I never imagined I would be a candidate for any party. As a scientist, I am way outside my comfort zone. But when I look at my children and imagine what their future will be if we continue with politics as usual, I realized I could no longer sit on the sidelines. The reason I joined the Green Party of BC was not because I was yearning for power, or willing to parse the truth and join in the hyper-partisan spin of the major parties. I joined the Green Party because it is the only party to consistently support climate action -- carbon pricing, an end to fossil fuel subsidies, aggressive efforts in energy efficiency and demand-side management and the steady expansion of renewable and green energy.
The NDP recognizes that we need action on climate change and we are the only party to have advanced legislation to commit Canada to the reductions required to avoid a two-degree rise in temperatures. But the Conservatives and Liberals chose to vote against the NDP motion that addressed Canadians' concerns.
Attitudes and willful blindness form the basis of federal government policy as expressed by our federal Minister of Natural Resources, and that it is a sign of negligent disregard for the public interest. It is unacceptable. A revealing exchange with the editorial board of La Presse confirms that if Joe Oliver has ever had a science briefing, he wasn't listening.
Right now in Canada, we need to get real about the math. That is of course, if you're one of the more than 60 per cent that voted for anyone other than Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party in the last federal election. The political math makes it virtually impossible for any of the opposition parties to beat Harper in the next election.
It is clear that, at least for the moment, efforts at cooperation are being thwarted by the NDP and by most of the Liberal leadership candidates. It needs to be mentioned in this context that B.C. MP Joyce Murray stands out as the exception to all the rules. As a contender for Liberal leader, she is advocating many of the same things that I have been doing as leader of the Greens.
Mulcair has made his party and himself invisible while moving his party so far to the right in the blind pursuit of power and it is becoming impossible to distinguish it from the Harper Conservatives. I bet Jack Layton would have been disappointed. For the late beloved leader, he would have settled for continuing to be the "Conscience of the House" rather than sell the soul of the party via a short cut to power.
If you're from some non-Toronto region of this country, you may best know Mayor Rob Ford as that guy who stars in all the breathlessly outraged stories your hipster Ontario friends post on Facebook -- not anymore. On Monday he was removed from office. Perhaps he should consider running for the Green Party. By my estimation we can thus anticipate a Green majority government sometime around... 6632 A.D.