Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says there are areas of common policy interest where she can work with the Liberal minority government, including addressing Indigenous issues.
“Let’s follow the B.C. legislature and in our federal parliament bring forward legislation that makes the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples the law of the land in Canada,” May said during a press conference on Thursday to announce the Green Party’s terms in the minority parliament.
Her press conference came after B.C. introduced to implement the legislation United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples mandating the government to bring its laws and policies into harmony with the principles of the declaration.
May also says she wants to work with the Liberal minority government on bringing in a single-use plastic ban and prioritizing climate change measures that are collaborative and well-informed by science. She also wants progress on a pharmacare plan and lower cellphone rates.
The Green leader is also not expecting another federal election any time soon.
“I doubt very much that the other parties in Parliament will be prepared to go back to the polls, not on principle but purely on the mechanics of another election and them not being ready,” May said.
“Things didn’t break the way I had thought they might. We would have been the only ones in the House who would be prepared to pull the plug and go to an election over a matter of principle.”
Although May, 65, would again lead the Greens in the unlikely event of a snap election, it would not serve the interests of the party to helm another run four years from now, she said.
“It’s not as if being leader of the Green party is something that I do because I love being leader of the Green party. I love the Green party and this is a service,” she said.
“I think it’s quite unlikely that I’ll be the leader of the Green party going into a future election if it’s on anything like a four-year timing.”
May, who has led the party since 2006, indicated her small caucus B.C. MP Paul Manly and newcomer Jenica Atwin of Fredericton — will have a say in her future.
“I have some choices to make about what best serves the interests of Canada, the interests of the Green party writ large and more specifically the interests of two people that I adore _ Jenica and Paul, who have every reason to be able to weigh in on the decision.”
Regardless, May said, it is “very likely” she will run again in her Saanich Gulf Islands riding.
May recalls feeling despondent in 2015 at heading back to the House as the lone Green MP.
“I don’t feel crushed today, not at all,” she said. “Going back to Parliament as a group of three? We’ve never had that.”
May is also heartened that over 50 Green candidates garnered at least 10 per cent of the vote in their ridings.
“We are now accepted, not in one region but pretty much across Canada, as a viable party. We’re positioned in a way that means, quite solidly, we’re not going away.”
With files from Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press