This week Green MPs responded to the shocking killing of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in the United States, and the ensuing protests across North America. The Green caucus stands in solidarity with victims of race-based violence and is committed to creating a more just and diverse society. Please see the resources section below for a list of Canadian charities that support the Black community.
Elizabeth returned to Ottawa this week to represent the Green Caucus on the Hill in person. She will remain in Ottawa until the end of this session, around June 17th.
Elizabeth’s response to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement addressing George Floyd’s killing was a resounding affirmation that “Black lives matter, Indigenous lives matter”. She also held a press conference on this topic. Jenica repeated this affirmation when she recited some of the names of Black and Indigenous Canadians and Americans killed by police officers. She challenged the government to create a concrete plan to fight racism in it’s own institutions, address the unacceptable lag in settlement payments for survivors of the 60s scoop, and make promising treatments for ALS more accessible to Canadians.
Elizabeth focussed on Canada’s international relations in her questions. She pressed the Minister of Environment, again, to keep Canada’s commitments under the Paris agreement and set a new climate target this year, to prevent Israel from annexing occupied territories in the West Bank, and to help pro-democracy asylum seekers and Canadian citizens in Hong Kong to return to Canada.
In his questions this week, Paul asked about much needed improvements to the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA), which he stated is not helping enough small businesses. He also asked about the Canada-China FIPPA, a lopsided investor-state agreement which the Conservatives ratified without debate in the House of Commons. He wanted to know whether any Chinese corporations had threatened to use the anti-democratic investor-state provisions of the FIPPA to seek financial compensation from Canadian taxpayers, and whether the government will re-engage the special committee on Canada-China relations to do a thorough investigation of this agreement.
On Wednesday, Paul held the first of his Community Conversation series. He discussed mental health and safety at home in the context of COVID-19 with family counselor Tracy Myers. Next Wednesday he will hold the second in the series, with agriculturalist Chris “Farmer” Brown, about food security and community resilience.
Elizabeth also held a Virtual Community Meeting this week, communicating with her constituents from Ottawa. Jenica held a webinar on the Accessible Canada Act, where participants shared personal experiences and discussed the need to make communities more accessible and inclusive. American sign language interpreters participated and there were other accessibility tools for participants to engage. Jenica and the Green caucus have been pushing for supports for individuals with disabilities throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
Question Period and Member’s Statements
- Jenica Atwin: Let’s commit to fighting racism in government institutions
- Jenica Atwin: Why have the 60s Scoop survivors not yet been paid?
- Jenica Atwin: Will the Minister of Health remove barriers to effective ALS treatment?
- Paul Manly: CECRA needs to be more flexible for small businesses to survive
- Paul Manly asks about the Canada-China FIPPA
- Elizabeth May: What is the government doing to help Canadian citizens in Hong Kong return to Canada?
- Elizabeth May: How will Canada prevent Israel from annexing occupied territories in the West Bank?
- Elizabeth May: When will the government meet the commitments of the Paris agreement?
- Elizabeth May objects to Conservative heckling during the COVI committee
Statements and Press Releases
In Their Own Words
- Elizabeth May: We Cannot Tolerate Racism, but We Know it’s Here
- Jenica Atwin on CTV News: Mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Elizabeth May: Good Sunday Morning – May 31
- Elizabeth May Wants Canada To Accept U.S. Asylum Seekers Now That Country ‘No Longer Safe’ (Huffington Post)
Petitions tabled by Green MPs this week
- Uphold UNDRIP and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action
- Call for an investigation on organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners
- Marine Protected Areas
E-petitions open for signature
- e-2525 Eliminate fossil fuel subsidies (closes June 15)
- e-2447 Open competition for research funding (closes June 23)
- e-2450 Legalize the transportation of CBD products across the Canadian border (closes June 26)
- e-2624 Include long-term care in the public health system (closes July 3)
- e-2416 Mandatory labelling of food containing GMOs (closes July 4)
- e-2471 Grant the RCMP Funding for Body Cameras (closes July 16)
- e-2534 Amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (closes August 14)
- e-2565 Request that Israel immediately lift the blockade on Gaza (closes September 4)
- e-2583 Implement a Guaranteed Livable Income (closes 19 August)
- e-2615 Divest CPP from fossil fuel investments (closes October 3)
- Prisoner Emergency Support Fund
- Justice for Regis
- Black Liberation Council
- Federation of Black Canadians
- Support family of Chantel Moore
- Black coalition for AIDS prevention
- Black Youth Helpline
- NIA Centre for the arts
- Black legal action centre
- Black mental health matters