In minority scenario, Greens won't work with a party without serious climate plan
OTTAWA – Should the fall federal election conclude in a minority government scenario, and the Green Party is in a positon to assist the party with the most seats, it will only do so if that party has a serious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In an interview on CTV’s Question Period, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said she is entering the 2019 campaign with no preference for who she could see the Greens working with, other than a party that has a serious plan to limit global warming.
Specifically, the party will have to be ready to roll out a plan to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, she said. This is something both the federal Liberals and New Democrats have said they support, while the Conservatives have yet to unveil their climate change policy, though it is expected soon.
“Incrementalism is out, and doing deals with people just for power, when our children's futures at stake is not something I will ever do,” said May. “We cannot ever accept a government that thinks they can get away with tiny targets on climate which they then don't achieve. We have to do what's required.”
Over the last few months the Green Party’s electoral prospects have improved, pulling in more votes in provincial races. Voters also elected the Greens’ second MP to the Commons in the final byelection of this Parliament.
“I'm feeling very encouraged,” May said.
She then offered that the Greens are “the most trusted party to hold the balance of responsibility.”
She said that is because the party would “never put our own self-interest or desire for power above the good of Canada.”
“I can work with anyone. But I'm not going to write anyone a blank cheque because the future is too important to base it on trust with people who break their promises,” she said.
In the wide-spanning interview on her party and policies, May also said that she would ban China’s Huawei from Canada’s 5G network, would increase taxes on the rich, would protect a woman’s right to a legal safe abortion, and would oppose any and all new oil and gas developments. Here’s some of what else she had to say.
Does she trust Prime Minister Justin Trudeau?
“It's back to trust and verify,” she said, adding that she believed the promises Liberals made on things like electoral reform, and getting rid of fossil fuel subsidies.
“So trust is a question now of prove it,” May said.
Do Indigenous people get a veto on resource projects?
Yes, in cases where territorial rights have been established, she said.
“You have to look at what the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous people says which is free and prior informed consent. Now, if you say ‘we're going to build a pipeline, what does it take for us as the colonial power of Canada to make you agree?’ That’s not free, prior and informed consent, that’s coercion,” said May.
Does she agree with the MMIWG inquiry's 'genocide' finding?
“It certainly is a term that makes people very uncomfortable, but I encourage Canadians to look and read the full inquiry report. That is the first request of the commissioners who wrote the report, is read it,” May said.
She said she came to support this finding after reading legal analysis and evidence in the report explaining why the term genocide applies in this situation.
“They're saying these murders happened because of an endemic level of sexism and racism that has a lot to do with structural violence in the context of the Indian Act… We're looking at a situation where Indigenous women go missing far more often than non-Indigenous women… the reality of the day-to-day experience of Indigenous women in this country is that they are not treated with the same care and concern when they go missing,” May said.
Would a Green government balance the budget?
“Yes, we are a party that believes in fiscal responsibility. And we are going through the exercise of making sure our numbers add up. I can commit to you this… when our platform is released it will include a full budget that will have been already reviewed by the parliamentary budget office. And then we'll be able to say exactly when we can balance the budget with what revenue and with what spending so that we are able to demonstrate fiscal responsibility, but it is a priority,” May said.
She said that she will spend more aggressively on things like pharmacare, and would protect small businesses while going after large multi-national corporations like Amazon and Facebook which right now have unfettered access to the Canadian market.