OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada and the Green caucus announced yesterday that it did not support the Liberals’ Speech from the Throne (SFT). During a press conference in Ottawa, Party Leader Annamie Paul outlined reasons why the Party and caucus did not support the government’s proposals.
“We’re a party that firmly believes in collaboration and cooperation, especially during a moment of crisis such as this pandemic, when Canadians are demanding it,” said Green Party Leader Annamie Paul. “There are most definitely components within the SFT that we welcome, such as extending emergency benefits and plans to reform employment insurance. We will always support anything that helps to protect and improve the lives of people in this country. This was a perfect opportunity to implement a Guaranteed Livable Income, something the party has been advocating for since 2006. What the Liberals are proposing are just a patchwork of stop-gap solutions. The measures they propose do not go far enough and too many people will continue to be left out.
“What we did not see was a commitment to those living in Long Term Care facilities.Thousands died because of our chronic structural, systemic failures in meeting the needs of people living in these facilities. And it’s not just seniors, but also people with special needs and disabilities. There was nothing in the plan to protect them. As we head into a second wave of the pandemic, this needs to be urgently addressed. This is the time to be exploring every possible way in which we can become more resilient, to build the ‘better future’ the government speaks about.”
Ms Paul pointed out that the urgency of the climate crisis has not faded, and that the Green Party has been very clear on the seriousness of meeting Canada’s commitments. In 2020, under the terms of the Paris Agreement, Canada is under the obligation to submit a new target, referred to as a nationally determined contribution or NDC.
“Submitting our NDC was supposed to happen in the spring of 2020. Months later, there’s no evidence that this commitment has been fulfilled. It was non negotiable. Time is literally running out to protect life as we know it on this planet. How is it possible that a country like Canada cannot meet its international obligations? This was a moment for Canada to shine, to step back into a position of global leadership and unfortunately that did not happen.”
The Greens detailed economic recovery plan, Reimagining Our Future demonstrates how investing in clean technologies will reduce emissions while creating the jobs and infrastructure to help Canadians transition to a clean energy future.
"There is much that I liked in the Speech from the Throne,” said Green parliamentary leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands). “I agree that this is no time for austerity and that we must do more for our seniors, indigenous peoples, to meet housing needs, and to address COVID 19. However, despite many references to the threat of the climate emergency, the key words were not there. After a thorough review with my fellow caucus members and our new leader, we reached a consensus that no Green MP could vote in favour."
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