Get out and vote Green in the election, May tells climate protesters
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May speaks to media following the English-language debate at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que., on Monday, October 7, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Wattie
LONGUEUIL, Que. -- Green Leader Elizabeth May supports activists who are blocking bridges to spur efforts against climate change, but she says people should get out and vote if they want real action.
During an election-campaign stop Tuesday in Longueuil, Que., on Montreal's South Shore, May said she backs the movement known as Extinction Rebellion, whose participants shut down Montreal's Jacques Cartier Bridge.
May said she generally supports actions of non-violent civil disobedience, noting she was arrested protesting the planned Trans Mountain Pipeline project in British Columbia. "So the anger from our youth and anger from Extinction Rebellion is something I totally understand."
But May quickly added that voting Green in the coming federal election is the most effective way to ensure Canada confronts the climate emergency by seriously curbing greenhouse-gas emissions.
"What's the most significant, meaningful thing you can do to get climate action? Right now we're having a referendum on climate in this country, that's what the election is about," she said.
"The much more effective way to get climate action is to make sure that everyone you know votes. Particularly young people -- get out and vote."
The Greens advocate phasing out bitumen production between 2030 and 2035, and object to approval of any new pipeline, coal-mining project, or oil or gas drilling.
Campaigning with candidate Pierre Nantel, who defected from the NDP earlier this year, May said the Greens will oppose construction of a fossil-fuel pipeline anywhere in Quebec.
In the English-language leaders' debate Monday, May chided Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau for pushing ahead with the Trans Mountain project and not doing enough to reduce emissions.
In a statement Tuesday, she said it's shocking that Trudeau "refuses to be clearer with Quebecers" on whether he will push a pipeline project in their backyard.
Last June, Nantel tabled a parliamentary motion affirming the Quebec government's right to refuse any pipeline project following a unanimous motion in the provincial legislature claiming that right.
The Greens say he is committed to tabling it again as a bill to ensure that Quebec, and the 11 Indigenous nations in the province, have a veto on pipelines.
"It's time to unite on the climate crisis," Nantel said Tuesday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 8, 2019.