Reimagining Our Future (June 14, 2020)

Good Sunday Morning!

We have hit the three months mark of living in pandemic land. I don’t know about you, but I am sick of it. But we know it is not over.

We have to be careful.

As Greens, we called for a coordinated national response months ago. We are the only party that called for the federal government to trigger the measures for a Public Welfare Emergency under the Emergencies Act. Recently, Professor Amir Attaran, professor of both law and epidemiology, called for the same thing in Macleans. And although they differ on some aspects of their pandemic analysis, Ontario’s former health minister Eric Hoskins agrees we have an appalling lack of information: “decision-makers are just reading tea leaves while blindfolded.”

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Trump is dangerous (June 7, 2020)

Good Sunday Morning! 

Let me begin with an apology. Last Sunday, I think many of you expected and needed for me to talk about the cold-blooded murder of George Floyd and the horrors of Donald Trump. And you were disappointed. Instead, I wrote about climate and endangered species. Not the right call.

Honestly, I couldn’t bear it. My weekly Sunday family zoom was canceled as my daughter and her half-sibs all wrote to say that they were just gutted…not in a family zoom mood.

On Monday I traveled to Ottawa and on Tuesday was among those approximately forty members of parliament physically present for the hybrid meeting of the COVID committee – which is essentially a Committee of the Whole- and the Prime Minister’s speech about these recent events, followed by responses from other parties, including mine on behalf of the Green Party.

I had to call out Donald Trump for his “incendiary response to a wounded, grieving nation” quoting The Rt. Rev. Mariann Budde, Episcopal Bishop of Washington D.C.

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COVID, Climate and Caribou (May 31, 2020)

Good Sunday Morning! 

Amazing. Tomorrow is June first; starting Week 13 in my own COVID timeline. Life in COVID-world is now assured to span four months of 2020 and will likely take us through months to come. 

I have to return to Ottawa to take the last in-person shift for the Green Caucus of the parliamentary session, until June 18.  I will be traveling with John Kidder (thank you honey!) and taking the ferry today and the flight to Ottawa on Air Canada first thing tomorrow. 

Checking the VIA Rail website the other day, I was crestfallen to see no trains will run from Vancouver to Toronto until November 1st.  Far more worrying is the impact of COVID-19 on the implementation of the Paris Agreement.  The climate negotiations (the Conference of the Parties – COPs) are annual. But some years are more important than others.  Clearly, COP3 in Kyoto, COP 11 in Montreal, disastrous COP15 in Copenhagen and successful COP21 in Paris were very important COPs.  So too is the upcoming meeting. 

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Re-opening after COVID19

Good Sunday Morning! 

Around the world, some countries inch toward re-opening, while others shutter. Globally, more than five million people have been diagnosed with COVID19 and nearly 350,000 people have died.

We know we are lucky in Canada. We are particularly lucky in British Columbia. But nowhere in Canada are we out of the woods yet. We need to observe public health advice. We cannot let down our guard.

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Two Wins in Court (May 17, 2020)

Good Sunday Morning! 

Amazingly enough, my time line for pandemic tells me this is week 11 in lock down. The days have blurred together, but with parliamentary committees meeting virtually every week day, at least weekends have begun to feel different. I still work through Saturday and Sunday, but mostly in zoom meetings with constituents and on projects I can no longer juggle during the week. I am covering three standing committees (Finance, Procedure and House Affairs and Government Operations), plus the virtual parliament Special COVID committee. Most days I have the feeling of being imprisoned by zoom. I feel as though the mandatory headset with high quality mic to protect the ears of our House translators is starting to grow into my skull. It is an odd old world, but at least we are able to do good work.

We did get some good news from the world outside of COVID19 – and yes the world is still there. Both rays of sunshine came from court decisions long in the making.

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"Oil is over" -- "Oil is dead" (May 10, 2020)

Good Sunday Morning! 

And to all mothers reading this, Happy Mother’s Day!

My Mother’s Day was made on Friday with a delivery call from the door of our building to say I had flowers. It was the first time my 28-year old Cate has ever sent me flowers. And what a gorgeous bouquet of local flowers and ethically sourced and packaged! (A shout out to the Victoria florist Cate found on line, for COVID precautions and ecological blooms – Bespoke Blossoms) And a note: “Happy Mother’s Day – Sending lots of contact-free love and hugs!”

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Nine years of Greens (May 3, 2020)

Good Sunday Morning!

This Sunday marks the beginning of my tenth year as the Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands. Thanks to many of you, I have been re-elected twice and hope to hold the seat in the next federal election. (Yes, I am running again!)

If you are a constituent living in Saanich-Gulf Islands, I invite you to our second Virtual Community Meeting. It is this coming Friday, May 8th at 7 pm. Please RSVP so the team can send you the zoom link. Email: Elizabeth.May@parl.gc.ca, or phone 250-657-2000. If you want to send a question in advance, write Elizabeth.May.C1@parl.gc.ca.

Nine years have flown by. Bringing back memories, the Green Party office sent out this picture by twitter of the victory party May 2, 2011.

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Planet of the (Misinforming) Humans (April 26, 2020)

Good Sunday Morning!

It has been a very hard week. My home province is reeling from the worst mass murder in Canadian history. Like most people from Pictou County, I know family members of victims. For all Canadians, this week has been brutal. Our hearts are broken.

It was also a week for celebration – the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. With my wonderful caucus colleagues, Paul Manly and Jenica Atwin, we held a Green Party webinar on April 22nd. It was an upbeat session with good energy. Being with our Green members across Canada was a tonic.

With over 600 people on the zoom gathering, we did not get to every question, but I saw the comments fly by in the chat function of zoom. One message caught my attention:

“Michael Moore presents Planet of the Humans, a documentary that dares to say what no one else will this Earth Day — that we are losing the battle to stop climate change on planet earth because we are following leaders who have taken us down the wrong road — selling out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America.”

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Putting health first (April 19, 2020)

Good Sunday Morning!

In the time line I set for myself of COVID19 (March 9th being the first day), we are heading into Week 7 of pandemic world.

Last Saturday, when I was in parliament to pass legislation to expand the wage subsidy, I was quite sure that we would not reconvene on April 20. The March 13 adjournment motion picked April 20 as the day we would return. Now, that feels unthinkable. That same motion created an easy mechanism to extend the adjournment. All it takes is a letter to the Speaker from the House from the house leaders of the 4 large parties.

No one can think it makes sense for parliament to reconvene as public health officers urge everyone to stay home and practice social distancing.

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Emergency Relief (April 12, 2020)

Good Sunday Morning!

Happy Easter! Happy Passover! Chag Pesach Sameach!

On Good Friday, a day when I would normally shut off my email and phone, committing to quiet contemplation and fasting, I packed my suitcase for the first time in weeks and headed back to Ottawa.

For the first time ever, I wore a mask and had Lysol wipes in my carry on. And, in another first, a government plane picked me up from the runway next to Viking Air in back of the Victoria airport. Thanks to an impulse of extraordinary thoughtfulness, (and I do not know who of many possible candidates is my guardian angel), I had a call from the Prime Minister’s Office late Thursday that I could cancel my Air Canada flights.

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