As a father to four daughters, husband of 24 years, volunteer for 35 years, and duffer hockey player for 50 years, I understand the importance of commitment, hard work, and fun.
After graduating from Harvard College, the University of Alberta, Oxford University and the University of Toronto, I was called to the bar in both British Columbia and Ontario. I advised Ministers at the Department of Justice and Privy Council Office in Ottawa for 15 years before moving back to B.C. to help transform the province’s justice system into the most innovative in the world.
I've supported and volunteered for organizations like The Land Conservancy of B.C., the Habitat Acquisition Trust, and Mediate BC. I've also served on election observation missions in Haiti and Ukraine. Having volunteered for the Liberal Party of Canada for over 30 years, I ran for the Liberals in Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke in 2015.
However, on the day that Justin Trudeau announced the purchase of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, I decided I could no longer support a party that serially breaks its promises and I joined the Green Party of Canada. I believe deeply that: our democracy should ensure that all voters are represented in our House of Commons; taxpayers should no longer spend billions every year on fossil fuel subsidies; the purchase and twinning of the Kinder Morgan pipeline is a huge mistake for taxpayers and for the environment; and actions, not words, define effective leadership on the climate emergency.
To lead, the Green Party of Canada must win seats. I've campaigned on winning Green campaigns in British Columbia with Paul Manly and Adam Olsen, in Ontario with Mike Schreiner, and in New Brunswick with Megan Mitton. Sadly, my first losing campaign for the Green Party was my 2019 campaign in Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke. I very much hope to get back to winning ways on this next campaign: the campaign for the leadership of the Green Party.
The following core values have shaped my life and continue to motivate me.
1. Equality, inclusion, and diversity: From a young age, I’ve taken action against inequality and exclusion. For example, as a law student I worked for a lawyer on the reserve that had Canada’s highest suicide rate. I also believe deeply in fostering diversity. The Green Party must reflect Canada's diversity in our candidates, our membership and our leadership team. Canada also can and must do better, particularly for Indigenous people and people living in poverty.
2. Justice is a value that stands for practical actions like “treat people fairly”, “stand up to bullies”, and “hold the powerful accountable”. To me, good government depends on a deep commitment to justice, including social justice. The SNC-Lavalin scandal is an excellent reminder that Canadians care deeply that justice must be done and justice must be seen to be done by our government. We must not apply one standard to the well connected, and another standard to everyone else.
3. Ethical leadership: Experience as a professional public servant and a volunteer in politics have shown me that ethical leadership is essential to Canada’s future. Voters are tired of leaders who say one thing before the election then whip their MPs to do the opposite when they form government. We’ve seen this with the Liberals on democratic reform and the environment, the Conservatives on veterans, and the NDP on fracking in BC.
Let's choose a new leader who can send a message to Canada and the world about the importance of climate action, social justice, shifting to an innovation economy, and ethics in government.
Elizabeth May (Parliamentary Leader of the Green Party of Canada) and David Merner (Green Party, Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke)