LETTER: NDP defections reports inaccurate

As president of the Island New Democrats, I am compelled to respond to the inaccurate and out of date Guardian editorial ‘Going Green’ published Friday, Sept. 6.

Over the past few days, other respected news outlets have published a more accurate and balanced account of political pronouncements and activities that recently occurred in New Brunswick. Initially, it was reported that Jonathan Richardson, a federal New Democrat representative from New Brunswick, and 14 former provincial candidates had defected to the Green Party.

More in-depth follow-up reports revealed that several of the New Democrat members were named without their approval and consent. More to the point was that the instigator’s action in the fumbled coup attempt followed his mother’s (and former candidate) failure to become leader of the New Brunswick New Democrats.

The sordid episode reflects poorly on Leader Elizabeth May and the Green Party, who failed to check the veracity of Jonathan Richardson’s false claim of New Democrat defectors, and his rationale for doing so.

Meanwhile, a new Canada-wide Abacus Poll released Sept. 5 places Canada’s New Democrats at 17 per cent and Greens at nine per cent support.

We are confident that the Island’s four New Democrats: Sharon Dunn in Egmont, Craig Nash for Malpeque, as well as Joe Byrne and Lynne Thiele seeking nomination in Charlottetown and Cardigan respectively, will do very well carrying the progressive message of Jagmeet Singh to address health care, the environment and many other concerns affecting Islanders and Canadians.

Leah-Jane Hayward is president of the Island New Democrats.