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

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

RCMP confirm homicide investigation underway near Quesnel

Police releasing few details four days after homicide occurred Monday, July 6

Most Read