FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2022 GPC leadership campaign:
12 Point Priority Action Plan
"Our platform seeks to engage all Canadians with practical problem solving supported by thoughtful stewardship" - Don Elzer
July 11, 2022
VERNON, BRITISH COLUMBIA – Don Elzer has launched an exploratory effort to become the leader of the Green Party of Canada. He’s seeking the party leadership to address a long list of issues in the country which he suggests requires “tangible systematic change.” The following represents the 12 key priorities in the Don Elzer Leadership Team Platform.
Our leadership campaign is about supporting and celebrating Green Party of Canada policies created by scores of volunteers from communities across the country. It is our intention to add value to these past efforts in order to create a dynamic vision of what a Canada might look like with Green voices elected to government.
Our campaign is not without hurdles – we are against forced medical intervention from both governments and corporations so we demand that the Government of Canada and all governments for that matter remove all aspects of mandates, domestic passports and forced vaccination policies and instead build national efforts to combat the threat of illness based on communication, debate and education.
As a nation we have become divided and it will be the Greens that will support and encourage a heart-centred approach towards diverse views and beliefs that will rebuild our sense of national unity.
We will demonstrate and set an example for empathy. As we care for others, we will cool down the social temperature which is running a high fever across this country. We will elevate the importance of equality and be tolerant of the different “roles” and perspectives found within Canadian society.
This 12 Point Priority Action Plan represents a sketch for issues which are complicated and it is our intention to expand on each of these points as the leadership contest moves forward.
Environmental degradation looms large as natural resource extraction runs unchecked as ecosystems struggle in the wake of climate change and negligence. We are facing an unprecedented crisis as our tourism and hospitality industries are near collapse and as inflation and high interest rates batter ordinary Canadians. We have much to say about the need for Indigenous reconciliation and human rights both locally and globally. As Greens we will develop a conversation about a renewed or new Bill of Rights that takes into account the changing social landscape that we live within today in an effort to prepare for tomorrows dreams and aspirations as we navigate through difficult times.
Please explore our 12 Point Priority Action Plan:
“Creative Freedom” is the safe and secure means by which to dream, imagine, engage and act. To be free to empower oneself including the holding of beliefs of choice. Creative Freedom is at the core for building an engaged and responsible society. Such personal freedoms are required so that we may create a genuine and caring society and this becomes an important building block for our civil liberties. So what we are saying, let's turn down the temperature and let’s get back to basics – lets encourage debate but be tolerant of each other – let's be neighbours who depend on each other.
RENEW AND UPHOLD TRADITIONAL GREEN VALUES
Canadians have depended on Greens to be advocates for environmental protection - the protector of people, species, places and the planet. Green leadership requires that we educate the public as to how the Greens have been essential with establishing environmental protection, conservation and regulation with regards to nuclear energy and warheads; impacts from pollution and natural resource extraction. Historically Greens have exposed negligence and even flawed science carried out by both industry and governments which in-turn have saved lives and places.
Today it is time for a new Green Bill of Rights to compliment the Canadian Charter. For every Canadian we need to secure safe food, shelter, clothing and fair and equal access to safe technology and transportation.
CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
We must develop and deliver practical solutions to address climate change and the end of oil, so we must divest while we invest. We must divest in all forms of energy production that requires a natural resource supply such as nuclear and fossil fuels but we must invest in these sectors as they adjust their profit centres into renewables.
As a priority we must support and invest so that advancements can occur in renewables while at the same time supporting efforts to create community-based utilities which will help with the distribution of affordable energy solutions.
We must deliver climate change action much quicker and this can be helped with a national conservation, soil and aforestation strategy.
FOOD AND MEDICINE SECURITY
Our local and domestic supply of food is uncertain. This is why we are proposing a “Community Food Charter Program” which supports communities in their efforts to determine the level of local production and supply that exists and then to forecast what the community requires. These charters will determine on a local level what the community determines as “safe” food.
Existing food distribution networks must be assessed so that they support local food security efforts so what we are proposing is the establishment of a Food Security Envoy for each province who will sit down with food wholesalers and retailers in an effort to create tangible support for local producers and community needs.
And then finally based on food security needs, create programs that will support the expansion of community-based agriculture including value-added efforts.
STEWARDSHIP AND SENTIENCY
We must uplift responsibility, engagement and the elements of equality between humans, places and species. We would introduce efforts to incorporate “The Rights of Nature” into a Bill of Rights first and then eventually into the Canadian Charter.
We need to create a federal “Department of Continuous Ecology” which is tasked with protecting old growth forests and ecosystems and then expanding those environments into continuous forests and ecosystems which will be monitored and protected similar to our federal waterways.
As Greens we would expand Species at Risk legislation to include a 100 year moratorium on lands which hold a species at risk. This means that in the event that a species does become extinct that the land and its ecosystems remain untouched for 100 years after the point of legal extinction. This prevents resource extraction companies from involving themselves in these sensitive areas – and it allows for a period to recover or reintroduce that species into that area.
BIOREGIONAL LEADERSHIP AND GOVERNANCE
We must revisit Canada as a nation of villages and build a bioregional model of governance. 150 years ago we were creating provinces and then we stopped. We need to create provinces again so that Canadians are closer to their seat of government which will result in more community control over their environment and resources. We are proposing a national task force that will help Canadians imagine their future if they had provincial control locally.
At the same time we are proposing a national conversation about reforming the Canadian Senate. While we have a “House of Commons” we should have an elected “House of Regions” which is tasked with a bioregional authority and reviews legislation within the context of the Rights of Nature and the local people who depend on that nature.
We will take a Buddhist Economics approach to the Canadian economy which considers that work is meant to be meaningful and creative, not stressful. This system is successful when it is able to focus on the health and spiritual well-being of the individual as well as economic goals being fulfilled.
We will apply considerable effort towards national, regional and local self-sufficiency and while we acknowledge that export is very important to Canada it must not take place at the cost of domestic prosperity.
We understand that the future requires divestment with investment as our country transitions which is why we must implement a Financial Transaction Tax that is both national, regional and community-based and replaces all other forms of taxation.
Inflation is relatively easy to slow but it requires a difficult shift within the morals of capitalism. We must stop growing global consumer consumption that is modeled after western wants. As this consumption is embraced by huge markets in both India and China greater levels of competition occur for basic supplies, and this forces prices to skyrocket – and this is why we have inflation. We must lower interest rates, become more self-sufficient and reduce our footprint and then we must encourage the rest of the world to do the same.
BOLD AND PRACTICAL GREEN TRANSITION
As Greens we must take a personal and family-based approach as we focus on transitioning climate action, energy, industry, regions and communities. We are experiencing the end of oil, and this requires us to accurately determine our present state of supply and the capacity required to adjust towards renewables. We are proposing the immediate create of a Royal Commission which will deliver an independent review of the State of Energy.
We then need to develop and implement a ten-year plan to retool Canada so that we can transition to a new clean energy strategy. This needs to be done quickly and it’s less about meeting international climate targets which are important but more about the survival of Canadians and their place in the economy.
NATURAL RESOURCE CHARTER
We must completely shift our approach to natural resource extraction. As Greens we will support a Natural Resource Charter that encourages improved ethics and smaller footprint forestry and mining with a more value-added approach. We will support corporate strategies that place local-first-before-export.
BETTER HEALTH AND WELLNESS SOLUTIONS
Canada's approach to healthcare requires sweeping changes and at the core of it is our need to place more energy and resources into the prevention of disease. We must develop a pluralistic approach to healthcare that considers the importance of alternative health and wellness solutions.
As Greens we would wage a national campaign to combat diabetes, obesity, deteriorating mental health conditions and the short and long-term impacts of climate change and environmental toxins.
We support a healthcare system based on choice and we will embark on a massive investment into community-based healthcare that delivers both healthcare professionals and facilities that will meet future demands of a growing and aging population in both urban and rural areas.
Canada requires a watchdog who can track the behaviour of the medical industrial complex – never again should we see the conflict of interest that we witnessed during this pandemic period.
We need to clean up our act. Industry has poisoned the Earth for far too long. As Greens, we will make it a mission to reduce Canadians exposure to harmful chemicals and toxins. We are destroying our air, soil and water. We need to transition how we do business and embrace safer natural solutions which reduce and then eliminate chemicals and synthetics. We can begin by taking Glysophate off the market right across Canada.
In the wake of climate change most of our established industrial areas are in or close to flood plains. The flooding of an industrial area can be catastrophic to the environment and in particular to an estuary. We must carry out an immediate assessment to determine areas of risk and take action. Some industrial areas will have to be relocated. Those lands and others then must be cleaned up so that toxins in the soil are removed. This becomes an important national effort now not later.
PEACE – LOCAL AND GLOBAL
Canadians see themselves as peacemakers but more and more we are taking a police state approach to social conflict. We must renew the more compassionate side of Canadian peace keeping. As Greens we will offer support to the non-profit sector to help create a Canadian Peace Corps which will enlist volunteers and expertise who will be on-call to assist in solving real problems. Whether it’s helping with constructing emergency shelters in an inner city or building a waterworks in a remote First Nations community, the Peace Corps will be ready.
We must engage support from the public as we navigate through climate change issues because we don't have the financial resources to support the amount of work that will be required as we face up to the future.
In closing we invite you to explore our Leadership Index which holds interesting thoughts and articles as we move forward with our campaign. As the Green Party, we need to lead in the conversation that imagines rural and remote Canada as part of this nation. We must engage in tangible solutions that will help people and the environment to transition into the future while healing the past.
For more information Don Elzer can be reached at: 250.547.2001
Don Elzer resides with his family in a rural area outside of Lumby, British Columbia which is in the federal constituency of North Okanagan-Shuswap. He was born in Vancouver and raised in North Burnaby, BC and has been actively involved in civic, provincial and federal politics both as an activist and journalist and has recently returned to the Green Party.
Don Elzer is the founder of the Wildcraft Forest and has been a long time environmental activist and a pioneer in “regenerative stewardship”. He is also recognized as being a leader in explaining how “sentience” is found in nature and that our greatest challenge is to capture meaningful methods of making “First Contact” with species and better ideas.
Don Elzer is a community economic development specialist and is best known for his investigative research and ongoing work with rural communities, habitat protection, permaculture and First Nations. With over 35 years of field experience working with small and medium sized enterprises and communities he has acquired key knowledge about current development and stewardship issues impacting our changing planet. As a tourism consultant he developed one of the first eco-tourism strategies in British Columbia, as well as the first creative sector development strategy in the Okanagan Valley. His role has been assessing, problem-solving and identifying emerging opportunities and leadership methods within such scenarios as industry closures, First Nations self-government, eroding community infrastructure and impacts due to climate change, so that a more creative and diverse economy and culture can be realized and sustained based on regenerative stewardship.
His website is: www.donelzer.com