September 22, 2013
KNOWN for her great speeches, Green Party leader Elizabeth May arrived in the Yukon in September. She attracted a good amount of crowd in the Old Fire Hall of Whitehorse on September 20, 2013. All chairs were occupied, late-comers had to stand for about two hours to listen to her. That’s the magic May has.
Dressed in all black, May’s face shined and smiled as she went to the podium.
After a lot of clapping, there was all silence.
May broke the silence with her wonderful speech.
“Healthy democracy starts with healthy participation of people.” May emphasized that involvement of the public is very important to build a stronger democracy in Canada. She said that the connection between the government and the people could only be strengthened when people feel that their vote is making a significant amount of difference.
Giving as an example of lack of participation in voting by people in Canada during the last election, she said, “There was no fear of terrorist attacks, there was no fear of any other harm, but still the people of Canada stayed at their homes and didn’t go out to vote.”
May is highly critical of the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) in Canada.
“There wasn’t such a thing as a powerful Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) until Pierre Trudeau was Prime Minister, but since 1940, there has been an office to coordinate the civil service, the Privy Council Office (PCO).”
She said that Stephan Harper thinks that he was the prime minister. She stated, “This is not the government of Stephan Harper. He thinks this is his government. In fact we have a government of the people”.
On the issue of parliament reforms, she said that we need such a democracy where the people are the bosses. She is in favor of electoral and parliamentary reforms in Canada.
“Nearly one million Canadians voted for the Green Party in the last federal election without electing a single Green MP. Our electoral system unfairly punishes Conservative voters in cities, Liberal and NDP voters in the west, and Green voters throughout Canada.”
On international-affairs, she was highly critical of the proposal of selling out Canada to China in the Canada-China Investment Treaty.
“The Canada-China Investment Treaty allows Chinese companies (including state-owned enterprises) to sue the the government of Canada over decisions that can limit or reduce their expectation of profits. China can claim damages against Canada for decisions at the municipal, provincial, territorial or federal level. Even decisions of our courts can give rise to damages. The damage claims start with six months of diplomatic negotiation. If that fails, damage claims move to arbitration – behind closed doors.”
May said that she broke many principles of politics. “In politics you are supposed to speak lies, but I broke this rule by letting the Canadians know the truth,” she said.
She said that although she is the only MP from her party, she gets a chance to speak in the parliament more times than any other MP from other parties. She said that she has many friends from other parties.
May said she believes in working together for Canada despite conflicting political views.