Being open to cooperation does not mean joining forces with the Liberal party, Guelph’s new MPP said Monday.
Mike Schreiner made it clear that he will not be partnering with the Liberal party at Queen’s Park.
Schreiner says comments he made in a radio interview Sunday were “misinterpreted,” and that maintaining the Green Party’s independence in the legislature is paramount.
Schreiner said the Liberals on Friday said that they wanted to reach out to the Green Party and talk about how we could join forces for them to obtain official party status.
When asked about that he commented that he was interested in discussions about cooperation.
He said he sent out letters to all three parties on Monday to inquire about meeting to discuss areas of common ground “where we could work cooperatively.”
“I haven't talked to anybody at this point,” Schreiner said.
“But that in no way should be interpreted as me wanting to join forces with the Liberals or any other party,” Schreiner told GuelphToday
“Guelph elected a Green MPP and I’m going to serve as a Green MPP,” he said.
He is interested in making the legislature less adversarial.
“I’ll work with other parties where we can find common ground and I’ll certainly be critical where I need to be critical,” he said.
The Liberals won seven seats at Queen’s Park in last Thursday’s election, one fewer than is required for official party status.
That lack of official status as it stands limits the amount of inclusion in debates and funding within the legislature for the Liberals and Green Party.
Schreiner posted a statement on the Green Party web site Monday morning that further reinforced his position.
“The people of Guelph elected a Green MPP, and I will serve as a Green MPP. We will not be “joining forces” with the Liberals or any other party. Cooperation does not equal “joining forces” or changes to party status,” Schreiner wrote.
Schreiner does see potential for cooperation with other parties, but that will be done on a case-by-case basis and when it does not conflict with his party’s platform or go against what is best for Guelph or the province.
“We had nine priorities in our platform and I’m going to look forward where we can push forward in those areas,” he said.