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.

Just Posted

Local basketball star Annika Parr selected as alternate for Team BC’s U14 squad

Parr is excited about the possibility of playing in Halifax

Snowfall warning continues for parts of B.C.’s Interior

First significant snowfall of the season prompts Environment Canada warning

Hagensborg Water District ratepayers vote to dissolve district

In a close vote of 68 to 63, ratepayers have chosen to dissolve the water district

Bella Coola residents rely on food bank support

Your volunteers at the food bank work year-round, but are especially busy at Christmas

Nimpkish back in service while NSW undergoes repairs

The Northern Sea Wolf sustained damage to its propellers from a log strike in November

Fireballs to fill the sky Friday for brightest meteor shower of the year

Geminid meteor shower features colourful, brighter, longer shooting stars

Province sues over sailing incident that killed teen with disabilities

Gabriel Pollard, 16, died from injuries after marine lift failed

First Nations want Big Bar landslide cleared ASAP to allow fish passage

Leadership calling for urgent action and resources to remove obstruction on the Fraser

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

No reports yet of Canadians affected by New Zealand volcano eruption, feds say

Missing and injured included tourists from the U.S., China, Australia, Britain and Malaysia

Most Read