When voters in Saanich Gulf Islands elected Canada's 1st Green Member of Parliament, many people asked, "What can one MP do"? Let's look at what she has accomplished in just her first term:
Democracy, Integrity and Accountability
1. Reports to us, her constituents in Saanich Gulf Islands twice a year in every neighbourhood. This is more than 80 public Town Halls with constituents since she was elected. She reports on what happens in Ottawa. answers our questions,and listens to our concerns.
2. Never heckles or participates in the shouting and childish behaviour in the House of Commons. When others heckle her.she waits for order to be restored,then continues making her point.
3. Publishes the original records of all her expenses on her website.
4. Treats other MPs with respect and kindness even when strongly disagreeing with their policy and style of doing business.
5. Has the best attendance record in the House of Commons of any party leader.
Delivering Results for Saanich Gulf Islands & Greater Victoria
1. Saved the Plant Health Centre in North Saanich,with its 80 jobs,from closure.This was the only time out of dozens of announcements of closures of federal facilities across Canada,that the decision was reversed. Even Conservative MPs could not protect jobs in their ridings.
2. Obtained over 9 million dollars, the largest grant ever from the Western Diversification Fund,for the University of Victoria's Smart Oceans BC to support underwater observatories and monitoring of seismic activity along the coast. When U Vic needed more money,Elizabeth obtained another $20 million from the Ministry of Transport.The program employs many experts and researchers at UVic and supports high tech firms in the riding.
3. Assisted in obtaining $10 million for the Island Corridor Railway from Via Rail to improve the island railbed.
4. Convinced Canada Steamships to meet with concerned local residents about the use of Plumper Sound as an anchorage for the movement of gypsum.The shipping industry met with local residents Feb 12,2015 on Pender Island. There is now a consultative committee with local residents and the shipping industry is listening.
5. Affordable housing is a big issue on the Saanich Peninsula. Elizabeth Initiated a housing round table which led to the Saanlch Penlnsula Partnership working for affordable housing.
6. Advocacy for constituents: Elizabeth works tirelessly for constituents who experience personal issues with immigration,veteran's benefits,and other federal government agencies. This is a confidential service where the privacy of constituents is protected, but some have wanted to go public:
- Judy Peterson's daughter Lindsay tragically went missing more than 21 years ago at age 14. Elizabeth helped to get Lindsay's Law which created a national DNA data bank passed.with $1 million in funding and the support of all parties. Times Colonist February 11, 2014
- In 2010. Jennifer Lannan of Salt Spring Island thought she had jumped through all the hoops to bring her Nigerian husband to Canada. However, he was ruled inadmissible. In 2012, Elizabeth flew from Ottawa to Vancouver for the immigration appeal which was successful but the red tape continued. More letters were sent and lost. Forms grew outdated. Elizabeth May began rising early to phone Africa. She enlisted the help of Canada's new immigration minister. Finally, in December 2013, Jennifer's husband was cleared for permanent residency and the family was reunited on Salt Spring Island. Times Colonist December 13, 2013
- When Jessica Thompson's 3 year old daughter went to visit her biological father in the US in 2011, she did not return. Elizabeth helped Jessica find a lawyer in the U.S. who would take the case without charge and traveled to New Hampshire to attend the hearing. The child was finally able to return to her family in North Saanich in late 2012. Peninsula News Review Nov 14, 2012
- In 2013,Canada Border Services abruptly arrested a 60 yr old First Nation's grandfather who had moved to Canada with his wife thirty seven years earlier. Together they have four children and 14 grandchildren. He is an active community leader and teacher of traditional skills. Richard Jerman was detained for two days pending an immigration hearing because he was considered to be a foreign national in Canada illegally. Elizabeth May helped him find a lawyer and prepared a detailed personal letter to the Ministry of Immigration to help him obtain legal permanent residence status and return to his family. Times Colonist March 7, 2014
- In 2015, Elizabeth responded to an email from Sidney accountant Chris Cowland about an error by Canada Revenue Agency concerning the deadline for filing income tax. She alerted the Minister of Revenue. Within 2 days the deadline was extended for all Canadians. Peninsula News Review April 28, 2015
7. Support for Tourism: Elizabeth convinced the Finance Minister to reverse the decision to stop advertising for tourism in the US market. Funding was restored in the 2015 budget.
8. Canada 150 Grants: obtained major grants for the Panorama Recreations Centre and Pender and Saturna Islands in 2015.
9. National Energy Board Kinder Morgan Pipeline hearings: Elizabeth represents the concerns of constituents by becoming an intervenor in the NEB Kinder Morgan Pipeline process.
Committed to Canada
1. First federal leader to raise the alarm about the new, so-called Anti-Terrorist Bill (C-51) that makes us less safe and less free.
2. Only opposition member of parliament to attend the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
3. First parliamentarian to alert Canadians to the dangers of investor-state treaties, including the Canada-China Foreign Investor Protection Agreement and the Trans Pacific Partnership.
4. Prepared 6 Private Member’s Bills including the Federal Lyme Disease Strategy Act, which passed into law with unanimous approval of all MPs in the House of Commons and the Senate in December 2014. Fewer than 2% of all Private Members’ bills are passed.
5. Routinely proposes constructive amendments (over 1000 in the last two sessions of Parliament) to Omnibus Budget Bills and other Conservative legislation.
6. Stayed in her seat for 24 hours straight, defending the over 400 constructive amendments she proposed to the first Omnibus Budget Bill C-38, aka the “Environmental Devastation Act” (2012).
7. Had two of her amendments to the Pipeline Safety Act (2015) passed into law, requiring government to go after polluters for costs of an accident and empowering First Nations to do so as well.
8. Voted against bombing Libya in 2011 when a peace plan was on the table. She was the only MP to do so.
9. Got the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission tabled in the House of Commons with the support of all parties.
* Based on secret votes of all Members of Parliament, Elizabeth has been voted Parliamentarian of the Year (2012), Hardest Working MP (2013), and Orator of the Year (2014)
* In annual surveys by The Hill Times, Elizabeth was named the Best Constituency MP (shared; 2013), Hardest Working MP (2013, 2014), and one of the top three Most Effective Politicians (2014)
* Huffington Post lauded Elizabeth as one of Canada’s best MPs, noting Bill C-38 as proof of "what one MP can do." (2012)
* Newsweek named her “One of the world’s most influential women.” (2010)
* Elizabeth May is an Officer of the Order of Canada (2005)
Ronald Wright, author of A Short History of Progress:
“Elizabeth May is without doubt the most impressive party leader in Canada today -superhumanly hardworking, dedicated, smart, witty, and fearless when speaking truth to power and to the public.”
The Right Honourable Joe Clark, former Conservative prime minister, says it all:
"Most acknowledge that Elizabeth May is Canada’s most effective MP."
Rafe Mair, BC broadcaster and writer:
“The Federal election is a bankruptcy of real choices. The outstanding candidate by far, and I apologize for damning her with faint praise, is Elizabeth May. It’s a shame that she won’t be prime minister. Far from being just and environmentalist, she has a firm understanding of the history of this country, the geographical distortions and demographic differences, and the sad state of our parliamentary system. She also has a deep love and understanding of our province.”
Wade Davis, BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk,
Professor of Anthropology, Faculty Associate, Liu Institute for Global Issues,
University of British Columbia:
"Elizabeth May is the conscience of the country and her voice in Parliament guarantees that the voices of all Canadians who care about our environment and our land will be heard."
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Authorized by the Official Agent for Elizabeth May