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Vancouver Sun - April 8 2005

Westcoast News

By Gordon Hamilton, April 8 2005.

Environmental groups begin own election campaigning

12 organizations knocking on doors, handing out material to get their issues on the agenda.

Environment:  Politicians can expect to feel the heat from the province's environmental movement in the provincial election after 12 organizations with over 50,000 members launched their own campaign Thursday to put eco-issues on the agenda for May 17.

Canvassers are knocking on doors and delivering leaflets in Victoria and Vancouver to highlight four environmental issues the activists want to see addressed.  They intend to spread out to other regions as the election draws closer focusing on ridings where their own research shows a close race and where they have high membership.

The groups which include Greenpeace, the Sierra Club and the Candian Parks and Wilderness Society, won't pick candidates or parties.  Instead, they intend to put the facts about each party's environmental stand before the electorate, said organizer Tzeporah Berman.  And while they are walking a fine legal line by staying non-partisan to retain their charitable status, there is no question that it is the B.C. Liberals that can expect to feel the most pressure.

That's the price of being in power; you have more to answer for, said Joe Foy, organizer for the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, one of the 12 organizations.

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