What leadership means
As I’ve been campaigning across BC in the past ten days, in public parks and on Zoom calls, I am hearing from Greens that our party needs a unique kind of leadership.
We need a leader who can pull together the other leadership candidates, build a team of rivals, and generate a positive, winning culture inside our party. I understand the sources of Green Party disunity, the internal obstacles to success, and the opportunities for our party to improve our performance in the next federal election, thanks to my experience as the only candidate to campaign who has worked on winning Green campaigns from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Thanks to a professional life in negotiation, mediation, and early resolution, as well as a volunteer life working on professionally run political, environmental, and other organizations, I have the experience we need to pull Greens together, solve our internal problems, and build for the future.
We need a leader who has the unique experience necessary to transform the Green Party into a competent political force in Canadian politics. In particular, I am the only leadership candidate to have:
a. earned votes on doorsteps across Canada in both official languages. I’ve won votes in French ridings in New Brunswick, Québec, and Eastern Ontario. I’m the only candidate in the race who has participated in summer “épluchettes de blé d’Inde” and Christmas “guignolées” across Canada’s francophone communities.
b. thirty years of experience in all aspects of volunteer politics from knocking on doors to serving in Elizabeth May’s shadow cabinet (as Justice critic and Democratic Reform critic).
c. twenty eight years of work as a lawyer and public servant advising Ministers in Conservative, Liberal, and NDP governments, both in Ottawa (at the Department of Justice and Privy Council Office) and in Victoria (at the Ministry of Attorney General).
This experience is especially relevant to solving the internal challenges now facing the Green Party. We need to transform our party into an organization that can win seats in the House of Commons and hold government to account in the House of Commons.
3. Ability to win as a Green:
I am the only leadership candidate who is able to win the seat they ran in in 2019. (I came second in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke with 26 per cent of the vote.)
Many of the other candidates in the leadership race did not run in 2019 or have never run for the Greens. Winnability in my own riding means that we can free up resources to help other candidates across Canada to win in their ridings.
I support Green Party policies, heart and soul, like:
A climate action plan with clear targets and timelines.
A Guaranteed Livable Income.
A government ethics and integrity package, including proportional representation.
Equality for persons who are now systematically marginalized in our society due to poverty, homelessness, addictions, mental health challenges, or their ethnic, linguistic, or cultural backgrounds.
The Green Party needs to rebuild from the ground up. As leader, I will listen to and empower Green Party members. I pledge to uphold our Green values and do the right thing for our people and our planet. I offer unity, experience, and winnability.