Marthe Lépine is no longer Green. She was notified on October 6 that she is no longer the Green Party of Canada’s candidate in Glengarry-Prescott-Russell for the October 21 federal election.
Lépine said she received a phone call on Sunday and received an email on Monday stating a party council had voted to end her candidacy, that she could no longer present herself as a representative of the party, and that the decision could not be contested.
The party’s decision was made after it was discovered that Lépine posted pro-life comments and opinions on two Roman Catholic blog sites.
Green Leader Elizabeth May has stated that the party will not accept candidates or Members of Parliament who have expressed opposition to a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion. Lépine said the party’s decision to not allow her to be its candidate is a violation of her freedoms of conscience and religion.
When asked about how pro-life views and concern for the environment can combine, Lépine said “It makes sense, they go together.” She noted that the International Green Charter says all life needs to be protected.
Lépine explained that she went through a three-week vetting process by the party during the summer that revealed no problems with her becoming its candidate. She said that if the party had problems with her opinions, they should have been discovered during that time.
However, Lépine suspects the discovery could have been the result of discontent with her campaign organization she recently expressed. She said that after participating in an all-candidates debate in Rockland on October 3, she had a conversation with some other Green supporters about how the party had not yet provided the 100 lawn signs and additional volunteers it had promised to send. Lépine wondered if the conversation prompted further questioning of her candidacy.
Even though Lépine is no longer the Green Party’s candidate, she is still officially on the election ballot as a registered candidate because her nomination papers were filed with Elections Canada before the deadline. She notified the party that she will continue to express agreement with its platform unless it tells her not to.
On the issues, Lépine has stated that trade agreement negotiations have not respected family farms, especially in the dairy sector, and that Liberal incumbent Francis Drouin could have been more vocal on the issue.
Lépine is concerned about access to public transit in rural areas and has said that people who do not have cars need transportation to get to their jobs, and that Canada needs to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and the oil industry.
The candidate said a guaranteed minimum income would also benefit the Canadian economy.