Paul Falvo will be the Green Party’s challenger in the Northwest Territories for October’s forthcoming federal election.
Falvo defeated William Gagnon in a two-way contest at a meeting of local members in Yellowknife on Wednesday evening.
With the Green Party currently polling at around 11 percent nationally, Falvo – a lawyer in Yellowknife since 2001 – will be hoping to deliver the party’s strongest NWT performance in history.
No Green candidate has ever received more than six percent of the territory’s vote.
Sam Gamble received just under that mark in 2008, while John Moore took not even three percent of the vote in 2015 – slightly underperforming versus the party’s national average.
“For this federal election, Greens in the NWT, we have a hope in hell,” said Falvo. “We’ve never had that before.”
Both Falvo and Gagnon delivered final five-minute pitches to around two-dozen people gathered at Wednesday’s event, though online votes had already been received and tallied.
“My difference is I am not a professional in the green field, per se,” Falvo told his audience. “That helps to counteract the notion of the Green Party as being a one-issue party.
“I work in the criminal justice field. That has given me travels throughout the North. I’ve had the opportunity to talk to people about the intimate details of their lives, and to find out about being in the NWT and not having enough money, not having enough food to eat.
“That’s why I say that food security is a super important issue. An NWT candidate needs to make sure Green Party people in Ontario and BC know about the differences of the North.”
Of the established federal parties, only the New Democrats now remain without a confirmed candidate in the Northwest Territories.
Incumbent Liberal MP Michael McLeod is to stand for re-election, while Yellowknife banker Yanik D’Aigle is the Conservative challenger.
Luke Quinlan is to represent Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party.
Green federal leader Elizabeth May recently visited the NWT to pitch her party’s northern platform to residents, including the promise of $2 billion in funding for connection of the territory to the national grid.
Gagnon, left, and Falvo chat moments before the result of a vote to select a candidate is announced on July 10, 2019. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio