2021 GPC Federal Council Candidate Survey – Louise Comeau

Heartwood sent each of the 2021 Green Party of Canada Federal Council candidates a questionnaire asking them to introduce themselves, share their vision for the Party, and their thoughts on a potential imminent 2021 election and the ongoing internal Party conflict.

Here is New Brunswick Representative candidate Louise Comeau's response.

You

  1. What would you like the members to know about you?
  2. What is your history of involvement in Canadian Green Parties?
  3. Why are you running for Federal Council, and why this position?
  4. Why should the members vote for you?

I am a climate change activist, researcher, communicator and educator. strive to walk the talk living a low-carbon lifestyle and homesteading to nurture my own biocentric values, and to show others the joys of living in better alignment with nature.

I have been involved with the Greens over the last 10 years, running as a candidate and contributing to platform development and campaigns.

I am running for Federal Council to help renew GPC and to bring experience and a Maritime perspective to the table.
Members should vote for me if they want someone on Council who is a strong analytical thinker, and is able to gather evidence before making a decision, and who is committed to GPC principles and processes. My loyalty is to the collective and to nature.

Your Vision

  1. What is your vision for the Green Party of Canada?
  2. What are your values around inclusion, diversity and equity?
  3. What are your values around collaboration, finding common ground, and working through conflict as a hopeful member of FC?

I believe that ecological wisdom is the defining principle of our Party and through ecological wisdom we see the interconnections and interdependence of all life. That means ecological wisdom is more than a commitment to environmental protection. It is the foundation from which we pursue social justice, inclusion, peace, diversity and participatory democracy.

We all have work to do to advance inclusion, diversity and equity. We don’t achieve that only through identity politics that can divide us. We want to widen the tent with welcome arms. Greens are all welcome and that means building aggressively from where we are to build new relationships and ensure we are open, caring and a safe place to be. But that cannot mean hiding behind racism or gender bias claims every time we have a disagreement. We need our expectations to apply to all humans: expectations of decency, fair dealing, collaborative leadership and honesty to name a few attributes that cross race, gender, creed.

We need to mature in terms of how we work together. As a party of activists, we are always ready for a campaign and a fight. We need to remember who the enemy really is: our ecocidal economic system, for example, not our members.

The (possible) 2021 Federal Election

  1. What are your key priorities for the 2021 National Federal Election?
  2. What are your key priorities for repairing the culture and operations of the Green Party of Canada in 2021?
  3. Given that the Party has decided not to hire a National Campaign Manager for the next election if elected, would you want to revisit that decision? If you think that decision was correct, what changes to the role of the Fund, ED, and Council compared to past elections would not having a campaign manager necessitate?

The upcoming election, the first federal election since COVID-19, must focus on fairness and caring. Our policies should be packaged within this frame. On fairness, Canada needs to do its fair share on climate change, to achieve at least 60% reductions in GHG by 2030, we need strong retraining supports to ensure a just transition for workers. We need a package of policies focused on social inequality, including affordable housing, paid sick leave, treatment of migrant workers, frontline workers, etc. We need strong investments in long-term care.

Political parties are only political parties if their focus is on winning seats in elections. That means we need policies that work, we need campaigns that win, and we need communications that engage and excite. We are doing none of these things right now. We must reflect and change. We are too righteous, and we are too ready to challenge our teammates motivation rather than ideas. We need to build trust.

We have no money. Let’s be real. We have made poor financial management decisions and the reality is that we have to continue increasing our fundraising success and to cut our costs. We need to focus on a few key, winnable ridings in this next election. We need to hold our current seats and take at least one more to show we are stronger than the media madness we are imposing on ourselves.

Current GPC Conflict

  1. Given the ongoing and public rifts in the GPC and the high number of vacant and appointed positions, do you believe that the current Council should delay significant decisions until the candidates in this Council election are seated on the board?

Council has a duty to operate until the next Council takes over. We have serious issues to manage. What we need is solidarity. What we need is to remove Council members leaking information to the press because they are breaking confidentiality rules. Personally, I believe that members have a right to review all the issues at play, including the Leader at the AGM if that is their wish. Ideally, we would get a handle on this situation, focus on the election and engage in the normal leadership review that takes place within six months of an election. The incoming Council, however, will deal with whatever cards dealt. We must be neutral as to the outcome of any vote.