Vote green (but not necessarily Green)

Environmental groups hit the pre-campaign trail in Ottawa Centre

The election campaign may not have officially started yet, but a plucky band of environmental activists is already planning to do a little pre-campaign doorknocking in a downtown Ottawa riding, the Ottawa Citizen reports. Starting today, volunteers from the Polaris Institute will hit the streets of Ottawa Centre, calling on voters to “demand action from political candidates” on a range of green issues, including “climate change, the tar sands and investment in green technologies.” It’s a strategy that will soon go province-wide: Polaris has partnered with Environmental Defence and Forest Ethics to target as many as 12 swing ridings across Ontario, where campaign organizers “hope to leverage that fierce competition between parties for support for environmental issues.” The Ottawa riding is a “special case” according to Polaris spokesperson Joe Cressey, who notes that, although the NDP has held the riding for the last three elections, before that, it was a “Liberal bastion” — and the Grits are eyeing it as a potential pickup in the event of a fall campaign. “What we’ve recognized in the last few months is that in the current minority Parliament, it’s a game of transactional politics,” he told the Citizen. “Politicians don’t care if you’re right on the issues, only if you can get them elected.”

Ottawa Citizen