Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for November 22, 2012

Greens are sprouting progress, founder believes

As more Green Party members get elected to various levels of government, the party is gaining a higher profile across the county, says the co-founder of the first Green Party in North America.

By Ashley Joannou on November 22, 2012 at 3:27 pm

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

ADDRESS PENDING – Adriane Carr will speak at this evening’s annual general meeting of the Yukon branch of the federal Green Party in Whitehorse.

As more Green Party members get elected to various levels of government, the party is gaining a higher profile across the county, says the co-founder of the first Green Party in North America.

Adriane Carr is in Whitehorse today to speak at this evening’s annual general meeting of the Yukon branch of the federal Green Party.

“In terms of the breakthrough of a new party, for most people it’s letting go of the misconceptions or the myths they might of had ... and opening their eyes to the potential to have a different government, to have different elected people that can bring a fresh perspective,” she said in an interview Wednesday afternoon.

In 1983, Carr co-founded the B.C. Green Party, the first of its kind in North America. A year later, she co-founded the Green Party of Vancouver.

In November 2011, she was elected to Vancouver municipal council, becoming one of the first people to be elected to municipal office under a Green banner.

Carr said recognition of the party as an option for Canadians has been growing particularly since Elizabeth May, the party’s federal leader, was elected to Parliament on May 2, 2011.

Some issues, such as the Canada-China trade agreement, are matters the other parties “simply wouldn’t have touched,” if May had not brought them up, Carr said.

“She has stood along as the sole vote on issues, but I think her strength of character on them and the rational, very practical approach she’s brought to discussions of issues has started to shift other members of Parliament.”

As for the Yukon, Carr said last month’s election of John Streicker to Whitehorse city council is a sign those feelings may be shifting north.

Streicker is the former president of the Green Party, and has run under that banner in the Yukon in federal elections.

“John Streicker getting elected and topping the polls in Whitehorse is hugely important,” Carr said.

“Every win for the Green Party, and this is true globally, has woken up the public to the advantage of electing a Green,” she said, calling the party’s platforms fresh, interesting and a different perspective.

Carr said she believes politics are “more populist” in the North.

“I think people elect individuals; the party affiliation is maybe less important.”

The party’s stance on environmental protection would also appeal to people living in the territory, she believes.

“From the perspective of somebody who loves this wild plant, having a Green Party representative is so right because there’s not only this insurance in Green policy that the way forward is not at the demise of nature but rather it’s a way forward where the economy works with nature,” she said.

When it comes to issues like the protection of the Peel watershed, Carr said it’s important to have perspective when considering the cost of compensating companies with claims in the area.

“Protecting large areas is really the only way to hang onto biodiversity; you can’t do it with piecemeal and small parks,” she said, adding, “My feeling is that things that might look expensive at the moment, in the longer-term perspective are completely rational and totally make sense.”

Carr makes comparisons to discussions decades ago about buying fishing licences from companies on the east coast.

“It might cost us a lot, but if we buy out some fishing licences that are fishing these cod banks off Newfoundland and the east coast, maybe we’ll be able to hang onto the cod fishery and the diversity of the marine species in the eastern seaboard, Atlantic Ocean,” she said, describing the discussion at the time.

“For many people, that cost was too high; in fact, that cost was so high they didn’t do it, and the consequence was that they ended up with a completely depleted fishery source. So depleted that it hasn’t come back, and this is decades later.

“So it seemed at the time like an expensive proposition, but what a foolish mistake. It was a foolish move; a big mistake not to recognize the value of that intact ecosystem.”

Tonight’s AGM is set for 6:30 at the Yukon Inn’s Fireside Room.

CommentsAdd a comment

north_of_60

Nov 22, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Yes, more GP votes, it keeps the left diffuse and disorganized.

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