Paul Falvo, the newly elected Green Party of Canada candidate for the NWT, says for the first time there is a ‘hope in hell’ for the territory to elect a Green MP.

The results of the race – between Falvo and William Gagnon – were announced at a nomination meeting Wednesday. Falvo states his top three priorities are climate change, food security and justice reform.

“It’s exciting, of course, to be the candidate. But it’s a lot of hard work ahead, work starts now,” Falvo said when reached by phone Wednesday night. “It’s an exciting time to be green in the NWT because the party has been around for years but people are really waking up to climate change now and taking it seriously.”

A lawyer in the NWT since 2001 and a former Yellowknife city councillor, Falvo says he has seen a lot of the territory and the challenges residents face. “My work has taken me to half of the communities in the NWT. I’ve got to talk to people about personal details of their lives, sometimes the most difficult parts of their circumstances,” he says. “I’ve learned about issues that are happening in people’s lives, I know the challenge that so many Northerners have with the cost of living.”

Getting to as many communities as possible is a focus ahead of the election, as is fundraising for the Greens who have around three dozen members according to Falvo. Support and donations for the party have been growing ‘exponentially’ he says. The party is no longer a fringe movement of ‘long haired people with guitars’ as Falvo characterized the beginnings of the party, it is everyday people becoming concerned about climate change.

The results come a week after leader of the party Elizabeth May visited the territory calling for non-partisan cooperation on the ‘climate emergency, where the stakes couldn’t be higher.’ Among other measures, May outlined plans the Greens have to connect the NWT to the southern electric grid.

“Across the country, in steps, we can get fossil fuels out of electricity, extend the grid as a national project, then we can provide EV hook-ups and chargers so make sure that we can go off the internal combustion engine and rely on electricity for home heating and massive retrofits to buildings,” May said, adding that the North may be one of the last places in Canada to wean off of fossil fuels.

READ MORE: Green support growing in the NWT says Elizabeth May

The Greens are the latest party to announce a candidate for this fall’s federal election. The only party yet to announce a candidate are the New Democrats. Incumbent Michael McLeod will run for the Liberal Party of Canada, Yanik D’Aigle with the Conservative Party of Canada and as reported by Cabin Radio Luke Quinlan is the candidate for Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada.