While the past decade has seen the Green Party secure its place in parliament as the country’s fifth political party, its future in the political landscape appears to be marred by internal strife and controversy. This could explain why the party released a platform less than a week before the election.

The Greens were given their first seat in the House of Commons in 2011 by then-leader Elizabeth May. As their number of seats rose to three in the 2019 election, May resigned as leader immediately after. In 2020, Annamie Paul was elected to lead the party, although the Greens have since been consumed by the protest. The Federal Council, a governing body appointed by party members, has attempted to revoke Paul’s membership in the party, a matter that has been referred to arbitration and has since been blocked. The dispute is now in the hands of the courts and the party has since elected a new federal council. Last June, MP Jenica Atwin gave the floor to the Liberals on Green Middle East policy, reducing the number of seats held by the party to two.

The internal conflict seems to go beyond the party’s tension towards its leader. The Globe and Mail obtained a copy of an internal report on the Greens, which found that the party had significant issues with racism and transphobia and that the organization had failed to effectively deal with the issue.

It remains to be seen how the challenges within the Greens focused on climate change will impact the upcoming elections.

Green Party policy on climate change is strong, but they haven’t made a mark

Gerald Baier, associate professor of political science at the University of British Columbia, says the Green Party is a candidate when it comes to policies specifically relating to climate change, although it does not appear that they are ready to make a breakthrough when Canadians head to the September 20 polls.

“They have been involved in raising issues of climate change for a long time and these have featured more prominently in elections than in the past,” he says. “The Green Party is partly responsible for this development. The question is whether the party has achieved its objective in raising these issues or whether there is a real place for them in the House of Commons in the future.

Cara Camcastle, a lecturer in the political science department at Simon Fraser University, says the Greens have been successful in the constituencies they were elected to.

“The Greens who were elected in British Columbia have already been elected several times,” she said. “Elizabeth May is well known in her community … she and Paul Manly are experts in criticizing government and speaking out on climate change issues, which is a priority for Canadians.”

But Baier says that when a party leader has lost the confidence of candidates and campaigners, it can sap the energy of what they can do on the ground to win seats.

“Where it’s been successful is finding ridings, like Elizabeth May’s, where they have a good chance,” Baier says.

The game is stacked against them, so they must play the game given to them. So that means finding a way and hoping to build on that momentum in the future.Gerald Baier, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of British Columbia

What is the Green Party defending?

The party released a platform less than a week before the election, with the core focusing on aggressively reducing greenhouse gases to ‘net zero’ by 2050 – something no other party has. promised – and the cancellation of pipelines.

While campaigning in August, Leader Annamie Paul said there was one, but the party’s policies on environmental issues were identical to what he previously described in 2019. She also urged Canadians to resort to online research if they wanted to learn more about the Greens. climate change policies.

In the “Our Vision” section of the Greens’ website, the party pledges to “take meaningful action to prevent climate catastrophe”.

Some key points include:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2030 and to zero by 2050

  • End all subsidies to the fossil fuel industry

  • Leading a movement to divest from fossil fuels, starting with the federal government

  • Quickly phase out coal-fired electricity and move to a prosperous low-carbon economy

  • Invest in a Canadian grid strategy to provide 100% renewable electricity across Canada

The Greens also pledged to end the first past the post electoral system, expand and protect healthcare, and tackle homelessness. They pledged to work with other parties to target unmanageable housing costs by declaring a national housing emergency.

The party also pledged to develop a guaranteed basic income and work towards building a minimum of 300,000 affordable housing units over the next decade.

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