Pubdate: Wed, 22 Jul 2015
Source: Guelph Mercury (CN ON)
Copyright: 2015 Metroland Media Group Ltd.
Author: Chris Seto
Page: A3


GUELPH - Provided he gets the signatures required for the nomination,
Kornelis Klevering plans on running in this fall's federal election
under the banner of the Marijuana party.

This will be a third attempt for Klevering, having also run in the
2008 and 2011 general elections.

Reached for an interview at the Guelph Lawn Bowling Club on Gordon
Street Wednesday afternoon, Klevering said he felt the need to throw
his hat into the ring once again - there are still a number of issues
that need to come forward, he said.

As the name of the party suggests, the legalization of marijuana will
be a main issue for Klevering.

"How can the cannabis and marijuana party not jump into a federal
election when the issue's going to be about legalizing marijuana?" he

With Justin Trudeau and the Liberal party taking a pro-pot stance, he
said it was important for the Marijuana party to be there to push them
on this issue, and hold them accountable.

Guelph MP Frank Valeriote said he has respect for anyone who puts
themselves out there and seek elected office, but "it defies
sensibilities when someone runs on a single issue that really doesn't
serve the entire community."

Having run against Klevering in previous elections, Valeriote said the
Marijuana party candidate has no proven record of service or record of
interest outside of legalizing the use of marijuana.

"There are certainly single issues that are of importance that fringe
parties bring a voice to, but this is certainly not one that, I think,
is worthy of the time that's taken up during debates and

Some fringe parties bring a voice to the environment, health care,
family, or other issues that are important to a lot of Canadians, he
said. Klevering's party does not do this.

Klevering follows in the footsteps of Walter Tucker, marijuana
advocate and co-founder of Church of the Universe, he said. The fact
that Klevering plans to run for office speaks to the openness of our
Canadian democracy, Valeriote said.

While the Marijuana party is mostly known for its views on pot,
Klevering said the party also feels strongly about other issues.

The Marijuana party promotes the use of agricultural production to
power the economy, moving away from the reliance on oil and gas and
closer to pyrolysis technology - the burning of biomass to create power.

He said his party would also like to see the government stop pumping
and exporting oil. Instead, the government should switch to pumping
water, in a sustainable system, he said. Make water a Crown commodity
that can be sold and the money can benefit Canadians.

Finally, in light of the robocall scandal that centred on Guelph
during the 2011 federal election, he said he would push for election
reforms. Earlier this month, the Federal Court of Appeal tossed out
Klevering's bid to overturn the federal election results from Guelph.
The judge's ruling states the upcoming federal vote in October makes
it moot to further challenge the 2011 outcome.

Klevering said he's already filed papers in an attempt to have his
appeal heard in the Supreme Court of Canada. Once the new election
rolls around, however, he said he'll drop this particular fight for

In order for him to bring all these issues to the table, Klevering
first has to be nominated.

To receive an official nomination, Klevering said he has to gather 100
signatures from members of the community. In previous elections, he
said he's had to provide twice as many signatures as mainstream party
leaders because so many of the names on his list don't check out with
the election officials.

He said many of the people who sign his nomination forms are transient
and don't have a fixed address. When Elections Canada checks the names
he has listed, many of them won't be easy to verify, because they
won't be listed in the phone book or a search online.

Adam Donaldson, the writer behind the Guelph Politico blog, said he
isn't surprised to hear Klevering will be running again. He said with
Trudeau's stance on legalizing marijuana and the increasing public
support to decriminalize the use of the drug, "it's a good year to be
a Marijuana party candidate."

"Marijuana's not the scary gateway drug it once was, and I think if
we're going to have that conversation, then it's good to have someone
who's a member of the Marijuana party participate in that."

Even if Klevering doesn't hold the same level of clout as members of
larger parties, he still had to jump through the same hoops as anyone
else in order to run, Donaldson explained.

"It's not a different standard for how you can enter the race. So why
should it be a different standard in terms with how you're treated as
a part of that race?"

A lot of the talk in this upcoming election will be about the economy
and security, he said. With single-issue candidates taking part in the
debates, their mere presence provokes a discussion about issues that
might not have come up if they weren't there.
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