Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May (left) at a recent town hall meeting in Ashcroft with local Green candidate John Kidder and attendee Colin Mastin. Photo: David Gory

Elizabeth May has novel solution for providing potable water to reserves

Community service for SNC-Lavalin not a far-fetched idea, she says

Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May was in Ashcroft on July 12 for a town hall meeting, and the Journal was able to sit down with her afterwards. Part one of the interview ran in last week’s paper.

With the federal election less than three months away, voters are anxious to know the contents of the various party platforms, and May says the Greens have every intention of making their full platform available as soon as possible. She notes, however, that summer is not necessarily the best time to do this, with people away and their minds on other things.

“I’d like our platform to be out there before the writ drops, so that people know we’re serious and that we have a full platform. We’re looking at changes to our tax regime. We won’t raise taxes on average Canadians or small businesses, but we will raise taxes for some of the larger corporations and some of the wealthiest Canadians. And we’ll go after money in offshore accounts.”

May says another source of revenue would be going after e-commerce companies such as Amazon, and social media sites such as Facebook, which draw money away from businesses in Canada. “They have an impact on our economy, but they pay no taxes here.”

The Journal notes that recent flood events in the region have left people frustrated that they cannot take action to protect their properties because of Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) strictures about actions that might affect riparian habitats. May says that we need to have a comprehensive climate adaptation strategy.

“In a climate emergency, DFO’s normal go-to position has to change. The debris that’s coming down the rivers is accelerated by having had major fires, and it’s far in excess to previous pre-climate emergency conditions. We have to have a sensible approach that looks at the Fraser and Thompson River basins and figures out how we control flood levels. It means doing things a bit differently.”

May has a novel solution to the ongoing lack of potable water on many First Nations reserves: make construction giant SNC-Lavalin, if found guilty on the fraud and corruption charges it faces, responsible for providing potable water to all reserves in the country.

“The Government could say ‘We’re not letting the judge decide what your penalty is, we want you to do community service, and this is what we’re telling you to do.’ It’s absolutely viable. And maybe there are other projects we’d like them to do too.

“Community service, for a large corporation, would be a very interesting approach. It would keep the workers working, The shareholders of SNC-Lavalin wouldn’t like it, but maybe they should have paid more attention. We’ll see what the verdict is. This is an obvious place where we can get a lot of work done that doesn’t break the bank on the federal taxpayer.”

May is asked if she senses—in advance of the 2019 election—a shift towards the Green Party.

“So much, yes. In a couple of national polls we’re either right on the heels of the NDP as the third party or we’ve overtaken them. Our trajectory is great. Electing Greens isn’t, for me, about building a power base for our party: it’s about making sure we get good government. It looks like there might be a minority parliament—we’re more prepared than any other party to work across party lines. We’re more prepared than any other party to cooperate with absolutely anyone who is prepared to at least meet the minimum requirements of serious commitment to climate action and equity.”

May says she hopes people in rural communities look at the Green Party as a choice come the election, noting the party’s rural roots.

“We have a lot of farmers within the Green Party who inform our agricultural policy. I’m from a small town myself. We’re committed to the integrity and the long-term health of rural Canada.

“We care about urban areas too, but Ashcroft and Clinton and Cache Creek and Lytton and Lillooet: all of those communities will find advocates for rural health and rural dignity in the Green Party. We will fight for that.”



editorial@accjournal.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fraser-Nicola BC Liberal Party candidate Jackie Tegart with supporters on the Ashcroft bridge, Oct. 21, 2020. Tegart is the frontrunner in the riding after the initial vote count, with mail-in ballots to be counted starting on Nov. 6. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Liberal incumbent Jackie Tegart holds narrow lead over Aaron Sumexheltza of NDP

Initial count is complete, and mail-in ballots will determine who wins in Fraser-Nicola

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

(from l) Fraser-Nicola candidates Jonah Timms (BC Green Party), Jackie Tegart (BC Liberal Party), and Aaron Sumexheltza (BC NDP). The polls have now closed and the counting has started. (Photo credit: Submitted)
Results awaited in Fraser-Nicola as polls have now closed

Counting of advance and election day votes has begun; mail-in votes to be counted starting Nov. 6

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

(Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay)
QUIZ: A celebration of colour

Fall in British Columbia is a time to enjoy a spectrum of vivid colours

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

RCMP stock photo (Black Press)
Charges laid against Prince George man, 39, in drug trafficking probe

Tyler Aaron Gelowitz is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 18

Most Read