Nicolas Geddert, the Green Party of Canada candidate in the upcoming Portage-Lisgar federal by-election, says he is looking forward to getting to know some of people in the riding who are passionate about politics and about their environment. 

Geddert, who is from Winnipeg, has spent the majority of his political volunteer efforts with the Green Party of Manitoba. 

According to a Green Party of Canada release, Geddert is a dedicated community advocate with a strong passion for making a positive impact. He has been actively involved in various boards and committees, including the Spence Neighbourhood Association, Community Roots Resource Centre, Habitat for Humanity, 1JustCity, Syn-o-nym, and Storefront MB. His focus is on creating play and meeting spaces, advancing youth programs, and coordinating advocacy efforts.

"I really am putting all of my hope in, or most of my hope, into the the youth basket. I see how smart and aware and coordinated they are, "said Geddert. "So, that will be part of what I do in politics, helping youth get involved in what is important to them and giving them a voice, and also providing safe spaces."

Geddert added, it is in the youth where he finds the most hope politically. 

"When I see youth volunteering and you see kids that are organizing about these big adult issues and they're doing it so well that. I often find a lot of my role in the Green Party is clearing out some space for youth to demonstrate. So, I think there's opportunity for that in society, in Canada. Empowering youth is a critical part of what we need to do to fix everything, addictions, climate crisis. You know, these are the kids that will build the new green economy. And so, we want to just give them enough hope to stick with it and give them the tools." 

Like many other non-profit organizations, the provincial party is rebounding from the pandemic and Geddert says it's been difficult attracting volunteers and keeping people engaged.

"So, that's a bit of a new process and we're excited. I think in our rebuilding there's a lot of connections that we're now starting to make in Portage-Lisgar where we're finding people who have been waiting for someone to just sort of be the standard bearers," he said of his federal bid. "There's someone that needs to stick their neck out, and that's part of my candidacy. I'll put my name on the ballot so that other people have a have a Green vote, always have a Green option. Democracy doesn't work unless we have diversity of voices."

"I would like to acknowledge and recognize the difficulties that we've had as a party and give some reassurance that we're addressing that as a party, and we have leadership in place that's recognized that and is moving past those issues and learning from those issues. It's a building thing," added Geddert. 


"It is a by-election, so it's not like (we are) all of a sudden pushing to be government," he went on to say. "It's just really a good opportunity to reconnect with voters and remind them that that there's still a Green message out there and that there is still strength in the Green Party, and we're active and we want to meet. We want to hear what the what people are concerned about. We want to be able to give people information about how that works in governments so that citizens can take action. If we rely on government to improve everything about our lives, we're going to be lacking. I really believe that it's when government fails, community prevails."

Overall, Geddert feels community is the basis for a good social life. 

"Recently, I was looking at some material science and how Roman concrete was built to last for however long. They have roads and bridges that are still standing today and, the difference, the Romans had put aggregates in it that when the structure started to crumble and crack, the water would get in and bond with those aggregates and the concrete would start healing itself. And to me, that's what community is. We built this big government structure and we've done so much work to purify it and refine what we're putting into it. (This) is to the detriment of the longevity and the durability of the structure. Like, if those little bits of aggregate, that community, comes in says, 'hey, we see this crack in your structure. Just give us a little bit of water and we'll fix it for you'."

He added, the party wants to develop policies that support community. 

"And that's where local, concerned citizens who understand local issues and understand the long term and the solutions that need to be represented. I mean, I'm an out-of-towner too. I'm city boy born and raised in Winnipeg. So it's not for me to come in and say, 'hey, this is how you need to be greener'. It's for me to come in and say, 'hey, how are you being green? Or, are you having struggles to be greener or healthier, more politically active?"

"If we can remove the egos and the politics a little bit. Like, we know what most of the solutions are, or at least how to go about getting them," added Geddert. "We know what we need to do to eliminate addictions and homelessness. In the province there are hundreds and thousands of people who are writing reports and working front lines on those issues who know what the answer is, and it's an unfortunate political reality that those voices are not the ones that tend to be elected or tend to be represented. So, it's important that we're able to do that and be a voice for people that are maybe scared to speak out or don't know how to speak out or who to speak with.  And so, part of the opportunity, I think, in this by election is to find some of those networks and build some of those connections."

One of those connections, added Geddert, would be to reach out to his fellow by-election candidates and see how open they are to dialogue. They are, listed in order according to Elections Canada, Max Bernier representing the People's Party of Canada; Branden Leslie for the Conservative Party of Canada; Kerry Smith for the Liberal Party of Canada and Lisa Tessier-Burch for the New Democratic Party.

As for the remainder of the campaign, Geddert plans to continue knocking on doors throughout the riding.

"So yeah, hopefully we'll see some of you at the door, and if there's anyone else that would like to come book us for a little meeting, we could do zoom or we can try to get out there to meet you," he said. "But yeah, if there are people out there that are waiting for an alternative voice, or maybe they're sick of the old political banter, we encourage them just to reach out and we'll get back to you and work on some of that stuff."