I suppose it was inevitable. Friday’s marshalling of children, sanctioned by schools and the city, so they can strike and march for climate justice, only for it to transmogrify into a campaign rally for Paul Falvo.
It’s hard not to like a party that’s so unashamedly bold. Read their platform. It’s like Star Trek without the intergalactic space travel.
The timorous Andrew Scheer and his Conservatives thought they could eke out an election victory by scrapping the carbon tax, just as long our prime minister kept embarrassing himself and the NDP didn’t come completely off the rails.
But then along came Greta Thunberg. Suddenly, climate change is a big deal again. People don’t want to pay a carbon tax but come on politicians, “something” must be done. Just make this planet stop heating up already.
And there is only one political party in Canada, untested though they are by actual governing, that has any serious cred on the climate change file – the all-ambitious, all-in Elizabeth May and her ever-earnest, ever-envisioning band of eco-pioneers.
It’s becoming increasingly dangerous for retail politicians in Canada. People have been talking about climate change (RIP global warming) for 20 years and the only hot air expelled has been by the politicians jet-setting around the world endlessly promising to do something about it.
The Liberals have been in power for four years and so far, all they have in the bag is a 4.9-cent carbon tax that kicked in right as the price of gas went down by five cents.
Regardless, I’m sure I speak for everybody in Yellowknife when I say we’d all love to see the day when we never have to buy a tank of gasoline ever again – especially if we own a pick-up truck. Or pay $800 home heating bills. Or $500 power bills.
The Green Party plans to ban the sale of combustion engine vehicles by 2030, after which all electricity will come from renewable resources. They will forgive federal student debt, guarantee a universal income, launch a massive retrofit of commercial, institutional and residential buildings, and phase out all fossil fuel production by 2035. The list of pronouncements is as long as it is unbridled by present realities.
The danger for the Greens will come if they ever get close to power. That could be three weeks from now if the polls hold and an emboldened group of Greens and the NDP claim the balance of power.
No Trans-Mountain Pipeline for instance. Both these parties have vowed to stop it in its tracks. The rise of Jason Kenney’s United Conservatives in Alberta’s provincial election last spring tells us where this is heading. The Green Party believes there is a climate crisis, but Albertans – 86 per cent, according to an Angus Reid poll in January – say there is a “pipeline crisis.” If Justin Trudeau found it hard dealing with the provinces just wait until he hands over the energy file to the Greens in a coalition government.
The party – and its supporters – seems unprepared for half-steps but for Canada it has never been anything but half-steps.
A green planet ought to be the gift we hand down to our children. Last Friday they rightfully demanded it.
On that front, the Green party has some momentum in this city. Alas, for many other Yellowknifers, they just want to know when their recycling will stop getting tossed into the dump.