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Teacher Terry Teather to run for Greens in New Westminster
Teacher Terry Teather will be the Green Party candidate in New Westminster for the May 14 provincial election.
A few years ago, Canadian author Gwynne Dyer's book Climate Wars made "a huge impact" on Teather so he decided he would "like to make some sort of impact" himself beyond teaching civics to high school students at the Cloverdale Learning Centre, where he's worked for 15 years.
"I've got to get involved somehow because it doesn't bode well for anyone in the world let alone provincially or in Canada. It's time we took the bull by horns and made some significant changes. I know we have to strengthen the economy but doing it at the expense of the environment would be shortsighted," said Teather, 61, a Quay resident for eight years.
He's been a member of the Green Party for several years. When he approached the party asking how he could become more involved, they asked if he'd consider running.
Teather, who has been an educator in the Surrey school district for 31 years, admits he's up against formidable foes in New Democrat candidate Judy Darcy and Hector Bremner of the BC Liberals.
"I really feel there's a need to have a third party, I don't feel the bi-partisan system we have now in the province works," said Teather. "Both the Liberals, or what is perceived to be Liberal in name only, and the NDP are entrenched and we're not."
As someone who works with youth he sees them being dissatisfied as they look toward the future. While the Greens might not be an immediate answer, the youth want long-term direction which is something the party might be able to provide.
"We're starting at the beginning. We won one seat in the federal parliament. It's not great, but it's a start," said Teather.
In 2009, the Green Party's candidate in New Westminster, Matthew Laird, garnered nine per cent of the vote.
Teather said he is in the process of nailing down what issues are important to New Westminster voters but what stands out to him is the Pattullo Bridge and how its possible replacement could affect traffic through the city. He also has questions about the potential for dust from the proposed coal terminal on the Surrey side of the Fraser River possibly floating across to Downtown New Westminster.
He said he plans to talk with local group New Westminster Environmental Partners to hear their issues of concern as well.
"These are in many ways issues I need to do more research on and I'm happy to do that," said Teather.