Here's how the NDP under Jagmeet Singh has tried to outflank the Greens on environmental issues in B.C.

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      Last May, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh suffered a devastating defeat.

      His party lost the Nanaimo-Ladysmith by-election to the Green candidate Paul Manly, who ran hard against the B.C. NDP government's environmental record.

      In particular, Manly's campaign focused on the John Horgan government's support for the proposed carbon-spewing LNG Canada plant near Kitimat and the Indigenous-rights-trampling and farmland-destroying Site C dam in northeastern B.C. 

      Manly, the son of a former NDP MP, won easily.

      Nanaimo-Ladysmith should have been a safe NDP seat, given the region's decades of labour history and Nanaimo's role as the hub city for Vancouver Island north of Duncan.

      In the wake of this defeat, it was clear that the federal NDP needed to act quickly to blunt the Greens before the general election in the fall.

      So what did the party do?

      It lined up a cast of environmental heavyweights.

      Grand Chief Stewart Phillip's wife Joan was nominated in the B.C. Interior. The Phillips' friend, Chief Bob Chamberlin, is running again in Nanaimo-Ladysmith.

      Chamberlin is a high-profile advocate for moving fish farms away from wild salmon migratory routes.

      A long-time champion of environmental causes, Svend Robinson, was nominated in Burnaby North–Seymour. He was endorsed by David Suzuki.

      And in Vancouver Granville, where environmental issues are particularly important, the NDP nominated young climate activist Yvonne Hanson, who participates in Extinction Rebellion protests.

      To further strengthen its environmental and Indigenous connections, the party settled on left-wing Métis lawyer Breen Ouellette in Vancouver Centre over far better known trans activist Morgane Oger and actor, comedian, and director David C. Jones.

      And a well-known environmentalist, Stephen Crozier, was nominated in South Surrey–White Rock, where the party doesn't have a chance.

      The NDP made similar moves in other provinces. Éric Ferland, executive director of Foire Écosphère, was nominated in Longueuil-Saint-Hubert after the former NDP MP said he was running for the Greens in 2019.  Ferland is a former leader of the Quebec Greens.

      Paul Manly won a landslide victory in Nanaimo-Ladysmith after he and Green Leader Elizabeth May zeroed in on the provincial NDP goverrnment's record on environmental issues.
      Canadian Greens

      The NDP already has environmentally minded B.C. incumbents like bird researcher Richard Cannnings in South Okanagan–West Kootenay, Gord Johns in Courtenay–Alberni, and Peter Julian in Burnaby–New Westminster.

      Julian even went on tour in the campaign to tout the NDP's Green New Deal, emphasizing that it would respect agreements and treaties with Indigenous peoples.

      The inclusion of Robinson, Hanson, Ouellette, Crozier, Chamberlin, and others on the slate has only strengthened the NDP's green cred in the wake of the by-election loss.

      The federal party has been helped by provincial New Democrats keeping their distance from the federal campaign. NDP-supporting unions have also kept a low profile.

      All of this has created room for Jagmeet Singh and the federal party to rebrand themselves as fighters for the environment.

      Keep in mind that the NDP's platform proposals would reduce carbon dioxide equivalent emissions to just over 600 megatonnes by 2030.

      The Greens' more aggressive platform calls for reductions to below 450 megatonnes, according to a CBC article by Inayat Singh and Andreas Wesley. That's under the target of 511 megatonnes to meet Canada's commitments under the Paris Agreement (30 percent below 2005 emission levels).

      Writing in the Straight, science journalist Ziya Tong also found that the Green platform went the furthest in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

      But the NDP is now back in the game on environmental issues by recruiting so many trusted voices to its side.

      On Election Day, they'll find out if that's been sufficient to blunt the Green challenge in British Columbia.

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