Edmonton-Strathcona Green Party candidate quits, endorses NDP
Green Party candidate Michael Kalmanovitch (Edmonton-Strathcona) speaks during the Proud to Vote federal election forum at Evolution Wonderlounge on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. Liberal candidate Randy Boissonnault (Edmonton-Centre) and NDP candidate Katherine Swampy (Edmonton-Centre) joined them on stage. Photo by Ian Kucerak/Postmedia IAN KUCERAK / POSTMEDIA
The Green Party candidate running in the riding of Edmonton-Strathcona announced Wednesday he is ending his campaign and encouraging supporters to vote strategically and vote for the NDP.
The closely contested race in the riding now has one less person after Green Party candidate Michael Kalmanovitch announced he was stepping down during a forum at The King’s University and in a news release.
According to 338Canada‘s latest poll shows the riding as a toss-up between Conservative Party candidate Sam Lilly and NDP candidate Heather McPherson.
“The Climate Crisis is too important for people and parties to play politics as usual,” said Kalmanovitch in the release. Kalmanovitch was also on hand with Extinction Rebellion during their protest on the Walterdale Bridge on Oct. 7. It stalled traffic the group demanded political action on climate change.
“I am, first and foremost, a person of conscience. I have devoted my life to caring for my fellow humans and our shared home,” said Kalmanovitch, who is a longtime activist.
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“But personal and even business actions can only go so far. We need systemic change in order to address the climate emergency, and that is why I decided to run for office.”
According to the release, Kalmanovitch and his volunteers ran a low-carbon campaign that including distributing over 9,000 flyers on recycled paper and over 120 signs, many of which were hand-made out of reused materials.
“I ran this campaign with the goal of winning the Edmonton Strathcona riding, but based on polling projections, it has become clear that success is unlikely under our first-past-the-post system,” Kalmanovtich said.
“My goal has never been personal political power. My goal has always been policy change. That is why I am ending my campaign effective today, and calling on supporters to consider voting strategically for the candidate and party with the next best climate action plan. I believe that candidate is Heather McPherson of the NDP.”
Kalmanovitch also acknowledged those who may have voted for him during advance polls.
“I deeply appreciate their support, and hope they share my conviction that advancing policy change is more important than personal or party power.”