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May officially seeks Green Party nod in Saanich-Gulf Islands

After months of speculation, Green Party leader Elizabeth May officially announced today she hopes to be her party's candidate in the British Columbia riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands.

May, who reportedly spent much of the Labour Day weekend at the Saanich Fair, was not available by posting time.

The nomination meeting will be Sept. 19 in Sidney. May faces a challenge from Stuart Hertzog, an environmental activist and writer who has run previously for the Greens and the New Democratic Party.

In making getting May elected a priority the Green Party is losing touch with its roots, Hertzog said. “It's done at the expense of all the other candidates and the party's grassroots,” he said. “She's turned this into an Elizabeth May Party and not a Green Party.”

Hertzog has complained to Elections Canada about the party earmarking $62,000 for May's campaign that not all nomination contestants have access to. When he asked questions about the money two weeks ago at an electoral district association meeting, he said, he was told the board would continue in camera if he didn't stop asking questions.

“It's indicative of the kind of party that's being built under Elizabeth May,” he said.

Whoever wins the nomination will run against Conservative Gary Lunn, the minister of state for sport. Lunn, a former natural resources minister, was recently seen in the Tsawwassen ferry line up behind the wheel of a black Lexus GX 470 SUV.

The Liberal Party riding association will hold its nomination meeting Sept. 12 with Kit Spence and Renée Heatherington each hoping to win the candidacy.

The NDP's executive is meeting tonight to set a date for a nomination meeting. No candidates have filed their papers yet, said riding association president Starla Anderson, but at least two are likely.

Hertzog said it would take a miracle for May, who ran in her Nova Scotia hometown last year, to win and the best she can hope is to come second. “If she lived here she'd know she only has an outside chance of being elected here.”

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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