Nine years of Greens (May 3, 2020)

Good Sunday Morning!

This Sunday marks the beginning of my tenth year as the Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands. Thanks to many of you, I have been re-elected twice and hope to hold the seat in the next federal election. (Yes, I am running again!)

If you are a constituent living in Saanich-Gulf Islands, I invite you to our second Virtual Community Meeting. It is this coming Friday, May 8th at 7 pm. Please RSVP so the team can send you the zoom link. Email:, or phone 250-657-2000. If you want to send a question in advance, write

Nine years have flown by. Bringing back memories, the Green Party office sent out this picture by twitter of the victory party May 2, 2011.

Seeing those happy faces makes me think about how far we have come from that night. I had hopes for more Greens in provinces across Canada – and we now have strong and effective Green voices in four provinces, from coast to coast, and our small, but mighty, caucus of three MPs in Ottawa. Since May 2, 2011, eighteen more Greens have been elected in British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and federally. There are also many more 9under the Green banner or not) elected in local governments.

This week we will also celebrate the first anniversary of Paul Manly’s election in the May 6, 2019 Nanaimo-Ladysmith by-election. We two, plus Jenica Atwin from Fredericton, are a formidable force! I love working with Paul and Jenica. Actually, I just love them.

I also wanted to share that photo this morning to thank the lady in the hot pink jacket! Marilyn Redivo gave me the hand-made lovely green face mask I wore into parliament on Wednesday, which you can see in this tweet.

On that night nine years ago, who could have imagined I would wear gloves and a face mask, carrying Lysol wipes in my bag, to enter parliament. For that matter, I wouldn’t have imagined it a few months ago!

We are already beginning to think of “what’s next?” The phrase, “we must not bounce back; we must bounce forward” is catching on.

I like to think of it as the next normal. It will not look anything like the world we knew before.

For one thing, oil is over. The pandemic-induced massive drop in demand could not have come at a worse time for the industry, reeling from the Saudi and Russian efforts to drive prices down. Even now that they have agreed to reduce production by 10%, experts are anticipating historic low prices will persist. We never really know what will happen post-pandemic. But even if misguided governments attempt to prop up fossil fuels, it is hard to see how they survive these strong headwinds.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is an Establishment authority on energy demand. It is not a left-leaning enviro-group. Yet, it is saying the COVID19 pandemic could permanently hurt the future of fossil fuels. According to an article in The Guardian:

“The International Energy Agency said the outbreak of Covid-19 would wipe out demand for fossil fuels by prompting a collapse in energy demand seven times greater than the slump caused by the global financial crisis.

“In a report, the IEA said the most severe plunge in energy demand since the second world war would trigger multi-decade lows for the world’s consumption of oil, gas and coal while renewable energy continued to grow.”

Taken directly from the IEA press release:

“A new report released today by the International Energy Agency provides an almost real-time view of the Covid-19 pandemic’s extraordinary impact across all major fuels. Based on an analysis of more than 100 days of real data so far this year, the IEA’s Global Energy Review includes estimates for how energy consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions trends are likely to evolve over the rest of 2020.

‘This is a historic shock to the entire energy world. Amid today’s unparalleled health and economic crises, the plunge in demand for nearly all major fuels is staggering, especially for coal, oil and gas. Only renewables are holding up during the previously unheard-of slump in electricity use,’ said Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director. ‘It is still too early to determine the longer-term impacts, but the energy industry that emerges from this crisis will be significantly different from the one that came before.’”

And note that line, “Only renewables are holding up…” The IEA sees renewable energy growing by 5% this year, to make up a full third of global electricity demand.

The reliability of solar and wind in particular is now being proven as fossil fuels collapse. Another nail in the coffin of the dangerous lies in the film I wrote about last week.

It is not too early to begin to think post-pandemic. What is the world we want?

I leave you hoping you are safe; hoping you are able to cope in isolation; staving off cabin-fever and being able to feel love — at a distance. I leave you with these wise words from my friend Vandana Shiva:

“Post Covid19, let us regenerate the economy with the consciousness all lives are equal, that we are part of the Earth, we are ecological, biological beings, working is our right and is at the heart of being human, and care for the Earth and each other is the most important work. There are no disposable or useless people.

“We are One Humanity on One Planet. Autonomy, meaning, dignity, work, freedom, democracy are our birth-right.”

Love and peace,


PS I thought you might like links to my statements in parliament this week and to an article I wrote about virtual parliament.

Virtual Parliament:

My whole speech on Wednesday April 29 in Parliament:

Question Period

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