Neither the CBC nor Global have commented on the exclusion of the Green Party leader, nor how this leads to “complete” coverage. TV Ontario, however, apparently supported the inclusion of Mike Schreiner in the debate, and has pledged to include an Ontario Green Party spokesperson whenever candidates for other parties appear, so it appears that the decision was not unanimous.
Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party of Ontario, stated on the party’s website: “I think the Green Party has some very unique positions that Ontario needs to hear and if we are going to have fair, open, inclusive debates in Ontario the Green Party needs to be at the table. In the last election 354,000 Ontarians voted for us and we had electoral results as high as 33 per cent.”
Schreiner is referring to the results in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound where, in the 2007 election, the Green Party candidate, Shane Jolley, finished second to maverick Tory Bill Murdoch, who is well known for his opposition to sustainable energy.
Johan Hamels, Executive Director of the (federal) Green Party of Canada, stated in an email that “The voices of over 354,000 voters who voted Green in the 2007 election have been silenced by the Broadcast consortium. Once again, we are confronted with a highly undemocratic decision! This is in contrast with the broadcasters in British Columbia, New Brunswick and Prince Edwards Island who included their provincial Green Party.
“The Green Party of Ontario, long established in provincial politics, was first to present its election platform on May 24th, has run a full slate of candidates in 2007 (they were one shy of doing so in 2003), and is prepared to do that again on October 6th. Ontarians deserve to hear their leader, Mike Schreiner, debating with the other three provincial party leaders.”
we have since May 24th.
When contacted, local NDP candidate Elaine MacDonald stated that at the provincial level, our leader has called for more debates and we do not wish to see anyone excluded.
Jim McDonnell had no comment on the situation.