As we open the menu for Canada’s election, how will Canadians choose the healthiest possibilities? Who looks most appetizing? We really must investigate the ingredients, starting with the one we know best, here in Saanich/Gulf Islands.
Elizabeth May lifted a glass to us when she said, “It is the community spirit of our area that inspires and encourages me to be the best MP I can be. For the last eight years, it has been an honour to work for you.” Maintaining top attendance in that wine cellar known as Ottawa’s House of Commons, she refuses the acidity of heckling – instead, sprinkling other MPs with kindness even when strongly disagreeing with their policies. The savory in her more than 80 townhall meetings since 2011 is her respectful, 1 1⁄2-hour recipe: 25 minutes summarizing parliamentary activities, followed by an hour listening to questions and providing answers. Elizabeth understands that listening is the primary ingredient, as it is the only way that meaningful action can follow.
Some of Elizabeth’s rich menu of accomplishments includes being an environmental lawyer, a professor with 4 honorary doctorates and author of 8 books. Besides serving on numerous international environmental boards, she’s been spiced up with many honours, including Parliamentarian of the Year, Hardest Working MP, Best Orator, Best Constituency MP, Best Public Speaker and the UN Global 500 Award.
Because Elizabeth listens like a gourmet to the variety of different tastes we all have, she has been able to stir support for hundreds of Saanich/Gulf Islands groups and projects. She understands various recipes for housing affordability, has helped reunite families, and has supported immigrants facing deportation. She’s created a variety of successful financial recipes, whether overcoming funding hardships for spouses, achieving benefits for veterans, reducing tax rates for small businesses, achieving federal grants for student summer jobs, or winning major grants for recreation centers. Other funding recipes she’s created for us include Galiano’s library, remediation of Reay Creek in Sidney, preparing for an overpass at Keating Cross Road, and expanding North Saanich’s Centre for Plant Health. Elizabeth has shown that a great political chef backs tourism, deals with derelict vessels and addresses freighter anchorages that disturb our resident whales.
Elizabeth demonstrates feeding a fair society by embracing reconciliation and justice with First Nations. A fair society also thoughtfully stirs the ending of fossil fuels by first supporting its workers. The current $3.3 billion in fossil fuel subsidies can gradually blend its 330,000 employees into well-paid jobs in the new Green economy. With its financially responsible diet, this 20-step recipe called Mission Possible can switch Canada’s “D” ranking record of greenhouse gases to a perennial model that will truly bear fruit.
Having tucked into more legislative amendments than any MP in history, Elizabeth highlights evidence-based decision-making. Recognizing the sweet taste of Elizabeth May as Canada’s strongest ambassador for a livable future, we can certainly trust her to continue serving healthy leadership. To have another four-year serving, our responsibility is to show up and vote on October 21st, 2019.