North Vancouver Green Party members have picked veteran broadcast journalist George Orr to lead them into the 2019 federal election.
Local party members voted 57 per cent for Orr at their nomination contest on Saturday.
“I sat on the fence as a journalist my whole life. I looked at both sides of every issue and tried to be fair and balanced and objective and the longer I did, the more I realized just reporting wasn’t making change,” he said. “I just realized I have an opportunity to do something more than just illustrate issues. I have an opportunity to jump up and down and light my hair on fire and advocate.”
On policy, Orr said that especially means aggressively targeting the engines of climate change.
“No pipeline,” he said matter-of-factly. “I think we’re coasting towards a climate disaster and anything that can be done to stop that – not slow it down, not address it – but to stop it, has to be done. In big picture terms, we need to get off carbon as fast as we can and we need to move into a sustainable economy.”
Orr said you can also expect to hear him championing lowering the voting age to 16 while on the campaign trail.
“It’s their planet. People who tend to vote these days tend to be older and have more of a vested interest in the world as it has been,” he said.
The North Vancouver riding has a history of swinging between the Liberals and the Conservatives (and the Reform Party prior to that). Orr said he expects to win through an energetic campaign of door-knocking and facetime with community groups and squaring off with Liberal incumbent Jonathan Wilkinson in debates.
“I’m going to be the Bernie Sanders of the Canadian Green Party,” he said. “I am that guy.”
Runners up in the Green nomination race were North Vancouver lawyer Michael Doherty, who took 41 per cent of the vote and West Vancouver lawyer Paul Hundal, who finished with two per cent.
The NDP has nominated Justine Bell and incumbent Liberal MP Wilkinson has been acclaimed to run again. Local Conservatives and People’s Party of Canada members have not yet chosen their candidates.
The election is scheduled for Oct. 21, 2019.