Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May, front left, and former North Island-Powell River Green candidate Brenda Sayers participate in a First Nations blessing before a documentary screening Tuesday at the Bowen Park activity centre. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Green Party leader says pipeline, climate commitments incompatible

Elizabeth May was in Nanaimo on Tuesday for a documentary screening

A special guest was on hand to give two thumbs up to a documentary screening in Nanaimo tonight.

Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May was at the Bowen Park activity centre Tuesday for a preview of a documentary by local filmmaker Paul Manly. May took time to discuss international trade, Kinder Morgan and conflict in Gaza.

May, facing a criminal contempt charge for her participation in a recent pipeline protest, said the commitment by government to ensure the pipeline gets built is “insane.” She said it shows “cognitive dissonance” for the feds to believe they can allow the pipeline and still meet climate commitments and respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“I’ve gotten to the point where every time I hear [federal Environment Minister] Catherine McKenna say the environment and the economy go hand-in-hand, what comes to mind is Thelma and Louise, hand-in-hand. You know where they’re going,” said May. “So I do feel sorry for [the Liberals] because it’s stressful to hold onto two completely mutually incompatible positions at the same time and believe in them fervently.”

Manly’s documentary looked at a proposed stone quarry in Digby, N.S., close to the Bay of Fundy. The project was denied because of environmental concerns, but a resulting investor state lawsuit, through NAFTA, awarded U.S. company Bilcon more than $400 million.

Investor state dispute settlement language is contained in Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement and provides mechanisms for foreign corporations to sue governments that block projects.

May has argued against Canada entering into trade agreements with those provisions. She suggested the process is secretive, predictable and a losing proposition.

“This is all about global corporate rule. This is all about how do they create … shackles for just absolutely hobbling the ability of democratically elected governments to pursue the public interest in their own country,” she said.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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