PEI

P.E.I. Greens 'poised to make real history,' says federal leader May

Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May made a stop in Charlottetown, where she said she's optimistic about the party's ongoing popularity on P.E.I.

'The whole country is watching Prince Edward Island'

'I think it would be an extraordinarily wonderful thing for Prince Edward Island to elect more Greens because we do a good job in government,' says federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May. (CBC)

Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May made a stop in Charlottetown, where she said she's optimistic about the party's ongoing popularity on P.E.I.

She held an event Tuesday night as part of her Community Matters cross-country town hall tour.

"We couldn't be more pleased and proud of the strides that have been made here on Prince Edward Island," May told CBC News in television and radio interviews Tuesday.

"The whole country is watching Prince Edward Island and watching Peter Bevan-Baker and the Prince Edward Island Green poised to make real history."

The Greens have come out on top among decided voters in the last few polls on P.E.I., ahead of the governing Liberals. The party also said 2018 was its best year ever for fundraising, as it brought in more than $79,000 and increased membership to 471.

This, after a surprise win by Hannah Bell for the Greens in a late-2017 provincial byelection that brought the party's provincial caucus to two.

Greens play a significant role in the provincial governments in B.C. and New Brunswick, May said, and have made a breakthrough in Ontario as well. 

"The potential for the Prince Edward Island Greens to be poised to form government is real," May said. 

'Stars are aligning'

May remains the only Green MP on the national stage in Ottawa. She is predicting that will change after a federal election expected this fall. 

"I think the stars are aligning for us to win a lot of seats federally in the fall of this year," she said. "I think we'll see me going back with colleagues from right across the country." 

Whereas many people who were planning to vote Green in the last federal election switched their vote to Liberal to ensure the defeat of Conservative Stephen Harper, she said, she doesn't see that happening this time. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not polarizing, she said, and the conservative vote is split, with the rise of The People's Party under Maxime Bernier. 

"There's much less reason for people that want to vote Green for feeling that they have to second-guess themselves — this time, people can vote for what they want," May said. "It's likely to create a Parliament where we have to work together to make things work." 

'Wind is in our sails'

May's current town hall tour is helping her develop planks for the party's election platform, she said, as well as being a soft campaign kick-off. 

She has 12 more stops planned across Canada including Fredericton, N.B., and Halifax next.

"I'm feeling enormously buoyed up by knowing that the wind is in our sails," May said. 

More P.E.I. news

With files from CBC News: Mainstreet P.E.I. and Compass

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