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Nelson City councilor joins Green Party

By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily

She has made no attempt in the past to conceal her “green” values at the City council table, now Nelson Coun. Kim Charlesworth has made official her decision to support the Green Party in the next provincial election.

Coun. Charlesworth said Monday she made the decision to join the party membership after studying the Green Party’s policies.

“I realized the Green Party’s values were in tune with my values,” she said.

Provincial Green Party leader Jane Sterk personally called Coun. Charlesworth to welcome her to the party. The Nelson City councilor has joined a growing number of Green Party members at the municipal government level, said Michael Jessen, Nelson-Creston Green Party constituency association chair.

“By my estimate, there are now at least a half dozen elected Green Party supporters in municipal government throughout the West and East Kootenay,” he said.

And it isn’t by accident. Jessen said the party is actively recruiting people to run municipally in 2011 so the Green Party will have a higher profile when the next provincial election is called.

“Many Liberal and NDP MLAs have first been successfully elected at the municipal level so it makes sense for the Green Party to follow suit,” Jessen said.

Long-time Nelson activist Jessen has also been named Energy critic in the Green Party’s shadow cabinet.

He said Sterk asked him to serve in the position after reading his recently completed white paper entitled Seizing the Opportunities of Climate Change: Transitioning to a Low-Carbon Economy.

Jessen said the province is at a crossroads with regard to an energy policy.

“Now is the time to stop subsidizing the oil and gas sector and encourage the development of low-carbon energy sources like solar, wind, tidal and biomass,” he said.

“Spending $5.5 billion on projects like the Northern Gateway pipeline is taking us in the wrong direction.”