Why I’ve Gone Green
Many people who will remember me growing up in Ladysmith where my father was an NDP MP may wonder why I am running for the Green Party.
I have spent many years working as a documentary filmmaker and community advocate on environmental, social and democratic issues.
I was recruited by the NDP locally and they approved me as a candidate, but the party leadership refused to allow me to run. Why? Because I spoke up for my father when he was imprisoned while on a humanitarian mission to Gaza.
But that wasn’t what made me decide to leave the NDP. It was watching the NDP abandon their own policies on the issues that are most important to me.
I found out that not a single NDP MP voted against the Canada Korea free trade agreement last fall – in violation of NDP policy. This agreement has anti-democratic investor state (ISDS) provisions that give corporations the power to challenge government decisions.
I found out that the leader of the NDP supports Energy East, a raw bitumen export pipeline that will expand oil sands production dramatically. This flies in the face of NDP climate policy. I am opposed to any new raw bitumen export pipelines.
The NDP leader also supports Kinder Morgan, saying that with a better process Kinder Morgan would be acceptable. I unequivocally oppose this pipeline and increased tanker traffic on our coast.
I found out that the NDP supports gas fracking. I am opposed to gas fracking and have been for a long time.
I didn’t have to change my views when I joined the Green Party. I read the policy document, Vision Green, after Elizabeth May asked me to run, and was pleasantly surprised at what I learned.
I knew the Green Party would be strong on environmental policy, but it is also has excellent policies on social justice, health, inequality and a range of other issues.
The Green Party has a balanced approach to the economy, fair taxation and fiscal reform. They also focus on good governance and democratic reform.
It is Green Party policy that MPs cannot be whipped to vote against their conscience or the wishes of their constituents.
The Green Party is the only party opposed to any expansion of pipelines for the export of raw bitumen from the Alberta tar sands. It supports a national moratorium on hydraulic gas fracking.
And it is the only party opposed to any international trade and investment agreements that include Investor State Dispute Settlements.
For those of you who are worried about splitting the vote, it is voter cynicism and abandonment that should be our focus.
I want people to be positive about politics, and vote for a candidate and party that they can trust to represent them with honesty and integrity.
I have spent years raising concerns about what we need to do to for the Canada we want.
We owe it to future generations to be hopeful and work for a better world.
Editor’s note: As part of it’s Federal Election 2015 coverage, the Chronicle is providing each of the four candidates in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith Riding two ‘column’ spots between Aug. 18 and Oct. 13.