- How is GreenPAC different from American PACs?
- I’m a political candidate with a demonstrated record of environmental leadership. How can I be endorsed by GreenPAC?
- What criteria does the Expert Panel use to make their endorsements?
- Will GreenPAC endorse candidates in all ridings?
- GreenPAC will endorse candidates from “all major parties.” What parties are included?
- Does GreenPAC set policy or take a political stance on certain environmental issues?
- What is your connection to the Green Party?
- Who funds GreenPAC? Do you accept corporate donations? If so, will it be made public?
- What happens after the 2015 Federal Election?
- Why should we focus on electing individual MPs when party discipline limits their ability to make a difference in Ottawa?
- How can I help GreenPAC reach more Canadians?
How is GreenPAC different from American PACs?
Any similarities to an American PAC are in name only. GreenPAC seeks only to endorse political candidates who have demonstrated environmental leadership. We ask Canadians to pledge their financial and volunteer support directly to the candidates’ campaigns. GreenPAC will not pool funds from political donors, nor will we directly donate or fund any campaigns as an organization.
Canada has strict laws on political donations that limit an American-style Political Action Committee from forming in Canada, and GreenPAC adheres to the letter and spirit of these rules.
I’m a political candidate with a demonstrated record of environmental leadership. How can I be endorsed by GreenPAC?
The GreenPAC endorsement process is done by our Expert Panel, made up of credible, independent members who have no ties to political parties and are not on the payroll of any environmental NGOs. Panel members reflect a diversity of views from various parts of the country and areas of expertise. They have profile and integrity.
What criteria does the Expert Panel use to make their endorsements?
Our Panel is looking for political leaders who know how to get things done when it comes to the environment. They are not looking at campaign promises or platforms. Rather, candidates are assessed on what they have accomplished on environmental issues. These accomplishments may be in the private, public, or NGO sector.
In addition, to receive an endorsement, the candidate must also have a reasonable shot at winning.
Will GreenPAC endorse candidates in all ridings?
In order to ensure that GreenPAC can have the most impact for the candidates we endorse, endorsements will be focused on a small number of candidates. We will not be endorsing in all or even most ridings.
GreenPAC will endorse candidates from “all major parties.” What parties are included?
GreenPAC’s Expert Panel will endorse at least one candidate from each party that has official party status. Considerations will be made for candidates from other represented parties provided that they meet environmental leadership and winnability criteria.
Does GreenPAC set policy or take a political stance on certain environmental issues?
No, GreenPAC is a political organization that believes that Canada needs parliamentarians in office who put the environment first. As an organization we generally do not take stances on specific environmental policies.
What is your connection to the Green Party?
None. GreenPAC is a non-partisan organization that believes that environmental concerns are not a one-party issue.
Who funds GreenPAC? Do you accept corporate donations? If so, will it be made public?
GreenPAC is funded by like-minded Canadians who want to see environmental concerns appropriately represented in Canadian politics. While many of these individuals have made personal donations (non-charitable), we also rely heavily on volunteer hours and in-kind contributions from those involved with the organization.
We do not solicit donations from political candidates. GreenPAC accepts corporate donations, and revenue from fundraising events. Any donation, from any source, over $50,000 will be disclosed.
We adhere to all relevant electoral law provisions governing third parties, including disclosure of donations for any third party spending during elections.
What happens after the 2015 Federal Election?
For those elected, the GreenPAC community will provide an ongoing support base and pressure point for environmental issues between elections. We will also provide support to elected Members of Parliament by assisting them in their efforts to advance environmental initiatives within their parties, in Parliament, with other levels of government, and in their communications with the media and the general public.
Critical to the success of GreenPAC is its ability to create a community built on strong, shared values and connections. Following the 2015 Federal Election, we will be helping those in our community build environmental leadership in the areas they are most interested in. Options include work at the provincial or municipal level, or around particular issues.
We will also be encouraging our supporters to help identify and encourage environmental champions who may not have otherwise considered running for office.
Why should we focus on electing individual MPs when party discipline limits their ability to make a difference in Ottawa?
Though party discipline is hardly new in Canada, there has been a troubling long-term trend of MPs choosing to relinquish the power and authority that they already have under our system of government to party leaders' offices. In reality, MPs do have the power to be more independent — they can speak out in caucus, be more assertive in committee, lobby their Ministers and advance private member’s bills. Instead, as many groups like Samara Canada have noted, they’re often self-censoring and choosing to toe the party line. In contrast, most of the instances where we have seen leadership on the environment and other issues in the last couple of decades, have been due to the actions of individual MPs who have played a determinative role and who facilitated cross-party cooperation. For example, when Parliament passed the Species At Risk Act in 2002 (arguably the last major environmental law passed at the federal level), it was because MPs in all parties – working across party lines – pushed their leaders’ offices to strengthen and pass the bill. Subsequently, the government regulated several highly toxic chemicals, like bisphenol A and perfluorinated compounds, following private member’s bills and other actions that were initiated by backbench MPs.
GreenPAC is addressing this challenge head on by directly supporting individual MPs who are willing to make use of the power they already have, to stand up for the environment. That’s one of the reasons why we focus our criteria for candidate endorsement on leadership, as opposed to whether a candidate can spout back the right words on an issue. One of the best ways to de-politicize environmental action in Ottawa is to harness the broad support that exists across the country for environmental leadership into a politically relevant base, and focusing it on electing a critical mass of MPs from all parties. When party leaders know that they will lose their seats over this issue, they will be a lot more likely to take action.