Local MP Elizabeth May predicts that the election of Democrat Joe Biden as US president will benefit the local environment. (Black Press Media File).

Local MP Elizabeth May predicts that the election of Democrat Joe Biden as US president will benefit the local environment. (Black Press Media File).

Island MP Elizabeth May predicts environmental issues will gain currency following U.S. election

May welcomes election of Joe Biden as U.S. president

Local MP Elizabeth May expects the United States will “rapidly” rejoin an international agreement designed to climate change following the U.S. election results on Saturday.

“I am so relieved in so many ways, but particularly to know the US will rapidly re-join the Paris Agreement,” she said in a message to local Greens in Saanich-Gulf Islands.

Democrat Joe Biden became president-elect Saturday after passing the minimal threshold of 270 votes in the electoral college, ahead of incumbent Republican Donald Trump, who withdrew the United States from the Paris Agreement. It creates a framework for countries to limit the global average temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius with an eye toward limiting the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The United States formally withdrew from the agreement on Nov. 4, 2020, one day after general election day.

May said Biden will not need congressional approval to rejoin, just as Trump did not require such support for the initial withdrawal.

May also predicts that local environmental issues will gain more currency in a Biden administration with the rumoured appointment of Washington Governor Jay Inslee as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, with May calling Inslee “a champion” of protecting Southern Resident Orcas with “a way better track-record than our government.”

RELATED: VIDEO: Biden promotes unity, turns to business of transition after U.S. election win

Under Inslee, Washington State has filed official opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline and increase in tanker traffic, as well as opposing the planned off-shore tests by the US Navy threatening marine life in the area, she said.

“So, Pacific Northwest issues may be receiving increasing attention with President Joe Biden and the climate crisis certainly will be,” she said.

Commenting more broadly on the election, May said “it is more than disturbing to realize 70 million human beings could think Donald Trump was their choice for four more years.”

While discussing the “bizarre” election system in the United States with its origins in the country’s slave-holding past, May drew a parallel between the winner-take-all nature of the American system and Canada’s first-past-the-post system.

“In Canada it applies riding by riding (or using our current terminology electoral district by electoral district),” she said. “In the US, it applies state by state with an additionally weird layer (the electoral college),” she said in expressing doubt about its abolishment, while offering various remedies and pointing to other aspects in need of reform.

This said, she used the occasion to repeat the familiar Green demand for electoral reform. “Back home, we also must get rid of (first past the post),” she said. “It continues to reward cynical politicians, like John Horgan with ‘false majority’ governments.”


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

An electronic sign at the Tofino-Ucluelet junction notifies travellers heading towards Sutton Pass that closure windows are in effect Thursday morning. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Survey swirls up confusion around Tofino-Ucluelet highway closures

“The Highway 4 Kennedy Hill Project closure times remain the same for now,” ministry says

Mona Strelaeff, a Metchosin resident, is the first non-terminally ill person in Canada to be allowed to use psilocybin assisted therapy. (Provided by Spencer Hawkswell)
Island woman’s magic mushroom trauma treatment could be trendsetting

Experts say this could signal the broadening of who can access psilocybin therapy

Grade 3 student Nate Twaddle, who uses a walker for a rare neurological condition, has been zooming along a new accessible walkway since it was installed in early October at Willway Elementary in Langford. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Langford mother thankful for accessible walkway that helps son connect with peers

Rare neurological condition means Grade 3 student uses wheelchair, walker to play

Trevor Davis, base manager of the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation in Sidney, stands in front of the Hecate Sentinal, an oil skimming vessel based at Sidney’s Van Isle Marina. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Oil spill response base taking shape on Saanich Peninsula

Enhanced base with elements in North Saanich and Sidney to be fully operational in fall 2022

The Fraser Institute’s annual report card on B.C. elementary schools ranks schools across the province based on standardized tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Opinion: Fraser Institute delivers elementary schools the usual mixed report card

What we learn doesn’t change, but maybe how we react to it should

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

(Needpix.com)
Pandemic has ‘exacerbated’ concerns for B.C. children and youth with special needs: report

Pandemic worsened an already patchwork system, representative says

Jon Lefebure went back to construction after losing the 2018 mayor’s post in North Cowichan to work on the Cottages On Willow. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Former Island mayor retools priorities with construction project

Fresh air a benefit and satisfaction results from building eight-unit housing complex in Chemainus

A truck arrives with a load of logs at Western Forest Products’ mill in Ladysmith. More work will be coming to the Ladysmith sawmill in February, says WFP. (Black Press file photo)
More work at Ladysmith mill in new year, says Western Forest Products

Company says Ladysmith operation to see second shift in February

Campbell River RCMP. RCMP photo
Woman spits in Campbell River business operator’s face

Spitter claimed she has COVID-19, in downtown confrontation

Participants pray in preparation for the start of the convoy through the streets of the Comox Valley, Wednesday, Dec. 2, to show support for farmers in India. Photo by Terry Farrell
VIDEO: Comox Valley residents hold rally and convoy in support of the plight of farmers in India

New legislation in India calls for for the deregulation of crop pricing

Most Read