Elizabeth May visited Portage la Prairie on March 16. She was on a whirlwind tour of Manitoba with both public events and meetings with local candidates. This particular event was coordinated by the Portage-Lisgar Green Party EDA. I ventured out from Provencher to Portage to hear what she and the audience had to say.
During the meeting, Bev Eart was announced as the Portage-Lisgar candidate for the 2019 federal election. James Beddome, the leader of the Manitoba Green Party, and the Winnipeg South-Centre federal candidate, was also in attendance.
Charlie (apologies for not getting his last name) from the Long Plains first nation was there to bring greetings and tell us that his great-grandfather had signed the Treaty 1 charter and we were all here because of his generosity. We gave him a gift of tobacco and he gave Elizabeth a gift of sweet-grass.
Elizabeth gave a short introduction then opened the floor to questions from the audience of about 50 people.
- It seems all governments (except Greens of course) are increasing regulations for small businesses and lowering regulations for big business (SNC-Lavelin)
- Pharmacare has difficult for major parties to implement because big pharma have a strong lobby that works for all forms of government. Green policy is to move policy making back into the hands of citizenry and implement beneficial programs such as universal pharmacare.
- We have a great health care system and must keep it all public but can still improve it. An example is to implement health teams rather than isolated doctors. Health teams would include nurse practitioners, physiotherapists, mental health workers, … and doctors.
- We may be able to interest young people to engage by letting them know that in the Green Party you can be a full member and have full voting privileges at all events including conventions from the age of 14 years old.
- The fight to replace first past the post is not dead. Elizabeth and colleagues in the electoral reform committee are continuing to work on the issue.
- In answer to a question about voter complacency, “we moved very fast from complacency to fatalism”
- To get people serious about climate change we should call it a security crisis.
- The life cycle analysis of carbon emissions of fracking methane is the same as that for coal.
- Free dental care would cost $20B per year so instead we are looking at implementing it for children of at risk families.