A new civic party announced Friday that it intends to run six candidates in October's civic election, partly to ensure that no city councillor gets a "free ride" from voters.

Winnipeg Green party candidates will run in four wards that, until Friday, were uncontested: St. Vital, St. Norbert, Elmwood-East Kildonan and Transcona.

The party also has candidates in the Mynarski and St. James-Brooklands wards, in which incumbent candidates have been in office for more than three terms.

While the Green candidates have registered with the city's election office to run, they have to secure enough nominations to get their names on the ballot.

Local lawyer Markus Buchart said he will run in the St. Vital ward, even though he doesn't live there, in order to create democracy where it wouldn't have been otherwise.

"What would have happened is a coronation of Gord Steeves, and that's not very good," he said of the current St. Vital councillor.

"The councillors that were to be running in those wards for acclamation can now cancel their Carribbean cruises, because they have a contest," he added.

Anti-malathion activist Glenda Whiteman will run in St. Norbert, while David Danyluk of the group Save our Seine will run in Elmwood-East Kildonan.

The remaining candidates are:

  • Robert Galston - Mynarski
  • Steve Smith - Transcona
  • Constance Menzies - St. James-Brooklands

New party not tied to other Greens

Launched in May, the Winnipeg Green party claims to have no affiliation with the federal or provincial Green party.

The Winnipeg party plans to run a full slate of candidates in the next civic election in 2010. It hopes thatmove could bring the party system to Winnipeg civic politics.

"Historically, there were isolated individuals that ran and called themselves 'green,' but this the first time there's truly a formal Green party that's running. So this is sort of epoch making," Buchart said.

But despite the presence of a new civic party, voters won't see Green party signs on lawns. Citing environmental reasons, the party will focus on door-to-door campaigning to get its message out.

An official with the city's election office said Fridaythe city will not recognize the Green candidates underthe "Green" party affiliation, but as individual candidates.