Angela Keller-Herzog is an experienced leader, energetic community builder, small-business owner, and former diplomat.
A gen-Xer mom of two young-adult children, Angela and her husband live in Ottawa Centre, on unceded Algonquin territory. She is proud to call Ottawa Centre her home, off and on, for thirty years. She has also lived and worked in Indonesia, Germany, Quebec and BC, gaining experience collaborating with different communities and cultures. This experience made her a more empathetic leader who respects diversity.
Angela is the Executive Director of Community Associations for Environmental Sustainability (CAFES) and Principal at Horizon Green consulting. With over 20 years experience working in international development for non-governmental organizations including Transparency International and the Canadian federal government, she has learned how important transparency and accountability is in leadership. The strongest leaders don’t wait for you to hold them accountable- they hold themselves accountable. As a Green Party MP, Angela is prepared to represent you and Ottawa Centre, work tirelessly, and to hold herself accountable every step of the way. She has represented Canada overseas and at United Nations conferences, gaining perspective about the importance of “thinking globally and acting locally” when it comes to climate action. She looks forward to partnering with the community to ensure a greener future.
Preserving biodiversity and taking climate action are two of Angela’s core values. That’s why she sits on the boards of the Ottawa Renewable Energy Coop (OREC), CoEnergy, and the Glebe Community Association. She believes in local action, taking responsibility and getting her hands dirty to create the world we want to live in. She is a co-founder of Ottawa Centre Refugee Action; led the Glashan Schoolyard Greening Project; and recently initiated the Glebe Collegiate Institute Century Trees project.
At the municipal level Angela has been an effective advocate for climate responsibility, budgetary and strategic priorities for term of council, and the protection of the urban forest. She has received multiple awards recognizing her progressive community leadership.
Angela is a trained economist (M.A. Economics, Carleton University) and calls for a more equal distribution of income and wealth, a low-carbon and circular economy, and solutions that create clean jobs and serve to make our society healthier and fairer.
Why Am I Running Still? The Elephant in the Room – Strife in the Green Party
By nature I am a straight-forward person who likes to deal with the reality of a situation. So first, let’s deal with the elephant in the room.
You may have heard about the strife in Canada’s Green Party since May 2021. I am deeply disappointed by it. We should have invested more in internal unity and relations right after the leadership contest in fall 2020. There is no way that a single wedge issue (Israel Palestine) should be able to fracture us so deeply and trigger so much internal strife. Alongside my fellow Green candidates across Canada, I am immensely disappointed. And as many have observed — this could not have come at a worse time. As the recent IPCC report has documented, the climate breakdown is happening now. If ever there was a time that the Green Party of Canada was needed, it is now.
Many Ottawa Centre Green supporters have reached out to me. And I have spoken to many of you at the door and on the phone. Many of you have told me that you are not prepared to support the Green Party under these present circumstances. I understand this.
My own position is as follows. I believe that the Green Party is critically needed in the political spectrum of Canada. This will be ever more so in the medium run as the climate and biodiversity crisis unleashes. Canada will need to opt for hard climate action and for building our resilience. Beyond rapidly transitioning away from coal, oil and gas extraction (leaving fossil fuels in the ground), we will need to learn how to reorganize our economy toward sustainable prosperity.
We need a serious “course correction” as we are exceeding our ecological limits and the planet is becoming increasingly uninhabitable. Such radical social and economic systems change, ‘transformative’ change, and collectively motivated change is not easy. While COVID-19 has unmasked how unequal our country is, how unfair, racist and discriminatory our systems are, the pandemic response has also demonstrated that both rapid and collective changes in behaviour are possible. And we need to unite causes – standing against exploitative destructive extractive and polluting corporate greed, and reforming colonial and racist power structures. Because we know from history that it is always the poor, downtrodden and discriminated against who pay the most.
Like the visionary work of Elizabeth May as sole Green Member of Parliament has demonstrated in the past, in the future Canada will benefit from more Green Party members in parliament who are not whipped and muzzled by party discipline, but free to speak, free to oppose, and free to propose ways forward that are both radical and pragmatic.
The critical role for the Green Party in the medium term is what motivates me to continue to provide leadership to the Ottawa Centre Green team of volunteers, and continue to invest in building the base of support from voters and residents for the Green Party in Ottawa Centre. I also hope to participate in the ‘rebuilding’ of the Green Party after election 2021. I invite you to get or keep your Green Party memberships so that we can do this together in the spirit of respectful and participatory democracy inside the Party.and in Canada.
Why I Decided to Run in the First Place
The climate and biodiversity data and evidence of planetary crisis are terrifying. It has rightly been called the existential challenge facing this generation of humans on the planet.
Here is what I think we should do:
- We need to face the facts – this takes courage.
- We need to accept these facts – no more denial, but radical acceptance.
- And then we need to act — doing everything we can to solve this problem. As individuals, as communities, as municipalities, as coalitions standing in solidarity, as countries. There are many positive solutions available, we have the technologies, there can be a bright and more equitable future.
- We need to stand together, seek counsel from Indigenous peoples, and ensure that the impacts of climate and biodiversity crises do not unjustly fall on those that have done the least to cause the problem.
I am not seeing this behaviour in our Canadian political or corporate power brokers. Many observers have pointed out that the greatest obstacle to effective climate action in Canada is the lack of political will.
- The Liberals are continuing to massively subsidize fossil fuel extraction, fossil fuel infrastructure and oil & gas companies. Their plan for Canada sees us expanding the oil and gas sector. Since 2015 Canadian greenhouse gas emissions have gone up every year and Canada is the worst performing country on climate in the G7. Their showpiece ‘action’, the carbon tax, has been set too low to affect behaviour and 90% exemptions have been doled out to large emitters. The Liberals talk a lot about climate, but they do not act on it. As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, the Liberal leadership held weekly meetings with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP).
- The Conservative Party does not think the climate crisis is real, and their leader has announced policies that are window dressing.
- The NDP mentions the environment as an afterthought, and continues to support expansion of fossil fuels through fracking and Liquid Natural Gas mega projects.
- This only leaves the Green Party.
I am using the privilege, energy, time and health that I have to stand for climate and biodiversity. And join up with those who seek greater equity, justice and fairness in Canadian and global social, economic and ecological outcomes. Including inter-generational equity: for our grandchildren, for the next seven generations.