May: Greens won't support any minority government given current climate plans
Published Tuesday, September 3, 2019 5:09PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 3, 2019 5:10PM EDT
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says that based on her opponents' current climate plans she wouldn't be prepared to prop up any minority government.
That means, should the Oct. 21 federal election result in a minority government with the Greens holding the balance of power, May says Canadians could be headed back to the polls.
May would rather defeat a government and ultimately force Canadians back to the polls rather than allow a party with a climate plan not up to her standards to govern.
"Frankly, no party currently has a policy that is adequate… it's about getting a deal for our kids to ensure a livable world and if there isn't, if that isn't on the table, then we won't support anyone," May told host Don Martin in an interview that aired on CTV Power Play on Monday.
"We actually would bring a government down and go back to the polls to get a government that’s prepared to be responsible."
May said she hopes that this "existential political threat" would prompt leaders to "carefully consider their obligations to continue to form government."
Minority governments are formed when there's no party that wins a majority of the seats in the House of Commons after a federal election. In that scenario, the Governor General will typically give the party with the most seats the first chance at forming government. That party would then attempt to govern on its own, negotiating to gain support from the other parties on an issue-by-issue basis, or it could push to form a coalition government with another party to gain the majority of the seats.
However, if the party that won the most seats is unable to maintain the confidence of the House of Commons, the Governor General can invite the opposition parties to try to form government – or can dissolve the Parliament and prompt another federal election.
The dissolution of Parliament is the option May would push for should she hold the balance of power. That is, unless the other parties beef up their climate plans to hold global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
"[It] is not a political challenge but…an imperative to ensure that our economy, our society and our kids can have security going forward into a future that's actually not threatened by the possibility of the loss of human civilization because we were too cowardly to act when we had a chance," May said.
Heading into the election, the Green Party currently holds two seats in the House of Commons. The latest poll from Nanos Research shows the Greens with just over 10 per cent of the ballot support. The NDP, meanwhile, is sitting at just over 15 per cent and the Bloc Quebecois has less than 5 per cent.
Any outcome is still entirely possible with the upcoming federal election, including the possibility of a minority government – and May isn't the first politician to weigh in on that potential scenario.
After the Liberals revived a video of Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer from 2005, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said that should his party hold the balance of power, he would not support the Conservative Party's agenda.
In the video, Scheer is seen delivering a speech in the House of Commons detailing the reasons for his opposition to same-sex marriage. He has since said that he now "unequivocally supports equal LGBTQ rights, including same-sex marriage as defined in law."
Still, Singh said the video was a "resurfacing of Andrew Scheer’s disgusting prejudice against LGBTQI2S+ people."
"This is exactly why, if Canadians deliver a minority government in October, I will not prop up Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives. We can't trust Mr. Scheer or his caucus to champion the fundamental rights of Canadians," Singh said in an emailed statement after the video was revived online.
Singh's statement means that it could be difficult for Scheer to form government, except if he were to win a majority. While May has previously said she's willing to work with any party, Monday's revelation means that there are currently no parties that meet her standard for support.
However, neither she, nor Singh, nor any other party leader will know whether or where to throw their weight until Canadians mark their ballots this October.
With files from CTV News' Rachel Aiello.