Transcript: Green Party of Canada Leadership Debate, Part 2 | Jun 24, 2020

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a blue suit and shirt, and a checkered blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "Green Party of Canada Leadership debate. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says OUTGOING LEADER ELIZABETH MAY FOUGHT HARD TO GET THE GREEN PARTY OF CANADA INTO THE SPOTLIGHT ON THE FEDERAL STAGE. SHE SUCCEEDED WHERE OTHERS HAD NOT. NOW, SHE'S PASSING THE TORCH, AND WE'VE GOT THE SECOND OF TWO DEBATES AMONG THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO PUT THEIR STAMP ON THE PARTY AND THE COUNTRY.

The caption changes to "To watch both Green Party of Canada debates go to: tvo.org or youtube.com/TheAgenda."

Steve continues WITH TEN CANDIDATES VYING FOR LEADER, WE THOUGHT HAVING THEM ALL GO AT ONCE WAS TOO UNWIELDY. SO WE'VE DIVIDED THE FIELD INTO TWO PARTS. JOINING US NOW FOR THE SECOND DEBATE, FIVE EQUALLY DETERMINED CANDIDATES. HERE THEY ARE IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER: IN MONTREAL, QUEBEC: MERYAM HADDAD, LAWYER AND THE GREEN PARTY CANDIDATE IN LAST YEAR'S ELECTION IN CHATEAUGUAY-LACOLLE...

Meryam is in her thirties, with long wavy dark hair. She's wearing round glasses and a white blouse.

Steve continues IN YELLOWKNIFE, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES: COURTNEY HOWARD, AN EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN AND PRESIDENT OF THE CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF PHYSICIANS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT...

Courtney is in her late thirties, with long curly blond hair. She's wearing glasses and a pink blazer.

Steve continues IN MONTREAL, QUEBEC: DIMITRI LASCARIS, LAWYER AND THE GREEN PARTY'S 2015 CANDIDATE IN LONDON WEST...

Dimitri is in his forties, clean-shaven and bald. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit and a blue shirt.

Steve continues ALSO IN MONTREAL, QUEBEC: DYLAN MAXWELL, ECO-ENTREPRENEUR AND A SIX-TIME CANDIDATE FOR THE GREEN PARTY OF CANADA IN QUEBEC...

Dylan is in his late thirties, with curly brown hair and a goatee. He's wearing a black top hat and a green shirt.

Steve continues AND IN OWEN SOUND, ONTARIO: ANDREW WEST, LAWYER AND THE PARTY'S JUSTICE CRITIC, WHO HAS RUN FEDERALLY AND PROVINCIALLY FOR THE GREENS...

Andrew is in his thirties, with short ginger hair and a full beard. He's wearing a checkered blue shirt.

Steve continues WE ARE DELIGHTED TO WELCOME ALL OF YOU FIVE CANDIDATES FOR OUR SECOND GO-AROUND ON THIS, AND LET ME JUST START BY PUTTING THIS PREMISE OUT THERE AND WE'LL GET INTO SOME DISCUSSION ABOUT IT. WHEN PEOPLE THINK OF THE LIBERAL PARTY OR THE NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY OR THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY, THEY, I SUSPECT THEY HAVE A SENSE ABOUT WHERE ON THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM THOSE PARTIES LIVE. I'M NOT SO SURE THAT'S THE CASE WITH THE GREENS AND ANYWAY WITH A NEW LEADER COMING INTO PLACE, MAYBE YOU WANT TO TAKE THE PARTY SOMEWHERE ELSE ANYWAY. LET'S HAVE A BIT OF A CONVERSATION ABOUT THAT. MERYAM, WHERE DO YOU SEE THE GREEN PARTY OF CANADA BEING ON THAT POLITICAL SPECTRUM?

The caption changes to "Meryam Haddad. @MeryamHd2020."

Meryam says WELL, I THINK WE ARE THE MOST PROGRESSIVE PARTY, AND WE ARE A TRUE GRASS ROOTS PARTY. ALL OUR POLICIES ARE DECIDED BY THE MEMBERS, AND WE DID SOME MISTAKES DURING THE LAST ELECTION. WE JUST HAVE TO COMMUNICATE OUR MESSAGE AND IDENTITY BETTER, AND OUR SLOGAN NEEDS TO BE ALIGNED WITH OUR LEFT-WING PLATFORM.

Steve says COURTNEY HOWARD, WHERE DO YOU SEE THE PARTY?

The caption changes to "Courtney Howard. @courtghoward."

Courtney says YOU KNOW, PROBABLY NOT SURPRISINGLY I SEE EVERYTHING THROUGH THE LENS OF HEALTH. SO I THINK THE GREEN PARTY HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE THE MOST EVIDENCE-BASED VOICE IN CANADA, THE MOST ETHICS DRIVEN VOICE AND THE MOST ACTION ORIENTED VOICE, AND I THINK WE'LL MAKE THE MOST PROGRESS IF WE SET A WELL-BEING ECONOMY AND THE OVER ALL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF CANADIANS AS OUR SOLUTION.

Steve says SOLUTIONS COME FROM THE LEFT, THE RIGHT, THE CENTRE...
IS THAT IT?

Courtney says I WANT PEOPLE TO LIVE LONG AND BE HAPPY.

Steve says DMITRI TRENIN, HOW ABOUT YOU ON THAT QUESTION?

The caption changes to "Dimitri Lascaris. @dimitrilascaris."

Dimitri says I'D LIKE TO START BY ACKNOWLEDGING THAT I'M ON THE UNCEDED LAND OF THE FIRST NATIONS IN MONTREAL. WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THE CORE VALUES OF THE PARTY. THERE ARE SIX OF THEM. MANY CANADIANS KNOW ABOUT ECOLOGICAL WISDOM AND SUSTAINABILITY WHICH HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE FOCUS OF OUR PARTY, BUT WE ALSO EMBRACE AS CORE VALUES SOCIAL JUSTICE, PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY, NON-VIOLENCE AND RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY, AND THESE TO ME EMBODY A PROGRESSIVE PLATFORM, A PROGRESSIVE VISION, CALL IT THE LEFT, CALL IT SOCIALISM, CALL IT, YOU KNOW, LEFT OF CENTRE, WHATEVER IT MAY BE. THAT IS THE CORE OF WHO WE ARE. WE ARE NOT FUNDAMENTALLY, WHEN YOU LOOK AT OUR CORE VALUES, A CENTRIST PARTY. WE'RE CERTAINLY NOT A PARTY OF THE RIGHT. I THINK WE SHOULD BE PROUD OF THAT FACT AND I READILY EMBRACE IT.

Steve says DYLAN MAXWELL?

The caption changes to "Dylan Maxwell. @dylanmaxwell7."

Dylan says I THINK WE HAVE TO USE COMPASSION AND LOGIC TO MAKE OUR DECISIONS. WE CAN'T JUST JUMP TO ONE DECISION OR ANOTHER BASED ON WHETHER IT FITS INTO BEING SOCIALIST OR RIGHT WING. FOR EXAMPLE, YOU KNOW, DRUG POLICY. YOU LOOK AT PORTUGAL. IT WORKS. SOMEBODY ON THE RIGHT MIGHT GO, OH, NO, IT'S LEGALIZING DRUGS. WE DON'T WANT TO DO THAT. DOES IT WORK OR NOT WORK? WE DON'T WANT TO TURN PEOPLE OFF. IN QUEBEC, BEING A SOCIALIST PARTY IT WOULD HELP US. IN THE REST OF THE COUNTRY... WE SHOULDN'T LOCK OURSELVES IN. IF WE TURN LEFT WE'RE GOING TO GO AROUND IN CIRCLES. IF WE GO RIGHT, WE'LL GO ALONG IN CIRCLES. STOPPING BILLIONAIRES. YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT THE FACTS AND WHAT'S GOING TO WORK AND WHAT'S NOT GOING TO WORK AND HAVE COMPASSION.

Steve says ANDREW WEST?

Andrew says I'M A MODERATE AND AN ADVOCATE FOR A THRIVING CANADA. I THINK THAT THE GREEN PARTY IS IN THE CENTRE. I THINK THAT WE ARE A PARTY THAT HAS STRONG SOCIOECONOMIC POLICIES BUT I THINK WE'VE ALSO BEEN A PARTY THAT HAS SHOWN THAT WE ARE FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE AND WE CAN'T LOSE THAT. I THINK IF WE SHIFT THE PARTY TOWARDS THE LEFT, WHICH A LOT OF PEOPLE... CANDIDATES WANT TO DO, THEN WE'RE GOING TO HAVE MORE CANDIDATES FIGHTING OVER A SMALLER PIECE OF THE PIE. IF WE WANT TO GET ELECTED AND THAT SHOULD BE THE GOAL OF THE GREEN PARTY, WHICH IS TO GET ELECTED, WE SHOULD STAY IN THE CENTRE AND ATTRACT DISENFRANCHISED VOTERS WHO ARE FED UP WITH THE NDP AND THE LIBERALS, BUT ALSO CONSERVATIVE VOTERS WHO FEEL THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY HAS LOST THEIR WAY, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT CONCERNS THE ENVIRONMENT AND FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY. WE SHOULD BE THAT OPTION, TO ATTRACT ALL OF THESE VOTERS. WE'RE A BIG TENT PARTY AND WE NEED TO ATTRACT AS MANY VOTERS AS WE CAN TO WIN.

Steve says OKAY. THAT ESTABLISHES WHERE THE FIVE OF YOU ARE IN TERMS OF THE VISION ON THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM FOR THE FUTURE OF THE PARTY. LET'S NOW TALK ABOUT THE THING THAT I'M SURE IS ON EVERYBODY'S MIND WHO INTENDS TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS LEADERSHIP CONTEST AND THAT IS POLLUTION. THE SKIES, THE ENVIRONMENT. LOOK AT THE SKIES OF OUR MAJOR CITIES. THEY ARE CLEANER THAN THEY'VE BEEN IN YEARS. THAT MAY BE ONE OF THE VERY FEW THINGS THAT THIS PANDEMIC HAS DELIVERED TO US. HOWEVER, HERE COMES THE QUESTION: WE WANT TO TAKE THAT POSITIVE DEVELOPMENT OF CLEANER SKIES AND RUN WITH IT. HOWEVER, WE ARE ALSO BEING TOLD THAT IT'S LIKELY THAT PEOPLE ARE NOT GOING TO COME BACK TO PUBLIC TRANSIT IN THE WAY THEY ONCE DID AND THEREFORE PEOPLE MAY DRIVE MORE. WE KNOW WHEN PEOPLE GO SHOPPING NOWADAYS, THEY'RE USING SINGLE-PURPOSE PLASTIC BAGS AGAIN, THE REUSABLE BAGS, WE'RE TOLD NOT TO BRING THEM. WE MAY SEE IN THE FUTURE SOME THINGS THAT SEEM VERY UNENVIRONMENTAL IN ORDER TO DEAL WITH THE TIMES IN WHICH WE LIVE. SO LET'S START WITH THIS. COURTNEY HOWARD, YOU START US OFF ON THIS. HOW DO WE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE GOOD THINGS OF THIS MOMENT AND REALLY MAKE TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGE?

Courtney says SO I THINK WHAT COVID HAS SHOWN US IS, NUMBER ONE, WE NEED TO PAY DEEP ATTENTION TO THE INTERSECTION BETWEEN HUMAN HEALTH AND THE HEALTH OF THE NATURAL WORLD. THIS VIRUS STARTED IN ANIMALS AND MADE ITS LEAP INTO HUMANS AND WE'VE SEEN OTHER SIMILAR VIRUSES DRIVEN BY BIODIVERSITY LOSS AND WE KNOW THAT AS THE CLIMATE CHANGES, WE'RE GOING TO SEE ANIMALS CHANGING IN HABITAT AND IT ACTUALLY INCREASES THE RISK OF FURTHER PANDEMICS JUST LIKE THIS. SO I VIEW THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS AS A PLANETARY HEALTH EMERGENCY AND IN FACT THE BIGGEST REASON WE'VE EVER HAD TO TAKE ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND RECONCILE OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE NATURAL WORLD. SO I THINK THAT WHAT WE'VE SEEN, THE GOOD PART, IS THAT WHEN WE WORK TOGETHER AND TAKE ACTION AND OUR SCIENTISTS ARE ABLE TO INFORM OUR POLICY IN A REALLY DIRECT WAY, WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD REALLY FAST. SO WHEN WE SEE THESE PICTURES OF, YOU KNOW, THE STREETS IN TORONTO AND THE CLEAN AIR, I THINK THAT THAT CAN BE A VISION, THAT CAN HELP US ENVISION A POSITIVE FUTURE THAT WE CAN MOVE TOWARDS. SOMETIMES IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT WE'VE BEEN NOT VERY GOOD AT PAINTING WHERE WE WANT TO GO. WE'VE BEEN TOO BUSY SCARING PEOPLE ABOUT WHERE WE DON'T WANT TO GO. TO ME, THIS IS A SIGN THAT WE CAN SORT OF TAKE HOPE FROM TO SAY, HEY, WHEN WE WORK ALL TOGETHER, WE CAN GET THE JOB DONE. WE KNOW, FOR INSTANCE, TRAFFIC-RELATED AIR POLLUTION IN TORONTO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ABOUT 20 percent OF NEW PEDIATRIC ASTHMA EXACERBATION. IF WE CAN MAINTAIN THIS KIND OF GOOD AIR QUALITY, THAT KEEPS KIDS OUT OF HOSPITAL, THAT SAVES HEALTH CARE COSTS, THAT REDUCES LUNG CANCER, PEOPLE LIVE LONGER, SO THERE ARE A LOT OF GOOD REASONS FOR US TO DO THIS, KEEP US SAFE NOW, REDUCE HEALTH CARE COSTS AND KEEP OUR KIDS SAFE INTO THE FUTURE. OVERALL THE THING WE NEED TO DO IS HAVE A WHOLE-HEARTED VISION OF A HEALTHY SOCIETY, AND THE WAY WE PUT THAT INTO LAW IS WITH A CLIMATE ACCOUNTABILITY ACT HERE IN CANADA. WE'VE HAD SUCH PIECEMEAL POLICY WITH ONE PARTY GETTING ELECTED AND THEN ANOTHER PARTY GETTING ELECTED AND COMPLETELY CHANGING THINGS. WE HAVEN'T MADE ANY PROGRESS. IN THE U.K. WHERE THEY BROUGHT THE CLIMATE CHANGE ACT IN ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO THEY'VE MANAGED TO REDUCE THEIR EMISSIONS SUBSTANTIALLY. SO WE NEED TO PASS A LAW, LEGISLATE GREENHOUSE GAS CARBON BUDGET EVERY FIVE YEARS, WE NEED AN INDEPENDENT SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BODY THAT CONTINUOUSLY AUDIT GOVERNMENT POLICY AND FEEDS BACK WHETHER OR NOT WE'RE GOING TO MAKE OUR TARGET OR NOT SO THAT PEOPLE CAN ADJUST ON THE GO. HAVING A VISION AND MOVING TOWARDS OUR VISION.

Steve says DMITRI TRENIN, WHY DON'T YOU PICK THAT UP AND TELL US HOW YOU WOULD HANDLE THIS MOMENT?

Dimitri says I THINK THE LESSON OF THIS MOMENT, AMONGST MANY OTHERS, IS THAT GOVERNMENT MUST LEAD AND GOVERNMENT CAN LEAD. WE HAVE BEEN TOLD FOR DECADES THAT THE MEANS WERE NOT THERE TO FUND A RAPID TRANSITION TO A RENEWABLE ENERGY ECONOMY, AND YET WE DISCOVERED LO AND BEHOLD THAT WHEN A PANDEMIC ERUPTS AND OUR GOVERNMENT WAS ILL-PREPARED FOR THAT, FRANKLY, THE GOVERNMENT IS ABLE TO SUMMON TENS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, EVEN HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO DEAL WITH THE CRISIS OF THE MOMENT. I THINK WE AS GREENS CAN ALL AGREE THAT IN THE LONGER TERM, THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY IS AN EVEN GREATER THREAT TO THE EXISTENCE OF HUMANITY AND TO THE LIVEABILITY OF OUR PLANET THAN THIS PARTICULAR PANDEMIC. SO IF WE HAVE THE MEANS TO DEAL WITH MASSIVE GOVERNMENT... BY MEANS OF MASSIVE GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION WITH THIS CRISIS, SURELY WE HAVE THE MEANS TO DO THAT WITH RESPECT TO A MUCH MORE PRESSING, LONG-TERM CRISIS, AND THAT IS THE CLIMATE CRISIS. SO I WOULD SAY THAT WE NOW KNOW THAT THIS MYTH THAT THE MEANS ARE NOT THERE IS IN FACT A MYTH, AND I CALL UPON THE GOVERNMENT, AS THE LEADER OF THE GREEN PARTY OF CANADA I WILL CHAMPION THE NOTION THAT THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD COME FORWARD WITH A MASSIVE INVESTMENT PLAN TO TRANSITION TO A RENEWABLE ENERGY ECONOMY AND TO LEARN THE LESSONS OF THE ECONOMIC REALITIES OF THE SITUATION, AND I JUST WANT TO SAY ONE THING IN RESPONSE TO A COMMENT BY MY BROTHER DYLAN IN HIS OPENING REMARKS ABOUT WHAT CONSTITUTES A MODERATE AND NOT A MODERATE. IN MY OPINION, WE NEED TO STOP TALKING ABOUT PERSONS WHO ARE ULTIMATELY DEFENDING THE STATUS QUO AS MODERATES. IF YOU HAVE A STATUS QUO THAT IS LEADING YOU DOWN THE PATH OF THE EXTINCTION ULTIMATELY, THAT'S EXTREMISM. THE PEOPLE WHO ARE THE TRUE MODERATES IN THE RACE ARE THOSE WHO ARE CALLING UPON THIS COUNTRY AND THIS PARTY TO TAKE THE STEPS NECESSARY TO DEAL WITH A FUNDAMENTALLY FLAWED ECONOMIC SYSTEM THAT IS LEADING US DOWN THE PATH OF THE CLIMATE CRISIS.

Steve says DYLAN, OVER TO YOU.

Dylan says FIRST OF ALL, I WOULDN'T CALL MYSELF A MODERATE. I DO THINK WE HAVE TO HAVE PUBLIC SUPPORT. WE HAVE TO HAVE DEMOCRACY. WE NEED PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR THE RADICAL THINGS WE NEED TO DO. AND IN TERMS OF COVID, WE NEED... WE NEED TO TAKE CARE OF IT. YOU SHOULD ASK NOT WHAT THE GREEN PARTY CAN DO FOR YOU BUT WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR THE PLANET AND FELLOW CANADIANS. I'M GIVING AWAY A FREE MASK. YOU CAN CONTACT ME AND I'LL GIVE YOU YOUR FREE MASK IF YOU DONATE TO THE CAMPAIGN.AT ONE-QUARTER OF THE MONEY I COLLECT GOES TO GIVING OUT FREE MASKS TO PEOPLE. ANOTHER QUARTER GOES TO ACTUALLY BURYING CARBON IN THE GROUND. YOU CAN CHECK THAT OUT AT MY WEBSITE. WE HAVE TO DO THINGS. WE HAVE TO ACT. THE GOVERNMENT HAD A CHANCE. I THINK THIS SHOWS WHAT HAPPENS... WHAT THE DIFFERENCE A GOVERNMENT MAKES IN PEOPLE'S LIVES. YOU KNOW, IF WE ACCEPT SCIENCE, WE ALL KNEW A PANDEMIC WAS COMING. TRUDEAU DECIDED LIKE MOST COUNTRIES LET'S DO BUSINESS AS USUAL, THINK ABOUT WHAT WE'RE DOING TODAY, HOW WE CAN MAKE MORE MONEY TODAY. TAIWAN HAD LESS THAN SEVEN DEATHS BECAUSE THEY LISTENED TO THE SCIENCE, THEY KNEW IT WAS COMING AND THEY PREPARED, JUST LIKE WE COULD HAVE DONE BUT WE DIDN'T DO AND THE SAME THING WITH CLIMATE CHANGE. WE KNOW IT'S COMING. WE NEED TO PREPARE. WE'RE GOING TO DO MUCH BETTER ECONOMICALLY IF WE PREPARE AND START DOING THINGS NOW. WE SHOULDN'T TALK OF THINGS... THE LEFT AND RIGHT THING. WE SHOULD BE FOCUSING ON GROWTH GLOBAL HAPPINESS, NOT ABOUT MONEY. SURE, IT'S HARD TO BE HAPPY WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE A GOOD PLACE TO LIVE, YOU DON'T HAVE FOOD. BUT BY FOCUSING ON MONEY, WE'RE LOOKING AT THE WRONG ISSUE. SURE, WE NEED SHELTER, SURE WE NEED SOME CLOTHING. WE'RE NOT ALL DOING PRETTY WELL HERE. BUT, I MEAN, WE HAVE TO THINK ABOUT WHAT'S IMPORTANT AND NOT DIVIDE OURSELVES BETWEEN WHAT'S LEFT AND RIGHT. WE HAVE TO THINK ABOUT THINGS... WE HAVE TO DO THINGS LIKE OPPOSITION. WE HAVE TO PROPOSE POLICIES THAT EVERYONE CAN GET BEHIND, LIKE HAVING ONE INCOME TAX RATHER THAN SIX AND... YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU HIRE PEOPLE. I USED TO HIRE PEOPLE. THEY MAKE IT SO COMPLICATED. I DON'T WANT TO FILL OUT ALL THIS PAPERWORK...

Steve says HOPEFULLY WE'LL HAVE A CHANCE TO DISCUSS SOME OF THESE IDEAS AS WE GO ALONG. ANDREW WEST HOW WOULD YOU RESPOND TO THIS PARTICULAR MOMENT IN OUR HISTORY WHERE WE'RE MAKING SOME ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRESS IRONICALLY BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC BUT IT ALSO MAY CAUSE SOME NON-ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSES AS WELL.

The caption changes to "Andrew West. @greenandrewwest."

Andrew says I DON'T NECESSARILY THINK THAT WE CAN'T GO BACK TO THE WAY THINGS WERE BEFORE WHEN WE STARTED TO TRANSITION AWAY FROM SINGLE USE PLASTICS, SUCH AS GARBAGE... SUCH AS SHOPPING BAGS AND STRAWS, AND I THINK THAT OBVIOUSLY DURING THE PANDEMIC SOME OF THOSE MEASURES NEEDED TO BE IN PLACE TO GO BACK TO THOSE SHOPPING BAGS BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT BRINGING THE VIRUS IN ON CANVAS BAGS. I THINK WHAT THE PANDEMIC HAS SHOWN, WHEN WE PUT OUR MINDS TO IT, WE CAN ADDRESS THE CLIMATE CHANGE, WE CAN ADDRESS CLIMATE ISSUES AND WE CAN REACH OUR PARIS ACCORD TARGET BY REDUCING EMISSIONS BELOW 20 percent BY 2030. IT'S NOT A MATTER OF FACT THAT PEOPLE ARE GOING TO GET UPSET OR THEY'RE SCARED TO GO BACK ON PUBLIC TRANSIT. WE'VE DEVELOPED A SYSTEM IN THE PAST, PEOPLE HAVE LEARNED THAT THEY NEED TO USE MORE REUSABLE BAGS AND PUBLIC TRANSIT, AND NOW THAT I SEE THAT GIVEN THE RIGHT CIRCUMSTANCES, HUMANS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND A POSITIVE IMPACT ON OUR ENVIRONMENT, I REALLY THINK THAT'S A SIGN THAT WE SHOULD FOCUS ON AND MOVE FORWARD AND SAY, LOOK, IF WE TAKE WHAT WE'VE ALREADY LEARNED BEFORE AND WE TAKE WHAT WE'VE LEARNED NOW, THEN WE CAN PUT THOSE TOGETHER AND TRANSITION INTO A GREENER ECONOMY THAT WILL TRULY BENEFIT SOCIETY LONG TERM. I JUST WANT TO GO BACK ACTUALLY TO QUESTION SOMETHING THAT DMITRI SAID. I THINK HE WAS ACTUALLY REFERRING TO ME WHEN HE WAS TALKING ABOUT [indiscernible]

BECAUSE YES, I AM. WE DO NEED TO LOOK AT OUR FINANCES. THE GREEN PARTY IS IN AN AMAZING SITUATION RIGHT NOW. IF YOU LOOK AT IT THROUGH HISTORY, AFTER TRADITIONAL YEARS OF DEFICITS, USUALLY BROUGHT ON BY LIBERAL PARTIES, THEY'VE OFTEN TURNED TO THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY THINKING THAT THEY NEED TO DO THIS TO CONTROL OUR DEBT-TO-GDP RATIO. SO, FOR EXAMPLE, IN 2007, OUR DEBT-TO-GDP RATIO WAS 67 percent. NOW IT'S AROUND 90 percent. HEALTHY ECONOMIES LIKE GERMANY STAY AROUND THAT 80 percent... OR THAT 60 percent RANGE. IF WE UTILIZE THIS OPPORTUNITY PROPERLY, WE CAN BE SHOWN AS THE PARTY THAT CANADIANS CAN TURN TO IN HARD ECONOMIC TIMES. DEFICITS ARE IMPORTANT IN A TIME LIKE THIS, BUT THEY WEREN'T NECESSARILY NEEDED IN THE PAST FOUR YEARS. IF YOU LOOK AT THE DEBT-TO-GDP RATIO GRAPHS, YOU CAN SEE A SPIKE OVER THE LAST YEARS OF THE FEDERAL LIBERAL GOVERNMENT. PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE TURNING TO A FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE OPTION. THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY HAS PROVEN EVER SINCE STEPHEN HARPER THAT THEY ARE NOT THERE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. THEY HAVE FAILED THE ENVIRONMENT. WE NEED TO BE READY AND AVAILABLE FOR CANADIANS WHO CARE ABOUT FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY AND ALSO CARE ABOUT THE PLANET. THAT'S THE MOST RESPONSIBLE OPTION.

Steve says GIVEN THAT YOU MENTIONED DMITRI IN YOUR ANSWER THERE, I SHOULD GIVE HIM A CHANCE TO RESPOND AND THEN I WANT TO GET MERYAM ON THE ORIGINAL QUESTION I ASKED. GO AHEAD, DMITRI.

Dimitri says THANK YOU, STEVE. I WAS ITCHING TO RESPOND. I'M SO GLAD ANDREW, MY COLLEAGUE, RAISED THE WHOLE QUESTION ABOUT GERMANY AND FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY. IN FACT, GERMANY HAS SHOWN AN UNHEALTHY AND IRRATIONAL OBSESSION WITH FISCAL DEFICITS. JAPAN, WHICH IS PAYING ROCK BOTTOM INTEREST RATES IN EXCESS OF 200 percent FAR IN EXCESS OF CANADA'S DEBT-TO-GDP RATIO, A COUNTRY THAT HAS CONTROL OF ITS OWN CURRENCY, THAT IS AS WEALTHY AS CANADA, THAT HAS A HIGHLY EDUCATED POPULATION AND BOUNTIFUL NATURAL RESOURCES AND A FUNDAMENTALLY STABLE POLITICAL AND LEGAL SYSTEM HAS THE ABILITY TO INVEST TO A FAR GREATER DEGREE THAN WE HAVE, AND YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY? IS BALANCING A BUDGET WHEN YOU NEED TO INVEST BILLIONS UPON BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN A GREEN TRANSITION FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE? I THINK THAT'S FISCALLY IRRESPONSIBLE, FRANKLY. I THINK YOU MAKE THE INVESTMENTS THAT ARE NEEDED TO MINIMIZE LONG-TERM COSTS OF THIS EXTRAORDINARY DAMAGE TO OUR CIVILIZATION FROM THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY. AND IF WE HAVE TO BORROW HEAVILY TO DO THAT AT ROCK BOTTOM INTEREST RATES OR INTEREST-FREE FROM THE BANK OF CANADA, WHICH WE HAVE THE LEGAL CAPACITY TO DO, I SUPPORT THAT 100 percent. I THINK WE SHOULD START ASKING OURSELVES WHAT ACTUALLY IS FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY BECAUSE THERE'S A REAL PROBLEM OUT THERE IN UNDERSTANDING WHAT THAT IS.

Steve says LET ME GET TO MERYAM...

Andrew says LET ME RESPOND REAL QUICK. I THINK YOU'RE FRAMING THE QUESTION WRONG. I WILL BE VERY, VERY QUICK. THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS IF WE'RE NOT GOING TO BE FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE, THE FACT IS PEOPLE JUST AREN'T GOING TO VOTE FOR THAT SORT OF PARTY. WE CAN BE FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE AND PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT, FOR EXAMPLE, CUTTING ALL SORTS OF SUBSIDIES FOR THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY AND THE TAR SANDS, NOT PAYING FOR THE TRANSMOUNTAIN PIPELINE. THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER WAYS THAT WE CAN BE FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE AND PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT. THAT'S THE VISION THAT I SEE FOR THE GREEN PARTY.

Steve says GENTLEMEN, I'M GOING UP TO MERYAM NOW BECAUSE MERIAL STILL NEEDS A CHANCE TO RESPOND TO THE ORIGINAL QUESTION ABOUT TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THIS TRANSFORMATIONAL MOMENT IN TIME IN SPITE OF EVERYTHING. GO AHEAD, MERYAM.

Meryam says PEOPLE WILL VOTE FOR PEOPLE THAT HAVE THE POLITICAL COURAGE TO STAND UP FOR CANADIANS. WHILE WE SAW A DROP IN AIR POLLUTION DURING COVID-19, IT WASN'T ENOUGH. IT SHOWED WE NEED STRUCTURAL CHANGE. WE NEED PEOPLE WORKING FROM HOME WITH LOW-COST INTERNET FOR EVERYONE, WE NEED TO MAKE SURE OUR GRID GOES ACROSS THE COUNTRY AS GREEN. WE NEED TO MOVE AWAY FROM PETROL. WE ARE ONE OF THE HIGHEST USERS AS WELL AS EXPORTERS. RAPID CHANGE IS POSSIBLE. THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT WAS ABLE TO QUICKLY DISTRIBUTE FUNDS TO MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE WERE ABLE TO LIVE. WE HAVE NOW SEEN THAT IF THEY WANTED TO ACT ON CLIMATE CHANGE, THEY CAN START STRAIGHTAWAY.

Steve says MERYAM, LET ME STAY WITH YOU FOR THIS NEXT QUESTION BECAUSE I THINK PUBLIC OPINION POLLS SHOWED AFTER THE LAST FEDERAL ELECTION THAT THE PUBLIC THOUGHT THAT THE LIBERALS AND NEW DEMOCRATS IN PARTICULAR HAD SOMETHING GOOD AND USEFUL TO SAY ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT. THE CONSERVATIVES LESS SO. BUT IT DOES RAISE THE QUESTION OF WHETHER OR NOT THEY HAVE BECOME GREEN ENOUGH TO MAKE THE GREEN PARTY REDUNDANT IN CANADA. MAYBE WE DON'T NEED IT ANYMORE. WHAT'S YOUR VIEW ON THAT?

Meryam says WELL, I DON'T BELIEVE SO AT ALL. FIRST OF ALL, THE LIBERALS ARE JUST NOT ABLE TO KEEP THEIR PROMISES ON THE ENVIRONMENT. THE NDP, YOU KNOW, JUST TO LET YOU KNOW, THE NDP IN B.C., THE PROVINCIAL NDP, JUST GAVE [indiscernible] TO MINE COAL. COAL IN 2020. A LOT OF PROGRESSIVES AND SOCIALISTS DO NOT RECOGNIZE THEMSELVES IN THE NDP ANYMORE. WHAT WE NEED TO MAKE SURE IS THAT SOCIAL JUSTICE SHOULD BE AT THE CORE OF EVERY SINGLE ONE OF OUR POLICIES, AND THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE CLIMATE CRISES, IT GOES HAND IN HAND WITH SOCIAL JUSTICE. SO, YES, WE NEED THE GREENS AND THE GREENS CAN WIN.

Steve says COURTNEY HOWARD, DO YOU THINK THE OTHER PARTIES ARE GREEN ENOUGH TO RENDER YOU REDUNDANT AT THIS MOMENT?

Courtney says WELL, I ASK A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT QUESTION BEFORE DECIDING TO RUN. PRETTY MUCH THE SMARTEST PEOPLE I COULD FIND IN CANADA AND THE OVERWHELMING ANSWER WAS WE ARE VERY MUCH IMPORTANT. WE SEE THAT BECAUSE THE LIBERALS, THEY HAVE DONE GOOD THINGS LIKE BRING A CARBON PRICE IN, YOU KNOW, THEY BOUGHT A PIPELINE. AND WE'RE JUST NOT SEEING THE TARGETS THAT WE NEED. WE'RE NOT SEEING THE OVERALL ACCOUNTABILITY LEGISLATION THAT WE NEED. SO, YES, I THINK IT'S SUPER IMPORTANT THAT WE HAVE AN EVIDENCE-BASED, REALLY ETHICS DRIVEN, LAYING DOWN THE BOTTOM LINE AND PULLING US TOWARDS THE ACTION WE NEED TO TAKE, KEEP TODAY'S KIDS SAFE.

Steve says IS THERE ANYONE AMONG THE FIVE OF YOU THAT WOULD AGREE TO BUILD MORE PIPELINES IN THIS COUNTRY GOING FORWARD? ANYBODY WANT A SHOW OF HANDS ON THAT ONE? OKAY. WE'VE GOT FIVE NO'S. WE HAD FIVE THE LAST TIME SO WE'RE JUST CONFIRMING THAT ALL TEN CANDIDATES ARE AGAINST FURTHER PIPELINE BUILDING. DYLAN, WHY DON'T WE GET YOU TO WEIGH IN ON THIS ISSUE OF WHETHER OR NOT WE STILL NEED A GREEN PARTY IN THIS COUNTRY.

Dylan says TRUDEAU WANTS TO DO THE RIGHT THING BUT HE DOESN'T HAVE THE GUTS. WE NEED PEOPLE WHO ARE WILLING TO LOOK OUTSIDE THE BOX AND DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY, LIKE I THINK WE SHOULD DO IN TERMS OF THE NEXT ELECTION, WHICH IS SET UP A MAP WHERE PEOPLE CAN ACTUALLY LOOK AT THE RIDING THEY'RE IN BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, I THINK WE LOSE 70 percent OF OUR VOTES TO PEOPLE WHO THINK THEY'RE VOTING STRATEGICALLY BUT ARE NOT VOTING STRATEGICALLY. IN MOST OF THE RIDINGS EVERYBODY KNOWS WHO IS GOING TO WIN OR NOT... IF YOU LOOK AT IT YOU'LL KNOW. WE HAVE TO SUPPORT THE LIBERALS AND NDP IN SPECIFIC RIDINGS. IT DOESN'T MEAN WE DON'T RUN A CANDIDATE. THAT WAY WE CAN ENSURE THE CONSERVATIVES NEVER GET BACK INTO POWER UNLESS THEY DO THE RIGHT THING AND SUPPORT PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION. THEY GOT THE MOST VOTES IN THE LAST ELECTION AND THEY DIDN'T WIN. THEY WILL CHANGE THEIR MIND AND LIKE THE NDP SUPPORT A DIFFERENT ELECTORAL SYSTEM...

Steve says SINCE YOU BROUGHT UP PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION, LET ME MOVE TO DMITRI AND ASK HIM ABOUT THAT BECAUSE IN THE LAST FEDERAL ELECTION, THE GREENS DID GET 6.6 percent OF THE VOTES. THAT WAS GOOD FOR THREE SEATS. THE BLOC GOT LITERALLY 1 percent MORE VOTE THAN THE GREENS AND THEY DIDN'T GET THREE SEATS, THEY GOT 32 SEATS. SO WE HAVE A SYSTEM THAT TENDS TO PUNISH PARTIES THAT DO NOT HAVE AN EFFICIENT VOTE. I'D LIKE TO KNOW... AND I KNOW EVERYBODY SAYS LET'S BRING IN PR, PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION... BUT IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. AND I'D LIKE TO KNOW, HOW DO YOU MAKE AN APPEAL TO THE PUBLIC TO VOTE FOR YOU WHEN SO MANY OF THEM THINK THAT VOTING FOR YOU IS A WASTED VOTE?

Dimitri says RIGHT. YOU KNOW, THERE'S NO DOUBT IN ANYBODY'S MIND IN THE GREEN PARTY OF CANADA THAT THE ELECTORAL SYSTEM WE HAVE IS FUNDAMENTALLY ANTIDEMOCRATIC AND THAT IT HAS CAUSED US ENORMOUS PREJUDICE. OUR PARTY WOULD HAVE HAD, YOU KNOW, SEATS IN PARLIAMENT BACK IN THE LATE '80s UNDER A TRUE PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION SYSTEM. WE WOULD HAVE BEEN OFFICIAL PARTY STATUS BY ABOUT 2004 UNDER TRUE PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION SYSTEM. NOBODY HAS SUFFERED MORE FROM THIS THAN WE HAVE, AND WE HAVE EVERY REASON TO CONTINUE TO ARGUE STRONGLY AND PASSIONATELY FOR ELECTORAL REFORM. BUT YOU ARE QUITE RIGHT, STEVE. THIS GOVERNMENT, WHICH PROMISED... JUSTIN TRUDEAU PROMISED APPROXIMATELY 1800 TIMES TO MAKE THE 2015 ELECTION THE LAST ELECTION UNDER FIRST PAST THE POST. WE CAN'T RELY ON THEM TO CHANGE THE SYSTEM FOR US AND WE CERTAINLY CAN'T RELY UPON THE CONSERVATIVES TO DO THAT. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO GET SUFFICIENT PRESENCE IN PARLIAMENT AND SUFFICIENT LEVERAGE TO ACTUALLY BRING OR FORCE ELECTORAL REFORM ONTO THE LEGISLATIVE AGENDA. BY OUR CALCULATION, THE CALCULATIONS OF MY CAMPAIGN TEAM, WE NEED ABOUT 35 SEATS TO DO THAT. I THINK THE PATH TO DO THAT... REMEMBER THE NDP IN THE FIRST PAST THE POST SYSTEM ACTUALLY FORMED THE OFFICIAL OPPOSITION FROM I THINK ABOUT 2011 TO 2015. WE CAN DO THAT AND WE CAN DO BETTER UNDER FIRST PAST THE POST DESPITE THE ENORMOUS CHALLENGES. TO DO THAT WE HAVE TO UNITE PROGRESSIVES ACROSS THE COUNTRY WHO I BELIEVE AND POLLING DATA SHOWS CONSTITUTE A MAJORITY IN THIS COUNTRY. WE HAVE TO SPEAK TO THEM BY NOT ONLY TALKING ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS, THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY, BUT ALSO TALKING ABOUT WORKERS' RIGHTS, TALKING ABOUT THE CRISIS OF INEQUALITY IN THIS COUNTRY, TALKING ABOUT RACISM IN THIS COUNTRY, SYSTEMIC RACISM IN THIS COUNTRY AND WE NEED TO PUT FORWARD A BOLD PLATFORM TO DO THAT. WE CAN UNITE ALL OF THE PROGRESSIVES IN THIS COUNTRY UNDER THE GREEN PARTY BANNER. THAT OPPORTUNITY IS THERE. I FOR ONE PLAN TO MAKE THAT A HALLMARK OF MY LEADERSHIP IF I'M GIVEN THE PRIVILEGE OF LEADERSHIP OF THIS PARTY.

Steve says I'D FIRST LIKE TO GET ANDREW AND THE REST TO WEIGH IN ON THIS ISSUE OF HOW YOU TRY TO REMAIN RELEVANT AND APPEAL TO PEOPLE FOR VOTES WHEN THEY KNOW THAT IF THEY GIVE YOU, YOU KNOW, EVEN 10 percent OF THE VOTE, IT DOESN'T TRANSLATE INTO VERY MANY SEATS AT ALL. ANDREW, DO YOU WANT TO COME IN ON THAT?

Andrew says SO THE GREEN PARTY IS EXTREMELY RELEVANT AND NOW SO MORE THAN EVER. I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE NEED TO DO FIRST IS CHANGE THE NARRATIVE AND, STEVE, ACTUALLY MAYBE YOU, AS A MEMBER OF THE MEDIA, CAN HELP WITH THIS. AND THAT'S ACTUALLY TO LOOK AT ACTUAL STRATEGIC VOTING. IT'S NOT STRATEGIC. AN ACTUAL STRATEGY WOULD BE TO THINK ABOUT THE PARTY THAT YOU WANT TO HAVE ELECTED AND THEN DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO HELP GET THAT PARTY ELECTED, EVEN IF IT MEANS VOTING FOR THEM TWO OR THREE OR FOUR SUCCESSIVE ELECTIONS. VOTING SIMPLY FOR ONE PARTY TO STOP ANOTHER PARTY IS FEAR. IT'S FEAR VOTING. THAT'S IT. THERE IS NO STRATEGY. THERE'S NO STRATEGY IN JUST PICKING THE OPPOSITE PARTY JUST TO BLOCK A PARTY. SO WE NEED TO CHANGE THAT NARRATIVE. WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR EDAs ACROSS CANADA ARE STRONGER SO WE CAN HELP SPREAD THE WORD THAT WE ARE A RELEVANT PARTY AND WE'RE READY TO GOVERN AND TO MAKE SURE THAT WHEN THE NEXT ELECTION COMES, WE HAVE A STRONG CAMPAIGN SET ON THE GROUND LEVEL TO GET GOING.

Steve says COURTNEY HOWARD, WHAT'S THE APPEAL?

Courtney says SO I THINK THE THING THAT WE NEED TO REMEMBER IS ALL OF THE PEOPLE WHO DON'T VOTE BECAUSE THEY'RE COMPLETELY DISENCHANTED WITH JUST THE TENOR OF POLITICAL DISCUSSION, THE SORT OF FIGHTING. I THINK THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT WE CAN EXCITE. IF WE SAY, HEY, YOU KNOW, WE'RE IN A BAD WAY, WE KNOW WE'RE VULNERABLE, WE KNOW YOU'RE SCARED, BUT THIS IS THE PATH TO SAFETY. WE NEED TO SOLVE COVID AND CLIMATE AT THE SAME TIME. WE NEED TO CHANGE THE WAY WE TARGET OUR OVER ALL VISION TO A WELL-BEING BASED ECONOMY. WE'RE GOING TO SUPPORT THAT BY STABILIZING OUR ECOLOGICAL FOUNDATION, WE'RE GOING TO KEEP PEOPLE SAFE WITH A UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME. WE'RE GOING TO BUILD A WORLD TOGETHER FOR YOUR KIDS TO INHERENT, PEOPLE WILL COME OUT AND VOTE. PEOPLE ARE SO VULNERABLE AND WE HAVE THE BEST OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE AN OPTIMISTIC UNIFYING VISION. THAT'S HOW WE'RE GOING TO GET IN. AFTER WE GET THOSE SEATS, THAT'S HOW WE'LL PASS A PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION SYSTEM.

Steve says MERYAM, IF YOU DON'T COME FIRST OR SECOND IN OUR FIRST PAST THE POST SYSTEM, IT REALLY PUNISHES YOU AND THE GREENS KNOW THAT BETTER THAN ANYBODY. WHAT WOULD YOU DO ABOUT IT?

Meryam says YOU KNOW, I REALLY BELIEVE, I STRONGLY BELIEVE IN PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION. BUT WE STILL NEED TO INSPIRE YOUNG PEOPLE TO VOTE FOR US. THAT IS GOING TO BE WITH POLITICAL COURAGE. YOU KNOW, ALSO THE EXAMPLE THAT YOU CHOSE BETWEEN THE BLOC AND THE GREENS, IT'S A FALSE EXAMPLE TO USE BECAUSE WE GOT 6 percent OVER 338 RIDINGS AND THE BLOC DID ON 78 RIDINGS ONLY. WE NEED TO GIVE PEOPLE THE CHANCE TO VOTE FOR THE BEST PARTY RATHER THAN THE LEAST WORST OPTION. AND WE NEED TO BE REALLY, REALLY CLEAR ON WHAT WE STAND FOR.

Steve says OKAY. WE'VE GOT LESS THAN TEN MINUTES TO GO HERE AND WE DO NEED TO TALK ABOUT WHAT IS CLEARLY, YOU KNOW, THERE ARE THREE ISSUES IN OUR SOCIETY RIGHT NOW, BASICALLY: THE PANDEMIC, THE ECONOMIC DEVASTATION AS A RESULT OF IT, AND ANTI-BLACK RACISM, WHICH... THIS IS A REAL MOMENT IN OUR HISTORY TO DEAL WITH THIS ISSUE, AND DMITRI, YOU RAISED THE ISSUE OF RACISM A SECOND AGO, SO I WONDER IF YOU WOULD START US OFF IN A BIT OF A DISCUSSION ABOUT WHETHER THE WORDS "DEFUND THE POLICE," WHAT THEY MEAN TO YOU AND WHAT YOU WOULD DO ABOUT IT.

Dimitri says THIS, UNFORTUNATELY, STEVE, HAS GENERATED SOME CONFUSION. I'M NOT A BIG FAN OF THAT PHRASE BECAUSE IT ONLY TALKS ABOUT ONE-HALF OF THE EQUATION. ONE-HALF OF THE EQUATION IS REDUCING FUNDING FOR POLICE, BUT IT DOESN'T COMMUNICATE WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN WITH THE MONEY THAT IS SAVED BY REDUCING FUNDING FOR POLICE. A BETTER PHRASE WOULD BE REALLOCATION OF POLICE FUNDING BECAUSE THAT MONEY SHOULD BE TAKEN TO ADDRESS THE ROOT CAUSES OF WHAT OUR SOCIETY HAS DETERMINED TO BE CRIMINALITY. THE ROOT CAUSES TO A VERY LARGE DEGREE, AN OVERWHELMING DEGREE, ARE SOCIAL INJUSTICE, POVERTY, HOMELESSNESS, MENTAL HEALTH CRISES, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, AND THE POLICE IS LIKE... IT'S A MEANS WHEREBY OUR SOCIETY DEALS WITH THE SYMPTOMS OF THE UNDERLYING CAUSES OF WHAT WE CALL CRIMINALITY, BUT IT DOESN'T DEAL WITH THE ROOT CAUSES. SO I WOULD SAY WE NEED TO REALLOCATE RESOURCES FROM THE POLICE, I'M ENTHUSIASTICALLY IN FAVOUR OF THAT, TOWARDS SOCIAL SERVICES, SUPPORTING PEOPLE WHO ARE SUFFERING FROM SUBSTANCE ABUSE, TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE IN MENTAL HEALTH CRISES, AND REALLY GETTING AT THE ROOT PROBLEMS OF THE BEHAVIOURS THAT THE POLICE ARE DEALING WITH. FAR TOO OFTEN IN THIS COUNTRY IN A BRUTAL AND IN A RACIST WAY. I CAN'T... I MUST STRESS ONCE AGAIN THAT THERE IS AN ENORMOUS OVERREPRESENTATION OF INDIGENOUS PERSONS AND BLACK PERSONS IN OUR CORRECTIONAL SYSTEM, INCARCERATED IN THE PRISONS AROUND THIS COUNTRY. FOR EXAMPLE, INDIGENOUS PERSONS, OVER 30 percent OF INMATES IN CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS ARE INDIGENOUS AND THEY CONSTITUTE LESS THAN 5 percent OF THE POPULATION. AS A LAWYER WHO HAS LITIGATED ON BEHALF OF THE DISADVANTAGED FOR VIRTUALLY MY ENTIRE CAREER, I CAN TELL YOU THAT THERE'S ONLY ONE RATIONAL EXPLANATION FOR THIS INCREDIBLE DISPARITY BETWEEN INCARCERATION RATES AND POPULATION RATES AND THAT IS SYSTEMIC RACISM. THAT'S WHAT WE HAVE IN THIS COUNTRY...

Steve says LET'S GET EVERYBODY ELSE IN ON THIS. MERYAM, DEFUND THE POLICE. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU AND WOULD YOU DO IT?

Meryam says DEFUND THE POLICE REALLY RESONATES AND IT IS WHAT PEOPLE ARE ASKING IN THE STREETS. SO THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT, BUT THERE'S ALSO THE INDIGENOUS LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT THAT WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT. SO WE NEED TO RECOGNIZE THE VIOLENCE TOWARDS INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES. THE RCMP WAS CREATED SPECIFICALLY TO MOVE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE ONTO RESERVES. SO IF YOU HAVE AN INSTITUTION THAT WAS CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR THAT, IT CANNOT BE REFORMED IN ANY WAY. SO IT NEEDS TO BE DEFUNDED AND REINVESTED INTO THE COMMUNITIES. IT COULD BE INVESTED INTO AFFORDABLE HOUSING, FREE INJECTION SITES. IT WILL GET PEOPLE OUT OF POVERTY. THIS IS HOW YOU LIVE IN A MORE JUST SOCIETY WHEN WE NEED TO THINK ABOUT EVERYBODY LIKE THAT. IT'S SOMETHING THAT, YOU KNOW, LIKE IT'S REALLY... DEFUNDING THE POLICE, IT'S NOT ONLY [indiscernible] BUT IT'S ALSO A ROAD TO ABOLITION. BECAUSE THIS WOULD BE THE END OF IT.

Steve says CAN I UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU'RE SAYING? YOU BELIEVE IN ABOLISHING THE POLICE ALTOGETHER?

Meryam says OF COURSE. BUT IT'S ON THE LONG RUN, OF COURSE.

Steve says OVER WHAT PERIOD OF TIME?

Meryam says I WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO TELL YOU. I'M NOT SAYING THAT THERE WOULDN'T BE ANY SECURITY OR THE POLICE WOULDN'T BE... THERE WOULDN'T BE ANY EXISTENCE OF SAFETY TO PEOPLE. BUT DEFUNDING THE POLICE, WHAT IT MEANS, IT'S A ROAD TO ABOLITION.

Steve says ALL RIGHT. UNDERSTOOD. DYLAN MAXWELL, WHERE ARE YOU ON THIS ISSUE OF DEFUND THE POLICE?

Dylan says I THINK IT'S A GOOD IDEA AND I THINK YOU NEED TO GET DOWN THAT ROAD AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. FOR ANY PROBLEM YOU SHOULD LOOK AROUND THE WORLD AND SEE WHAT WORKS. IN PORTLAND, OREGON, I THINK 17 percent OF THE MONEY FROM POLICE, SOMETHING LIKE THIS, WENT TO PEOPLE WITH ACTUAL DEEP TRAINING IN PSYCHOLOGICAL ISSUES AND IT'S WORKING OUT QUITE WELL. IN NEW JERSEY, THEY GOT RID OF A WHOLE POLICE FORCE AND A MORE COMMUNITY BASED FORCE AND THE CRIME WENT DOWN BY SOMETHING LIKE 50 percent. YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT WHAT IS WORKING IN OTHER PLACES AND COME UP WITH NEW IDEAS. ONE OF MY IDEAS IS FOR THE POLICE TO GIVE 20 dollars TO EVERY PERSON OF COLOUR THEY STOP. THIS WOULD COMPENSATE A LITTLE BIT TO THE TRAUMA AND INCONVENIENCE OF BEING STOPPED AND IT WOULD MAKE THE POLICE THINK TWICE BEFORE THEY STOP THEM. WE DO HAVE A HUGE PROBLEM, AND, YOU KNOW, THE POLICE NEED TO BE TRAINED BETTER. YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT AS BAD AS IN THE STATES. BUT THE POLICE, THEY COLLECT MONEY, AND THE MONEY OFTEN GOES BACK TO THEM, AND IT'S REALLY... YOU KNOW, THE TYPE OF PEOPLE WHO GET INTO POLICING IN THE FIRST PLACE, THERE ARE A LOT OF GOOD POLICE PEOPLE, BUT THERE'S ALSO PEOPLE FEEL, WELL, THIS IS A PLACE THEY CAN BEAT PEOPLE UP. I REMEMBER IN HIGH SCHOOL THIS PERSON WANTED A BRIBE FROM ME TO JOIN THE DEEJAY CLUB AND LO AND BEHOLD HE BECAME A POLICE OFFICER. WHAT A SURPRISE. WE HAVE TO WEED THESE PEOPLE OUT. WE HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN.

Steve says COURTNEY HOWARD, YOUR VIEW ON DEFUND THE POLICE?

Courtney says SO I AGREE WITH DMITRI THAT I THINK THAT THIS IS MOST HELPFULLY FRAMED AS REDISTRIBUTING RESOURCES. YOU KNOW, I'M A FRONT LINE WORKER AND I HAVE BEEN FOR A LONG TIME IN SMALL EMERGENCY DEPARTMENTS IN THE NORTH, RCMP KEEP US SAFE. THERE HAVE BEEN MANY MOMENTS IN MY LIFE WHERE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN IN DANGER AND I'VE BEEN VERY HAPPY TO SEE THEM ARRIVE. BUT JUST AS WE FOUND IN HEALTH CARE AFTER THE TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION RECOMMENDATIONS CAME OUT AND WE LOOKED AT THE STUDIES THAT SHOWED, HEY, IF YOU SHOW UP IN EMERGENCY DEPARTMENTS IN CANADA WITH CHEST PAIN, YOU'RE A LOT MORE LIKELY TO GET AN ANGIOGRAM IF YOU'RE NOT INDIGENOUS THAN IF YOU ARE. WE NEED TO LOOK INTO OUR UNCONSCIOUS BIAS. I WAS DISTURBED BY THE COMMENTS OF SOME OF THE RCMP LEADERSHIP THAT SEEMED NOT TO INDICATE AN APPRECIATION OF THAT. I HAVE MOST DEFINITELY WITNESSED SYSTEMIC RACISM WITHIN CANADIAN HEALTH CARE STRUCTURES AS WELL AS WITHIN RCMP BEHAVIOUR. AND I THINK THAT RESTORATIVE JUSTICE IS A WAY OF CHANGING THE POWER DIFFERENTIAL AND BRINGING IN SOME INDIGENOUS HEALING PRACTICES THAT COULD BE MUCH MORE HELPFUL FOR PEOPLE IN THE LONG RUN AND I THINK THERE'S A LOT OF WORK TO BE DONE IN TERMS OF DEESCALATION TRAINING AND COMMUNITY-BASED WORK.

Steve says ANDREW WEST?

Andrew says WELL, THIS IS AN AREA THAT I'M DEFINITELY MORE IN LINE WITH DMITRI. I THINK IT'S A POSITIVE STEP THAT ORGANIZATIONS LIKE THE RCMP ACKNOWLEDGE THAT SYSTEMIC RACISM EXISTS, WHICH IT DOES, AND THEY ACTUALLY HAVE JUST RECENTLY ACKNOWLEDGED THAT. I THINK ONCE THAT'S ACKNOWLEDGED, THEN YOU CAN START TO FIND SOLUTIONS THAT WILL BETTER HELP SOCIETY, ALL MEMBERS OF OUR SOCIETY. I DO THINK THAT POLICE OFFICERS PUT THEMSELVES INTO DANGEROUS SITUATIONS, AND THEY DO NEED RESOURCES TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE PROTECTED. BUT I THINK IT'S CLEAR THAT DIFFERENT RESOURCES ARE NEEDED FOR DIFFERENT SITUATIONS. AND FOR ME A GREAT EXAMPLE AND AN UNFORTUNATE EXAMPLE IS WHAT HAPPENED RECENTLY WITH REGISW;,. HER MOTHER CALLED FOR HELP BECAUSE HER DAUGHTER HAD EPILEPTIC ISSUES AND MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES. WE CAN REALLOCATE RESOURCES TO HAVE BETTER EQUIPMENT AND RESOURCES FOR SITUATIONS TO DEAL WITH MATTERS LIKE THAT, AND I THINK THAT THOSE SITUATIONS... DOING THAT WILL HELP BENEFIT SOCIETY AS A WHOLE AND I THINK THE GREEN PARTY ALSO HAS GREAT... ADDRESSING POVERTY, WHICH NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED AS OTHERS MENTIONED. WE'RE PROBABLY THE BIGGEST PROPONENT OF ANY PARTY FOR A GUARANTEED LIVABLE INCOME. I THINK A GUARANTEED LIVABLE INCOME IS A WIN-WIN. I'VE ALREADY TALKED ABOUT FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY. IF YOU LOOK AT THE CITY OF OTTAWA, WHEN IT COMES TO, FOR EXAMPLE, MAKING SURE THAT PEOPLE HAVE PROPER HOUSING, WELL, IT'S OFTEN CHEAPER TO PAY FOR A BED AND SOCIAL HOUSING THAN IT IS TO PAY FOR A BED IN A HOSPITAL OR IN A JAIL, WHICH FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE SOMETIMES CAN BE THE ONLY ALTERNATIVES. THESE ARE THE WIN-WIN SITUATIONS I'M LOOKING FOR.

Steve says FORGIVE ME, EVERYBODY. WE'RE DOWN TO OUR LAST MINUTE AND I HAVE TO GIVE IT TO MERYAM BECAUSE THEY TELL ME IN THE CONTROL ROOM SHE HAS HAD THE LEAST SPEAKING TIME SO FAR AND I WANT TO BE FAIR. MERYAM, FINISH OFF ON THIS. GO AHEAD. YOU TAKE THE LAST WORD.

Meryam says I'VE GOT TO ADDRESS WHAT EVERYONE SAID. MR. MAXWELL, YOUR 20 dollar SOLUTION IS SUPER RACIST. AS A PERSON OF COLOUR, I FIND IT VERY, VERY OFFENSIVE. YOU WANT TO PAY PEOPLE TO ADDRESS SYSTEMIC RACISM? IT DOES NOTHING. WHAT WOULD BE THE NEXT STEP, IF THE PERSON GETS BEATEN UP, WE GIVE THEM 50?

Dylan says THAT'S NOT WHAT I WANT...

Meryam says IT'S MY MINUTE, RIGHT? IT'S MY MINUTE.

Steve says GO AHEAD.

Meryam says ALSO CONCERNING THE UBI, WE NEED TO... YEAH, THE UBI IS GREAT. BUT WE NEED TO MAINTAIN OUR SOCIAL SAFETY NET. SO THAT'S IMPORTANT TO MENTION ALSO. THANK YOU.

The caption changes to "Producer: Cara Stern, @carastern."

Steve says MERCI BEAUCOUP. THANKS TO THE FIVE OF YOU, MERYAM HADDAD, COURTNEY HOWARD, DMITRI TRENIN, DYLAN MAXWELL, ANDREW WEST, WE'RE SEE GLAD YOU COULD JOIN US FOR OUR GREEN PARTY DEBATE HERE ON TVOTONIGHT. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

All the guests say THANK YOU.

The caption changes to "To watch both Green Party of Canada debates go to: tvo.org or youtube.com/TheAgenda."

Steve says LAST NIGHT WE TONIGHT.FEATURED THE DEBATE. IT'S ARCHIVED ON OUR WEBSITE, tvo.org/theagenda, OR YOU CAN FIND IT ON OUR YouTube CHANNEL AT YouTube.com/theagenda.

Watch: Green Party of Canada Leadership Debate, Part 2