MPs returned to Ottawa this week after two weeks spent working in their constituencies. During that time, Elizabeth held around ten in-person community meetings, while Mike attended municipal and community events and hosted a listening circle with local Indigenous leaders to learn more about priorities of Indigenous community members.
This week, Elizabeth had the first hour of second reading for her Private Member’s Bill C-226 to end Environmental Racism. Her bill enjoys very strong cross-party support and is also supported by the government. In her speech, she noted that while the United States has had an Environmental Justice program for over thirty years, Canada is late to act to redress instances of environmental racism.
In a speech responding to the budget, Elizabeth reviewed the items that she supported, like dental care, child care and co-op housing. She also laid out criticisms for the lack of support for mental health, the opioid crisis, VIA rail and bus service across Canada, and failures in water policy. Ultimately, she said she could never vote for a budget that fails to heed the call of the IPCC to act now on climate.
On Thursday evening, Elizabeth spoke in-person at the Victoria City Council meeting on the vote to support the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.
In Question Period, Mike spoke of the urgent need for a Canada Disability Benefit. He highlighted that this legislation is already supported by MPs and Senators across party lines and urged the government not to wait any longer to introduce it.
Elizabeth asked why, when faced with the option to act “now or never” on climate change, the government chose “never.” She emphasized that there was no third option, to act “later,” because delaying drastic emissions reductions any further amounts to non-action.
In the news
Ban the use of thermal coal (closes May 10)
Stop the privatization of VIA Rail Canada (closes May 17)