Community Matters tour brings Elizabeth May to Kamloops

The Green Party leader took an evening to talk all things climate and the 2019 election

May spent 20 minutes talking about her wishes for the future of Canada. Decarbonizing Canada was just one of the many topics May covered in her talk, pushing the idea of a clean east-west energy grid. (Justin Moore/The Omega)

The Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May visited Kamloops last Monday, March 4 at St. Andrews on the Square. May is currently touring across Canada calling her time with locals Community Matters.

May recalled her last visit to Kamloops during the discussions around Ajax Mine back in 2017 which was later rejected by the Federal government then rejected due to air quality and environmental concerns.

May told listeners to look back and celebrate their victory over Ajax, saying, “We move so fast that we forget to celebrate our victories because as soon as they’re over, we recognize things are so much worse everywhere else.”

The Green Party leader continued to speak and emphasize the importance of this election year and how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report, keeping the planet’s temperature below 1.5 degrees, would play into this year’s political outcome.

“It’s not just the hope for a goal, the world’s scientists have told us that that is an essential goal if we want to survive,” May said. “While we have a chance to do a significant fundamental course correction on climate policy, it’s this election. The election in 2023 is too late.”

May spoke of her hope for a greener Canada with a new climate policy that shifts away from fossil fuels while still keeping Canadians employed, a transition to greener power in every community through geothermal, solar and wind power.

“Our number one infrastructure need right now is to improve our east to west electricity grid, so that where we have renewable energy in excess, we can provide at a good price to the province next door,” May said.

Instead of investing in the Trans Mountain Pipeline Project, May would have liked to see an investment towards further decarbonizing Canada’s energy grid.

“Alberta has the country’s best potential for solar, we want to capitalize on that, it also has great wind potential and by having an east-west grid, British Columbia could be selling into, but we have to make sure the price is good because we want to make this transition healthy for Canadians,” she said.

For May, it all comes down to the vote in October of 2019, saying that climate strikes and student walkouts happening around the world on the topic of climate reform are the main ballot issues of this year.

“It isn’t carbon taxes, yes or no, it’s do we want to ensure the human civilization is going to survive? If so, every single person that’s thinking about these issues, regardless about how you think you want to vote, you have to vote,” May urged.

The Green Party’s tour will continue through Canada with the use of Via Rail and electric vehicles to travel between communities in keeping with the party’s and May’s values.