By AMANDA GIBB
Chris Tolley has been named as The Green Party’s candidate for Toronto –Danforth in the upcoming federal election.
Tolley, 47, was chosen by members to be the candidate earlier this summer. Tolley was also the candidate chosen by The Green Party for the 2015 federal election.
A playwright, director and York University graduate, Tolley is currently the online host for the CBC’s PlayMe, and has lived in the Toronto-Danforth riding for more than 20 years with his wife and two children.
“I have a very strong interest and passion for the arts, and I think part of that is what attracted me to The Green Party,” said Tolley.
An active member of The Green Party for close to 10 years, Tolley said he was first inspired to run for office when he had his first child.
“Suddenly, things just aren’t about me, they were about the next generation. And I saw clearly with climate change that there was an urgency and action had to be taken,” he said.
As he got more involved with The Green Party, Tolley realized climate change wasn’t the only factor impacting the next generation.
“It was about poverty, it was about democratic reform, it was about Indigenous jobs…everything is interconnected.”
Since running in the 2015 election, Tolley’s motivations remain mostly the same. He said that there was an opportunity for great things to happen and they didn’t, so he sees this election as a second shot.
“Not to get too partisan, but I feel disappointed. When the Liberals won in the last election there was a lot of hope, and I had that hope as well. And unfortunately a lot of promises weren’t fulfilled, and I feel a little disappointed in that,” said Tolley.
One of the key issues that Tolley hopes to address is to reform the voting system by implementing proportional representation, a system which he believes would change Canada and usher in positive changes in terms of social justice for marginalized groups and communities. He also hopes proportional representation can pave the way out of the injustices committed over the past 150 years.
“I think once we can get that changed, really until we can change the system which is sort of designed to just bump back and forth between the two big parties, there’s no incentive to do anything radical like working towards helping the environment, said Tolley.
“We’re very excited about our prospects. Our polling numbers in Toronto-Danforth are at a record high right now. 388Canada is showing us polling the highest of all Greens in the GTA and surrounding area,” he said.
The Green Party is planning to reuse as many campaign materials from the 2015 election as possible, and are hoping to continue innovative ideas like off-grid campaign offices run on solar panels.
Tolley will be running against Liberal incumbent Julie Dabrusin in this fall’s federal election. Also currently registered to run in the Toronto-Danforth riding is Zia Choudhary for the Conservatives and Min Sook Lee for the NDP.
For a profile of Conservative candidate Zia Choudhary, please visit https://www.beachmetro.com/2019/09/08/zia-choudhary-seeking-toronto-danforth-seat-for-conservatives/
For a profile of Liberal candidate Julie Dabrusin, please visit https://www.beachmetro.com/2019/09/08/julie-dabrusin-seeks-re-election-for-liberals-in-toronto-danforth-riding/
For a profile on NDP candidate Min Sook Lee, please visit https://www.beachmetro.com/2019/06/11/min-sook-lee-to-run-for-ndp-in-toronto-danforth-in-upcoming-federal-election/
For more information about Chris Tolley and The Green Party in Toronto-Danforth, visit http://vote2019.ca/
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated from it’s original posting to include links to Beach Metro News profiles on other candidates running in the federal election in the Toronto-Danforth riding.