We’re splitting every vote,” said Caitlin McIntyre, Green party candidate for Fort Richmond, referring to the rhetoric that the Greens are splitting the left vote during the Manitoba provincial election.
McIntyre insists Manitoba’s Greens occupy a “unique space” and if they were just like the other three parties in this province, there would be no need for them.
The candidate, who also ran in Winnipeg South for the federal election earlier this year, said that the Greens don’t conform to the typical left/right spectrum Canadians have become used to, and argued even Conservative voters are starting to take her party seriously.
“We’re getting a lot of attention from Conservative voters who are sick of the banal politics at the provincial level and the, quite frankly, frightening neoconservatives at the federal level,” she argued.
She added that one of the core tenets of Green party values is fiscal responsibility, something Conservatives easily identify with.
When asked whether the Greens would support the creation a U-Pass — allowing university students to ride Winnipeg Transit without paying a fare — McIntyre said they would take the concept one step further, instituting a no-fare transit system found in some European cities, such as Hasselt, Belgium.
“The pollution and the road-wear benefits are just built into the fare-free transit strategy, and more people out of their cars and onto a bus just means a more affordable city.”
McIntyre says this concept is especially important for the people in her riding, as they stand to be disproportionately affected by the increased number of cars coming to the new Blue Bombers stadium for football games and events.
“In Europe, [public] transit is a smart and sexy way to travel, and we want to bring that mindset to Manitoba,” she adds.
Another Green party plank would be “renovating and reforming the tuition fee system,” which McIntyre says puts too much emphasis on tax rebates and not enough on helping students afford the initial costs of university.
Her party would also support efforts by the Canadian Federation of Students and local student unions to bring students who live on campus under the protection of Manitoba’s Residential Tenancies Act.
McIntyre said she asks students to consider what’s important to them and “to look at all the issues and take a look at the green platform because [Green] policies are sensible and sustainable.”