On the 12th of December 2015, Canada signed the Paris Climate agreement. Since then, we have seen record setting years for average temperature, devastating flooding in all corners of the world and man-made environmental catastrophes in many of our planet’s most sensitive biomes.
Climate action requires us to reverse the damage that has already been done, not simply moderate the damage currently being inflicted. Global changes start with local initiatives and the time to act is now.
The immediate action areas I will address are;
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions with retrofittable modifications to buildings and businesses
Accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles in the public and private sector
Implementing stringent carbon pricing policies for businesses with rewards for those that adhere and strong repercussions for offenders
Advocate for sustainable and eco-friendly farming and agricultural technology
Guaranteed Livable Income
As living costs skyrocket, the threats of rising inflation loom and technological innovation increases automation, Canadian hourly wages have remained stagnant since the 1970s.
Guaranteed livable income will give all Canadians the opportunity to thrive, not just survive, offering the opportunity to upskill, start new ventures and be upwardly mobile. People will be given the chance to innovate and re-train without the pressure of needing to make ends meet every month, restoring dignity and providing a social safety net.
As Co-chair of the Green Party of Ontario’s Platform Committee, I am a key voice in formulating the policies around guaranteed livable income, which include;
$2000 dollars a month of all Ontarians, regardless of income level or background
Provide regional multipliers to account for differences in costs of food, housing and services
Affordable housing creates more than just physical buildings, it creates communities. Affordable housing attracts cornerstones such as teachers, firefighters, nurses and librarians who in turn provide key services which continue to enhance the community.
Affordable housing allows people to live close to their places of work, alleviating traffic congestion, improving air quality by reducing the number of cars and saving countless hours of commuting time. Owning a home should not be a privilege for a select few but rather an achievable goal for everybody.
The Green Party of Ontario has published a paper for sustainable and connected “15 minute” communities with all amenities and services within walking distance. Plans are proposed to put in barriers to stop speculation from driving people out of communities. As a millennial, the out of control housing market impacts me personally, motivating my advocacy to bring a sustainable solution to the affordable housing crisis.
If the Covid pandemic has shown us anything, it has demonstrated the importance of a robust and well supported universal healthcare program. The Green Party of Ontario advocates for a general policy of prevention rather than reactive treatment for all citizens as healthcare is an investment into communities and people.
Our healthcare system has been systematically dismantled by conservative governments since the 1990s and the consequences of those policies are being felt now. For example, the privatization of nursing homes and elder care led to thousands of unnecessary deaths due to Covid-19 with further cuts to our healthcare system being inevitable unless we act now.
The GPO aims to fill in the gaps created in our healthcare system with focus on;
Reducing the cost of pharmacare
Providing coverage for mental health
Including dental care as part of the government provided healthcare system
Improving access to and reducing the costs of vision care
Support for Small Businesses
Small businesses are the bedrock of the economy. They create jobs, drive innovation and create communities around them however lately they have been under attack. They have been battered by the impacts of Covid, rising rent costs, complex taxation and financial systems and difficult trade legislation have all compounded an already strained sector of the market.
Supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses to develop and grow is paramount to building a vibrant and diverse community as they will in turn help the community thrive. The Green Party of Ontario will be proactive in our support of small businesses, not reactive. Our plan will include;
Increasing government support for small businesses by a factor of 3
Using government procurement and supply chains to support marginalized communities to level the playing field
Extending the Business Improvement Area initiative and increase access to credit facilities to new and small businesses
Increasing training and early career opportunities for young people