“The brutal murder of fourteen bright, promising young women at École Polytechnique massacre twenty four years ago today remains a singular and horrific crime. It is seared into our souls – representing the most blatant and brutal act of misogyny in our history. Nevertheless, there are many hundreds and thousands more women brutalized by others.
Today, half of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence by age 16. The Canadian Women’s Foundation reports that on any given day in Canada, more than 3,300 women (along with 3,000 children) are forced to sleep in an emergency shelter to escape domestic violence.
Rates of violence against women are disproportionately high within Canada’s most vulnerable communities. We are mindful of the missing and murdered Aboriginal women, whose victimization cries out for justice.
The Harper administration continues to ignore the calls from the UN Human Rights Council to conduct a federal inquiry into these horrible crimes. The Green Party fully supports the demand by the Native Women’s Association of Canada for greater government action to end this epidemic of violence.
A future free of violence against women is possible. We want to live in a country where everyone can live without fear.”
- Elizabeth May, O.C., MP
OTTAWA: On the occasion of His Excellency Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s passing, Elizabeth May, Green Party of CanadaLeader and MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, delivered the following tribute to the remarkable life and legacy of democratic South Africa’s first President:
“Nelson Mandela dedicated his life to social justice, democracy and peace. His moral clarity and moral courage will forever be an inspiration. Let no one imagine that in our struggles the obstacles are too large or the odds too long. Nelson Mandela’s triumph in moving from 27 years of imprisonment to becoming the president of a free South Africa stands for the reality that the impossible can be made possible.”
Nicholas GallCommunications OfficerGreen Party of CanadaCell: 613 614 email@example.com
OTTAWA: The Green Party of Canada today wishes to recognize all those living with disabilities, both in Canada and around the world, and in honour of this year’s theme for International Day of Persons with Disabilities, call on our government and Canadian society as a whole to do more to “Break Barriers and Open Doors for an inclusive society and development for all.”
Every day, people with disabilities confront myriad physical, social, economic and attitudinal barriers that exclude them from participating fully in mainstream society. As a result, they and their families live with disproportionate levels of poverty and social exclusion.
The Green Party of Canada supports a more inclusive Canadian society, where everyone’s unique strengths and abilities are honoured. Canadians with disabilities are too often exiled to inadequate, stigmatizing and ineffective systems of income support that were never designed to address their real income needs.
The Canadian Association for Community Living states that of the 500,000 working-age people with intellectual disabilities in Canada, most live in poverty and only 25% are employed. Canadians with disabilities are ready, willing and able to contribute to the Canadian labour market.
The Canadian government must commit to investing in better support systems, and must do more to break down the barriers preventing Canadians living with disabilities from fully engaging with and contributing to community life.
The Green Party supports greater access to adapted social housing, improved infrastructure for accessibility tools, and more stringent enforcement of the Employment Equity Act to ensure that persons with disabilities have equal opportunity to long-term employment.
Nicholas Gall Communications Officer Green Party of Canada Cell: 613 614 4916 firstname.lastname@example.org
The problem is not that governments are not doing enough to fight global warming. It’s that governments, particularly the Harper administration, are actually in the way.
The starting point in discussing the enormous opportunity of the green economy is to appreciate that the future of a fossil fuel-dependent economy will be short and painful. As the International Energy Agency has warned, of all known reserves of fossil fuels on the planet, two-thirds must remain in the ground until at least 2050. Expressed another way, until mid-century, human societies must be restricted to only one third of known reserves. The valuation of energy companies is based on their control of reserves. The fact that these corporations may, thus, be over-valued is now described as the problem of the “carbon bubble.”
A new report, authored by researchers at the Carbon Tracker Initiative, Grantham Foundation and the London School of Economics and Politics, “Unburnable Carbon 2013: Wasted Capital and Stranded Assets” warns of the economic peril of overvaluation of carbon assets.
As Professor Lord Nicholas Stern, Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, and former advisor to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “Smart investors can already see that most fossil fuel reserves are essentially unburnable because of the need to reduce emissions in line with the global agreement by governments to avoid global warming of more than two degrees Celsius. They can see that investing in companies that rely solely or heavily on constantly replenishing reserves of fossil fuels is becoming a very risky decision. But I hope this report will mean that regulators also take note, because much of the embedded risk from these potentially toxic carbon assets is not openly recognized through current reporting requirements.”
Most global observers, whether conservative elements within the International Financial Institutions such as the IMF or the World Bank, or scientific assessments, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or the International Energy Agency, are all pressing forward for some form of climate pricing. As the pressure to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies also ramps up, and Stephen Harper’s promise to do so, a pledge he made at the 2009 G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, the fossil fuel industry will find itself less able to withstand the growing competitive force coming from increasingly attractive renewable energy sources.
The one significant glitch in moving from the theoretical possibility that our modern and growing economy, globally, can rely on clean energy to the reality of such reliance is that renewables (wind, solar in particular, clearly not the case for tidal or geothermal) are not reliable at all times. Converting peak load from renewable to base load to meet energy needs requires one technological gap-filler—storage of renewables. The Nordic countries have figured it out. Denmark’s wind-generated electricity is shared across the grid to Norway, where when the wind is blowing, its energy pumps water into reservoirs in Norway. When the wind isn’t blowing, Norway opens the sluices to drive hydropower: peak to base in one elegant solution.
There are many other examples of technology that move peak load to base load. Using green energy to produce fuel—whether hydrogen or methanol— provides alternatives that can be distributed through the same infrastructure in place for natural gas.
There is basically no limit to the potential of wind, solar, geothermal, cogeneration, tidal, as well as new applications for (non-food crop) bio-fuels.
The green economy also includes smarter use of fossil fuels over the decades it will take to move fossil fuel use to zero. Reducing waste of all kinds—whether of water, energy, toxic chemicals, solid waste, will contribute directly to higher profits. Waste and pollution are essentially symptoms of market failure. Correcting for them is a sensible step for anyone who understands the basics of a healthy stable economy.
If we were serious about innovation in Canada, if we wanted to ensure our economy stayed vibrant over the next two decades, the last thing we would do is to focus on the oilsands and fracking natural gas. We would be diversifying; encouraging innovators, ensuring policies aided the commercialization of smart new technology. We would be building supply chains and a flourishing intersection of supply chains for local consumption and export. We would, in other words, be developing policies most favourable to small and medium-sized enterprises. We would, as the Pembina Institute research demonstrates as possible, build the Canadian cleantech sector from its current $9-billion market share to $60-billion by 2020.
If we were serious about acting to reduce greenhouse gases, we would have a national strategy developed through consultation and negotiations with all other jurisdictions. We would set ambitious targets. And we would ensure a healthier economic future as we secure a healthy environment.
Originally published in the Hill Times.
OTTAWA: Today marks the 25th annual World AIDS Day, and The Green Party of Canada is calling on the Canadian government to do more to address this urgent health crisis both in our own country and around the world.
Since 1988, there have been remarkable improvements in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS, but much remains to be done. In 2012, an estimated 2.3 million people globally were newly infected with HIV, among whom 260,000 were children.
In Canada, rates of new HIV/AIDS infection have slowed over the past decade, but the disease remains a very real threat and one that disproportionately affects our country’s most vulnerable communities. In 2011, the HIV infection rate for Aboriginal Canadians was approximately 5 times higher than the rate for the total Canadian population, but many cases still go unreported and accurate data has historically been difficult to obtain.
The Green Party of Canada is calling on the Harper administration to increase the resource investment in harm reduction, prevention and education directed to high-risk populations, particularly as the stigma associated with HIV remains a barrier to effective treatment.
Nicholas GallCommunications OfficerGreen Party of CanadaCell: 613 614 4916Nicholas.email@example.com