By Kara Mitchell
Why am I voting Green this federal election?
Primarily I’m voting Green because I know we as a country have to make significant changes in the next decades, every term of government, for future generations to survive, due to climate change. To reduce the harm of intense storms, fires, droughts, heat waves, rising sea levels and lowering lake and water tables… we need to reduce our fossil fuel burning by 50 per cent in the next 30 years.
I’m grateful that over the past decades, the Green Party has been bringing the science of climatologists to our federal political debates. While informed and connected with international examples, they have developed Canadian and provincial specific policies and solutions. I think the Green Party is the best prepared to lead us through the climate crisis and get these needed changes put into action.
We need leaders prepared to rally our strengths, resources and skills to face this crisis of our age stronger as a collaborative team. We need leaders who can facilitate the switching of our major energy sources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help Canadians be able to join and create these adaptations from stable lives and empowered communities. And we need to do this faster than we’ve ever done this before. We need different approaches than the major parties, their traditional financers and partisan, divisive tactics have resulted in. We need immediate action steps and voices at the decision tables that support long-term, socially just, sustainable lives for Canadians. From what I’ve seen of the different party platforms, voting Green is the most direct and reliable way to address these needs.
The Green Party have plans for leading Canada through climate change that are based on proven approaches, a diversity of grass-roots voices, and science. I have found their approach comparatively collaborative and recognizes that to effectively mitigate the effects of climate change, the federal government will need to work better, in some ways differently with provinces and municipalities.
I appreciate our local candidate Marc Mantha’s experience and approach too. When I asked him at a recent meet-and-greet about how the Greens and he specifically would handle energy transitions, his response showed a respect for the interconnectedness of issues and diversity of peoples living in the riding, how stable housing and mental health are also key parts to solutions, for example… proved that neither he nor the Green Party are focused on one issue. Both Marc and his party’s platform value collaboration, social diversity and justice, and raising the quality of life for all Canadians, including our most vulnerable citizens.
Marc’s life experience as a member of the Moon River Métis, his recognition that First Nations need to be at our decision-making tables for true reconciliation also make me confident he will be valuable as an MP both within and beyond our riding. His experience as a business development consultant will prove an asset too, in leading transitions that encourage entrepreneurial approaches, in developing and conserving our resources here rather than buying back what we often ship away too cheaply for the benefit of a few. I love his positive, hopeful recognition that we can prosper, individuals, businesses and communities through sustainability.
But don’t I worry if I’m splitting the progressive vote? We need more of an ‘eco-lution’ than much of what has been termed progress, in my opinion. This is a time to be brave about prioritizing survival of humans and ecosystems we depend on, not oil-based economies. We need to face the realities and challenges of the times with new ideas and approaches. We need to support voices at the table that understand the importance of environmental health as a basis of Canadians’ health.
I want to be able to look back on these key years of transition and elections and be able to reassure myself, my nieces, nephews, and students, that I did what I could to help make for a livable future planet, to develop sustainable culture where I live, and to make choices that do not harm their futures, including at the ballot box.
See the Green Party platform here.
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