Know Your Candidate: David Macdonald, Green Party of Canada
Green party candidate David Macdonald sat down with Burnaby Beacon to discuss Indigenous rights, climate change and more.
We asked each candidate for a virtual sit-down interview, followed by a short segment recorded on video. Not all candidates were available to appear on video or agreed to do so. The Beacon will post the segments with the candidates who did appear on video on our social media channels.
Candidate: David Macdonald, Green Party of Canada
Riding: New Westminster-Burnaby (read more about the riding here)
Green Party candidate David Macdonald sat down with Burnaby Beacon for an interview regarding his party policies and his vision for New Westminster-Burnaby if he is elected as MP.
TMX and Climate
The Greens pledge to cancel all pipeline projects, starting with the Trans Mountain expansion project.
“I’m all against TMX. It’s one of the reasons I am running,” Macdonald told the Beacon, adding that the final impacts of the expansion have not been considered.
“What effect will it have on climate change and on the climate crisis? It’s almost like some weird economic imperialism,” he said, noting that the oil pushed through the pipeline will likely be transported overseas to the Asian market, where they will also have to deal with the environmental consequences of processing and burning it.
The Green Party platform proposes using the funds from cancelled pipeline projects to build a national energy grid that serves as “a coast to coast energy corridor for green renewable energy building up the inter-ties needed to link existing provincial grids.”
Macdonald acknowledged that creating this national energy grid is not something that can be achieved in the short term.
“So 80% of our energy infrastructure at present is dedicated to fossil fuels. Just consider the massive amount of work to turn that on its head, so that fossil fuels become at best 20%,” he said.
“We are sitting on a stockpile of totally untapped geothermal [electric] generated energy. We haven’t touched tidal energy,” he said.
“And then there’s solar and wind. It’s going to take a massive amount of money, time and energy—in other words, green jobs, to restructure our electrical infrastructure.”
Toxic drug supply and pharmacare
Macdonald said the opioid crisis is “not a question of criminality. … It’s a medical problem.”
The Greens’ platform calls for the decriminalization of small amounts of illicit drugs and the creation of a national safe supply program.
“Canadians who need them must have access to a safe supply of government-regulated drugs. The toxic supply of illicit drugs must be replaced, greatly reducing the risks of fentanyl poisonings and overdoses,” states the platform.
Macdonald added that decriminalizing is just the “one small step” of what needs to be a bigger plan. “After that, [comes] safe supply under a regulatory umbrella with the feds stepping in to fund this because it’s a medical issue, and therefore, the provinces have to carry the can on this.”
As for a national pharmacare program, Macdonald said it should be a non-partisan issue.
“This is something that should really be non-partisan. We really should be pulling in people from all sides of the house to work together to come up with the best possible plan.”
When asked if he has connected with Indigenous residents in his community to hear their concerns and hopes for the next federal government, Macdonald told the Beacon he had not.
Macdonald said the Greens are committed to implementing a “full slate” of policy on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action, and the recommendations outline in the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
“One doesn’t have to be of the same background to advocate for another and the rights of others,” he added. “I want everyone in Canada to enjoy the privilege and comfort that I do given my status.”