Green Party wants to make mining more sustainable, May says in Sudbury visit

Elizabeth May, left, with Bill Crumplin, Green Party candidate for Sudbury, and Tom Fortin, the director of OnTrak. jpg, SU

Share Adjust Comment Print

The Green Party’s environmental and sustainability platform can be a hard sell at times in Northern Ontario, where the mining industry is so prevalent.

But Green Party leader Elizabeth May said Tuesday during a visit to Sudbury that she’s here to listen to the community’s concerns because “what matters to the community matters to us.”

“I have a lot of faith in the entrepreneurial capacity of Canadian business,” she said. “It’s an economic opportunity. It’s an economic revolution and those that get out ahead of it, are going to do extremely well. And those companies include some of the ones I’ve visited today.”

May made the comments following a tour of Sudbury’s NORCAT Centre, which offers training for skilled labour workers, and development support for local entrepreneurs and tech innovators.

She was in Sudbury on Tuesday as part of her cross-country tour ahead of the federal election in October. She is the first party leader to visit Sudbury during the campaign.

May said part of her party’s focus is on moving away from fossil fuel dependency through “clever innovation” and “figuring out ways to do things that have less impact on the environment and create more jobs.”

She also said the Green Party wants to make mining more sustainable while striving to protect workers and their jobs.

May recalled the challenges of reducing acid rain at the time when Inco’s smelter in Sudbury was a major contributor to the problem, including convincing the corporation that changes would be beneficial. In the end, she said, the changes made by Inco became a profit centre.

“We have to skate to where the puck is going. If people want to keep pretending that fossil fuels are our future, I’ll let them pretend. But it’s clear, just on the economics; fossil fuels are over, and we need to move ahead and protect Canadian jobs while we do it.”

Mining, of course, is Sudbury’s key employer, with more than 15,000 people working in the industry.

May also talked about her election platform during her visit.

With the election coming up, May said it’s time to restore “real democracy” to parliament. She is asking voters to think about what they want from their candidates and their government.

“We offer hard-working, honest, and ethical MPs,” she said. “We are the best ingredient for a minority government to make things work well. We work well across party lines and we’re more committed to principle than to power. So, we are going to make a big difference to deliver better government for Canadians at the end of this election.”

The Green Party candidate for Sudbury is Bill Crumplin, who joined May during her tour of the Norcat Centre. Crumplin also hosted a community meeting with May last night to discuss issues concerning members of the community.

The party will select its Nickel Belt candidate next month.

sud.editorial@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @Mia_RJensen

Comments