On Sept 23, Jenica Atwin, Fredericton’s Green Party federal candidate, was joined by Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, to announce a platform promise increasing mental health support.
Other candidates present at the announcement were Tim Thompson, from Fundy Royal, Rowan Miller from Tobique—Mactaquac, and Susan Jonah from New Brunswick Southwest. David Coon, leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick and MLA for Fredericton South, was also there to show support.
May announced that in the platform budget they have put “$1.2 billion a year, every year, towards community treatment centres to deal with mental health support, addiction support and issues relating to autism.”
For suicide prevention, the Green Party has budgeted $100 million a year, and the same amount was budgeted yearly towards dealing with the opioid crisis.
May also announced that as a part of the Green Party campaign platform they would promise to restore the Provincial Territorial Health Accord, ensuring that health transfers reflect the demographics of each region.
She said it would account for the New Brunswick’s specific need for more senior health care support, as New Brunswick has a higher proportion of citizens aged above 65 than any other province.
Canada is the only country with a universal health care system that doesn’t include pharmacare, May adds. To achieve this, they would have to take on the pharmaceutical companies, which May plans to do.
“We can save billions of dollars in health care costs by addressing this. [Canadians] pay as much as 10, 20 and 30 times more for prescriptions for the same drugs from the same pharmaceutical companies [as in other countries],” she said.
May said this is because those companies have kept Canada beholden to them “signing trade deal after trade deal that protects their patent rights and makes drugs more expensive for the rest of us.”
May also said they want to fund post-secondary education, so that those institutions stop thinking about “getting bums into seats” and instead focus on educating the minds of their students, which she says will benefit both the institutions and the students.
“We can abolish tuition so our young people don’t finish their university education with enormous student debts,” May said.
May hopes that the election results in a minority parliament, as the other major parties cannot be trusted with a majority win.
“We need to have a minority parliament, with lots more Greens elected, so that we can make sure people keep their promises,” May said.
May claims the Green Party is different than the other major parties as the Green Party does not share their intense focus on victory. She mentions her experience being in parliament where backroom strategists set up wedge issues for an election campaign, as well as Andrew Scheer leading his members of Parliament in banging on their desks so that they could not hear the Minister of Finance announcing the budget.
May said this behaviour is a threat to democracy and leads to changes in the minds of the voting public.
“Canadians are sick of having the choice of you have to vote Liberal or you have to vote Conservative, or maybe you have to hold your nose and vote for something else because you want the lesser of two evils. This election, [Canadians] have got the choice of the evil of two lessers,” said May.
She then encouraged voters to look beyond the duality of our history and vote with their values.