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Greens get nod from sitting MP, clarify 'support' from Suzuki

From left, Green Party and Saanich-Gulf Islands MP Elizabeth May, Thunder Bay-Superior North MP Bruce Hyer and Green party candidate Donald Galloway. Hyer announced his support for Galloway in the Nov. 26 byelection at the Green Party campaign headquarters (622 Yates St.) on Friday. - Daniel Palmer/news staff
From left, Green Party and Saanich-Gulf Islands MP Elizabeth May, Thunder Bay-Superior North MP Bruce Hyer and Green party candidate Donald Galloway. Hyer announced his support for Galloway in the Nov. 26 byelection at the Green Party campaign headquarters (622 Yates St.) on Friday.
— image credit: Daniel Palmer/news staff

As Donald Galloway celebrates a high profile endorsement from a sitting MP, his office is backtracking on the assumed endorsement from a prominent environmentalist.

David Suzuki appeared as the keynote speaker at a Green party rally in Victoria Monday night, offering support, but not outright endorsement, for Galloway and the Greens.

"(Galloway) is a distinguished man, who has devoted his life to helping some of the most disadvantaged, not only in Canada, but around the world," Suzuki told the crowd Monday. "The Green party should be very, very proud they have a person of his stature running for them."

But in an interview published Friday with the Times Colonist, Suzuki said he does not endorse Galloway.

Galloway's office had previously sent out flyers referencing the environmentalist's endorsement.

"David Suzuki draws a very clear distinction between endorsing candidates and supporting candidates," said Elizabeth May, Green Party leader and Saanich-Gulf Islands MP.

The issue seems to be one of semantics for Suzuki, who will issue a statement on Saturday clarifying his support for Galloway, said Green party spokeswoman Nathalie Down.

"His presence at the rally speaks for itself," she said.

Bruce Hyer, independent MP for Thunder Bay-Superior North, had no issue offering his endorsement for Green candidates in both the Victoria and Calgary Centre byelections.

Hyer, who quit the NDP caucus in April to sit as an independent, said while both Galloway and the NDP's Murray Rankin are good candidates, Ottawa needs more voices unconstrained by party politics.

"The difference is only one of (those candidates) will not be whipped by a major party," Hyer said.

He said he remains undecided about whether or not to continue as an independent MP in the next year: "I am finding that independents are quite effective."

The last all-candidates forum took place Friday morning between five of the six candidates — Galloway, Rankin, Dale Gann (Conservative), Philip Ney (Christian Heritage) and Paul Summerville (Liberal). Libertarian Art Lowe is also running for the federal seat.

The byelection takes place Monday, Nov. 26. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

To find your local polling station, visit elections.ca.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

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