I grew up in Point Grey, in a housing co-op across the street from Jericho Beach, and my husband and I are raising our two young daughters here now. I know this riding well. I know that no matter how people have voted in past elections—whether they supported the Socreds, the Liberals, or the NDP—the voters of Point Grey are concerned about the health of their natural environment. And for at least 30 years, since the B.C. Green party was founded in 1983, successive provincial governments have been letting us down.
When it’s election time we hear all the right things, but once they’re in power they seem to stop basing their policies on evidence. Instead they allow focus groups, poll results, and pressure from campaign funders to guide decisions about major infrastructure projects and resource management.
People are losing faith in government. In the 2011 by-election, when Christy Clark won Gordon Campbell’s seat, 61 percent of eligible Point Grey voters stayed home and didn’t cast a ballot. Their silence spoke volumes about people’s feelings towards the two main options currently on B.C.’s political landscape.
It’s easy to understand why people are turned off by status quo politics. Polarized bickering and political posturing in the legislature have led to total stagnation on the issues that matter most to British Columbians: a more sustainable economy that generates local wealth in our communities; improving education, health care, and child care; increasing public transit—I could go on. It’s time government got back to governing for the common good. We need our politicians to look out for us—for the spaces in society that we all share—not to make backroom deals away from public scrutiny.
In this election, the voters of Point Grey have the chance to send a message that could be heard around the country. No matter who forms B.C.’s government in May, we need to let them know loud and clear that environmental issues cannot be ignored. It’s no longer a question of merely preventing climate change; it’s also about adapting to the realities of an already changing Earth. We need clear heads in Victoria to provide balance and perspective as we chart our way through the unfamiliar waters ahead.
The Green party has a plan for a new way of doing things. We desperately need electoral reform and a government that better reflects our diverse points of view. We need to accept that basing our entire economic system on infinite GDP growth just isn’t possible on a planet with finite resources. We need to start gradually transitioning to the sustainable economy of the future today, before it’s too late.
That’s why Point Grey needs me as its MLA in Victoria. Elizabeth May has demonstrated the power of a lone Green voice in Ottawa. Let me be a Green voice speaking up for you, and for the issues that concern us all equally—for the health of our waterways and ecosystems, for the air we all breathe, for better doctors and schools, and for a more representative and more balanced government.
This May 14, I want you to send a clear message about the priorities that people in Point Grey take seriously. It’s not too late take meaningful action to address climate change, but we need to act now. We need everyone’s voice at the table. Don’t fall prey to the politics of cynicism and apathy. Instead of voting against the other guys, vote for something for a change. Vote for what we can all agree on. Vote Green. It’s the strategic choice.