As we close in on the Oct. 21 federal election, Nunavut News asked several questions of the four individuals who have entered the race to become the territory’s member of Parliament.
Douglas Roy, Green Party
Q: What are your top three priorities and, briefly, how will you make improvements in each area?
A: My priorities have to do with climate change and the threat that this shift will mean for the people of Nunavut and the planet. This is not the time to quibble about lowering taxes, nor who’s less than forthcoming about his resume, nor even about who dresses up in blackface. It’s not about being Inuit or African or Chinese. All of our children are at risk, and we need an immediate lifestyle change to preserve this world for our children. According to scientists, we have only 11 years to significantly adjust the way we live, otherwise we will create a future that humanity may not be able to fix and billions may die.
The simple fixes involve technology. Nunavut could generate most of its electricity from wind generators rather than diesel. Our transportation systems, depending so much as we do on aircraft, would require technological innovation, but we do not have the population base for expensive alternatives.
The more complicated adjustments will need to come from the way we live, and for that we would need government leadership and increased awareness among the people. We need better education and increased media attention. It is an emergency. By the time people here realize their lifestyle is threatened by observations of less wildlife or critical weather incidents, it will be too late.
Q: Nunavut needs approximately 3,500 new homes. How many houses is your party going to build over the next four years?
A: 3500. Governments exist to meet the needs of the people. It’s simply a matter of priorities. The federal government has the money, but spends it in many questionable areas. We don’t need new multi-million dollar jets for the air force. We need to put our people first, whether it’s the First Nations reserves without water or the housing crisis of Nunavut.
Q: How will your party tackle climate change? Is a carbon tax effective?
A: Based on the British Columbia experience, the carbon tax is a success. However it’s an insignificant change relative to what is required. We need major initiatives now. We need Conservative politicians and their supporters to read about the crisis, to read the science. The carbon tax is a tiny Band-Aid, and while it’s a step in the right direction, it’s only a baby step.
Q: Tell us about an underrepresented issue or something you’ve learned about for the first time on the campaign trail that you now plan to address.
A: While most people are polite and supportive, some younger people view this election with much more urgency than the general population. They see the worst-case scenario playing out in their lifetimes and some refuse to sit back and watch it happen. These people urged violent responses to a society that ignores their concerns. I would certainly agree that the Trans Mountain Pipeline must never be built, and whatever it takes to stop it is justified. Young girls now promise to never have a baby. Young men talk of hitting back at the corporate elites who have allowed this situation to get to where it is now. Our democracy works because it responds to our needs. I hope that those who will bear the brunt of the failed policies to date can support the Green Party’s initiatives to change the country’s direction as soon as possible.
Q: What are you hearing from Nunavummiut about your national leader?
A: As in the rest of Canada, Elizabeth May is viewed as the best of the bunch for Prime Minister. May is viewed as honest and is trusted to keep her word. I’ve me her on several occasions and this is how I also view her as well.
Q: Do you agree or disagree that a judicial review should be held before compensation is granted to Indigenous people who were apprehended under the government’s child welfare system?
A: I disagree. Compensation should be granted to those apprehended under the child welfare system. It’s black and white, open and shut. They should just get on with it and just do it.