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Why I’m running

“The house is on fire”, in the words of Greta Thunberg, the 16 year-old Swedish activist.

I believe that this moment of climate crisis needs us to stand up, have political courage and come together.

I am running to take action on climate, and doing so in a way that leaves no one behind.

Why the Green Party?

Appallingly our Liberal, Conservative, even NDP politicians, are ready to add more fuel to the fire, building pipelines for yet more fossil fuel. While promising to cut fossil fuel subsidies, the Trudeau Liberals have spent additional billions in fossil fuel subsidies, including buying an old leaky pipeline for $4.5 bn that the private sector was ready to ditch. The Conservatives don’t have a plan. And the NDP is not sure which pipelines, oil and gas projects they support.

We need to change direction. We need climate leaders who will not only talk, but act. Climate leaders do not build new fossil fuel infrastructure. It makes no sense. The science is clear: to fight climate change we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, not expand oil and gas production. We cannot have it both ways.

The Green Party is the only federal party that has a  solid science-based position on climate change and can be trusted not to break this promise as soon as elected.

Canadian Politics is Deeply Compromised

Canadian politics is deeply compromised by big corporations and banks whose profits are dependent on the continuation of climate change. This arrangement benefits the super-rich a great deal, but most of us struggle to make ends meet.

Inequality has risen massively in our society. Currently automation, artificial intelligence and industry disruption are causing layoffs of thousands of previously stable jobs.

The intergenerational inequality that will result from fuelling the climate fire is even starker. It is as though our politicians are burning our kids’ future.

And our first-past-the-post electoral system means that governments get voted in with barely 40% of the Canadian vote and most votes do not count. Justin Trudeau promised electoral reform — but broke that promise too.

A Better Economy is Possible – Green New Deal for Canada

We need to invest in a better economy, the economy we need for the future.

I join my voice to those calling for a  Green New Deal — tackling the big challenge of rapidly reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel dependency with a World War II-scale economic and social mobilization. Although it will be difficult and there will doubtlessly be hardships, there is enormous strength when people are united towards a common goal. I welcome all other Canadian political parties to come together around this idea.

The economy we need for our future needs to have a strong social contract built into it, including a minimum basic income. The structural transition of the economy towards a low carbon economy should be a just transition — displaced workers are entitled to retraining and security.

The solutions to climate change are readily available. They involve re-investing, retrofitting and transforming our transportation, buildings, industry, food and energy sectors so that we can move to a low carbon economy. This transformation will involve millions of new good jobs.

We must freeze all fossil fuel expansion. We cannot claim to be solving the climate crisis while still developing the oil sands, offshore drilling or fracking new gas reserves.

People Standing Together – Respect

photo - Allan Lissner

photo – Allan Lissner

Trump’s America is channeling  the anger, fear and insecurity resulting from job-losses and economic hardship into racism, anti-immigrant feelings and mis-information.

I believe we must stand up, call out racism and defeat racism in Canada. We do not want to have Canada torn apart. We, the people, need to stand together and together face the real challenges.

The anthropocene age of climate change has begun and we must prepare to welcome climate refugees.

All our Relations – Reconciliation

The land, the water, the air and our fellow creatures are under enormous stress from industrial, urban and extractive activities.

We must respect for mother earth and all our relations, including healing and reconciling the relations between settler and indigenous peoples in Canada.

If we do this — everything else will follow.

My values:

  • Taking responsibility and having courage to lead on climate action
  • Building a better clean low-carbon economy that will benefit the many, not the few; create good jobs and guaranteed minimum income
  • Fighting racism, violence and mis-information for a Canada where we stand together and support each other
  • Reconciliation between indigenous and settler peoples and respect for all our relations including with mother earth and all the creatures living on the planet.

I believe that the time to have political courage to stand for these values is now. That is why I am running.

Help build this campaign!

Let me know what issues are important to you as we build a thriving Ottawa-Centre for all.

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