Elizabeth May, here at her victory party Monday night, said she would likely run again in 2023 to be the MP for Saanich Gulf-Islands, but left open the possibility that she might step from the party’s leadership (Arnold Lim/News Staff)

Elizabeth May, here at her victory party Monday night, said she would likely run again in 2023 to be the MP for Saanich Gulf-Islands, but left open the possibility that she might step from the party’s leadership (Arnold Lim/News Staff)

May sees room for consensus on climate action, pharmacare in new Parliament

The Greens return with three MPs, fewer than many anticipated after promising signs of support

Green Leader Elizabeth May hopes to use whatever influence her three-member caucus has to ensure bolder climate action, a pharmacare plan and a promise of lower cellphone rates make their way into the next throne speech.

May has spoken with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau since Monday’s election and expects to have an ongoing dialogue with federal leaders before Parliament resumes.

The Greens return with three MPs, fewer than many anticipated after promising signs of support from voters early in the campaign.

Still, May said in an interview Wednesday she sees opportunity for consensus with the Liberals and New Democrats on key issues.

The Liberals will have incentive to prove they’re accomplishing things in a minority Parliament if they want to remain in power, May said.

She will try to leverage that reality to make gains on addressing the climate crisis.

READ MORE: Elizabeth May coy about leadership plans

May wants Canada to seriously curb greenhouse-gas emissions by agreeing to aggressive new targets at the global Conference of Parties meeting in Chile in December.

“If we’re going to avoid an unlivable world, we have months, not years, to fix this,” she said.

“So we’ll need to apply maximum pressure right now on the Liberals to change our climate target before the negotiations begin at COP 25 in Santiago.”

At a news conference Wednesday, Trudeau signalled a willingness to work with fellow parliamentarians on priorities, including climate change, though he ruled out any kind of coalition.

May sees common ground on a renegotiated national health accord that includes pharmacare and dental care for low-income Canadians. “I think there’s room for consensus on that.”

Such plans could take shape informally among likeminded party leaders in coming weeks, May suggested.

“We could have some time of just talking to one another as leaders on the phone, trying to figure out are there places where we could decide now — let’s work to consensus on things like pharmacare, let’s work to consensus on climate action.”

Parties could also agree on more affordable cellphone rates and collecting a fair share of taxes from global, web-based businesses operating in Canada, she said.

May stressed the importance of working with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh despite lingering anger over what she sees as grossly unfair attacks on her party in British Columbia during the campaign.

May hopes leaders will agree to bring a more civil tone to parliamentary debate after seeing respect and decorum disintegrate in the last sitting.

“This could get much, much worse,” she said.

“If we start out where we left off, it’s going to be unwatchable. Canadians will not want their children to watch Parliament.”

Jim Bronskill , The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The average selling price of a single-family home in Terrace has climbed 26 per cent in the last year. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)
House prices soar in Terrace

Average prices increased by 26 per cent

Nurse Vicki Niemi administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to Joyce, 88, on Mar. 23, 2020 at the Terrace Sportsplex. All adults in Terrace are now eligible to register for a COVID-19 vaccination. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
All adults in Terrace can now register for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment

Community members can register by calling 833-838-2323 or visiting getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca

April 2020 to March 2021 was the second wettest year on record since at least 1969, according to Environment Canada. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
VIDEO: Terrace records wettest spell in over a half-century

Terrace saw close to 1,500 millimetres of precipitation between April 2020 and March 2021

Terrace fire department responded to a call from Skeena Saw Mills at the early hours of Friday morning. (Binny Paul/ Terrace Standard)
UPDATE: Fire crews respond to early morning incident at Skeena Sawmills

No injuries were reported as mill workers immediately alerted the fire department after seeing smoke

Terrace Tim Hortons on Keith Ave. experienced a fire during the morning of April 4, 2021. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
Nature of Tim Hortons fire made it difficult to detect: Deputy fire chief

Fire likely burned undetected inside a wall, resulting in extensive damage

People take part in an anti-curfew protest in Montreal on Sunday April 11, 2021. Hundreds of people gathered in Old Montreal tonight in defiance of a new 8 p.m. curfew. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Giuseppe Valiante
VIDEO: Hundreds defy Montreal’s 8 p.m. curfew in violent, destructive protest

Quebec reported 1,535 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, as well as five additional deaths linked to the virus

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to register people ages 40+ for COVID-19 vaccines in April

Appointments are currently being booked for people ages 66 and up

A volunteer disinfects a historical Mohabat Khan mosque ahead of the upcoming Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Friday, April 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)
For Canadian Muslims, second pandemic Ramadan is a time of hope and sadness

Many members of the association are trying to find ways ‘to help people stay connected to one another’

South Surrey farmland, March 2020. The province’s crackdown on secondary residences sparked protests that have the NDP government engaged in a lengthy rewrite of its legislation. (Tracy Holmes/Peace Arch News)
B.C. NDP now wants to keep even ‘non-farmers’ on the land

‘Grandfathering’ of second residences extended again

Photos of Vancouver Canucks players are pictured outside the closed box office of Rogers Arena in downtown Vancouver Thursday, April 8, 2021. The Vancouver Canucks say 25 players and coaches have tested positive during a COVID-19 outbreak that involves a variant of the virus. It is now the biggest reported outbreak in the NHL this season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks’ return to practice pushed back as player added to COVID protocol list

COVID outbreak has led to eight games being cancelled

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

Most Read