Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has laid out areas of common policy interest where she thinks she can work with the Liberal minority government — goals such as bringing in a single-use plastic ban and adopting more civil behaviour in the House of Commons.
In a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, released today, May calls climate change action the “single most important” issue facing the new House of Commons. She called on him to create an internal panel with all party leaders to make sure climate measures are “collaborative and well-informed by science.”
She urged Trudeau to “ratchet up” Canada’s emission reduction targets in advance of the Santiago Climate Change Conference in December.
“To improve humanity’s chances of survival, it is critical that Canada assume a leadership role, first ramping up our own ambition and then pushing for more ambition overall in global negotiations,” May wrote in her letter to Trudeau, which she also sent to the other party leaders.
May said Canada’s emissions target can be changed by cabinet without Parliament’s approval.
The Green Party finished with three seats in Monday’s election. The party gained one seat, but remains in fifth spot.
The Liberals won 157 seats, which is 13 shy of a majority. That means they will need the support of other parties to pass legislation and budgets. It also means the Greens don’t hold the balance of power.
May noted in her letter that the Liberal, NDP and Green election platforms all promised to bring in pharmacare, and suggested the parties could collaborate to expedite the introduction of a national program.
“Can we (Liberal, NDP and Green) agree to make it universal and effective, as recommended by the Hoskins Report? Can we commit to making it a priority to be accomplished in 2020?” she wrote.
Seniors, mental health care
May also said there is broad consensus among the parties to:
- Improve mental health care.
- Address the opioid crisis.
- Support seniors.
- Increase affordable housing.
- Reduce cell phone charges.
- Protect elections from domestically sourced “untruths.”
May also proposed striking a committee on murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, with the goal of adopting the recommendations in the final report of the national inquiry.
While she acknowledged it’s a more “difficult” issue, May also is pressing for electoral reform — despite Trudeau’s broken promise to changethe current process. May suggested a ranked ballot system as an alternative to the existing “first-past-the-post” system.
She also called for all leaders to respect the rules of the House and to “not heckle or act disrespectfully” toward the Speaker or other members.
“Greens believe it is important that we try to compromise where compromise is possible and work together so that the 43rd Parliament can be as productive as the Liberal minority of former Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson,” reads the letter to Trudeau.