Green Deputy Leader Bruce Hyer – A lifelong green

Green Party Deputy Leader Bruce Hyer’s green roots run deep.

As an independent business owner, environmentalist, and a strong advocate for democratic reform, Bruce Hyer has a profound understanding of what the Green Party stands for, and the knowledge and experience to help make our shared goals a reality.

While an undergrad at Central Connecticut State University in 1970, Bruce Hyer worked as one of the key organizers for a new environmental “teach-in” which was to be called Earth Day, the first of its kind.

As a Senior Environmental Analyst and pesticides regulator, Hyer was the key player within the State of Connecticut on fighting the pesticide DDT (and its "dirty dozen" cousins), which was successfully banned in the US in 1972.

He calls himself an American by chance, and a Canadian by choice. The story of why and how he decided to move to Canada can be found here.

Bruce Hyer has stood by his green values throughout his career as an ecologist, biologist, forester, environmental regulator, and eco-tourism entrepreneur in Northwestern Ontario. His company, WildWaters Nature Tours & Expeditions Ltd., has run a variety of wilderness adventures and ecotours from bases in Thunder Bay and Armstrong since 1976.

As a Northern Ontario independent business owner, Bruce Hyer has a first-hand understanding of the economic challenges facing the region, and all entrepreneurs across Canada. He has spoken out against the job-killing hike in EI Payroll Taxes, the continuing multi-billion dollar subsidies to large energy corporations, and the lack of tax relief for small businesses. As one of the House's hardest working MPs from 2008 to 2015, Hyer introduced more legislation to Parliament than all of the previous Thunder Bay–Superior North MPs from his riding combined.

Bruce Hyer has also called for reform to the Conservatives’ Temporary Foreign Worker program, which drives down wages for everyone and hurts hard-working Canadian families.

A strong proponent for responsible environmentally and economically sustainable development in Northern Ontario, Bruce Hyer has been a long-time advocate for improving passenger rail service between rural communities in the north. Hyer has called for the restoration of VIA Rail service along Lake Superior’s North Shore as a crucial step toward boosting economic diversification and tourism in the region. He and Greg Gormick have published an important report on the history, problems and restoring passenger rail in Canada. It is available on his website.

Hyer was also a key figure in the establishment and expansion of many of Ontario’s parks and nature reserves including Wabakimi Provincial Park. Founded in 1983, Wabakimi is the second largest park in Ontario, covering nearly 9 000 square kilometers of pristine rivers, lakes and Boreal forest. The park is home to a number of endangered and at-risk species, including Woodland Caribou.

While in Parliament, Hyer was a leader in the battle to maintain funding for the Experimental Lakes Area during the 2012 Federal Budget debates, and worked tirelessly to maintain pressure on the Conservatives to keep this internationally renowned freshwater research facility open.

Hyer has also worked hard to bring attention to the potential risks of transport and storage of nuclear waste in Northern Ontario communities. In the fall of 2012, he embarked on an Ontario-wide tour to raise awareness of plans by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization to find a permanent storage location for nearly 50 000 metric tonnes of nuclear waste.

Hyer remains at the forefront of the climate change movement. He is committed to putting a price on carbon emissions from big polluters, and using the revenues to fund renewable energy investments and/or a revenue neutral "Carbon Fee and Dividend" which would pay direct cash dividends to Canadian citizens.

Perhaps the most significant legislative achievement of Hyer’s career thus far has been his spearheading of the landmark Bill C-311, The Climate Change Accountability Act.

This landmark legislation aimed at reducing Canadian greenhouse gas emissions to 20% below 1990 levels by 2020, and 80% below 1990 levels by the year 2050, was originally introduced by the late Jack Layton in 2006 and never made it to the Senate.

Hyer led the charge to re-introduce an updated version of the bill in February 2009, and succeeded in getting it passed in the House of Commons. Getting a controversial Private Members Bill passed in Parliament is almost unheard of. Sadly, the bill went on to be defeated in the Senate without any debate in what the late Jack Layton described as “One of the most undemocratic acts that we have ever seen in the Parliament of Canada." It has the dubious distinction of being the only bill ever passed in the House and killed in the Senate with zero debate or consideration of any kind.

Democratic reform aimed at limiting situations such as the failure of C-311 has long been a key priority for Bruce Hyer. He has called for the abolition of our current First Past the Post system, describing it as unnecessarily limiting voter choice and disenfranchising Canadians.

Between 2008 and 2015, Hyer introduced eight legislative measures on democracy and government accountability, including initiatives on increasing cross-party cooperation, ending excessive party discipline, and limiting the abuse of confidence

A staunch advocate for wilderness conservation, improved environmental regulation, and real action on climate change, Bruce Hyer’s environmental record speaks for itself. His proven leadership on economic development for Northern Ontario and for small business owners across Canada has also long been a defining feature of his career, both in Parliament and his professional life. He was one of the strongest voices for democratic reform in the House of Commons for two terms.

Bruce Hyer’s leadership, vision and experience are best suited to helping the Green Party to work in the best interests of real Canadians, as opposed to helping advance a narrow partisan agenda. His profound and long-standing personal commitment to Green values, such as a clean environment, and a more fair economic and democratic system, help to make Bruce Hyer a strong and principled voice for all Canadians.

Bruce Hyer is committed to working across party lines, as he believes that "All parties have pieces of the legislative puzzle toward making Canada a cleaner, greener, safer, and more sustainable country."