Green Party of Canada candidate Paul Manly addresses supporters as leader Elizabeth May looks on during a town hall meeting Saturday at the Beban Park social centre. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Greens see climate as central issue in Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection

Candidate Paul Manly and leader Elizabeth May hosted a town hall meeting Saturday at Beban Park

The Green Party of Canada says the Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection has the potential to put environmental issues top-of-mind for the general election.

The Greens held a town hall on Saturday at the Beban Park social centre and much of the evening’s program saw candidate Paul Manly and leader Elizabeth May rally supporters with calls for climate action.

May said one of the effects of electing Manly would be that it would force other parties to respond in time for the fall election. She said other parties would be asking themselves, “how do we change our policies, how do we up our game, how do we make sure that when we got to the polls in October 2019 you have a range of parties that demonstrate that they’re committed to what needs to be done? Not what’s politically popular, but what’s necessary.”

Both May and Manly referenced last fall’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that stressed that global warming must be held to no more than 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels.

May said Canada should be thinking about what’s possible in shifting from “a fossil fuel economy” to solar, wind and geothermal energy, tidal power and run-of-the-river hydro.

“We are at an exciting moment of possibility because we have everything we need to save ourselves,” May said. “What the IPCC said in their report in October was the only thing we’re missing is something they call political will and I’ll say it’s political courage.”

Manly said current governments are delaying climate action, which he said is not much different from denying climate change. Promoting compact fluorescent light bulbs and low-flow shower heads aren’t enough, he said.

“This is nonsense. I changed my light bulbs decades ago. I’ve done two home energy retrofits…” he said. “I don’t need a lesson on changing my light bulbs anymore. I need you to stop promoting fossil fuels.”

He said what appeals to him about his party’s Vision Green policy document is that it isn’t about a four-year political cycle, but about a sustainable future.

“The future is personal,” he said. “But it’s not just about my children and grandchildren, it’s about all the children; it’s about their future … We can change the economy, but if we mess up the environment, we are in serious trouble. And we are in serious trouble.”

May said she considers herself an MP not just for human constituents, but the ones that can’t vote, including the southern resident killer whales, salmon, eagles, forests and streams. If it’s a battle between life and money, “we have to take the side of life,” she said.

“How, in anyone’s mind, is losing the next election more important than the threat of losing your children’s future forever? If that window closes on holding to 1.5, we don’t get another chance,” she said.

RELATED: Candidates hit the campaign trail as Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection called

RELATED: Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates will critique budget on byelection campaign trail



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Candidates face questions on Nanaimo doorsteps about supportive housing and crime

Federal candidates asked about social issues on campaign trail

Review: Polish your language skills with The Foreigner

It’s all gibberish, but Charlie Baker’s personality receives a revamp in Chemainus Theatre production

Art studio takes over former St. Joseph’s School space in Chemainus

Public invited to a grand opening on May 1 to see what’s transpired

Lavigne possesses crooner qualities, to be Frank

Island tour starts this week and concludes in Chemainus with two shows May 11

First Nanaimo-Ladysmith all-candidates’ meeting is tomorrow

Six candidates expected to debate issues Thursday, April 25, at the Beban Park social centre

VIDEO: Large dust devil swirls through town in B.C.’s interior

Residents look on as column climbs about 90 feet into the air

RCMP arrest B.C. man following threatening Vaisakhi Facebook post

Post made reference to pressure cooker bomb at massive Surrey parade

Second dump site of Dungeness crab discovered in northern B.C.

DFO confident new site related to larger April 2 dump

Northern B.C. high school student reaches 100,000 followers on YouTube

Voice actor, animator, Jericho Fortune has more than 30-million views on his channel GTAGAMER222

University mourns student who died in B.C. canoeing accident

Andrew Milner, 19, was in his second year with the University of Calgary’s basketball program

B.C. woman pleads for people to stop stealing daffodils meant to honour cancer victims

Cynthia Bentley honours memory of those lost to cancer by planting 100 daffodils each year

Canfor temporarily shutting down lumber mills across B.C.

Low lumber prices and the high cost of fibre are the cause of curtailment, according to the company

Two in critical condition, several still in hospital after Langley deck collapse

Close relative Satwant Garcha makes daily trips to visit those injured at the wedding

Most Read