The federal Green Party will have a fully contested race in Brandon-Souris, with three candidates vying for the nomination on Oct. 9.
Layne Tepleski, a 43-year-old Brandon resident who works as an inspector with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 57-year-old David Neufeld, a greenhouse and guesthouse owner in the Turtle Mountain region near Boissevain, and 58-year-old Lynwood Walker, a help desk receptionist with Assiniboine Community College, confirmed yesterday evening that they intend to seek the Green Party nomination.
"I like the Green Party. I think they have some good ideas, and I think I can contribute something," Tepleski told the Sun. "A level head."
Tepleski, who has lived in Brandon since 1991, says the Green Party represents a "true conservatism."
"If you look to preserve your natural resources and promote your economy through sustainability, that’s conserving something. I think if most people would look at themselves as conservatives, and take the opportunity to read the Green Party platform, they would see that they’re probably closer to green than maybe blue."
David Neufeld, who operates the Room to Grow greenhouse, is a father of four grown children and recently became a grandfather. Though he has never run for political office before, he has been part of the Green Party movement for some time.
While he respects Conservative nominee Larry Maguire, he says he doesn’t believe the current Arthur-Virden Progressive Conservative MLA has what it takes to stand up for the concerns of local constituents.
"Federally I think we need somebody in there with a bit more of a fighting spirit in there to advocate for rural economic development and for diversity of economy, and so forth," Neufeld said. "There’s lots that can be fought for, and I would encourage Brandon Souris residents to vote for somebody with some spunk.
"I think the Green Party is an excellent choice for people across the spectrum."
Originally from Calgary, Walker has lived just outside Brandon for the last eight years.
Brandon residents may better recognize him in his historic Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Northwest Mounted Police uniforms — Walker performs historical re-enactments as a hobby, and was recently the subject of a short film under the Brandon Industry Group project called "Patchworks."
Of his age, Lynwood says he’s "old enough to have been a lot of places, and done a lot of things, but not so old that I’m looking into my twilight years."
Though he too calls himself a political novice, he considers that a strength, not a weakness, as he intends to do politics differently.
"I’m just an average citizen," he said. "I consider myself more of a citizen representative than a politician."
Walker says he likes the fact that the Green Party has what he called a "balanced perspective" in their vision that encompasses community, business and the environment.
Marcel Roberge, the CEO of the local electoral district association for the Greens, said all three candidates submitted their nomination papers as of yesterday evening.
Following a fundraising luncheon with federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May at Lady of the Lake, the party will hold its nomination meeting for Brandon-Souris at 6 p.m. at the Park Community Centre on Oct. 9.
A town hall meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the same location.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 2, 2013