David Merner’s Report from the Road
As I look back on my second cross-Canada leadership campaign tour, I feel grateful. The Greens I met along the way are passionate, committed, and generous. We care deeply about our families, our country, and our planet. We have a sense of humour and people seemed happy to get outside, talk politics, and have some socially-distanced fun.
I also feel a sense of awe. We live in a very beautiful country. Our parks are spectacular. As BC loosened Covid-19 restrictions in July, we held our first in-person meetings in public parks on Saltspring Island and Vancouver Island.
Since then, from Hawrelak park in Edmonton to the Little White House park in Saguenay-Lac St. Jean, Greens joined together in dozens of beautiful places to ask questions, share ideas, and express their hopes. A few came to advance their preferred candidates’ agenda and that was fun too, especially when I was their preferred candidate.
Not all of it was fun, as we were very concerned about the need to follow medical advice closely. Overall, with careful social distancing, hand sanitizing, and mask-wearing we concluded that the tour could be carried out safely.
On some days, I had help with the driving. I’m very grateful for that help as it enabled me to multi-task, as you can see in this interview with Jo-Ann Roberts from our car in Alberta.
I was able to get to know and work with other leadership candidates, including Meryam Haddad, Dimitri Lascaris, and Glen Murray by inviting them to our outdoor events. And the Zoom calls continued throughout, including Zoom calls where I teamed up with Judy Green in Nova Scotia, Courtney Howard in Yellowknife, and Amita Kuttner in PEI.
Among my favourite events were the ones organized as part of our college and university tour from the University of Victoria in the West to the University of Montreal and the McGill Greens in the East. Our success as a party depends on mobilizing and listening carefully to young Canadians.
From an amazing car spray painted green by Sandra Greaves, to the great driving skills of Annemieke Holthuis, Sara Merner, and Michel Sigoun, to the wonderful food and hospitality of so many generous hosts, to the excellent events coordinated by so many organizers, I say "thank you" to everyone.
Zoom meetings are great for connecting people, cutting carbon emissions, and cutting costs. But personal campaigning is key to building our party through better connections, new relationships, deeper understanding, and fun.
Thank you to all.