Green Party leader pledges LRT support and a future for steel during Hamilton visit

Mike Schreiner says Ontario's Green Party has a lot to offer voters in Hamilton, from covering half of the operating costs of LRT to a "critical role" for steel manufactures in a new, clean economy.

Mike Schreiner is promising 'less circus and more susbstance'

Green Party of Ontario Leader, Mike Schreiner, (centre) shakes hands on James Street North in Hamilton Wednesday, following a campaign kickoff event. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

Mike Schreiner says Ontario's Green Party has a lot to offer voters in Hamilton, from covering half of the operating costs of LRT to a "critical role" for steel manufactures in a new, clean economy

The Green Party leader stopped in the city Wednesday afternoon for a rally with local candidates and a small group of supporters after a morning kick-off event in Toronto, where he highlighted key pillars of his platform including a promise to create green jobs, focus on affordable housing and preventative healthcare as well as improved public transit and a universal basic income.

'Magic money and fairy dust'

Schreiner's pitch included some specific pledges aimed at attracting Hamilton voters.

The small business owner said his party is the only one offering an "honest plan" to cover half the cost of transit across Ontario using congestion charges to drive into Toronto and commercial parking levies in the GTA.

"Magic money and fairy dust is not going to build transit infrastructure, that's why we're being honest about how we're going to pay for it," he explained.

The Greens' plan also features all-day, two-way GO trains and better bus service between cities.

There will be huge opportunities for the steel industry.- Mike Schreiner, Green Party of Ontario

The party's goal of a greener economy also include a role for steelmakers, according to Schreiner.

"We need steel to build wind turbines, we need steel for the racking on solar panels," he said. "We're going to need steel for electric vehicles, so there will be huge opportunities for the steel industry."

Schreiner, whose party did not have a seat when the legislature was dissolved Tuesday, is running in Guelph, where he said there's a chance he could "breakthrough" and the party could make history by having its first elected MPP.

'Green wave' coming to Ontario

He has been excluded from the three scheduled debates with other party leaders, but answered each question posed in a series of tweets.

"People across Ontario tell me they are sick and tired of politics as usual," he said in his final video of the night. "They're tired of the three status quo parties .... we need politics that's about putting people first."

A small crowd of supporters joined Schreiner, waving signs and cheering about the "Green wave" coming to Ontario as they walked down James Street N., following the rally.

Grace Workman-Porecki was part of the group and said she's supporting the Green Party this election because she wants to live without the fear the environment could "implode on us."

She added she's attracted to Schreiner and his party because they offer something different compared to the three other major parties.

"They have fresh ideas instead of just recycling all of the old ideas."

Here's a look at area Green candidates

  • Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas: Peter Ormond
  • Hamilton Centre: Jason Lopez
  • Hamilton Mountain: Dave Urquhart
  • Flamborough-Glanbrook: Janet Errygers
  • Burlington: Vince Fiorito
  • Brant-Brantford: No nominee yet
  • Niagara West: Jessica Tillmanns
  • Haldimand-Norfolk: Anne Faulkner
  • Oakville North-Burlington: Marianne Workman