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Green Party Response to Voices-Voix Letter
March 24, 2011
Dear Voices-Voix Coalition,
Firstly, let me thank you for coming together to engage in this initiative. Your membership includes some of the most respected development organizations, trade unions, and powerful voices for social justice, human rights and peace in Canada. Well done.
The issues you highlight in this pledge touch on positions that the Green Party has already taken. For instance, we are at this point the only federal political party to have called for an open public inquiry into the security actions at the G-8/G-20. Abuse of civil liberties and, what I see as a systematic pattern of abuse as it moves from Summit to Summit, require an investigation.
We have consistently over the last five years decried the targeting of women's organizations. The level of funding may have remained, but the groups that actually deal with root causes of inequality and poverty among women have been cut. I wish you had added restoration of the Law Reform Commission and the Court Challenges Programme. Greens have called for all the elements of accountability identified by Democracy Watch. Access to Information under this government has been twisted to "freedom from information." It is the most secretive government in Canadian history.
Greens have been calling for an open public process to deal with multiple threats to our democracy: excessive power in the hands of the PMO, and related to that, contempt by the Conservative Minority for the institutions and traditions which are the heart and soul of Parliamentary democracy, as well as an examination of our voting system and the role of the Senate. We have also called for actions to address the dangerous levels of corporate ownership and control in our news media. This question bears directly on the health of our democracy.
May I also say that I am enraged by cuts to Planned Parenthood, MATCH, CCIC and KAIROS. The ideological small-mindedness of these cuts must be exposed and the funding restored.
Although the media consortium has not yet confirmed anything, I am expecting to be included in the next leaders debate. I pledge to you to do my best to ensure that your voices are heard as I press for these issues to be addressed in that debate.
Elizabeth May, O.C.
Leader, Green Party of Canada
Note: This letter was sent by the Green Party of Canada to the Voices-Voix coalition in response to our Letter to Party Leaders asking for 8 pledges to defend democracy and human rights in Canada. That letter can be read here.
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