Every voice across our country matters and true respect for all Canadian voices has long been absent in policy making in Ottawa. Canadian citizens increasingly feel marginalized and that their opinions or the needs of their communities are ignored. That’s why Leigh stands for electoral reform and for the implementation of Proportional Representation in our federal voting system. Small communities and different social groups across this country require representation that is not swept away by large demographics – true democracy requires that voices from across Canada’s diverse communities be heard and respected.
Unfortunately, addressing the issue of respect for all Canadians is also fundamentally related to the unfair distribution of wealth we now experience in Canada – and the problem only continues to grow. How can the needs or political opinions of Canadians be properly heard if large segments of the population cannot adequately participate in the democratic process because of ongoing but solvable social issues? Because the policies of our ruling government favour the super-wealthy, we risk having the next Canadian generation grow up without a proper understanding of Canada’s democracy or their democratic rights and responsibilities.
And the issue of respect for all Canadians does not end with voting. The ongoing plight of Canada’s First Nations puts such issues into proper perspective. We must enact legislation that respects the right of Indigenous peoples to make their own choices. With a Green government and Leigh representing Ajax, we can begin the journey towards integrating real respect into Canada’s social, political, and economic policies, which will undoubtedly improve the lives of all Canadians.
Climate Change is the most important issue facing the world today, and will be a challenge for many generations to come. As a scientist, Leigh knows every individual and government needs to take bold action immediately to address this mounting emergency. As a community organizer, Leigh also knows we need everyone at the table to make the needed sustainable and just transition away from fossil fuels.
Over the Summer season Canadians have watched their forests burn at unprecedented and unsustainable levels, and expanding droughts make our food increasingly more expensive. Heat records are being set across the country and entire habitats in areas previously believed to be largely undisturbed by climate change appear to now be on the brink of destruction. But what is truly scary is that scientists and experts predict these issues will only get worse if immediate and collective action is not taken.
As our seas and oceans acidify, as our air becomes more toxic, and as the things we take for granted are removed – our beautiful trees and forests, our access to safe water and food – pressures on Canadians and their families will only increase. We are now at a precipice of either positive or lasting negative change for our World.
Leigh believes that we can make a real change for good now through the construction of climate infrastructure, creating green space, eliminating unnecessary plastics, and focusing on the creation of a zero carbon future. Now is the time to vote Green and send an immediate message to Ottawa; if not now, when?
As our country and the World are ravaged by the Covid-19 virus, many Canadian families and citizens often struggle to keep their loved ones fed, clothed, and living in acceptable conditions. Because of these issues and the mounting costs associated with the climate emergency, Canadians have come to think that we must accept our growing financial hardship. However, a new normal is possible! Leigh believes we must and can build back better by supporting each other and making sure all Canadian workers have livable salaries and social protections.
Throughout the last decade, Canadians and their families have watched as affordable homeownership and livable rental homes – an integral part of the Canadian Dream – have become less and less available. This situation, like almost all of the economic and environmental policies initiated and institutionalized by our current government, is unsustainable. Leigh believes in the creation of affordable housing so all Canadians can live with dignity.
Through the instituting of a Guaranteed Livable Income and Wealth Tax all Canadians can participate in the economy and provide a safe and supportive environment for their loved ones. Rather than hindering economic development, this strategy will ensure all of us can participate in society, driving economic growth and investment in our communities. Let’s focus on building a society that is affordable in the long-term and that will drive the Canadian economy to a healthy future.
Jobs and the Energy Industry
A sustainable and prosperous Canada is something we all want, but we also want to make sure we are doing it in a way that works for all of us and that will be sustainable for generations to come. The reality is that the ongoing development of new oil and petrochemical sources in Canada is not sustainable, and not responsible. Vehicle manufacturers, other business sectors, as well as local and national governments around the World have all recognized that we have reached a state of peak oil and, therefore, we will be relying less and less on these products to sustain our economy. Why should Canadians with all of our comparatively high education, work ethic, and scientific know-how fall behind other countries that have already recognized this fact?
Because the future of energy production and the economy is increasingly moving away from oil and gas production, the Green Party will not fund the development of new oil and gas sources. The Green Party also stands against new development of nuclear energy, which is consistent with community and global perspectives on the lifecycle assessment of this energy source. Canadians and our economy deserve better than to be falsely told that the Canadian oil industry will be profitable for indefinite years to come or that the creation of nuclear waste and toxic sites can be easily managed without lasting environmental damage. By not expanding our reliance on renewable forms of electricity now we risk facing a much higher bill for this inevitable transition down the road. These issues are complicated. But, when we do not plan for the long-term, we are putting ourselves and our communities at risk.
The Green Party’s economic plan for energy production will invest in energy sectors where there will be sustainable growth – wind, solar, geothermal, energy storage development and other forms of renewable energy production. Canada should be a leader in developing, manufacturing, and selling these technologies, not be one of the last countries to do so. Leigh believes that now is the time for sustainable change. Together, with the implementation of just and proactive economic policies, we can ensure a prosperous future for all of Canada.