Rural candidate living in Occupy Regina camp
By Kevin O'Connor CBC News
Posted: Oct 27, 2011 5:48 PM CST
Last Updated: Oct 27, 2011 5:45 PM CST
The nights have been getting nippy at the Occupy Regina camp, Daniel Johnson says. He's the Green Party's candidate in the Cannington constituency, several hundred kilometres to the southeast. Kevin O'Connor/CBCWith the provincial election less than two weeks away, Green Party candidate Daniel Johnson hasn't set foot inside his rural Cannington constituency yet, but says he wants to go.
"I do plan on campaigning out there," Johnson said from inside a tiny nylon tent in Regina's Victoria Park where he's been living for the past two weeks.
For the moment, door-knocking is out, however.
The 34-year-old musician and longtime advocate for loosening the country's marijuana laws is part of the Occupy Canada movement that's protesting economic injustice in numerous cities.
In Regina, he's among about 60 people camped out in the northeast corner of the park.
Nippy nights in park
Johnson, who normally lives in a home on Retallack Street, says he plans to stay in the park for the winter.Johnson is one of about 60 people living at the Occupy Regina camp in the city's Victoria Park downtown. Kevin O'Connor/CBC
He's been getting a taste of cooler weather lately. Although it's been a mild fall in southern Saskatchewan, night-time temperatures have recently dipped as low as -10 C.
During a daytime interview with a CBC reporter this week, the wind was blowing so hard, the tent was almost pulled off its moorings. (At one point, his mom stopped by and poked her head through the opening to see if everything was OK.)
But although there's no heat or electricity and he has no income, Johnson says he's getting by.
Well-wishers have been donating food. There's a portable toilet nearby and although the power in the park has been shut off, it's sometimes possible to find an outlet to brew a pot of coffee, he said.
'I would have preferred if someone from Cannington had been running, but unfortunately we were unable to do that.'—Green Party candidate Daniel Johnson
'Lived on farms before'
Johnson admits he's a parachute candidate with no particular connection to Cannington, a rural seat in the southeastern corner of the province.
He's agreed to let his name stand as a favour to Green Party Leader Victor Lau, an old high school pal, who he said wanted a full slate.
"I would have preferred if someone from Cannington had been running, but unfortunately we were unable to do that," Johnson said.
"But I've lived on farms before and I've lived in rural areas and I generally do know the concerns."
Johnson said he hopes to ramp up his campaign, a little bit at least, in the days ahead.
"I'm hoping to make it out there for the debate, if possible," he said.
The provincial election is Nov. 7.
Saskatchewan Election Results
Updated: Nov. 7, 2011, 11:57 PM CST
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