Suzanne de Montigny, an author and former teacher, will be representing the Green Party for New Westminster-Burnaby heading into the federal election this fall.
In a news release announcing her candidacy, de Montigny invokes the wave of women elected to Congress south of the border in the 2018 midterm elections, saying that, like those women, she decided to run “because she was dissatisfied with how the country was being governed.”
In an interview, de Montigny said she champions diversity, and feels that it’s time to get more women into the political arena.
“Canadian politics is very different from American politics; we do have a lot of female [members of Parliament],” de Montigny said. A record-setting 88 women were elected as MPs in 2015, making up 25 per cent of the House of Commons, while making up around 50 per cent of the overall population.
“But I think it’s time we had more women running and we had a little bit more of a say. For years, what happened with us is we were so busy bringing up our kids, and it’s time that we started doing a lot more [in politics].”
The Green Party has been polling at historic numbers in recent months, more wind in the sails of a party that’s recently elected it second-ever MP in Nanaimo-Ladysmith earlier this year, on top of strong showings in various provincial scenes.
In B.C., the party claimed three MLAs in 2017, holding the balance of power with the minority NDP government, while Ontario elected its first-ever member of provincial parliament last year. Earlier this year, Prince Edward Island boosted its Green Party to a strong official Opposition.
De Montigny says she is getting involved with the Green Party because of the pressing nature of climate change at this point in time.
“It’s just absolutely vital that we do something about climate change; not enough is being done,” de Montigny said, pointing to Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg, who sparked worldwide school strikes over the climate crisis.
“She’s getting all the young people in the world going; it’s pretty inspiring.”
One way to deal with the climate crisis, she notes, would be to install major solar and wind farms in Alberta, both of which, she said, would be ideal for the province that is currently the most reliant on fossil fuels.
She says her main theme in her campaign will be that every voice needs to be heard – “whether you’re new to Canada, whether you’ve been here for several generations or whether you’ve been here for thousands of years” – accusing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of neglecting certain voices.
“He forgot our First Nations; he didn’t keep his promise to them,” she said.