate changes needed to address our climate emergency. We need to mobilize a Youth Green Corp to put our youth in apprenticeships and into action now.
Wolseley will be your party’s best shot at entering the legislature, so I imagine you will be investing the lion’s share of resources in the riding as a result. Of course, any party leader will say “We’re running to win in every riding we have candidates” but we know in politics that you can’t win them all. Are there any other ridings the Greens are focused on in this election?
Janine: Manjit Kaur is running a well resourced campaign in Waverly against a Conservative incumbent. Two highly motivated Green MLAs could really move Manitoba’s progress on reducing emissions.
As you know, the Greens have fielded only thirteen candidates in Manitoba, which is quite a drop from the forty-three they fielded in 2019. As a result, the Greens would fall very short of forming government, even if all thirteen Greens are elected on October 3rd. Which raises the question, what is the primary goal of the Green Party this election?
Janine: To rebuild support for our party under new leadership with our values of health, ecology, fairness, and care to elect two strong Green MLAs. Also to ensure we cooperate with whomever is presenting the best action plan steps to move towards a carbon neutral Manitoban culture.
Canada has been dealing with one of its worst forest fire seasons in a generation with upwards of 17.5 million hectares burned to date. Have you heard a lot about this at the doors this election? What have Manitobans said about the Greens on the issue of wildfires and our changing climate this election?
Janine: The smoke impacts many people’s health, and they are reporting on that to our team along with the need to address social housing, poverty, food insecurity, crime, homelessness, addictions and mental health issues.
They also are encouraging me to continue as a Water Protector, standing against the dangerous Sio Silica Project and the short-sighted Critical Mineral Strategy. They don't want mining and logging in our parks and want to preserve 30% of our wilderness. We, as Greens, will work for 50% wilderness preservation to ensure healing and stability in our watershed ecosystems.
Outside of the environment and climate change, what would you say is the most pressing matter facing Manitoba today, and what are the Greens proposing to address said issue?
Janine: Our plans for a Basic Income Guarantee and its impacts on improved health care, preventative health care, and housing supports are resonating with the public. Hungry people can't learn or regulate emotions well. Green jobs are needed as well!
The Wolseley community appears to see poverty as limiting health and community health, with anger at injustice contributing to vandalism and crime.
Wolseley also has really old housing stock that will benefit through our proposed geothermal and air exchange heating retrofits and support for improved energy efficiency programs.
Political parties like to get support from their provincial and federal counterparts during elections. Have the federal Greens or other provincial Green parties been supporting the Manitoba Greens this election?
Janine: Yes, we have had, and continue to have, crucial volunteer support from our federal Green allies.
What would you say to Manitobans who have thought about voting Green this election but aren’t committed yet?
Janine: We are a conscientious team that value compassion in our politics and policies.
Think Green and Vote Janine & her team!
Merci, Meegwetch, thank you!
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