Peter Smith speaks to a crowd during a Sarnia-Lambton Federal Green Party nomination meeting. June 18, 2019. (BlackburnNews photo by Colin Gowdy)

Familiar face wins local Green Party nomination

Sarnia-Lambton has its Green Party candidate for this fall’s federal election.

Peter Smith won the nomination over Lorraine Dolbear in the local party’s first ever contested nomination meeting Tuesday night. A total of 16 votes were cast.

Smith, who has represented the party in the past, said there’s a big opportunity for the Greens in 2019.┬áHe said Canadians are looking for a change from the three big parties in the Liberals, Conservatives, and NDP.

“They’re inconsistent in what they say they’re going to do and what they actually do, and their policies are just off. They’re not recognizing the need for urgent climate action and tying that together with the economic future as well,” said Smith. “The Green Party is really the only party that has put those two together in a way that really works.”

Smith said it’s time to end divisive politics and have a national discussion about the issues facing Canadians.

“We really have to come together to have an open and honest dialogue about this to determine what it is we’re going to do and how we are going to address all the concerns that people have. It’s fine to say ‘yes, we’re going to cut down on emissions,’ but that means that we’re going to burn less oil and less gas, and that has an impact on people’s jobs and they are obviously scared about that,” he said.

Smith relocated to Sarnia in 1987 and has called the area home since.

He said despite the need to take urgent climate action, Sarnia’s Chemical Valley will have a place in the community for many years to come.

“Yes, we need to cut down on things like single-use plastics, but we have to remember that plastics have a whole lot of uses– our cars are made of them, pipework is made of them, and it has so many other uses. It’s not a question of getting rid of it, it’s a question of using it more smartly,” he said.

Smith said the Green Party listens and does business differently.

“You see it in the way that Elizabeth May reacts and works within the House of Commons. She’s always respectful, she listens to people, she’s very straightforward and honest in what she says, and that’s something that I think is missing in a lot of politics,” he said.

This fall’s federal election will take place on October 21.