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'Ontarians sick of political games': Ontario Green Party launches campaign

By Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner officially launches his party's election campaign on Wednesday. (ANTONELLA ARTUSO/Toronto Sun)

Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner officially launches his party's election campaign on Wednesday. (ANTONELLA ARTUSO/Toronto Sun)

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TORONTO - 

It will be a little easier being Green after the June 12 provincial election, Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner says.

Schreiner said he expects the party to pick up one or two seats in this campaign, despite past shut outs.

“I’m being honest with people and our whole campaign is about honesty,” he said. “So while we’ll run a full slate of 107 candidates, we know that realistically we’re not going to form government - I don’t think I’m going to be the next premier but we absolutely are committed to winning one or two seats in this election.”

The election of national Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has improved the provincial party’s chances, he said.

Schreiner, who launched his campaign on the first official day Wednesday, said the party is focusing on his own home riding of Guelph and Dufferin-Caledon.

The Greens are running on a platform of ‘honesty, integrity and good policy.’

“As I’m knocking on doors and talking to people in coffee shops and on the street, what I hear over and over again from people is Queen’s Park is a mess,” he said. “It isn’t working, politics is broken and we need somebody to go there and fix it. And I think one or two Green voices can make a huge difference.”

Last week’s budget, introduced by Premier Kathleen Wynne, is an example of the kind of “dishonesty” at Queen’s Park because it excludes the middle class from contributing to the investments necessary to fund transit, he said.

Wynne, under pressure from NDP Leader Andrea Horwath who wouldn’t support new middle class taxes or fees, has failed to find the money necessary to undertake transit improvements, instead choosing to borrow more or shift money around, he said.

Meanwhile, PC Leader Tim Hudak has promised “one million jobs” in a province when less than half that number of people are out of work, Schreiner said.

“So that’s the kind of political B.S., those are the kinds of political games that I think Ontarians are sick of,” he said.”

The Green Party advocates one school system, instead of separate Catholic and public systems, and supports reducing the deficit in party by charging higher fees for corporations using the province’s natural resources like aggregates and water.

The party would also protect the best farmland and source water regions in the province, he said.

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