Elizabeth May brought her Community Matters Tour to Mission on Sunday night
The leader of the federal Green Party spoke to a crowd of more than 100 supporters at the Mission Friendship Centre.
It was the 22nd stop of her cross-country tour.
May told the crowd she has been touring “by low carbon travel by train and bus” starting in Quebec.
“One of the things that holds us together as Canadians is understanding that we take care of each other. We are community-based and we care about looking out for our neighbours. We don’t have that notion that our society is every man for himself,” said May.
However, there is another reason she calls it the Community Matters Tour.
“By listening to communities, across the country, you’re all helping us to form the Green Party platform so we can make sure it speaks to the things that are on people’s minds, all across the country.”
May said one issue that comes to mind right away is problems with bus service.
“Every part of Canada has lost bus service, but everybody thinks it just happened to them. So different companies are going under or leaving everywhere. And you don’t want to put people who are marginalized in positions that the only way to get from A to B is going to be hitchhike.”
She said it is “crazy that a wealthy country like Canada’s bus service “doesn’t measure up compared to Mexico.”
“This is a national crisis that no one in Ottawa talks about because none of the people I work with take the bus.”
While she is on tour to listed to Canadians, May also wanted to share a positive message about her party as the Federal election approaches.
“This is an election where the Greens are, at the moment, on the verge of amazing things.”
She pointed to the April 23 provincial election in Prince Edward Island as a sign of the growing popularity of the Green message.
May said PEI’s Green Party leader, Peter Bevan-Baker, is “far and away the most popular choice to be premier.”
Another positive sign is the upcoming federal bye-election called in the riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith
May said she believes Green Party candidate Paul Manly will win.
“It will be a very significant impact on the federal election in October.”
The federal election, which is scheduled to take place in October of 2019, is going to be interesting according to may.
“Across the country, in the next federal election, we are looking at the reality – which I don’t think has sunk in for a lot of people – that at the end of the election we don’t know which party will have the most seats, but I can guarantee you, there will be MPs elected from six parties. Now that hasn’t happened for a very long time.”
While May didn’t name the six parties, the Liberals, Conservatives, NDP, Bloc Québécois, Green and the new People’s Party of Canada, led by Maxime Bernier, ll expect to win some seats.
“Maxime Bernier and I are very good friends… we don’t agree on anything, except that we agree he’s going to keep Andrew Scheer from forming government because he’s going to split the vote on the right,” said May.
Anything could happen in this next election she said pointing to the 2011 federal election when Jack Layton’s NDP made huge gains in Quebec. At the time it was called the Orange Crush.
“I’m looking forward to the Green Wave,” said May.
The Green leader said she is hoping that a “minority parliament” is e;elected this year, with enough green seats to hold government to its promises – much like the current situation in B.C.
May said the three Green seats in B.C. have allowed the NDP to form government and has given the Greens the responsibility to hold the provincial government accountable.
She pointed to Bill 10 – which would provide a natural gas tax credit for qualifying corporations – as an example.
“Now they (BC’s three Green MLAs) can vote against Bill 10, where Horgan is shovelling money to liquefy natural gas from fracking…
“That’s what I’m looking for in the national level. It matters this time more than ever. It’s not about us getting power… It’s about the planet crisis, it’s about knowing that we’re in a climate emergency. There is a plan forward.”
Addressing environmental concerns has to happen now, she said.
“There’s no jobs on a dead planet. There’s no point in talking about what our future looks like if we don’t have a future,” said May.