Edmonton

Green Party kicks out Edmonton Strathcona candidate after he endorses NDP

Hours after Michael Kalmanovitch endorsed the NDP candidate in Edmonton Strathcona, the Green Party removed him as a candidate and kicked out him out of the party. 

'The goal is to have the climate change goal taken across the goal line'

Michael Kalmanovitch, owner of Earth's General Store, says he is no longer running for the Green Party in Edmonton Strathcona. (Peter Evans/CBC)

Hours after Michael Kalmanovitch endorsed the NDP candidate in Edmonton Strathcona the Green Party removed him as a candidate and kicked out him out of the party. 

Kalmanovitch, the owner of Earth's General Store, ran for the Greens because he wanted action on climate change. 

He said recent polls suggested that he would not win, so he dropped out and urged people who were planning to vote for him to vote instead for NDP candidate Heather McPherson in Monday's federal election.  

He said the NDP has the next-best platform for dealing with climate change. 

"The goal is to have the climate change goal taken across the goal line," Kalmanovitch said in an interview. "I did not have the capacity to win and therefore I made this sound, logical decision to say I am not going to campaign anymore.

"Therefore it's up to the voters to, you know, maybe choose the second-best candidate."

Kalmanovitch made his announcement at a lunch-hour candidates' forum in Edmonton on Wednesday. 

The Green Party issued a news release hours later saying it had removed Kalmanovitch as a candidate and party member. 

McPherson, through her campaign manager, declined an interview with CBC News. She sent a written statement saying she "appreciates" Kalmanovitch's support. 

The Green Party has not responded to a request for comment. 

Kalmanovitch said no one encouraged him to drop out. The decision was his alone.

He said he was unhappy with Canada's first-past-the-post electoral system. 

"This present political system, this party politics, is not serving the Canadian people well and it's not saving the planet well," he said. "We need a system change."

Now that he is no longer campaigning, Kalmanovitch apologized to the people who volunteered on his campaign and voted for him in the advance polls.

Five other candidates are running in Edmonton Strathcona: Eleanor Olszewski for the Liberals; Sam Lilly for the Conservatives;  Ian Cameron for the People's Party of Canada; Dougal MacDonald of the Marxist-Leninist Party; and Naomi Rankin of the Communist of Canada.  

Linda Duncan of the NDP represented Edmonton Strathcona for three terms but decided not to run again.