‘The Liberal government needs to lead again’: what the Green Party expects in 2024

As the 2024 political season moves forward, the federal Green Party is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to prioritize a trio of goals in the coming year: affordability, federal-provincial collaboration and international peace.

These goals are supported by a call from Green Party of Canada co-leaders Elizabeth May and Jonathan Pedneault for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to improve his leadership, along with the belief that the next election will not be called this year.

“Frankly, the Liberal government needs to lead again. Canadians expect that, demand it and need it from their government right now,” Pedneault said.

Speaking to reporters in Parliament a few weeks before the House of Commons begins its 2024 session, the duo sounded alarms about income inequality and the rise of hate in Canada, the impact of climate change, the disorder in federal-provincial relations and the escalation of global tensions as a result of the ongoing wars between Russia and Ukraine and Israel and Hamas.

“I know Justin Trudeau has hired people to give them a new narrative,” May said, referring to the prime minister’s hiring of seasoned marketing guru Max Valiquette as his new executive director of communications. “We suggest that the country needs to come together and that the narrative that people want to see is not a new story, but results.”

Specifically, on the Greens’ wish list for 2024:

  • A guaranteed federal minimum income;
  • Affordable housing amid gentrification;
  • Concrete plans to counteract the climate crisis;
  • A federal-provincial-indigenous ‘coalition’ on health and energy;
  • Renewed efforts to stop Russian oil sales and tighten sanctions; and
  • Advocate for a peaceful end to the conflict in the Middle East.

“We’re seeing attacks on the federation from a number of provincial leaders and that’s having a huge impact on our collective ability as a country to fix the housing crisis, fix the health care crisis, fix the education crisis,” Pedneault said. “That needs to be addressed in the same way that we need to, as part of a family of nations… stand strong… in support of justice around the world.”

The Green Party’s push to make progress in these areas comes with widespread doubt that Trudeau will launch the country into a second snap election, citing the economy and the current state of the confidence and supply agreement between the Liberals and the NDP.

“I feel pretty confident at the moment that we won’t see an election until the 2025 election date. And, frankly, I think that will be good for the country and for our economy,” May said.

ELECTORAL GAINS OF THE GREEN VOTE

Regardless of when the election is held, May predicted that the Green Party “will surprise people by electing many more MPs than we have had in the past.”

From May’s perspective, she said the party is “focused on finding great candidates” to field a full slate across the country, citing plans to hit the road in 2024 to rally and unite people.

Facing questions about the Greens’ political prospects and the party’s goals as they begin to prepare for the upcoming federal election, Pedneault, who came fourth in the June 2023 election Notre-Dame-de-Grâce–Westmount, Que . federal byelection — said their goal is to promote “disciplined energy” at home and present themselves to Canadians as a viable alternative.

“Canadians need to start dreaming again. In reality, the future may look much brighter… than where we are now, but changes are needed,” Pedneault said, framing his party as a promising progressive contrast to the Liberals, who they said “have not delivered,” or the NDP, which is propping up the government, and in contrast to the “attack and destroy” style of Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre.

“The next election will be, and will have to be, a referendum on the nature of this country. It is not a referendum on a carbon tax, nor on affordability, nor on Trudeau’s legacy. It is a referendum on who we are as a country “as a nation… There is no future for this country through division, but there are immense and tremendous opportunities if we come together,” he said.

Asked why she thinks the political landscape will deliver different results for the Greens than in past elections, May said that in her home province of British Columbia she is seeing a high degree of “disillusionment” with the Liberals and the NDP, as well as “a lot of concern” about a conservative government.

“We’re looking at a shift that will elect the Greens in Ontario, in Atlantic Canada, plus in British Columbia and the territories,” May said. “So we’re looking across the country for winnable seats, that’s up to us… as a team, to rebuild and convince people that we’re a competent team and we can do this together.”

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