July 31, 2015

Powell River

 I would like to humbly acknowledge the unceded territory of Tla-amin on whose land we stand today.

I want to thank people who prepared the food this evening and especially thank the volunteers who have worked so hard to make this evening successful.

I welcome all of you to this event this evening and I imagine since it is Elizabeth May speaking, there are people from other political parties… Welcome.

It is always good to meet the people I have served on behalf of Hupacasath across this country for the past 2 ½ years while fighting the ratification of Canada-China FIPA in court.

My name is Brenda Sayers and I am the candidate for the NIPR riding. My grandfather on my mother’s side… was a hereditary Chief of the Hupacasath First Nation.

Hupacasath is part of the Nuu-chah-nulth family extending to the north end of the island.

My grandfather would get up early in the morning to fish and hunt returning with food for the people of his village. He would hold gatherings to share his wealth with the people from the village and neighboring tribes, from the lands he was given to take care of. He, in the truest essence, served the people.

I understand his responsibility, but not only was it a responsibility; he took care of the people and the land because he wanted to, because he cared.

And, it is one of the reasons I stand before you today. It is my offer to serve you, in the footsteps of my Grandfather… it is an honor.

Through my great-grandfather I also have relatives in the K’omoks First Nation. I have Cree blood from my father’s side of my family. This is who I am.

I am proud of the strong family roots from where I come.

For 15 years I ran a very successful small business off the east gates of Expo in Vancouver. I owned & operated a service station under the Imperial Oil flag. I was the youngest female owner of the highest volume, highest profile service station in the lower mainland.

Getting educated in the field of accounting as a small business owner, I was able to secure a job as a Financial Administrator of our Nuu-chah-nulth community school that teaches our traditional song, dance and language. For the last 10 years with consistent turnover of Administration, we fought for and finally achieved full funding for our children equivalent to School District 70.

From 2011-2013 I served as an elected Councillor for Hupacasath First Nation where I held 10 portfolios including the Canada-China FIPA.

For the past 2 ½ years, on behalf of Hupacasath, I served all people of Canada fighting the ratification of the Canada-China FIPA through the courts. An international trade agreement that has far-reaching implications and potential to impact every corner of our daily lives.

It undermines First Nations and Canadians constitutional rights by placing China’s corporate rights over our right to good health, clean air and water and binds the hands of every level of government to make decisions that are good… for us.

These life experiences amongst others, have brought me where I am today and have prepared me to take on the role of Member of Parliament for this riding.

The Green Party is unique in Canada. The Green Party doesn’t fit into the archaic political model that Canadians have been forced to vote for. The Green Party isn’t far to the right, or far to the left. The Green Party spans the entire political spectrum, with sound economic policy, just social policies, and progressive environmental policies.

Every First Nation and Canadian has a powerful reason to vote Green in the upcoming election.

If you are worried about the lack of snow last winter, and the drought this summer that resulted in massive forest fires, I will work with other MPs to combat global warming. This is critical and should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

If you feel trapped in a low-wage job or part-time work, I will work with other MPs to establish a Guaranteed Livable Income, to make sure you will never have to worry about putting food on the table.

If you are passionate about Democratic Reform in this country, I will work with other MPs to eliminate the First-Past-The-Post System, and consult you on the style of proportional representation best suited to Canada.

If you have are raising a young family, I will work with other MPs to change our tax and labour policies in ways that will increase the opportunity for people to spend more time with family.

If you own a small business, I will work with other MPs to ensure that small businesses are exempt from any increases to the corporate tax rate we will establish a federally-funded Green Venture Capital Fund to support viable local businesses.

If you are worried that our economy is on a path to unsustainably, I will work with other MPs to introduce a carbon price through a fee and dividend system, which will encourage private sector investment in Green Technology and Green Energy.

If you are a senior, I will work with other MPs to enhance CPP by phasing in the doubling of the target income replacement rate from 25% to 50% of income received during your working years.

If you are in your teens or twenties, I will work with other MPs to boost access to apprentice programs in key trades, including: electricity, plumbing, carpentry, pipefitting, and welding.

If you are a logger, I will work with other MPs to encourage more B.C.-based value-added manufacturing, including products that would benefit from a greater focus on timber quality. We would also renegotiate trade agreements so that Canada restricts the export of raw logs with a substantial whole log export tax.

If you are fisherman, I will work with other MPs to support the development of different kinds of fishing gear that make a profit, while minimizing by-catch and habitat impact.

If you are worried about your child or grandchild being able to find a well-paying job, I will work with other MPs to invest in undergraduate research fellowships to support innovation, and encourage more young Canadians to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

If you think you pay too much tax, I will work with other MPs to eliminate personal taxes on incomes below the low-income cut-off and we will return taxes on profits of large corporations back to 2008 levels

If you are worried about your health, I will work with other MPs to expand home care programs and assisted-living services to support people with chronic care needs, including the many seniors who wish to stay in their own homes and communities

If you think we need more Green jobs, I will work with other MPs to develop timelines, funding strategies and targets for retrofitting existing buildings in Canada, with the goal of retrofitting 100% of Canada’s buildings to a high level of energy efficiency by 2030.

If you are deeply concerned about the state of our planet, I will work with other MPs to work with provinces to ensure no new coal-fired electrical generation plants are built in Canada.

If you are worried about more and more cars being on the road each year, I will work with other MPs to increase existing federal funding to stimulate a massive re-investment in public transportation, pedestrian, cycle and car-sharing infrastructure in all Canadian towns and cities.

If you are concerned about Canada losing it’s reputation as an international peacekeeper, I will work with other MPs to re-align our defense spending, increasing the emphasis on disaster assistance, and shifting our focus away from NATO war missions towards UN Peacekeeping contributions.

If you are concerned about our fellow global citizens who are less fortunate than us here in Canada, I will work with other MPs to ensure development assistance targets the poorest of the poor; we will commit to combating global poverty by working with the UN to invest in sustainable locally-owned businesses in impoverished regions.

If you are worried that our economy is on a path to unsustainably, I will work with other MPs to introduce a carbon price through a fee and dividend system, which will encourage private sector investment in Green Technology and Green Energy.

If you are a fisherman, environmentalist, parent, student, senior, logger, farmer, if you are concerned about oil tankers along our coast, health care, education, taxes or peace in our country, the GPC has solution-based policy to address all these areas and more.

And the truth is, the Green Party of Canada is the only party that not only opposes all resource development that causes irreparable harm to our environment and people, that has only a short term vision, with no economic plan or thought for future generations… but we have a Green policy to ensure the economy and environment is working together, not against each other.

With our collective minds we need to change the moral direction of this country.

I am here today to ask you to put faith back into Canada.

I am here today to ask you to vote your values, vote for me, Brenda Sayers.

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