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Why I've Gone Green - by Paul Manly, Nanaimo BC

Why I’ve Gone Green - by Paul Manly, Feb. 4th, 2015
Full article as previously published in the Watershed Sentinel, Feb. 4, 2015

People will know from my film work and community activism that I am solid and unequivocal on a number of issues. Initially, I thought that running to be an NDP MP would help steer the party in a positive, progressive direction. Since the time that I was blocked from seeking the NDP nomination I have learned how the NDP has abandoned their own policies on issues that are very important to me.

I found out that the leader of the NDP supports Energy East, a raw bitumen export pipeline that will expand tar sands production 40% above the current rate of two million barrels per day. This flies in the face of NDP climate policy. Support for Energy East is support for tar sands expansion and catastrophic climate change. I am opposed to any new raw bitumen export pipelines. I stand with First Nations that oppose tar sands expansion and pipeline expansion.

The NDP leader also supports Kinder Morgan but just isn't happy with the environmental assessment process. He states that with a better process Kinder Morgan would be acceptable. The NDP has a petition opposing this pipeline going through Burnaby… would it be ok with the NDP if it went to the Ioco, Imperial Oil facility in Port Moody? I unequivocally oppose this pipeline.

I found out that not a single NDP MP voted against the Canada Korea free trade agreement this fall. It contains the same investor state, corporate rights provisions as NAFTA. This went against NDP trade policy, which opposes such trade agreements. Canada’s largest union UNIFOR, of which I am a member, opposed this agreement. Korean companies are major investors in Raven coal on Vancouver Island. This free trade agreement gives those companies special rights.

I found out that the NDP supports gas fracking. I am opposed to gas fracking and have been for a long time.

I heard via an Ottawa insider that it is just as likely I was blocked from entering the NDP nomination race because of my involvement with the Council of Canadians and my unequivocal stands against investor state provisions in trade agreements, my unequivocal stance against new raw bitumen export pipeline projects, and my unequivocal stand to protect water resources and oppose fracking.

But I didn't have to change my views when I joined the Green Party. 

In the Greens I found a party that stands for my views. I read its policy document, Vision Green, after being approached by Elizabeth May to run, and was pleasantly surprised with what I learned.

I knew the Green Party would be strong on environmental policy, but it is also has very strong policies on social justice, health, inequality and a range of other social issues. The Green Party has a balanced approach to the economy, fair taxation and fiscal reform. They also focus on good governance and democratic reform.

I agree with the Green Party’s six fundamental principles: Non-Violence, Social Justice, Sustainability, Ecological Wisdom, Participatory Democracy and Respect for Diversity. These values are the foundation for all Green Party policies and decisions.

I like the fact that it is Green Party policy that MPs cannot be whipped to vote against their conscience or the wishes of their constituents.

I also like the Green Party because it is the only party opposed to any further pipeline expansion for the export of raw bitumen from the Alberta tar sands; it supports a national moratorium on hydraulic gas fracking and LNG export terminals; and it is the only party opposed to any international trade and investment agreements that include Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions.

For those of you who are worried about splitting the vote, it is voter cynicism and vote abandoning that should be our focus. I want people to be positive and enthusiastic about politics, and vote for a candidate and party that they can trust to represent them with honesty and integrity. 

We owe it to future generations to be hopeful and vote for what we really want.

Paul Manly
Green Party Candidate, Nanaimo-Ladysmith
250 591-9222 office

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