Yesterday, at the General Dynamics plant in London, Ontario, I joined with Amnesty International and dozens of human rights activists to condemn the Trudeau government’s sale of weaponized personnel carriers to the brutal Saudi autocracy. As I explained in my speech, the Green Party of Canada has long opposed the sale of these weapons to Saudi Arabia. In the 1970s, with the help of Pierre Trudeau’s government, this plant was converted from peaceful purposes to the construction of armoured vehicles. If Canada’s government can expend taxpayer funds to convert these manufacturing facilities into producers of weapons, it can now invest taxpayer funds to ensure that these same facilities contribute to an indispensable transition to a renewable energy economy.
I’m honoured to the have endorsement of Roger Waters in the Green Party of Canada’s Leadership race. Roger is not only an extraordinary musician, he is also admired around the world as a champion of human rights and social justice.
This morning, I learned that my application to participate in the Green Party of Canada leadership race has been accepted following a successful appeal from a decision of a vetting committee.
My campaign team and I are overjoyed at this opportunity to fight for the values we hold dear: social and environmental justice, diversity, non-violence, and participatory democracy. We’re excited to be part of a diverse and dynamic field of candidates, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with them during this race.
This process has proven that the Green Party does politics differently. Unlike the secretive vetting process used by other parties, I was given the identity of the vetting committee members and a list of their concerns. During my appeal, I was given the opportunity to submit a written statement, and to participate in a candid discussion with the appeal commitee.
I applaud the appeal committee’s decision to place its trust in party members. This outcome sends a strong message to progressives across this country that the Green Party is the home of grassroots democracy. I encourage everyone in this country who wants to be part of a progressive, democratic party to join the Green Party today.
I’d like to thank the many party members who spoke passionately about the need for a fair process. I am also grateful to my fellow candidates, who offered their support both publicly and privately. This party’s commitment to democracy and collaboration runs deep.
Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to my partner and two children, who were a source of strength for me during the appeal process.
From today our campaign moves forward, more ready than ever to champion the causes of social, environmental, and economic justice in Canada and around the world.
In this week’s episode of Dimitri Live, I and my co-hosts Lia Tarachansky, Wendy Goldsmith and Atul Bahl discussed how we can build a more caring society as we emerge from the pandemic.
We talked in particular about the need for a national mental healthcare strategy and the strengthening of our healthcare system.
For example, Canada ranks 51st in the world in the number of doctors per capita (behind Ukraine, Mongolia and Kuwait). Cuba, by contrast, has the highest number of doctors per capita in the world.
Our healthcare system needs more doctors, and there is no reason why a country as wealthy as Canada cannot do much better. I hope you will listen to our discussion:
Last month, in a letter to the Hill Times, I responded to an op-ed by Phil Gurski, a former senior strategic analyst with Canada’s spy agency (CSIS), in which Mr. Gurski raised the spectre of potential violence by environmental activists. After the Hill Times published my letter, Mr. Gurski kindly invited me onto his weekly program to debate national security, the threat posed by the fossil fuels industry and terrorism.
In our debate, which Mr. Gurski published today, I argued (starting at 8:58 of the podcast) that one of the greatest threats to Canada’s national security is in fact the fossil fuels industry and that, far from being a threat to national security, those who resist the fossil fuels industry are acting in the national interest.
I also argued that the legislation governing CSIS is broad enough to authorize CSIS to treat the fossil fuels industry as a national security threat, but that the government appointees who manage CSIS have a pro-fossil fuels bias – just like the Liberal and Conservative politicians who appointed them.
Finally, I argued (starting at 25:50 of the podcast) that Western governments and intelligence agencies are ignoring the true causes of terrorism, that there is no military solution to terrorism and that the true solution to terrorism is political in nature.
You can listen to our debate here: