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FORUM: Tim Grant wants to be your Green voice in Ottawa (Sept. 2019)

October 8th, 2019 · No Comments

Veteran Green Party candidate aims for federal seat

By Tim Grant

This fall’s election comes at a pivotal time for Canada and the global community. Last October, the world’s climate scientists told us we have only 11 years to prevent runaway climate change. To do that, we have to meet a new internationally agreed goal of cutting carbon emissions by 60 per cent by 2030 and eliminate our use of fossil fuels by 2050. If we fail, we will be condemning future generations to unspeakable hardship.

As a three-time provincial Green candidate, I find it very gratifying that many voters now appreciate that we are more than a single-issue party.

In spite of all the talk you will hear about climate action in this election, the Green Party is the only party with a plan to meet international goals. When we released our Mission Possible plan in the spring, some commentators said it was too ambitious and not realistic. But those commentators were silent when Denmark and the UK — two countries whose per capita emissions are already much lower than ours — committed to the same goals. It was clear to all that if Denmark and the UK can reduce their emissions by another 60 per cent by 2030, it is possible and realistic for us in Canada to do it, too. But our window of opportunity is small — 2030 will be upon us before we know it. We have to change course, starting with this election.

As a three-time provincial Green candidate, I find it very gratifying that many voters now appreciate that we are more than a single-issue party.  Here is a sampling of some of the issues we’ll be championing in this election. 

A New Deal for Cities  When Doug Ford slashed the size of Toronto’s City Council, it was a painful reminder that cities across Canada have little control over their affairs. This lack of autonomy is accompanied by a lack of resources: cities receive only 10 per cent of all taxes collected by all levels of government. We know that is too little. The Green Party is committed to working with the provinces to ensure that cities have much more independence in decision-making and receive a greater share of overall tax revenues. In 2015, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities determined that we had the strongest urban platform of all federal parties. Check out our 2019 urban platform at www.greenparty.ca. It is even stronger. 

Guaranteed Annual Income Greens are the only party in favour of a guaranteed annual income (also known as basic income). A basic income would lift many families out of poverty, remove the stigma of social assistance, and provide all adults with the financial security to retrain, take new courses, or start new businesses. At a time when precarious work affects more and more Canadians, a basic income is needed more than ever.

Electoral Reform  Many Canadians voted Liberal in 2015 because Justin Trudeau promised that that election would be the last under our current voting system. After the election, he abandoned that commitment. University-Rosedale voters clearly disagreed with his decision. A 2017 poll by Strategic Directions showed that 72 per cent of voters in this riding agreed that it was time to change the voting system. 

Rail Safety We have one of the busiest rail lines in Ontario running across the northern edge of our riding, one that frequently carries hazardous cargo. The Liberals promised to improve rail safety after a runaway train exploded in Lac Megantic in 2013 — a train that had passed through University-Rosedale only 36 hours earlier. Yet little has changed. The incidence of runaway trains has increased 10 per cent over the last decade. In 2017 alone, there were 62 occurrences. 

To learn more about these and other reasons to vote Green — such as reconciliation with First Nations, ending fossil fuel subsidies, and expanding health care — visit www.votetimgrant.ca.

The polls strongly suggest that we will have a minority government after October 21st. More than ever, we will need strong Green voices in Ottawa. A vote for the Green Party is a vote for real change. Our future depends on it. 

Tags: Annex · Opinion