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Other Leaders

Connie Fogal
Canadian Action Party

Fogal is an activist lawyer and former teacher, as well as the widow of longtime Vancouver city councillor Harry Rankin.

In 2002, she ran as a Green Party candidate for city hall in Vancouver, hoping to fill Rankin�s shoes. The native of Saskatchewan has fought the expansion of gambling in British Columbia; the Multilateral Agreement on Investments, which is designed to eliminate barriers to global trade; and the expropriation of Nanoose Bay for U.S. weapons testing.

She acts as spokesperson for the Defence of Canadian Liberty Committee and has conducted an internet campaign against globalization through the website www.canadianliberty.bc.ca. Fogal has also criticized Canada�s anti-terrorism legislation.

She is a past president of the party, which was founded by former Trudeau cabinet minister Paul Hellyer in 1997, and ran for the party in Vancouver Kingsway in the 2000 general election, along with 69 other candidates across Canada. Canadian Action Party website. Link opens in new window


Miguel Figueroa
Communist Party of Canada

Figueroa has run as a candidate for the 83-year-old socialist party in every general election since 1984, choosing ridings from Halifax to Vancouver East.

In his early 50s, Figueroa has toured the country, speaking to university and community groups about modern communism and the principles of Marxism-Leninism. "Some people find it necessary to wear a hammer and sickle on their foreheads, but we don�t," Figueroa has said.

Though he�s never been elected, Figueroa has had a significant impact on Canada�s electoral process. He went to court after the Communist Party of Canada was deregistered for not running enough candidates in the 1993 federal election (it ran in only eight ridings). That meant, among other things, that it had to liquefy its tiny asset base and hand the proceeds over to the federal government.

As a result of a charter challenge mounted by Figueroa, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down parts of the Canada Elections Act in June 2003, giving the federal government 12 months to come up with a new law. Bill C-3, introduced on Feb. 12, 2004, would allow parties to run just one candidate in a general election and still stay active. The party�s name can be placed on the ballot next to that of its candidates if it competes in just 12 ridings, down significantly from the 50-candidate rule imposed for the 1993 election.

Though the party has only about 500 card-carrying members, Figueroa�s team recruited 52 candidates to run in the 2000 general election. Communist Party of Canada website. Link opens in new window


Marc-Boris St-Maurice
Marijuana Party

The party's colourful leader began campaigning to legalize the possession and use of pot about 15 years ago, when he was arrested for possession and spent 24 hours in jail.

The provincial party St-Maurice formed, called Bloc Pot, earned 10,000 votes in the 1998 Quebec election. Federally, St-Maurice managed to round up 73 candidates to run in the 2000 general election, and they finished ahead of the NDP in 21 Quebec ridings.

A 35-year-old former bassist with the Montreal punk band Grim Skunk, St-Maurice has been in and out of the court system on various charges related to marijuana. One was a bizarre allegation that he assaulted a police officer while hitting himself in the face with a cream pie on Parliament Hill. The pie had been meant for a statue of prohibitionist Emily Murphy. When St-Maurice was foiled in that attempt, he mashed it into his own face and got some of the cream on a nearby RCMP officer�s uniform. The charges were dropped in 2001.

His resumé includes running the annual Montreal Smoke-In and helping to create the Montreal Compassion Club, designed to supply marijuana for medicinal purposes. He ran in two byelections, as well as the 2000 general election, in which he came fourth in Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe�s riding of Laurier-Sainte-Marie. In the 2004 campaign, he intends to run in Prime Minister Paul Martin�s riding of LaSalle-Émard. Marijuana Party website. Link opens in new window


Sandra L. Smith
Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada

Smith is the widow of the party's founder and longtime leader Hardial Bains, taking over the leadership of the party at a congress held several months after his death in 1997. She went on to lead the party through the 2000 general election with candidates in 84 ridings, up from 65 in 1997.

Smith had joined the Internationalists in 1968, which went on to become the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), with her as a founding member.

She is currently director of research at the Ideological Studies Centre. The party�s website says Smith "is particularly known nationally and internationally for her work on the modern definition of rights and their defence… champion[ing] the recognition of the right of Quebec to self-determination, the hereditary rights of the First Nations, and the affirmation of the collective rights of women, youth and students, the working class, national minorities, the impoverished, the disabled, and all others." Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada website. Link opens in new window


Jim Harris
The Green Party of Canada

Harris won the leadership of the party in a three-way race in 2003, after its former leader switched to the NDP.

A Toronto-based management consultant and professional speaker on leadership and change, Harris is the author or co-author of six books, including the bestsellers Blindsided! and The 100 Best Companies to Work for in Canada.

The former Progressive Conservative was attracted to the Green Party�s message of environmental sustainability, social justice, gender equity and decentralization of political power.

The 43-year-old calls himself an eco-capitalist and wants to move the party away from protest and toward an emphasis on green politics and economics.

Harris has run in or helped organized Green Party of Canada campaigns at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. The Green Party fielded 111 candidates in the 2000 general election. The Green Party of Canada website. Link opens in new window


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