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article imageCanadian Green Party leader begins 'whistle-stop tour' in Toronto Special

By Andrew Moran     Apr 8, 2011 in Politics
Toronto - Although Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May is not part of the federal leaders' debates next week, May announced her party's platform for this year's election and she is bringing forward that message throughout Canada.
According to the latest polls, the Green Party of Canada is garnering between six and nine percent of support from Canadian voters, and is in a statistical dead heat with the Bloc Quebecois.
Supporters of the Green Party are upset over the Broadcasting Consortium’s decision to exclude leader Elizabeth May from the federal leaders’ debate next week. Earlier this week, a federal court judge announced that he will not rule on the party’s arguments before the debates.
This led to May urging Canadian federal leaders to boycott the debates. Furthermore, Green Party voters held a pre-rally flashmob protest in front of the CBC News building in downtown Toronto Thursday. Protest organizers gathered as many Toronto Green candidates and young Green supporters as possible.
Green Party leader Elizabeth May working with campaign staffer.
Green Party leader Elizabeth May working with campaign staffer.
On Friday morning, May began her Green Party whistle-stop tour at Toronto’s Union Station. May will deliver short speeches at each VIA Rail train line stop until she gets to Montreal where she will hold a Rally for Democracy. She ends her cross-country campaign tour in Halifax Sunday at another rally.
Prior to her Toronto departure, May unveiled her party’s platform that will attempt to exceed all of the plans the Conservatives, Liberals and New Democratic Party have. “I think we need more vision, more cooperation and a willingness to find solutions in this country. That is what's Canadian,” said May, reports the Vancouver Sun.
Campaign platform highlights
If elected, May and the Greens would immediately introduce a carbon tax that would generate approximately $5 million and would go towards income splitting, including single mothers with adult children earning an income and same-sex marriages.
The Green Party claims that it is the only political party to actually have a sensible and credible plan to reduce the deficit by $10.8 billion over the course of the next three years. “We reduce the deficit faster than the Conservatives,” said May, reports the Toronto Sun. “We're the only opposition party to have tabled our deficit reduction plan with the Parliamentary budget office to make sure our numbers add up and our approach makes sense.”
May wants to examine reforming the country’s voting system. The Prime Minister’s office, said May, should look at its “growing and undemocratic power” and “hold a national discussion on the health of our democracy.”
Green Party leader Elizabeth May
Green Party leader Elizabeth May
There would be discussions over first past the post and whether or not it should be replaced with something that Canadians can agree on. “Consider proportional representation.”
The Greens want a better partnership with municipalities. May would invest $3.5 billion per year in community housing, infrastructure, recreational space and transportation. The Green leader noted Friday that more funding for high-speed rail is part of her campaign platform.
There would be an immediate cease of corporate tax cuts for big oil and gas companies. She would create jobs and at the same time decrease greenhouse gas emissions. “It's clear that many things...in this platform will simply not come up in debates if I were excluded,” said May.
Finally, the Canadian military should stay in Afghanistan, but only under a United Nations peacekeeping mission. Canada would assist Afghanistan’s domestic affairs, including poverty, economic development, amplifying the nation’s government and public institutions and help develop the military and police force.
“Our goal is to be that voice of conscience, that voice of reason for our future that says, 'We don't care if the media and other parties have decided our climate crisis isn't an issue. Failure to address significant threats to our future is irresponsible.'"
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