From a 4-day work week to immigration control, Green leadership candidates make their final policy pitches


Candidates for the leadership of the Green Party have been promoting their visions for the get together’s future. On Nov. 19, certainly one of them (or perhaps two) will take over.

While some candidates argue leadership contests aren’t the precise venues for crafting new get together policy – one thing Greens have a tendency to see as the only real purview of members – others have launched platform pitches.

With on-line voting opening at present, CBC News spoke with all of the candidates to put collectively this snapshot of what every is providing.

Keenan and Walcott pitch a four-day work week

Anna Keenan and Chad Walcott, who’re working for co-leadership collectively, launched a platform in November. In a joint interview, the candidates stated a Green Party led by them would rise to official get together standing within the House of Commons and wield the steadiness of energy within the subsequent minority Parliament.

Keenan and Walcott stated they might solely prop up a minority authorities if it agreed to advance proportional illustration – an electoral system which awards a get together a share of seats in Parliament based mostly on the overall proportion of votes it obtained.

Chad Walcott and Anna Keenan are working to be co-leaders of the Green Party of Canada. (Supplied/ Brennan Zeran 2022)

The two joint candidates are are also proposing a nationwide ban on fossil gasoline tasks, a nationwide electrical inter-city bus service and the precise to a four-day work week for federal staff.

“The four-day work week that we’re pitching falls underneath a bigger dialogue in regards to the want to transfer towards a well-being economic system,” Walcott stated. “An economic system the place we’re placing individuals first and their well-being first, slightly than form of limitless revenue.”

Walcott stated the precise to a five-day work week was received by labour unions within the U.S. and was rapidly embraced by international locations all over the world, together with Canada.

Gnocchini-Messier and immigration management

Simon Gnocchini-Messier, based mostly in Gatineau, Que., is working solo. He’s calling for an growth of hydroelectric energy technology in his province and a restrict to immigration to shield delicate ecosystems.

Gnocchini-Messier stated he worries that the nation’s rising inhabitants will grow to be unsustainable in some unspecified time in the future, and communities can be compelled to clear forests to develop meals and accommodate city sprawl.

“This unbridled progress makes it not possible for our present infrastructure to meet the wants of the inhabitants with out irreparably damaging the setting,” Gnocchini-Messier says on his web site. “We want to hit the pause button. We want to gradual progress, together with inhabitants progress.”

Individual get together members have proposed inhabitants insurance policies earlier than in Canada and the get together’s cousins internationally have pitched the thought as nicely. But within the final election, the Greens didn’t formally endorse such a policy. Instead, the get together campaigned on bringing in additional expert staff, enhancing household reunification and addressing inequalities in Canada’s immigration system 

At least one mainstream environmental group has condemned theories linking overpopulation to environmental degradation, arguing they’re rooted in white supremacy and ignore the truth that the actual culprits are companies, not people.

“Climate change and nature destruction straight consequence from the burning of fossil fuels, large-scale deforestation and industrial agriculture,” stated Salomé Sané, Greenpeace’s Canada-based local weather campaigner, in a assertion to CBC News.

“Regardless of intent, the thought of inhabitants management – together with by way of limits on immigration – is embedded within the historical past of colonialism and racism.”

Gnocchini-Messier defended his place, saying that whereas he believes in immigration, precedence ought to go to refugees fleeing environmental collapse, struggle and racism. He stated he opposes an immigration policy that drains low-income international locations of extremely expert expertise and locations strain on ecosystems.

“The international Green motion doesn’t draw on white supremacist concepts in formulating its views on sustainable inhabitants ranges, and I actually don’t both,” Gnocchini-Messier informed CBC.

“My policy objective is to obtain environmentally sustainable consumption and inhabitants ranges in Canada. Immigration can and will play an necessary function in attaining that objective.”

May and Pedneault need the chief to take a pay minimize

Elizabeth May and Jonathan Pedneault, the opposite co-leadership candidates within the race, usually are not proposing any new insurance policies. Still, they’re pitching themselves as the right combination of leadership for the Greens.

May is a former Green chief who stepped down after the 2019 election. Pedneault, a Quebecer, is new to the political scene and, at 32, is the youngest candidate within the race. He brings to the get together his expertise as a human rights activist and journalist who has labored in battle zones all over the world.

Green Party leadership candidates Jonathan Pedneault and Elizabeth May maintain a press convention in Ottawa on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. Both are working to be co-leaders of the get together. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

During a joint interview, each stated their mixture of expertise and youth provides the get together what it wants to rebuild.

“It helps cope with among the glitches we have skilled by way of transition and succession planning,” May stated.

May can be pledging to take no wage as co-leader. Pedneault stated he would take a pay minimize, decreasing the chief’s wage from $120,000 to $90,000.

While it is troublesome to say who the front-runners are on this race, Elections Canada says May and Pedneault collectively have surpassed different candidates in fundraising, elevating greater than $59,000. Keenan and Walcott got here in second, with greater than $35,000.

Baron focuses on inside get together reform

A typical theme amongst candidates is the necessity for inside get together reform. The get together went into the 2021 election tearing itself aside by way of a number of unsuccessful makes an attempt to oust sitting chief Annamie Paul. More lately, the get together’s first Indigenous president resigned, describing her tenure as turbulent and saying, “the dream is lifeless.” 

LISTEN: What’s happening within the Greens? CBC breaks down the inner strife throughout the get together

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The CBC’s David Thurton talks with interim chief Amita Kuttner, outgoing get together president Lorraine Rekmans and others about inside strife throughout the Green get together.

In October, the get together introduced it was transferring out of its present downtown Ottawa workplace in response to its well-publicized fundraising points.

Some candidates have known as for in-person conferences or retreats of get together executives as a result of months of digital Zoom conferences have not fostered a group ambiance. Several candidates have outlined plans to reinvigorate the get together’s funds, with a objective of elevating $1.2 million by the tip of the 12 months.

Sarah Gabrielle Baron, a self-described devotee of Green get together philosophy since 1991, stated her leadership marketing campaign is about restoration. She stated the get together misplaced its approach underneath former chief May and Greens have grow to be obsessive about fundraising targets and leader-focused politics since then.

Baron stated she would change that by empowering members by way of “citizen assembly-style” conferences, policy desk talks and common conferences held yearly as an alternative of each two years.

“Greens are totally different. Yes, cash is deeply necessary, however the seat of energy on this get together wants to be the electoral district associations,” Baron stated. “We had been working nicely as a volunteer-based get together earlier than we made the change to celebrity-based politics.”


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