News & Events


Lorraine Rekmans—Green Party

Nature Conservation:
Q: With 12% of public land and 1% of its ocean currently protected, Canada is far behind in protecting nature and its biodiversity.  What will you do to ensure Canada meets its international commitment of protecting at least 20% of land and 10% of its ocean by 2020?

A: The Green Party of Canada set out a plan developed by grassroots Canadians to ensure a sustainable future grounded in fiscal responsibility, ecological health and social justice.  We have a triple bottom line (economic, ecological, and social ) approach to every policy.  We in Canada are stewards of 9% of the world’s renewable water and we must conserve it for this and future generations.  We must first keep our water.  We oppose bulk water exports of our freshwater. We will protect the fundamental right to clean freshwater by incorporating this right into the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We will establish a Canada water fund of $215 million.

We will protect and restore ecosystem health to Canada’s coastline and our inland watersheds.

We will require and assessment of the state of agricultural land in Canada and encourage the preservation of agricultural lands for food production through tax reform and incentives.

As a Green MP I will commit to the completion of the national parks system and fast track the establishment of ‘no-take’ marine protected areas.  All our initiatives will be based on consultation with all affected parties.

 

Energy East:
Q: If elected, what will you do to address the environmental concerns the community of North Grenville have on the proposed Energy East pipeline; specifically regarding the Rideau River, the Oxford Aquifer and the climate change impacts of expanding the tar sands? And how would you address the economic concerns of potential increased natural gas prices as a result in a decrease in supply?

A: The Green Party of Canada is opposed to the escalation of raw bitumen export.  I am opposed to the construction of the pipeline.  I do not support reckless and unbridled export of raw resources.  If this pipeline is ever built, it will provide an excuse to remain dependent on fossil fuels and vulnerable to world market prices.  This proposal makes no sense if we want to build sustainable economies and resilient communities.

As a Green, I am focused on investment in greener technologies.  Our plan is to move to the virtual elimination of fossil fuel use in Canada by mid-century.  We believe energy should be both clean and affordable. We will follow the lead of countries like Germany where more than 1.4 million clean tech jobs have been created. We have to respect the workers whose livelihoods still depend on oil and support these works with retraining through a transition period, to retain good, long-term reliable jobs that are closer to home.  These jobs currently take people thousands of kilometers away from their families.

We will implement a robust climate and energy strategy and implement a carbon fee and dividend.  There will be a fee placed on the release of carbon and the revenue collected will be paid out to citizens as a dividend. We will address energy conservation.

Also, we will oppose and repeal Bill C-51 to ensure that our environmental stewards and people of conscience in Canada are not criminalized for protecting their ecosystems.

Concerns about home heating affordability can be addressed through the Green proposal of a Guaranteed Livable Income (citizen’s dividend) We will phase in a national GLI to ensure that no person’s income in this country falls below what is necessary for health, life and dignity.  This will be accomplished in cooperation through our Canadian Federation.  We will create a Council of Canadian Governments that includes provinces, municipalities, First Nations, Inuit and Metis)

 

Science:
Q: Canadians deserve a government that is open, transparent and committed to science. Will you support the free speech of federal scientists, opening up the review processes to all Canadians? Will you develop policy and other decisions based on best available scientific evidence?

A: Muzzling anyone stifles our democracy and stops our country from being progressive.   The longer people are muzzled and prohibited from providing needed information the farther behind we fall as a country.  I support free speech.

Greens will invest in science, technology and research and development.  We must have access to all information in order to weather the uncertainties that will be created due to climate change. At this time in the history of Canada, science is greatly necessary. We will rebuild public scientific capacity by investing $75-million annually.

Greens, also do no muzzle their MPs, we have no whipped vote and we are not required to agree with our Party leader, or tow the party line.  Green MPs know that we represent our constituents.  Every voice is needed in a healthy democracy. Every MP needs to stand up in Ottawa and speak for the citizens.

Our principles as Greens mean that we develop policy by consensus, cooperation and in collaboration with many.  That is how our Party always comes up with the best ideas.
Rural realities:

Q: Rural municipalities face a variety of trade-offs with respect to land use, infrastructure, climate change effects, transportation needs (NG has 80%+ commuters), ameliorating natural and human disasters (e.g. oil spills or flooding) and social housing. What supports will you, as federal representative, offer this region’s municipalities to ensure rural realities are addressed and these municipalities are ensured strong advocacy?

Greens have a plan to work together with provinces and municipalities through our Council of Canadian Governments to ensure community needs are addressed through responsible fiscal transfers. We will invest in the building blocks of communities from healthcare, to transit, child care, public parks, bridges, and support local agriculture.  Our aim is to improve the quality of life and affordability for people who live in rural areas.

Greens have a plan to create a National Transportation Strategy and invest in rail. It is our dream to connect Canadians through low carbon, efficient transportation.

We have a plan to invest in emergency preparedness to ensure communities are ready and equipped to deal with the impacts of climate change.

 

Climate and the Economy:

Q: Canadians subsidize the fossil fuel industry to the tune of $1.3 Billion per year despite the industry being in a downturn. Major weather events have been induced by climate change and have cost lives and billions of tax dollars. Provinces that have put a price on carbon have seen emissions decrease with an increase in their economy. How will you address fossil fuel subsidies and what do you envision for a national carbon policy?

A: As Green MP I will vote to end subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.

Greens will implement national price on carbon.  This is the smartest and most efficient way to shift away from fossil fuels. The funds generated by this carbon fee will be paid out to every Canadian over the age of 18 in the form of an annual carbon dividend. This is likely the only dividend scenario, when you would actually want your dividend to be smaller.  We will drive carbon emitters to do better and limit releases, the less they emit, the less they will have to pay.