Green Party leader Elizabeth May (centre) and North Island-Powell River Green candidate Mark de Bruijn (behind her) chat with supporters outside Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre Thursday morning. Photo by Alistair Taylor/Campbell River Mirror

Green Party leader Elizabeth May rolls through Vancouver Island to boost a party stronghold

Mocks media, evokes Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and promises change

Green Party leader Elizabeth May stopped into Campbell River Thursday morning to rally the party faithful as the federal election campaign rolled into its final weekend.

The North Island-Powell River (NIPR) visit is one of seven Vancouver Island stops she will be making over the next three days.

“Four days to go, we’re in the home stretch here,” NIPR Green candidate Mark deBruijn said when introducing May to a gathering of supporters in the lobby of the Tidemark Theatre, the local performing arts centre. The rally was originally scheduled for outside in Campbell River’s Spirit Square but less-than-ideal weather prompted a move indoors across the street.

“We’re starting what will be a tour through all seven Vancouver Island ridings before Saturday morning,” May told the crowd. “We’re going to get to all the places where the Greens are running strong, where we can elect Greens and where we will elect Greens in a Green wave to send more MPs to Ottawa who are committed to always putting principle ahead of power, putting hope and love and commitment ahead of short term partisan advantage.”

The last eight years in Ottawa in parliament have been a real struggle, May said.

“Because the culture of the place is so dispiriting,” she said. “And nothing will fix Parliament like a lot of beautiful new green MPs like Mark joining me there.”

May said the Green Party has been staying on the high road with a positive campaign. She mocked the media, pundits and her critics who dismissed the Green Party platform as being a Mission Impossible.

“What I’ve heard from so many journalists, critics and pundits is, ‘Well their plan’s awfully ambitious,’” May said. “And their strongest criticism of our plan is ‘It won’t be easy.’ It’s necessary and nothing worthwhile has ever been easy.

“Imagine if they’d said – not that I’m comparing myself to him – but what if they had said to Martin Luther King, ‘Boy, that’s ambitious.’ And, ‘It won’t be easy.’ Or, you know, to Nelson Mandela: ‘That’s ambitious. You’re going to end Apartheid? That won’t be easy.’

“Nothing worth doing in this world has ever been easy if it was worth doing. We have a status quo economy, we have a status quo culture that is prepared to celebrate greed over human well being, is prepared to say the billionaire class has a right to all the money they get because they’re the giant pooh-bahs of economic growth and nothing should get in their way and if climate change is a real issue, well, we’ll deal with it later. So our message is (youth climate activist) Greta’s (Thunberg) message which is there is no later, there’s only now and now is when Canadians have a referendum on climate and a chance to actually exercise our democratic right as citizens and vote for what we want.”

That list of what Canadians want, May said, includes universal, single-payer pharmacare; a universal early-learning child care plan; dental care; free post-secondary education and no student debt.

“We’re not just ambitious about climate change, we’re ambitious about social justice,” May said. “We’re very ambitious about the need to redress 150 years of colonialism and oppression and actually face the requirements for truth, justice and reconciliation.”

She disagreed that the fossil fuel industry is an engine of growth in the country, describing it, instead, as a sector calling us to join in a “funereal march to our own demise.”

And voters can restore the health of Mother Earth through such things as restoring wild salmon by removing “those horrific, toxic fish pens out of our waters,” she said.

‘We stand for life on this planet. It’s not too late,” May said.

RELATED: North Island candidates chime in on climate change, transition from fossil fuels

RELATED: Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome


@AlstrT
editor@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bluegrass Festival in Cowichan offering savings for early birds

The annual Cowichan Valley Bluegrass Festival will run from June 19 to 21

Drivesmart column: Let’s block the road

Police resources to cope with the size of the protest group is an important consideration.

Coming up in Cowichan: Meet the Wounded Warriors

Wounded Warrior Run stops at Legion The Royal Canadian Legion Malahat District… Continue reading

Cowichan climber off to Olympic qualifier

Brennan Doyle competing for Pan Am Championship

Robert Barron column: Let’s see more roundabouts in the Cowichan Valley

I commend the city planners for their wisdom in installing a roundabout there.

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

BC Senior Curling titles to be decided in Vernon

Wes Craig, Penny Shantz looking for fifth championships; Steve Wright, Donna Mychaluk into finals

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Most Read