Rhino party escapes extinction to run in September byelection
Candidate running on promise to rename the country Nantucket
The Rhinoceros party is heading back into the political jungle by launching a$50-million lawsuit and making plans to run in its first Canadian election race in 17 years.
The party's president, Brian (Godzilla) Salmi, said Tuesday he will runas a Rhinoin the Sept. 17federal byelection in Montreal's Outremont riding.
Salmi, who has legally changed his name to Satan, is running on the promise to rename the country Nantucket if he's elected.
Salmi's venture into politics marks the first time a Rhino candidate has entered a federal race since Bryan Gold ran unsuccessfully for the Rhinos in the 1990 byelection in Beauséjour, N.B.
Salmisaid Tuesday he has also filed a lawsuit in a Federal Court in Montreal, contesting the election reform law that stripped his party of its registered party status in 1993.
Given Salmi's new name, thelawsuit is filedas Satan versus Her Majesty The Queen.
The 1993 law Salmi is contesting stated that registered parties must run candidates in at least 50 ridings, at a cost of $1,000 per riding, to keep their status.
That rule was reversed in a new law passed in 2004 that said a party only had to run one candidate in a federal election or federal byelection to be considered registered.
Parties benefit from having registered status because it allows them to hand out tax receipts to their donors and have their party name listed beside their candidates' names on the election ballot.
The Rhino party formed in 1963 with a promise to keep none of its promises. The satirical party picked the rhinoceros as its mascot, claiming that rhinoceros, like politicians, are thick-skinned, slow moving and dim-witted.
The party last ran in a full federal election in 1988, fielding 74 candidates.None were elected.
With files from the Canadian Press