Blog by Atiya Jaffar
We are less than 1 week out from election day. On October 21, we’re electing a government that will lead us through 4 of the 11 years scientists have given us to transform our economy to tackle the climate crisis.
The only plan on the table that meets the scale and urgency of the climate emergency is a made-in-Canada Green New Deal. A Green New Deal is an ambitious platform that centers science-based climate policy, action on Indigenous rights, and the creation of millions of jobs in a 100% renewable energy economy.
Luckily, there are candidates in this election who are ready to fight tooth and nail to make sure that this ambitious plan becomes a reality. The Our Time campaign’s slate of 35 Green New Deal champions includes activists, community-organizers, and politicians with a track record of standing on the right side of history.
Our Time is organizing an inter-generational alliance of voters to turn out to elect these champions and we really need your help in these critical races.
10 of our Green New Deal champions are running in some of the tightest races in the country. Here’s who they are and how you can support them.
1. Housing and food justice activist Paul Taylor (NDP) in Parkdale High-Park
Before jumping into the political arena, Paul Taylor spent years organizing against poverty, for affordable housing, and for social justice. He is committed to championing social housing, public transit, and Indigenous rights.
Paul is up against Liberal incumbent Arif Virani and recent projections place them neck and neck. Let’s make sure he gets the support he needs to win this critical battleground seat in Toronto.
2. Environmental activist Sven Robinson (NDP) in Burnaby North Seymour
Svend served Burnaby as an MP for more than 25 years. He was arrested standing with social movements to stop clear cut logging during the War in the Woods and has a long record as an advocate for Indigenous sovereignty, gender equality, and the environment.
Ever since the Conservative candidate in this riding was expelled, Svend has been in a dead heat with the Liberal incumbent Terry Beech. And in a riding that actually houses the terminal facility for the TransMountain pipeline, it is especially important to defeat the party that bought a climate-wrecking pipeline.
3. Indigenous human rights defender Leah Gazan (NDP) in Winnipeg Centre
A pillar in the Winnipeg community for nearly 30 years, Leah has spent her life fighting for human rights on the local, national, and international stage. She’s running a bold and inspiring grassroots campaign and has a track record as a tireless advocate for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and for UNDRIP.
While recent projections have Leah in the lead, her competitor, and Liberal incumbent, Robert Falcon-Ouellette isn’t far behind. In light of the recent federal inquiry confirming the mass genocide taking place against Indigenous women, girls, and 2 spirit folks, it is absolutely critical to elect an unapologetic, and fierce Indigenous woman and rights defender like Leah.
4. Former City Councillor Matthew Green (NDP) in Hamilton Centre
A former Hamilton city councilor and long-time community activist, Matthew Green has been all-in on a Green New Deal for Canada since jumping into the fray of federal politics.
As an outspoken activist and trusted name in Hamilton, Matthew has overwhelming support in his community. He’s currently leading in the projections but he has some heated competition from the Liberal candidate.
5. Women’s health activist Christine Saulnier (NDP) in Halifax
A long-time Halifax community organizer and progressive policy expert, Christine has fought poverty, supported women’s health advocacy, and advocated for environmental justice for years.
Christine is trailing her Liberal incumbent Andy Filmore in projections but with some more support she could come out ahead — especially considering that she’s fighting for a seat formerly held by former NDP MP Megan Leslie.
6. Public health advocate Nimâ Machouf (NDP) in Laurier Sainte-Marie
Nimâ’s background is in public health and she has years of experience in community organizing. She’s running a transparent and accessible campaign and wants to engage her community in politics.
Nimâ’s main competitor is Liberal candidate Steven Guilbeault who claims to be an environmental activist and yet somehow decided to run for a party that bought a pipeline! With some support, Nima can come out ahead in this race.
7. Human rights lawyer Paul Falvo (Green) in Northwest Territories
A criminal defence and human rights lawyer, Paul understands the complex ways climate change is linked with social issues in the North.
Since the Our Time Yellowknife endorsed Green candidate Paul Falvo, his popularity has surged and he’s rapidly pulling votes from all of his major competitors. At this rate, Paul could be neck and neck with the other candidates or leading by election day.
8. Incumbent champion Daniel Blakie (NDP) in Elmwood Transona
Elected in 2015 in the closest race in the country, Daniel Blaikie has been involved in social, environmental and labour causes throughout his life.
Daniel Blaikie is running for re-election in Winnipeg but he is in a tight race with the Conservative candidate.
9. Labour activist Alexandre Boulerice (NDP) in Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie
Alexandre Boulerice was a journalist and worked in the labour movement before he was first elected in 2011. Although always concerned about the climate, it became a top priority for Boulerice after the release of the 2018 IPCC report and the rise of youth-led movements fighting for action.
Alexandre is also up for re-election in Montreal and although the projections have him in the lead, his competitor from the Bloc Québécois isn’t far behind!
10. Migrant rights activist Min Sook Lee (NDP) in Toronto Danforth
A lifelong social activist and artist, Min Sook Lee began organizing in the anti-apartheid movement while she was in high school. Since then, she has gained recognition and respect as a documentary film maker and educator.
Min Sook Lee is running in Jack Layton’s former riding with a fierce pledge to “bring it home.” Projections currently place her ahead of Liberal back-bencher Julie Dabrusin but this is going to be another close race.
We’re building a mass movement to elect these Green New Deal champions (along with 25 others) on October 21st and to hold them accountable after election day.
We really and truly need everyone in this fight!
To learn about our slate of 35 champions visit our-time.ca!