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Stronger environmental leadership needed in Ottawa

GreenPAC aims to change the game on election day.

by

Aaron Freeman is the founder and president of GreenPAC (GreenPAC.ca), Canada’s non-partisan organization to build environmental leadership in politics.
  • Aaron Freeman is the founder and president of GreenPAC (GreenPAC.ca), Canada’s non-partisan organization to build environmental leadership in politics.

“Would you ever consider running?”

Most people would answer this question with an emphatic “No.” Politicians are almost universally reviled, and few people are attracted to the idea of putting one’s life on hold and placing everything on the line, just to become a professional receptacle for everyone’s pet complaint. As a result, politics often attracts the wrong kind of people, while those we would like to see run for office usually run for the hills instead. Our government, and our country, is worse off for it, and it seems to many of us that each election brings a lower grade of candidates to choose from.

This election hasn’t done much to make running for office a more appealing prospect. But a new, non-partisan initiative holds the potential to draw more principle-based leaders into the political fold.

GreenPAC (www.GreenPAC.ca) is Canada’s non-partisan organization to build environmental leadership in politics. The organization has endorsed 18 candidates, across all major parties, who have demonstrated solid leadership on the environment. One of our “Green 18” is Halifax’s own Megan Leslie.

GreenPAC selected our list of candidates by looking at candidates’ experience and effectiveness. For example, Megan Leslie founded the Affordable Energy Coalition, which developed some of Nova Scotia’s first comprehensive energy efficiency programs. In the House of Commons, she has supported the founding of national parks, water quality protection, and efforts to address climate change.

Polls consistently show that Canadians want to see their country play a stronger role protecting our environment domestically and internationally. The reason we haven’t seen our government take on this role is that we don’t have the leaders in Ottawa who will take action.

On election day, we have the opportunity to help get these leaders elected, by supporting them financially and by volunteering on their campaigns. GreenPAC helps connect Canadians who care about the environment with the candidates who share their values.

Helping level the playing field for strong environmental leaders also helps attract better leaders into politics. When we help elect candidates with strong environmental values, it makes it more likely that next time around, our electoral choices will get better rather than worse.

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