Canadian University Press
SIDNEY, B.C. (CUP) — Newly-elected Green MP Elizabeth May plans on wasting no time in bringing issues of the environment and parliamentary reform to the House of Commons.
“I don’t expect to get much rest for the next number of days and that’s just fine,” May said following her victory.” I didn’t get elected to take it easy. I got elected to work really hard and that’s what I plan to do.”
May hopes to start working on environmental policy right away before the next international climate summit.
“I’d like to see a change in Canadian policy before we go to the next climate conference, which will be in South Africa in December,” she said. “The agenda there is huge and Canada’s current position is inadequate, but it will be a very hard job to change that because [Stephen Harper has] been deeply opposed to climate action. We’ll see what will work.”
As the only federal party leader from British Columbia, May acknowledges she will have to work hard to protect B.C.’s unique environmental interests, as well.
“I have to make sure we make progress on a moratorium on oil tankers; I have to work on the issue of open pen fish farms,” she said. “We are truly blessed in Saanich”“Gulf Islands. We have the most magnificent natural beauty and we have a commitment to care for it.”
However, May acknowledged that, with a Conservative majority in Parliament, she’ll have to find some Tory allies.
“This is going to be of course more difficult because of the majority Conservative government, but that’s not to say we don’t have some allies on the Conservative side in the House of Commons,” she said. “I think if we are persistent and respectful and raise these issues through the House of Commons and find some allies in the Conservative caucus anything is possible.”
May said while the Conservatives may have a majority of seats in Parliament, Stephen Harper’s government is a “false majority.”
“[Harper] doesn’t have political capital. He basically has a minority vote that gave him a majority of seats and we have to find ways throughout the 308 members of Parliament all duly elected to work together as a Canadian Parliament is supposed to,” she said. “We don’t elect a prime minister in this country.”
May says her election points to a desire for change in Canadian politics among voters.
“I just presented a positive vision for a different type of politic,” she explained. “I think that voters were excited about voting for me. I got the sense that this was more of a pro-change vote than an anti-Lunn vote,” she said.
“This was about a lot of voters in Saanich-Gulf Islands that really wanted to see change.”
image: Max Sussman