Courage in Saint John

Chris Alders

In our society courage is often demonstrated but unfortunately and paradoxically seldom noticed. A classic ‘for instance’ are those who for decades carried the load of educating, cajoling, and turning public policy to rid us of the horrendous and deleterious effects of Big Tobacco. These people were periodically scorned and ridiculed despite winning the day in the end.

When confronted with the reality of a group of people who care enough about their communities to take on perceived titans, my heart is stirred. Yesterday in Saint John, New Brunswick, a group of citizens came together to form the first-ever Green Party of Canada Electoral District Association in that province. Those assembled had an impressive array of community commitments and credentials behind them. Practically to a person they spoke of how the Green Party represented hope of a democracy that can finally address their long-neglected cares and concerns.

The port city, once a shining testament to the Age of Sail and the training ground for renowned sailor Joshua Slocum (the first person to sail alone around the world, 1895-1898), is now at odds with itself because of the pollutants which regularly emanate from oil refinery smoke stacks. Indeed, political observers have remarked at length about the concentration of power vested in the Irving family (through its energy, transportation, and media holdings).

Many Green Party memberships were sold and a sense that the Green Party could become a vital instrument of citizenship pervaded the meeting room (situated in the spacious Saint John Free Public Library).

One of those piecing together the group was Leland Thomas – a person who quietly but unmistakably exudes intelligence and determination. Leland has been active on many campaigns to reign-in short-term resource development schemes that typically put communities at long-term risk. I have no doubt that this group will carry forth in ways that reflect the desires of this and the next seven generations.

The Saint John Green Party Association is off to an inspiring beginning. To join their ranks please contact them via email at: