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Green Party of Canada

New Green man makes bold predictions

Green Party of Canada 49%

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The Green Party of Canada has a new face in the federal Portage-Lisgar riding. Matthew Friesen, 29, of Miami, has taken over the Green Party banner from Charlie Howatt.


This is the first foray into political life for Friesen, who has lived in various places throughout the riding his whole life and has lived in Miami for the past four years. His reasons for wandering into the political fray are simple enough.


"I think, frankly, I can do a better job than our current leadership," he stated.


And while Friesen said it would take a while for the Green Party to gain ground in the riding, he did have some bold predictions about the next election.

"I do feel we're going to increase our votes here by an exponential number," he commented.


Friesen predicted the Greens would finish second in the next election with 12 per cent of the votes and also predicted Portage-Lisgar would eventually be fought over by the Greens and Conservatives in elections to come.

And Friesen, for one, can't wait until the next call to the polls.

"We're spoiling for a good fight," he said.


The Green Party's dedicated group of volunteers would be ready to march should the election be called tomorrow, the candidate assured.


Friesen criticized the current Conservative government for what he called ignoring environmental and social issues and said with common sense financial policies, the country could easily be economically sound by using renewable energy sources.

He also lambasted the Conservatives for proroguing Parliament until March, saying they are paid to work and should be in Ottawa instead of on leave.

Friesen didn't wade into federal politics on a whim. The new Green Party candidate said he discussed the move with Howatt, the Portage-Lisgar Green Party Riding Association and with his wife of six years, Tina.

"They said go for it, it would be a good fit," Friesen related.


Friesen, who was acclaimed as the riding's candidate after being the only one to put his name forward, is a welder at Sperling Industries in Sperling. He and Tina have an 18 month old son, Dylan.

As for Howatt, he is leaving politics to look after his own young family and their farm.

Under his leadership, according to a statement from the Green Party of Canada, support in Portage-Lisgar grew from 5.1 per cent in the 2006 trip to the polls to more than eight per cent in 2008.

"Support for the party is continuing to grow, and it is influen. ing our current leaders to adopt more green policies," Howatt said.


By Rob Swystun, Sun Media


Source: The Winkler Times (Feb 18,2010)

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