Elizabeth May, here at her victory party Monday night, said she would likely run again in 2023 to be the MP for Saanich Gulf-Islands, but left open the possibility that she might step from the party’s leadership (Arnold Lim/News Staff)

May sees room for consensus on climate action, pharmacare in new Parliament

The Greens return with three MPs, fewer than many anticipated after promising signs of support

Green Leader Elizabeth May hopes to use whatever influence her three-member caucus has to ensure bolder climate action, a pharmacare plan and a promise of lower cellphone rates make their way into the next throne speech.

May has spoken with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau since Monday’s election and expects to have an ongoing dialogue with federal leaders before Parliament resumes.

The Greens return with three MPs, fewer than many anticipated after promising signs of support from voters early in the campaign.

Still, May said in an interview Wednesday she sees opportunity for consensus with the Liberals and New Democrats on key issues.

The Liberals will have incentive to prove they’re accomplishing things in a minority Parliament if they want to remain in power, May said.

She will try to leverage that reality to make gains on addressing the climate crisis.

READ MORE: Elizabeth May coy about leadership plans

May wants Canada to seriously curb greenhouse-gas emissions by agreeing to aggressive new targets at the global Conference of Parties meeting in Chile in December.

“If we’re going to avoid an unlivable world, we have months, not years, to fix this,” she said.

“So we’ll need to apply maximum pressure right now on the Liberals to change our climate target before the negotiations begin at COP 25 in Santiago.”

At a news conference Wednesday, Trudeau signalled a willingness to work with fellow parliamentarians on priorities, including climate change, though he ruled out any kind of coalition.

May sees common ground on a renegotiated national health accord that includes pharmacare and dental care for low-income Canadians. “I think there’s room for consensus on that.”

Such plans could take shape informally among likeminded party leaders in coming weeks, May suggested.

“We could have some time of just talking to one another as leaders on the phone, trying to figure out are there places where we could decide now — let’s work to consensus on things like pharmacare, let’s work to consensus on climate action.”

Parties could also agree on more affordable cellphone rates and collecting a fair share of taxes from global, web-based businesses operating in Canada, she said.

May stressed the importance of working with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh despite lingering anger over what she sees as grossly unfair attacks on her party in British Columbia during the campaign.

May hopes leaders will agree to bring a more civil tone to parliamentary debate after seeing respect and decorum disintegrate in the last sitting.

“This could get much, much worse,” she said.

“If we start out where we left off, it’s going to be unwatchable. Canadians will not want their children to watch Parliament.”

Jim Bronskill , The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

CGL must revise impact assessment on Unist’ot’en Healing Center

Environmental Assessment Office not satisfied with report’s shortcomings

Vanderhoof wrestler wins gold in provincials

Rayen Rempel won gold in the 41-kg category at the BC Wrestling Provincials held in Langley.

Man, 40, killed in hit and run in Fort St. James

One person is dead in a hit and run case that is… Continue reading

MLA says government support for forest industry is lacking

Budget also affects natural gas consumers in the region

FLESS hosts annual district science fair

Organzier says the fair has grown each year.

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

B.C. massage therapist suspended following allegations of sexual misconduct

While suspended, Leonard Krekic is not entitled to practice as an RMT in B.C.

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Most Read