The Challenge

The Challenge

A fundamental change has taken place in the relationship between people and the Earth. This change requires an equally fundamental change in the way that we govern ourselves.

Just one lifetime ago, basic food, clothes and shelter made up the bulk of our needs. Today, individually and collectively, we consume vast quantities of metals, chemicals, pesticides, fertilizer and, to make it all possible, a lot of energy. Our mushrooming consumption stretches the Earth's ability to absorb our waste.

This immense expansion of demands has brought about the fundamental change. This change means that the underlying assumption of the other political parties, that well-being is the product of material expansion, can no longer be valid. Perpetually expanding production and consumption cannot serve our children's children. Indeed, such expansion, along with the military adventures necessary to keep it supplied, are the greatest dangers that we face.

The fundamental change is well illustrated by the east coast fishery. Since people began to fish, we could always catch more fish by applying more effort, more boats and more nets to the task. This is no longer true. Fish catch is no longer limited by how much we invest, it is limited by the number of fish in the sea. Once so abundant that they could be caught with buckets, the east coast Cod is now an endangered species. This is a wake up call which we ignore at our peril. Similar limits are looming with forests, fresh water, soil fertility and energy.

The Green Party asserts that this change is crucial and that adopting policies which respect the change are as critical to our long term well-being as the air we breathe. It requires that we develop ways for everyone to participate in gainful activity without resorting to wasteful, exploitative practices.

The world view shared by the older Parties was born in the childhood of human experience. Our demands were tiny, compared to the Earth's abundance. The view that we have an infinite world in which to grow has nurtured humanity through its childhood and well into adolescence.

The Green Party offers Canadians a government which recognizes that we are now a physically mature species and that we must govern ourselves with respect for the limits of our planet. This does not mean that our opportunities are finite, however. Preventative health care and education, for example, are not limited. They expand almost entirely by sharing information, without drawing heavily on the material world. With good health and knowledge, people can lead secure, fulfilling lives with a minimum of disruption to planetary life.

A vote for Green government is a vote for cyclic management of natural resources, the reduction of waste, economics that include everyone and a willful transition toward renewable energy. It is also a vote for the celebration of life and the unlimited opportunities which understanding, appreciation, communication, creativity, sport and mutual care offer.

Please see our platform for details on how the Green Party will meet this challenge.

Whether Canada chooses to attempt perpetual growth, or seek long term solutions is a Question of Direction.