Introducing the Green Party’s monthly Caucus Update newsletter! As members and supporters, we all work hard to elect MPs to represent Green values and policies in Parliament. It’s important to know about the work they are doing so we can support it and share it in our communities. Our MPs make a big impact on Canadian politics.
This newsletter contains videos, petitions, and social media links you can share in your community and through your social media networks to help amplify this important work.
If you’d like to continue receiving exclusive updates about the work of our small but mighty caucus, please subscribe by clicking HERE. We’ll send it every month when the House of Commons is in session.
Highlights from the House
With the war raging in Ukraine and the release of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Green caucus moved from crisis to crisis ensuring that GPC values were heard in the House of Commons.
Elizabeth May responded to Ukrainian President Zelensky's address to the special session of the House of Commons with a powerful and moving speech calling on Canadians, the inventors of UN peace-keeping, to once again devise new and effective tools to end the war.
In Question Period, Mike Morrice referenced the new IPCC report, described as an “atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership.” He called on the government to reject Bay du Nord, a proposed massive new deepwater oil drilling project off the coast of Newfoundland. The Norwegian-owned project aims to extract up to a billion barrels of oil, the emissions equivalent of running 100 coal-fired power plants for a year. The government must make a decision on this project by April 15.
The Liberals and NDP announced a supply-and-confidence agreement that could see the minority parliament survive until 2025. In a press conference, interim Leader Amita Kuttner, and MPs Elizabeth May and Mike Morrice commended the government for its willingness to cooperate with other parties. However, Dr. Kuttner said the agreement is disappointing as it is missing important action on key policy areas like Guaranteed Livable Income, electoral reform, action on the opioid crisis and meaningful climate action with serious emissions targets.
Aside from a new dental program for low-income Canadians (a mainstay of Green Party election platforms for years), most of the commitments in the agreement come from the Liberal election platform. As commentator Don Martin pointed out: “The agreement is packed with the usual weasel words – ‘refocusing’, ‘moving forward on’, ‘introducing legislation’, ‘advancing’, ‘developing a plan’ and so on – which probably means nothing will be done by a government with a proven record of substituting words for action.” Elizabeth May calls it a blank cheque from the NDP which doesn’t hold the Liberal government's feet to the fire but instead “holds their feet to the comfy couch” so they can kick back and rule without fear of an election.
The federal budget will be tabled on April 7 and that’s when the NDP will have its first chance to support bad Liberal policy – the recently announced Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP). Without even seeing the report, Elizabeth knew that Canada would fail to meet its international commitments. "Net-zero by 2050 is the wrong target," she said while asking the government when it will update its emissions targets to meet the commitments made at COP26.
Mike Morrice called the ERP a "fairy tale" that somehow justifies increasing fossil fuel subsidies to magically reduce emissions with carbon capture usage and storage, technology that does not yet exist. "We need a climate plan that aligns with science," he said, "...and that invests in proven solutions."
The next big budget test for the NDP will be supporting a massive increase in military spending starting with the announced expenditure of $19 billion for the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet program. Elizabeth May asked how the government could justify this fighter jet program.
In a debate, Mike Morrice called on the government to fast-track work on a Canada Disability Benefit. Mike highlighted a story from one of his constituents who said that the critical benefit may have saved her son’s life. One in five people in Canada has a disability and over one million Canadians with disabilities live in poverty. People with disabilities in Canada have a higher rate of unemployment and people with severe disabilities earn less than $13,000 per year on average. It’s not acceptable. Mike has been working across party lines to fast-track the Canada Disability Benefit and he continues to advocate to get this important piece of legislation completed.
As the war in Ukraine rages on, the oil industry and its supporters are trying to cash in by calling for an increase in oil and gas production, ignoring the devastating impact on the climate. In question period, Elizabeth struggled to be heard over constant noisy heckling by Conservatives as she asked the government to take a different approach and implement the International Energy Association's 10-point plan to reduce oil use. That would be the smart thing to do.
We want to give GPC members, supporters and Electoral District Associations (EDAs) more opportunities to engage in the work of our caucus. To get you started, here are some parliamentary petitions sponsored by Green MPs that you can sign and share.
Thank you for supporting our Green Party MPs by sharing their work in your community. Make sure you opt in here so we can send you a newsletter after each month in the House of Commons to keep you up to date on their important work.
Senior Legislative Advisor
Green Party of Canada
P.S. For those of you who can’t get enough of what our MPs are doing in the House of Commons you can subscribe to the Green Party of Canada YouTube channel where you can share, like and comment on their key interventions in Parliament.