Politics

Green leadership candidates from Nova Scotia and Toronto join the race

The race to become the next leader of the federal Green Party is getting crowded, with two new candidates throwing their hats into the ring.

There are now five contenders in the race to lead the Greens

Judy Green, a candidate for the Greens in West-Nova, N.S. and Constantine Kritsonis, a past candidate for the party in Toronto riding of York Centre, are in the race to be the next leader of the Green Party of Canada. (Submitted)

The race to become the next leader of the federal Green Party is getting crowded, with two new candidates throwing their hats into the ring.

Judy Green, a candidate for the Greens in West-Nova, N.S., and Constantine Kritsonis, a past candidate for the party in Toronto riding of York Centre, now join the three other contenders.

Green, who also goes by the name Neva, plans to officially launch her campaign Friday at a local tavern in Bear River, N.S.

The wellness and food nutrition worker said she became politically engaged after the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report warned catastrophic consequences if global warming pushes beyond 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

"When the IPCC report came out over a year ago, it really hit me that we don't have time to mess around," Green said. "We need our leaders to be making decisions and directing the country in the direction that's going to keep CO2 emissions low enough."

Some leaders in the race have defined themselves as centrists, while others have positioned themselves on the left, adopting the term "eco-socialist." Green said she doesn't believe in labels and her opinions differ from issue to issue.

"Eco-socialists" are committed to protecting the environment while pursuing evergreen left-centre policy goals — such as universal pharmacare and free university tuition — and reforming capitalism to reduce economic inequality.

On the other hand, Kritsonis, the only Toronto candidate in the race so far, sits on the left of issues and wants to see the Green Party bring an end to government subsidies of corporations.

"In the age of basically the greed of capitalism destroying the planet and capitalism running rampant, someone (running for the Greens) who is a self-described as eco-socialist is a good idea" said Kritsonis, 62. He said he currently works on contract selling genetic testing for prescribed drug compatibility.

Kritsonis said he was the Ontario representative on the Green Party Council, authored several of the party's policy positions and has been a six-time York Centre candidate.

About the Author

David Thurton is a national reporter in CBC's Parliamentary Bureau. He's worked for CBC in Fort McMurray, the Maritimes and in Canada's Arctic.

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