There has been much discussion regarding the stance of the GPC leadership contestants stance's regarding the threatened annexation of the State of Palestine and its territories by neighbouring Israel. Andrew would like to make it abundantly clear his stance regarding the annexation of foreign lands by a neighbouring state, both within the Levant and around the world.
Andrew stands with the Palestinian people and firmly condemns the actions of the Israeli government in their continuing attempts to occupy designated Palestinian territories. This condemnation then carries over towards China’s premature occupation of Hong Kong and Russia annexation of Crimea and support towards hostilities in the Donbass region of Ukraine. As a lawyer, Andrew’s support for the rule of law does not stop at Canada’s borders; he is a strong and vocal supporter of the Charter of the United Nations and the Rome Statute thus supports fully the use of these tribunals to enforce International law and prosecute those who violate those universal decrees and treaties. We cannot however, actively attempt to undermine the legitimacy of a state in order to achieve these goals; we should work within the constraints of international law, utilize the institutions we have at hand to achieve our goals and global peace.
In essence, Andrew wishes to see peaceful yet just resolutions to conflict, including that between Israel and Palestine, while maintaining diplomatic and amicable relationships with states to ensure that Canada can be the one to mediate and oversee peaceful and meaningful change to protect the citizens of all nations and their fundamental human rights.
The Green Party's current electoral strategy has been to target areas which we have a good chance of winning seats and votes. This was a good strategy when the Green Party was small and growing, but with the right leader we can and will be a major contender to form government. We will not capitalize on the true potential of this party if we limit ourselves to a dozen or so ridings.
A new GPC electoral strategy begins with the restructuring of Central Party-EDA relations and rethinking how we see Electoral District Associations. EDA’s aren’t just satellite organizations which represent the party locally; they are the party. The Green Party was built on grassroots policy, therefore, we must empower and fully support our members on the ground. This begins with better supporting all of our local EDA's by providing them with the resources they need. These resources can include more evenly distributing financial assets amongst more candidates, better training for volunteers to run a local election campaign, and assisting them mentally and physically in preparation for federal elections.
Finally, to better highlight the skills and prowess of our candidates, we should announce our shadow cabinet prior to an election. By showing voters how amazing our candidates are, and showing them their future Green MPs will represent them faithfully and strongly in parliament, we will encourage the electorate to vote GREEN.
THIS is how we will win the next federal election.
Canada has slowly depleted our military and its capacity to effectively fulfil our obligations to various treaties and organizations such as the UN, NATO, and the Multinational Force and Observers. We have yet to even meet the NATO-set target of 2% GDP expenditures on national defence, thus placing the nation in a position of unpreparedness in such a volatile world.
Green Party policy has always advocated for de-escalation and peaceful conflict resolution. We can do this while reaching and maintaining the aforementioned 2% defence spending goal by investing in peacekeeping.
Canada once set the example on how a nation should approach conflict resolution. However, since the 1990's, Canada has slid to having just 40 or so peacekeepers across several missions.
Canadian soldiers must once again receive the proper training to better prepare them for non-combatant roles, including encounters with child soldiers, human trafficking, and sexual assault and abuse situations. With a modus operandi of de-escalation and appropriate training for our armed forces, we can be better equipped—both physically and mentally—to ensure peace prevails and human rights are protected in the most dangerous parts of the globe.
The creation of two Rapid Reaction Units—one for use in NATO operations as well as one for UN missions—would allow us to better respond to international conflict while also serving as a strong showing of Canada's continued and unwavering support for both NATO and the United Nations.
Finally, continuing of a multilateral ship-building programme will allow us to the Royal Canadian Coast Guard and Canadian science expeditions on all three coasts as we strive to protect our borders, people, and environment. While the latter two do not fall under the Ministry of National Defence, creating Canadian shipyards will support local economies and provide good jobs In the North, West and Maritimes.
For far too long, Canadian government policies have demonized those trapped in the seemingly endless cycle that is addiction. Whether driven to substance abuse by poverty, peer pressure, circumstance, curiosity, or any other route, those who abuse substances are never given the aid they require to be able to escape their addiction. Instead, Canadian law continues to punish them rather than help them.
To better address drug use, particularly the unrelenting opioid epidemic currently hitting Canadian cities, we must adopt a 'health-first' view on the matter. This means seeing drugs as a health and mental wellness issue rather than a criminal issue. We can help Canadians heal and escape addiction with the right investments.
My vision for a drug-free Canada includes the decriminalization of some substances, raising the legal age to purchase cigarettes to 21, and the reallocation of budgetary ressources away from the punishment of drug use towards prevention and education.
: Similar to Portugal's 1999 National Strategy for the Fight Against Drugs.
71% of Green voters want the government to balance its books.
During the 2019 federal election I supported the Green Party position to balance the federal budget over five years. That target must now be adjusted due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but our goal as Greens should still be to live within our means whenever possible with a target of paying off our debt. The millions we pay in interest alone should be used to help our people.
The Green Party will attract more people from all walks of life as we continue to grow. This will include people from across the political spectrum including Blue-Greens and Orange-Greens. We must attract first time voters and voters fed up with the three status quo parties.
Having a wide range of opinions, and a broad set of skills and experience is necessary. However, the party would be hurt if we took it to the extreme left or right.
We don’t need the “fixers” from the other parties or those who want us to become another party. We have talented people in our party that we need to encourage and support, while at the same time attracting and developing experts in election management, strategy and analysis.
We don’t need to be a more conventional party. Nor do we need the fixers and bagmen that other parties have. What we do need are experts in management, strategy and analysis, etc. who share our values as Greens.
Indigenous rights was one of the major news stories before the COVID-19 pandemic, so much so that people took to blocking roads and railways across Canada to protest a controversial natural gas pipeline. Like climate change, Indigenous rights don’t go away when governments ignore them. Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples needs to continue, including addressing all the First Nations reserves that are still in desperate need of proper housing and are still under boil water advisories.
The federal governments need to establish an even stronger relationship with Indigenous peoples which includes dialogue, cooperation and partnership, and respect.
Many seniors were struggling to make ends meet even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Increases in the cost of living have made it difficult for seniors to stay in the homes they’ve lived in for years.
A guaranteed livable income and a universal national pharmacare plan can help address this.
Until a Guaranteed Livable Income is in place, Old Age Security (a basic income that already exists and works in Canada) must be adapted to meet the current needs of our seniors (i.e., a livable income).
The COVID-19 pandemic is taking its toll on almost every Canadian. The federal government has taken steps to ensure many Canadians receive additional funds to help pay their bills. But within the past two years the federal government could have had some type of national minimum income program which would have benefited Canadians today.
When people lose their jobs they also lose any additional health benefits (e.g. dental, prescription drugs, physiotherapy, mental health support, etc.). This may mean not being able to afford certain medications and treatment they need. A Guaranteed Livable Income can help prevent some people having to make a choice between prescriptions or food (in addition to a national pharmacare program which I also support). It should also allow people to have the security to learn new skills or start their own business without the fear of not being able to cover their basic necessities.
A Guaranteed Livable Income wouldn’t be a sub-poverty level stipend. It could eventually replace almost all social programs including E.I., O.A.S. and C.P.P. The massive simplification of our social safety net should mostly pay for itself.
Back in 2018, Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos supported the idea of a guaranteed minimum income, but the Liberals never followed through with it. A Guaranteed Livable Income is something the Green Party has been championing for years and the COVID-19 pandemic shows the need for it.
Ontario Liberals did start some universal income test projects—which were cancelled by the Ontario Conservatives—and the federal Liberals eventually may do the right thing, but likely only after trying everything else and, much like many other policies, years after Greens propose it.
Making sure all Canadians have the resources to stay healthy and stay warm should always be a priority.
We obviously need to stop using fossil fuels in order to protect our environment. While we may not be able to turn the tap off overnight, we can stop the growth of the tar sands by ending all exploration of the area, have a moratorium on development, and let existing leases expire if unexploited.
We can then shift all the subsidies we are currently providing to tar sands industries towards investments in renewable energy. There are more and more new jobs in clean energy as it’s one of Canada’s fastest-growing industries.
We need to ensure that any transition to renewable energy includes workers in the oil and gas industries. Proper training should exist for these workers, if they want it, to prepare them for new careers in the clean energy sector.
Andrew has been speaking to local high schools in the Ottawa area since 2016 about his experience in, and the importance of politics. This includes electoral reform. On the whole he knows the next generation of voters see that proportional representation makes sense and makes more votes count.
Electoral reform is a priority of his and it’s the first issue we Greens need to address. Every issue we face today—including environmental regulations, jobs and handling the COVID-19 pandemic—could be handled justly and equitably by a more representative parliament; one that reflects all Canadians.
Having said that, as leader Andrew will get the Green Party elected under first-past-the-post (see the “Vision” tab). Then it will be the Green Party that will have the integrity to change our electoral system to better represent all voters.
Andrew became a major advocate of proportional representation after being a Green candidate in the 2015 federal election. Andrew ran in the riding of Kanata—Carleton which was one of the ridings targeted by Leadnow for strategic voting. He experienced its impact firsthand at the door in the final weeks of the campaign. Andrew met so many people who said they knew him and wanted to vote for him/the Green Party, but wouldn’t because they felt they had to vote strategically. People should feel they are able to vote for whoever they want, and not for the lesser of two evils.
To see the proposal Andrew co-submitted to the Special Committee on Electoral Reform, visit www.bmp-bpm.ca.