Elizabeth May, here at her victory party Monday night, said she would likely run again in 2023 to be the MP for Saanich Gulf-Islands, but left open the possibility that she might step from the party’s leadership (Arnold Lim/News Staff)

May sees room for consensus on climate action, pharmacare in new Parliament

The Greens return with three MPs, fewer than many anticipated after promising signs of support

Green Leader Elizabeth May hopes to use whatever influence her three-member caucus has to ensure bolder climate action, a pharmacare plan and a promise of lower cellphone rates make their way into the next throne speech.

May has spoken with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau since Monday’s election and expects to have an ongoing dialogue with federal leaders before Parliament resumes.

The Greens return with three MPs, fewer than many anticipated after promising signs of support from voters early in the campaign.

Still, May said in an interview Wednesday she sees opportunity for consensus with the Liberals and New Democrats on key issues.

The Liberals will have incentive to prove they’re accomplishing things in a minority Parliament if they want to remain in power, May said.

She will try to leverage that reality to make gains on addressing the climate crisis.

READ MORE: Elizabeth May coy about leadership plans

May wants Canada to seriously curb greenhouse-gas emissions by agreeing to aggressive new targets at the global Conference of Parties meeting in Chile in December.

“If we’re going to avoid an unlivable world, we have months, not years, to fix this,” she said.

“So we’ll need to apply maximum pressure right now on the Liberals to change our climate target before the negotiations begin at COP 25 in Santiago.”

At a news conference Wednesday, Trudeau signalled a willingness to work with fellow parliamentarians on priorities, including climate change, though he ruled out any kind of coalition.

May sees common ground on a renegotiated national health accord that includes pharmacare and dental care for low-income Canadians. “I think there’s room for consensus on that.”

Such plans could take shape informally among likeminded party leaders in coming weeks, May suggested.

“We could have some time of just talking to one another as leaders on the phone, trying to figure out are there places where we could decide now — let’s work to consensus on things like pharmacare, let’s work to consensus on climate action.”

Parties could also agree on more affordable cellphone rates and collecting a fair share of taxes from global, web-based businesses operating in Canada, she said.

May stressed the importance of working with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh despite lingering anger over what she sees as grossly unfair attacks on her party in British Columbia during the campaign.

May hopes leaders will agree to bring a more civil tone to parliamentary debate after seeing respect and decorum disintegrate in the last sitting.

“This could get much, much worse,” she said.

“If we start out where we left off, it’s going to be unwatchable. Canadians will not want their children to watch Parliament.”

Jim Bronskill , The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cullen announces bid for provincial NDP nomination for Stikine riding

Current MLA Donaldson not seeking re-election

Reserve a gym spot online with the Houston Leisure Facility

The online system is another step to make things easy during the pandemic

Bulk water, sewage project gets council’s approval

Facility to service large-scale users

Four Rivers Co-op opens up applications for the $100,000 Community Support Fund

Registered charity, non-profit organization or community groups eligible to apply

Wood chipping facility being proposed

Council throws support behind Westpoint plan

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

B.C.’s 1st mental health and addictions minister won’t be seeking re-election

MLA Judy Darcy is the fifth cabinet minister not intending to run in the next election

Vancouver’s shuttered aquarium searching for financial solution amid pandemic

The aquarium needs about $1 million a month to cover its costs

B.C., Alberta sending nearly 300 fire personnel by Friday to help battle wildfires in Oregon

Some 230 firefighters, most from British Columbia but including a number from Alberta, will be deployed Friday

Most Read