Elizabeth MAY

MAY, Elizabeth, O.C., LL.B.

Personal Data

Party
Green Party
Constituency
Saanich--Gulf Islands (British Columbia)
Birth Date
June 9, 1954
Website
http://elizabethmaymp.ca
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=eaa6694f-1e20-4aae-ad3b-e694b0e12c59&Language=E&Section=ALL
Email Address
Elizabeth.May@parl.gc.ca
Profession
activist, environmentalist, executive director, lawyer, writer

Parliamentary Career

May 2, 2011 - August 2, 2015
GP
  Saanich--Gulf Islands (British Columbia)
May 2, 2011 -
GP
  Saanich--Gulf Islands (British Columbia)
October 19, 2015 -
GP
  Saanich--Gulf Islands (British Columbia)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 723)


June 20, 2019

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP)

Mr. Speaker and dear friends, the hon. member for Langley—Aldergrove can now be addressed by his real name, because he has passed from us.

Mark Warawa was a dear friend of mine, and I want to identify some things about my experience of knowing Mark, in expressing my deep condolences to Diane.

One thing I noticed right away about Mark is that it was Mark and Diane. There is a plane that leaves Vancouver to bring B.C. MPs to Ottawa every week, and sometimes I call it the school bus. If there were a spouse who was almost always there, it was Diane. I think she travelled to Ottawa with Mark more often than most.

I know how hard this is right now. As we know, Mark is in the arms of our Lord, and it is Diane to whom we send our prayers and deepest condolences, so she may have strength in this difficult time.

This is how I knew Mark. I was elected to this place in 2011. From 2006 to 2011, before I was elected, Mark Warawa had the title of Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment. I worked with him often. I talked to him often. Although we did not agree on policy, his personal commitments were clear. He and Diane had done many things in their own home: they had solar panels, they composted. He could go on and on. He really was committed to doing things in his own life to make this a better world.

He also created a local award in Langley for environmental heroes. It mattered to him. He did things in his own way. He never would have thwarted policies of his own party; I am not suggesting that at all. He was committed, and he took the time to talk to me and, as we have heard, always in respectful ways.

When I was elected, I got to know Mark in a whole new way. I hope Canadians will be happy to know such a thing exists, as we do not talk about it very much here, but the one truly non-partisan thing that happens in this place, every single Wednesday morning at 7:00 a.m., is that we gather in prayer. My brother from Battle River—Crowfoot looks at me and I am going to start crying. It keeps me going, goodness knows, to know that despite the fact that we may not agree on anything, we are able to love each other.

I loved Mark. He was so clear, focused and devoted to the Lord in his day-to-day life and, as we have heard from other members from other parties, in how he conducted himself in this place.

He had real courage. One thing we have talked about lately at the procedure and House affairs committee is how to reduce the role of the party whips in controlling what happens here. A lot of people talk about it, but in my eight years of experience, Mark Warawa was the bravest in standing up against a party whip. He told us that when he was going to give his Standing Order 31 statement, he was told by the whip he was not allowed to bring it forward. At the time, the Speaker ruled on that. Eleven other members of Parliament, including many members of Mark's party, stood up to agree with him.

I just want it remembered that Mark stood up for democracy in this place, when he could have been afraid, when he could have taken the easy route and not thwarted his party whip. He had confidence in the right of all members of Parliament in this place to speak to what was in their hearts and say what they wanted to say in their own 60-second opportunity every few months. He stood up on principle and asked for the Speaker to rule that his rights had been violated. That was brave.

Of many things about Mark Warawa's life, he will be remembered. As we heard from the member for Abbotsford, he was a community champion, working at the local level and municipal government before coming to this place. As the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley so rightly said, he was someone known for his kindness. I also want him remembered for his willingness to reach across party lines.

There was a moment, and this is my last story, when a student from Langley contacted me. He was on an adventures in citizenship program. He said that he was supposed to have lunch with his own MP, but since he was not a Conservative, he wanted to meet me. I said to him, “Your MP is a great guy. I think you should have lunch with both of us.” I asked Mark, and he said, “Absolutely, let's both take our student to lunch.”

We had this wonderful wide-ranging conversation about environmental goals. I could see this young high school student's eyes light up because he realized he did not have to be a Conservative to love his MP. He just had to know him and know that he really was doing the best he could by his own lights every day. Then, in a truly generous gesture, Mark picked up the tab. That does not happen every day, around here or anywhere.

God bless you, Mark. God, greet one of your wonderful spirits, a soul who has served you well. Give him eternal rest. Let light perpetual shine upon him. Thank you, Lord, that we came to know him and call him "friend".

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Mark Warawa
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June 19, 2019

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP)

Madam Speaker, I rise to present a petition originated by a grade six student at the Royal Oak Middle School, Matthias Spalteholz, who has thought a lot about what we need to do to fight the climate crisis.

The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to put in an electrical vehicle fast charging network on all major highways to support the transition away from the internal combustion engine and to fight climate change.

The second petition is from residents throughout Saanich—Gulf Islands.

The petitioners call on the government to take the required action to avoid runaway global warming, to set ambitious targets to avoid going above 1.5°C global average temperature increase and a number of other measures that would achieve climate stability, including through arresting growth in oil sands expansion.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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June 18, 2019

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP)

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition today that is timely, given the resolution last night that Canada is in a climate emergency. Youth petitioners and those who describe themselves as caring deeply about youth are calling on the Government of Canada to take meaningful actions to hit the obligations under the Paris Agreement, which are not the current 30% below 2005 by 2030 target, but in fact, a target designed to hit 1.5°C global average temperature increase and well below 2°C.

Petitioners call on the government to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, place a comprehensive and steadily rising national carbon price, and redirect investments into renewable energy, energy efficiency, low-carbon transportation and job training.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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June 18, 2019

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP)

Mr. Speaker, I also tried to rise to speak to another Manitoba member, the Liberal member for Winnipeg North.

I agree with the claim referenced by both members, that Canada is in a good position to exert world leadership. Canada has a tradition of punching above its weight. However, right now, the horrible reality is that we are the worst polluter of the G20 countries. Per capita, we pollute 22 tonnes of carbon per person, compared to Sweden at about four tonnes and Norway at about six tonnes. Those are also cold, Nordic countries. It is not a question of temperature, as was offered by other members; rather, it has to do with the ambition of a target.

Both members who recently spoke referred to the Paris target as if it were the same as the current target put in place under the previous government, of 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. That is not a target that is consistent with our Paris goals. Our Paris goals require that we roughly double that effort, so we can hold to 1.5°C globally.

We have a global framework, which is the Paris Agreement. Countries around the world are doing better than we are. I wonder if the hon. member for Brandon—Souris knows whether the plan that will be revealed tomorrow by the Conservative Party leader will be framed around the wrong target or adopt a target that is consistent with the Paris Agreement.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
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June 18, 2019

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP)

Mr. Speaker, Guelph is a very green community, as evidenced by its MPP Mike Schreiner, the leader of the Green Party of Ontario. The local initiatives are fantastic, as they are right across Canada.

The problem we have here is that last night we declared a climate emergency and today we are apparently going to buy a pipeline with public dollars. This goes right against the goal of achieving the Paris Agreement target, which is not the one cited by my hon. friend from Guelph. The target of 30% below 2005 by 2030 is the target tabled with the United Nations by former environment minister Leona Aglukkaq in May 2015, well before Paris was negotiated.

It is inexplicable to me that the Liberal government has held that target, but particularly, it is unconscionable since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report of October 8 of last year told us clearly that we have one opportunity to preserve human civilization, the window on that opportunity will close soon and 30% below 2005 levels by 2030 is a path to catastrophe.

Recognizing it is a climate emergency, when will the government, if the hon. member for Guelph is in a position to tell us, increase Canada's target and commitment with the United Nations to be consistent with the goal of 1.5°C?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
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