Canada Green Party leader Elizabeth May's cross-country train tour

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rail transport in Canada - slow and steady.

I'm hoping to see a few Green Party members elected this time around in Canada's election as the whole political scene there has become so stale that even I, a confessed political junkie from Canada, was having a hard time pretending to be interested before this election call. The overall mood seems to be about the same from what I can tell: the country seems to be run by a reasonably competent party, certainly not the most popular party or leader in Canadian history, but no sense rocking the boat.

In the midst of this though the Green Party leader is undergoing a cross-country tour by train, which is nice to see because anyone who has spent any time in East Asia or Europe knows how ridiculously old-fashioned and slow trains in Canada are. She said the following today:
She also wants to highlight the need to upgrade Canada's rail system; her party's platform calls for $1 billion for rail improvements.

"When we really make history is when we get to Parliament, and we are able to change transportation policy in this country to ensure we have access to modern, high-speed trains," she said in Kamloops.

"If we had access to Canadian-made Bombardier trains that people do in China and Spain and other advanced countries ... the trip from coast to coast would be 18 hours instead of five days."
The thought of being able to hop on the train from downtown Calgary after work Friday sometime in the cold winter to get to balmy Vancouver three hours later is a nice one, and hopefully they get a few MPs elected to give the idea of a high-speed train some new momentum. The idea of a high-speed train between Calgary and Edmonton has also been tossed around quite a bit but has never been approved. The two cities are only about 300 km apart, the quaint but rapidly growing city of Red Deer is between them as well, and the corridor in which they are located has the highest GDP per capita in the country.

Here's the party's official release on the cross-country tour:

Vote for Tomorrow

All Aboard!

Yesterday it was announced that our illustrious leader Elizabeth May will be crossing the country on a whistle-stop train tour from the West coast to the East coast. The Green Party has secured a private train car that will be attached to the VIA Rail passenger train on its scheduled route. Elizabeth will be visiting communities for whistle-stop rallies with candidates and supporters from Vancouver, BC to Halifax, NS in what promises to be a fantastic tour.

Isn't it exciting that with Canadians consistently maintaining that the environment is their primary concern, the only leader not criss-crossing the country by air is ours? It's what makes us Greens green – not just talking the talk but walking the walk.

Elizabeth also did a series of brilliant interviews in the first week of the campaign, particularly this past Sunday, September 14 on CBC's Cross-Country Checkup where Elizabeth blew listeners away with her knowledge and eloquence. To listen to the show, please visit:

These are exciting times for the Green Party. Our momentum continues to build, and we are getting more national attention than we have ever had before. The Globe and Mail's Roman Radwanski gave Elizabeth an 'A' grade for all of our successes last week. Polls currently show us around the 10% support range nationally – just a glimpse of the groundbreaking results we can achieve. Local campaigns are in full swing promoting our values and principles, and we're drawing in voters of all political stripes.

Today will also mark the release of the Green Party platform, appropriately released in the birthplace of Canadian democracy, Halifax. Elizabeth will celebrate the anniversary with the release of the Green Party's platform, after Canadians demonstrated the power of democracy with the outpouring of support that propelled her into the televised leaders' debates on October 1st and 2nd.

Together, we can convince Canadians to vote for tomorrow.

Jim McDonald

Jim McDonald
National Campaign Manager
Votez pour l'avenir

En voiture!

Hier, nous vous avons appris que notre chef, l'illustre Elizabeth May, allait sillonner le pays de la côte Ouest à la côte Est à bord d'un train. Pour l'occasion, le Parti Vert a réservé une voiture privée qui sera remorquée par le train de voyageurs de VIA Rail sur son itinéraire habituel. Mme May s'arrêtera dans de nombreuses gares pour rencontrer les candidats et les sympathisants du Parti Vert, de Vancouver (CB) à Halifax (N.-É.). Ce marathon électoral promet d'être fabuleux!

Alors que les Canadiennes et les Canadiens répètent que leur premier souci est l'environnement, notre chef est bien la seule à sillonner le pays autrement que par avion. C'est là la marque des Verts : nous ne nous contentons pas de belles paroles, nous vivons nos idées vertes.

Elizabeth a également brillé dans une série d'entrevues durant la première semaine de la campagne, et particulièrement ce dimanche 14 septembre lors de l'émission « Cross-Country Checkup » de la CBC où elle a impressionné les auditeurs par son érudition et son éloquence. Vous pouvez écouter l'émission à : [en anglais seulement].

Le Parti Vert vit une époque extraordinaire. Nous continuons à gagner du terrain, et nous avons aujourd'hui une audience nationale sans précédent. Roman Radwanski du Globe and Mail a donné un « A » à Elizabeth pour nos réalisations de la semaine dernière. Actuellement, les sondages indiquent un soutien proche de 10 % à l'échelle nationale, et ce n'est qu'un avant-goût des résultats sensationnels que nous pouvons obtenir. Les campagnes locales battent leur plein dans la promotion de nos valeurs et de nos principes, et nous attirons des électrices et des électeurs de tous les horizons.

Aujourd'hui est également le jour du grand dévoilement de la plate-forme du Parti Vert, justement publiée dans le berceau de la démocratie canadienne, Halifax. Elizabeth soulignera cet anniversaire avec la publication de la plate-forme du Parti Vert, après que les Canadiennes et les Canadiens eurent démontré le pouvoir de la démocratie en la propulsant dans les débats télévisés des chefs qui se tiendront les 1er et 2 octobre prochains.

Ensemble, nous pouvons convaincre les Canadiennes et les Canadiens de voter pour l'avenir.

Jim McDonald

Jim McDonald
Directeur de la campagne nationale


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