GreenPAC takes a stand for the environment during elections by identifying political candidates who have a solid track record of environmental accomplishments and consistent leadership in order to increase the visibility and priority of environmental issues during election periods. We connect voters with candidates they can stand behind and help drive donations of money, time, and other support towards their campaigns.
We believe the environment is not a partisan issue and therefore endorse candidates from every major political party with the aim to see a cross-party coalition of MPs and members of provincial legislatures who will prioritize the health of the planet.
Each endorsement campaign brings together an Independent Expert Panel composed of leading experts in different areas of the environmental field (e.g., biology, law, environmental justice). Panelists provide a politically-neutral, objective assessment of candidates’ leadership credentials.
We also ensure that our nomination process is viewed through an equity lens. This means we take into consideration candidates' experiences in dealing with the disproportionate impacts of environmental degradation and climate change in their respective communities.
2021 FEDERAL ELECTION
Typically, our endorsement campaigns take about nine months in the lead up to an election. We worked very hard during 2021’s snap timelines to make sure we engaged and learned about as many candidates as possible, including reaching out to every riding association to welcome nominations. Through our Expert Panel, we endorsed 36 candidates, including our first Bloc Québecois endorsees, 25 of whom were elected to federal office. Find out more about our 2021 Federal Election Endorsement Campaign on last year's annual report.
ONTARIO 2022 ELECTION
On June 2, 2022 nine of our endorsed candidates were sent to Queen's Park! All of our endorsees have track records of environmental leadership and we can't wait to see what they do in office as they continue to fight for the health of our planet.
For leaders in our legislatures, sustainability must be at the heart of every decision and baked into the execution of policies, regulations, funding programs and public finance. The future of humanity depends on it.
-Hari Balasubramanian, ON 2022 Election Expert Panel Member
We checked back in with the environmental leaders we helped elect to office in the 2021 Federal Election to find out how they had been leading for the environment. We asked them to reflect on how they used their time each year to champion the planet - that is, how they lived up to their endorsement as an environmental leader. Some of the highlights follow below (*reflects period from September 2021 to August 2022).
It’s important to note that these highlights are not exhaustive: they don’t cover all our endorsees, nor all their work for the environment or the many matters that intersect it. Nor do they represent support for any of the particular environmental policies advanced by these MPs, as GreenPAC does not take policy positions. MPs had a shorter window for action over this period, given the House didn’t return until late November after the fall election.
Lastly, we note that it can be difficult to draw out the singular leadership of Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries, who act under the direction of mandate letters, in collaboration with their Cabinets and Caucuses, and the support of civil servants in their line ministries. And so, you won’t find highlights from some of the Liberal endorsees you might expect to below. Instead, we note the collective work of endorsed Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries that saw the introduction of Canada’s first Emissions Reductions Plan, the issuance of Canada’s first Green Bond to finance climate initiative, new single-use plastics regulations, a finalized Clean Fuel Standard, consultations for a new Clean Electricity Standard and regulation to cut oil and gas methane pollution by 75 per cent by 2030, and a lengthy list of environment-focused spending measures that were committed or delivered through the budget and Fall Economic Statement.
MP May picked up former Liberal MP Zann’s efforts to bring forward environmental racism legislation by sponsoring Bill C-226 and working to build cross-party support for its passage. Among extensive other work, often cross-partisan, she jointly seconded Bill C-235, “Building a Green Prairie Economy Act”, brought forward multiple environment-focused petitions, and raised climate change more than any other opposition MP in the House. MP May also championed a range of local-level environmental concerns from toxic sites, to abandoned tankers, to river clean-up.
MP Cannings worked to strengthen Canada’s legislative protections, introducing private member’s bills to reinstate waterway protections in British Columbia (C-214) and to enact the Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights and enshrine the right to a healthy environment in law (C-219). He also collaborated across chambers to see his bill to promote the use of wood in federal government infrastructure introduced in the Senate, where it cleared second reading (S-222), and drew attention to the science about and impacts of particular infrastructure and resource extraction projects on species at risk and watersheds.
MP Julian tabled the first motion of the 44th Parliament, calling for a Green New Deal. He worked with international legislators and parliamentarians to build momentum for the plan through the “Global Alliance for Green New Deal”, and to commit the government to bring forward just transition legislation through the NDP’s Supply and Confidence Agreement with the Liberals. Other environmental legislative activities included sponsoring Bill C-262, to make Canadian corporations liable for human rights abuses abroad, including those against land defenders, and brought forward several environmental motions and petitions (such as ceasing the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project).
MP Green’s House activity included jointly seconding environment, economic justice and human rights bills and motions (e.g. C-263, C-262, M-2) and bringing forward a petition (441-00620) for just transition legislation and other climate action. MP Green also worked to “pick up slack” for the environment outside the House, participating in solidarity actions, meeting with stakeholders on issues like clean job transitions and Enbridge’s Line 5, and meeting with Liberal MPs and members of his own caucus to champion Canadian debt forgiveness to Pakistan under the Paris Lending Agreement, following deadly climate-induced flooding in August.
MP Chong championed Great Lakes protection by drawing attention to the underfunding of the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission. (The spring 2022 budget later raised funding for this bi-lateral initiative to Canada’s committed level). He also called on the government to move responsibility for the organization to Global Affairs Canada so Canada can make Great Lakes fishery management and invasive species control a greater bi-national priority. MP Chong called on the Ontario government to halt plans to build Highway 413 given its climate, agricultural and noise pollution impacts. He committed to champion the environment, including climate action, with his incoming party leader, and presented a petition from his constituents to reduce Canada’s GHG emissions by at least 60% from 2005 by 2030.
MP Pauzé used her time in the House to push for greater ambition and accountability on climate change. For example, she called on the government to broaden the scope of its GHG emission calculations to take account of the massive emissions from fossil fuels extracted here but exported to other nations. MP Pauzé intervened many times during question period to challenge the Minister’s decision to approve the Bay Du Nord offshore oil project and, as a member of the Environment Committee, she pushed for more transparent and restrictive rules for the management of nuclear waste.
In her work as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministers of Environment and Climate Change and Natural Resources, MP Dabrusin focused on fostering strategic collaboration between the two departments, such as expanding the Green Buildings Strategy through NRCAN to meet the targets outlined in ECCC’s Emission Reduction Plan to decrease emissions from the built environment. MP Dabrusin also spearheaded the creation of a Toronto-Danforth Constituency Youth Council, a volunteer group of students aged 15–18 who will learn more about the political process through bi-weekly discussion and work to draft a Member’s Statement that MP Dabrusin will present in the House. She also worked across jurisdictions with Toronto councillors to champion action to protect the health of Toronto’s shorelines and ravines.