John Fryer was once the very model of a major New Democrat. A former national and provincial union leader, Mr. Fryer ran for the party during the 1988 federal election. But, in an interview with Public Eye, Mr. Fryer confirmed, after more than 40 years as a New Democrat, he joined the Greens this past March. "I think the main reason I joined the Greens is that I believe the Greens under Elizabeth May have raised and are raising the national consciousness on the number one issue of the day - which I consider to be the environment. I have six children and 10 grandchildren. And I'm very concerned about the world we're leaving them," Mr. Fryer explained. That's not the only reason for his defection, though.
Mr. Fryer said he's also concerned about suggestions the New Democrats should try to replace the Liberals nationally. "And I think that's nonsense. (Party leader Jack) Layton is pursuing that. And that's clearly the way he's leading the party. And I think time is too short to go down that dead-end alley."
Mr. Fryer, who has known May for 30 years, said his defection isn't a reflection on the provincial New Democrats. But the party's constitution requires members of that group to also be federal New Democrats.