Marijuana Party of Canada candidates, 2006 Canadian federal election

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The Marijuana Party of Canada fielded several candidates in the 2006 federal election, none of whom were elected.


Carleton—Mississippi Mills: George Walter Kolaczynski[edit]

Kolaczysnki listed himself as a postal worker in the 2004 campaign.

Electoral record
Election Division Party Votes  % Place Winner
2004 federal Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington Mari 479 0.85 6/6 Scott Reid, Conservative Party
2006 federal Carleton—Mississippi Mills Mari 426 5/6 Gordon O'Connor, Conservative

Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington: Ernest Rathwell[edit]

Rathwell was born on November 26, 1958 in Carleton Place, Ontario. He later moved to Alberta to work in the oilpatch for five years, and spent five additional years working at a sour gas factory.[1] He has a Fourth Class Stationary Engineering certificate from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.[2]

He credits marijuana for helping him come to terms with post-traumatic stress syndrome, arguing that conventional treatments did not work for him (Ottawa Citizen, 10 June 1998). His wife also suffers from multiple sclerosis, and Rathwell believes that marijuana use has kept her alive by causing the condition to subside. He joined the Marijuana Party after he was denied a certificate to grow marijuana for medical purposes and sentenced to nine months in jail for illegal cultivation.[3]

He received 501 votes (0.84%), finishing sixth against Conservative incumbent Scott Reid.

Oxford: James Bender[edit]

James Bender (born 1964) is self made, operating Lady Godivas in Woodstock, Ontario, as well as former operator of "The Ganja Tree" in Woodstock, Ontario. Bender has been involved in social protest for many years in several areas. He is a proponent of legal marijuana, regulated by the government with similar control and distribution mechanisms in place in order to stabilize the industry, removing it from the paradigm of criminality. At present he is working on a pesticide ban, the redirecting of a golf course, (in order to protect a wetland area) and is a member of the Trans National Radical Party which holds NGO in consultant status with the United Nations.

He regularly contributes to many national and local newspapers as an opinion writer. He operates an online newspaper known as the Woodstock Ontario Independent News.

Bender was awarded the Community Care and Access "Heroes in the Home Award", receiving commendation from Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, as well as many other government officials and leaders for his role in arguing a human rights case involving summer access to camp programs for disabled children against the city of Woodstock, Ontario which he subsequently won.

Bender ran unsuccessfully for city council in Woodstock, Ontario in the November 2006 municipal elections. He garnered 2023 votes, representing 23% of the votes cast for municipal council. Bender also ran in the 2007 Ontario general elections as an Independent candidate, coming in fourth place ahead of the Family Coalition, a branch of the Christian Heritage Party. He won a total vote count of 632 votes.

Bender has cast himself as a social liberal, fiscal conservative.

Bender has organized and registered with Elections Canada, the Oxford Marijuana Party, effective February, 2007.

Bender lives in Woodstock with his partner and two children, one who is autistic.[citation needed]

Peterborough: Aiden Wiechula[edit]

Aiden Wiechula was born on November 10, 1985, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and lived in Waterloo, Ontario; Saudi Arabia; and Vancouver Island, British Columbia before moving to Peterborough to attend Trent University.[4] He was a member of the New Democratic Party before joining the Marijuana Party and was a twenty-year-old History student at the time of the 2006 election.[5] When he declared his candidacy, he was quoted as saying, "The cannabis issue is a great example of everything the government has mishandled and done wrong. It [voting for the Marijuana Party] is a great protest vote against bigger party mentality."[6]

Wiechula was on the left wing of the Marijuana Party. He has said that he became interested in politics via an opposition to the American invasion of Iraq.[7] During the 2006 campaign, he called for free community college courses and for university student tuition fees to be cut in half. He denied that this would result in a lower quality of education, pointing to the example of low tuition fees in Quebec.[8]

Wiechula received 455 votes (0.72%) on election, finishing fifth against Conservative candidate Dean Del Mastro. He later joked that he had fulfilled his goal of receiving more votes than his father, Marek Wiechula, who received 204 votes as a Libertarian Party candidate in the 1975 Ontario provincial election.[9]

In 2009, Wiechula wrote a piece defending the political legacy of J.S. Woodsworth, founder of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Canada Votes 2006: Peterborough, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, accessed 3 September 2010.
  5. ^ JoElle Kovach, "Candidate runs in protest," Peterborough Examiner, 11 January 2008, B2.
  6. ^ "Dr. Wood sees no challengers," Peterborough This Week, 7 December 2005, p. 7.
  7. ^ Lauren Gilchrist, "Aiden Wiechula: One voice heard," 18 January 2006, p. 8.
  8. ^ JoElle Kovach, "Candidate runs in protest," Peterborough Examiner, 11 January 2006, B2; JoElle Kovach, "Candidates talk drugs, tuition," Peterborough Examiner, 11 January 2006, B3.
  9. ^ Lauren Gilchrist, "Goal attained: Wiechula beats dad's vote total," Peterborough This Week, 25 January 2006, p. 9.
  10. ^ Aiden Wiechula, "J.S. Woodsworth --a classy MP" [letter], National Post, 12 September 2009, A12.