Interview: Peter Ormond - Green Party
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Among other party values such as non-violence, social justice and democracy, the Green Party is predictably focused on the environment. The shift to sustainable energy use will be facilitated through the implementation of a carbon tax, the removal of fossil fuel subsidies and a support for the divestment movement on fossil fuels.
Peter Ormond, the Green Party candidate for the Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas riding, believes that it is time to redefine the system.
“Times are changing. I always say that seasons change, and so naturally the times are changing. We have to get aligned with the times. We have an older population, we have more diversity . . . let’s adapt to that.”
One of the ways the party hopes to do this is to shift focus to community sustainability. By raising corporate taxes, the party will be able to reallocate funds to municipal initiatives, such as water quality, public housing and public transit. The party also aims to facilitate the creation of jobs within the community, likely in green economy.
Another aspect of the Green platform is to have equal pay for equal work, or a Guaranteed Livable Income, though the specifics will be ironed out in detail in the future.
“I don’t know exactly, with the student factor in there, we would bring that [to] the table and discuss it,” said Ormond.
This is where the Green Party hopes to integrate collaborative discussion by opening up issues like equal pay to conversation within a new board, the Council of Canadian Governments. The Council will be chaired by the federal government and bring together the provinces, territories, municipal governments and indigenous people to discuss national strategies.
Ormond says that the Green Party does have a plan for tackling student debt, as they hope to abolish tuition for college, university and skill training programs by 2020.
“By relieving student debt, we are going to allow people to have the freedom to invest in things that make your life more beautiful . . . Instead of paying that money to the bank for the first ten years of their working life, they can invest in the economy.”
The Green Party has also taken a stance on several issues that caused a ripple of dissent within the student population. When it comes to the controversial Bill C-51, the Green Party sustains that such laws have no place in Canadian legislature. The Green Party has said that it will be looking to reverse Bill C-51 if elected.
Ultimately, the Green Party believes that the root of all of these issues is the environment. If we take care of our environment, the rest will follow.
“Energy is the economy, is the environment, ” said Ormond. “The thing we have to do is to have the mind shift.”