FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GPC leadership campaign:
Don Elzer Leadership
Podcast transcript outlining
tangible systematic change for Canada
The following represents the transcript of Don Elzer’s podcast released on May 17th, 2020 from his home in Lumby, British Columbia.
May 17, 2020
Good afternoon, thanks for joining me.
My name is Don Elzer and I’m seeking your support for the leadership of the Green Party of Canada.
We are at a crossroads. As the Green Party, we need to lead in the conversation that imagines rural, remote and urban Canada as equal parts of this nation. We have to engage in tangible solutions that will help people and the environment to transition into the future while healing the past.
This is my Canada and your Canada. Each of us has our own unique idea of what this country is, or is not, and this difference should be treasured as a primary part of our diversity.
Fundamentally the membership of the Green Party of Canada has created a forward thinking platform that addresses many of the gaps found within Canada and outlines great opportunities which can carry us into a better future. It is my hope that I can add to an ongoing conversation which will add value for creating a regenerative Canada.
This country was first imagined as a nation of villages. In my Canada, we would not be governed through a system of autocracies. We would not be defined by those who have entitled themselves to lead us. In my Canada, we would be governed by the true fabric of places and people, woven together by neighborhoods and villages. We would be defined by those who find comfort in weaving together a nation of dreamers who devote themselves towards the hard work of building a better future for everyone – and not just a few.
We need to address the growing rural urban divide and the conflict between regions and people which continues to challenge our country. We can no longer afford to engage in superficial platitudes presented by corporate bureaucracies and stale institutions which are no longer current with the challenges we face.
Our leadership needs to be clear so that we can protect this land. We need to stop federal support for pipelines and unsafe energies such as nuclear. We need to stop foreign ownership of farmland and our natural resources.
Canada’s body politic is no longer about the political “left”, “right” or “centre” anymore, it’s about “corporate”, “local” or “centralized”. I believe the GPC should be all about “local” perspectives, support and solutions which collectively will solve our big problems.
Tangible systematic change is required and as GPC leader I would take a Bioregional approach when addressing the problems that need to be overcome. As a Bioregionalist it remains very important to strengthen the diversity of the country in connection with nature.
I believe that our national and provincial structure of governance must be revisited. As leader I would encourage a national conversation about the potential for creating new provinces and what future governance might look like within a bioregional confederation.
We must engage with a more current approach to human rights and one that includes nature. We can begin this process by installing a new Canadian Bill of Rights that addresses current forms of inequality and the rights of nature and will move forward in securing more advanced systems of equality and human rights federally and then within Canada’s provinces.
As leader I would be encouraging a “stewardship” model for economic growth that considers the true costs of human activity on the planet. Climate change is all in the details. Often our need to understand the big picture causes us to overlook the details of how impacts are forming in the small and remote places in our own country. Species are not only at risk, but they are on the move and they require immediate support from humans – because it is our activities within old “management” models which are forcing species to become stressed and then to fall into extinction.
I believe that we have serious problems within our present economy and these problems are now being amplified by COVID-19. Right across the country regions and communities were encouraged to make emergency preparedness plans. These plans were heavily funded by both federal and provincial governments and they considered future risks such as earthquakes, floods and wildfires, however they did not include a pandemic, even though both levels of governments were aware of this risk.
Canadians have a right to know why local healthcare services, frontline workers and seniors care facilities were placed at such risk and without advanced emergency planning. We have a right to know, why there was no conversation or public planning process that considered a future pandemic crises – even though it was expected.
Canada’s regions and communities must be supported so that we can become better prepared for crises. We must create new food security models that engage existing distribution networks with local and safe food and medicines. The GPC needs to take the lead to promote a local approach towards problem solving while celebrating the uniqueness of the many food security solutions that communities are planning or have established. We need to form a national effort for communities and regions to create “Community Food Charters” that might be part of an even wider community-based “Quality of Life Charter” which creates a local vision with goals that will lead to a better future for individual communities.
As leader I would be continuing GPC efforts towards transforming the economy so that it embraces a “meaningful footprint” and elevates “maker” culture, small enterprise and community-based businesses. Canada needs to create incentives that support innovation as we transition towards the new Green economy.
In this decade we will be experiencing one of the greatest transitions ever to face humanity and much of it is anchored within climate change and the end of fossil fuels – and we are not ready. As GPC leader I will be relentless in a mission of demanding that Canada form a tangible 10 year plan that will transition and retool, households, communities, small enterprise and industries away from fossil fuels to safe, accessible and affordable alternative energy that works for both urban and rural Canada.
The depletion of fossil fuels, in fact, becomes a climate change solution. We will run out much quicker that we currently anticipate. The House of Commons needs to establish a Royal Commission tasked with measuring the state of supply for both fossil fuels and alternative energy. The commission will manage an independent audit which will determine with accuracy the remaining fossil fuel reserves and “accurate” potential for delivering alternatives.
Canada’s future depends on how we quickly and effectively we transition away from fossil fuels.
Systematic change requires us to create more effective forms of taxation which is why I support the creation of an electronic transaction tax. This small tax on stock trades, futures and currency speculation has the potential for replacing all other forms of taxation in Canada. This solution will remove the burden of taxation from ordinary Canadians and place it directly upon those who speculate on economic opportunity.
The global pandemic has now presented Canadians with a vast landscape of additional issues which must be addressed quickly. Both the domestic and international tourism sectors will have to be rebuilt and will require a great deal of innovation in order to address the future dynamic of travel.
As GPC leader I will also be a dedicated voice for better support for family caregivers and eldercare. We need to create better solutions for both systems and support that lessens the crowds. We are seeing that bigger isn’t necessarily better.
We may be experiencing a Canada that has become too big to govern, which is why I am proposing that we actively explore the idea of the Prime Minister’s Office becoming a Council of Leadership that engages key cultural elements of the country such as First Nations and Quebec. We need to turn the treasures of our diversity into real elements of social and political change.
Let there be no mistake, all of these platform points are complicated, but they are not outlandish or abstract, they are possible but they will require your courage, energy and engagement.
The Green Party of Canada has a great responsibility; we plant the seeds for change. We present the ideas and the passion so that all Canadians can become engaged and excited about the future of their communities, their nation and planet Earth.
Thanks for taking this time to listen to this podcast, I’m Don Elzer, leadership contender for the Green Party of Canada.
Don Elzer has launched an exploratory effort to become the leader of the Green Party of Canada. Elzer is a long-time environmental activist from British Columbia who has had a history of work within rural planning in Canada. He’s seeking the party leadership in order to address a long list of issues in the country which he suggests require “tangible systematic change.”
For more information Don Elzer can be reached at: 250.547.2001
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org