Green Party Leader Elizabeth May sat down for an exclusive wide-ranging interview with CBC chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge airing Friday evening on The National.
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PETER MANSBRIDGE (PM): SO 70 PER CENT OF CANADIANS, SO THE POLLS SAY, WANT CHANGE.
ELIZABETH MAY (EM): Right.
PM: IF THEY REALLY WANT CHANGE, THERE'S PROBABLY NO OTHER PARTY MOST PEOPLE FEEL THAT WILL GIVE REAL CHANGE THAN THE GREEN PARTY.
PM: YET YOU'RE STILL MIRED IN SINGLE DIGITS, LOW IN SINGLE DIGITS. HOW DO YOU SQUARE THAT?
EM: We're high in double digits in parts of the country where we will elect Greens like Vancouver Island and British Columbia and in other locations. The reality of the Green party is that we are a party committed to bringing forward big ideas, new ideas and demonstrating by our conduct in parliament and through the election that we really want to work for Canadians, work across party lines, work across jurisdictions. And since we're looking at a minority parliament, real change comes from having an ingredient in that mix that makes it work.
PM: BUT WHAT IS THE REALITY IN TERMS OF POSSIBILITIES FOR THE GREENS THIS TIME AROUND. I MEAN WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT, A HANDFUL OF SEATS?
EM: We're talking about a minority parliament where the Canadians can have the choice of one to two years of fractious partisan sniping that doesn't get much done. Or with enough Greens elected, we could have four years of productive, deliberative, respectful parliament in a minority but where the Green party is prepared to work across party lines on the issues Canadians care about.
PM: BUT –
EM: So in terms of the number of seats, a lot more than now (laugh) which is what I want, a lot more than now.
PM: YOU COULD DOUBLE, TRIPLE THE SEATS.
EM: Yes exactly –
PM: AND THAT WOULD BE A LOT MORE.
EM: –Well we – Well listen, we doubled – we doubled our caucus in December of 2013 when Bruce Hyer joined me and enormous change that made. We had another member of parliament running for his own seat again, and Jose NunezMelo joined the Green party in the course of the campaign so –
PM: BUT ARE – WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT REALISTICALLY? YOU KNOW, IN YOUR BEST DREAMS WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT?
EM: (overlap) Oh – best dreams? Ah 30.
PM: BUT REALISTIC.
EM: Realistic, 12 to 15.
PM: YOU SAY MINORITY PARLIAMENT. SOME PEOPLE WHO AH WANT TO SEE THE CONSERVATIVES LOSE SAY THE CHANCES WOULD BE BETTER IF THERE WEREN'T SPOILERS IN THE RACE AND LOOK AT THE GREENS AS POTENTIAL SPOILERS. NOT IN THOSE SEATS THAT YOU MIGHT WIN BUT IN SEATS WHERE YOU'RE NOT GOING TO WIN BUT YOU ARE GOING TO TAKE VOTES AWAY FROM EITHER THE NDP OR THE LIBERALS. ARE YOU A SPOILER?
EM: No I – I think people need to actually look at history. You say potential, but if you look at 2008, the year when we did our best results we were about a million votes across Canada. That's the year that Harper was held to a minority. When we were decimated in 2011 by being kept out of the leaders' debates, that vote – our vote dropped to 400,000. That's the year Stephen Harper managed to gain a false majority government.
PM: BUT IN BOTH CASES, STEPHEN HARPER WINS.
EM: In – no but my point is –
PM: I MEAN YOUR GOAL IS –
EM: no, no, my point is – My point is that when Greens do well, Conservatives don't. And that's what –
PM: BUT THEY STILL WON. THEY STILL WON A MINORITY EVEN IN THE YEAR THAT YOU DID SO WELL.
EM: Well I disagree with the term win in terms of minority. The Opposition parties have a choice. I don't like it when we skip that step, that step of saying to the Governor General, wait a minute, let's see who can – who can hold the confidence of the House and we think we can do a better job for longer.
PM: SHOULD THAT STEP HAPPEN BEFORE PARLIAMENT FIRST MEETS?
EM: Of course.
EM: SO YOU – YOU'RE NOT A BELIEVER IN THE PARTY THAT WINS THE MOST SEATS AUTOMATICALLY GETS THE FIRST OPPORTUNITY TO GOVERN.
PM: Well no, because in our Constitution, political parties aren't mentioned. So there's no reason constitutionally to think that party politics trumps Members of parliament assembling. I mean the election we are now holding is not to elect a prime minister, no matter how much the rhetoric seems to go in that direction. This is not the United States, this is not a presidential race. The only Canadians who can vote for Stephen Harper are those who live in Calgary Southwest just as the only voters who can vote for me live in SaanichGulf Islands. I'm a firm believer that if we could restore real parliamentary democracy, the best way to do that would be to get rid of political parties. Now that's not – that's not going to happen. So it's the overlay of the power of well organized political parties that makes it appear that the party that has the most seats has somehow won an election. But our constitutional reality is still that Members of parliament can go to the Governor General and say, wait, we need to have a party and a government that holds the confidence of the House. That step is more obvious in a minority but constitutionally it could happen in a majority parliament as well.
PM: ALRIGHT. LET'S DO SOME BOTTOM LINE TALKING. I'M ASSUMING, FROM EVERYTHING YOU'VE SAID SO FAR, THAT THE BEST RESULT FOR YOU – FORGET ABOUT WHAT NUMBER OF SEATS YOU GET – IS A MINORITY GOVERNMENT OF SOME SORT, (OVERLAP) IT'S A MINORITY.
EM: I think that's the best result for Canada.
PM: NO BUT IT'S ALSO THE BEST RESULT FOR THE GREENS.
PM: BECAUSE THEN YOU FEEL THAT YOU CAN PLAY A ROLE-
EM: That's right.
PM:– IN DETERMINING WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THAT. ANY TIME A TYPE OF COALITION, FORMAL OR INFORMAL WOULD LIKELY HAVE TO INVOLVE THE NDP AND THE LIBERALS.
PM: AND THE WAY THEY TALK ABOUT EACH OTHER, THAT'S NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.
EM: It's the way they talk about each other. I think the math will change things. I mean I, I firmly believe that we should be downing the cudgels of electoral campaigning once Parliament resumes. That hasn't happened for a long time.
PM: SO THIS IS ALL LIKE A PHONY WAR THAT'S GOING ON NOW?
EM: Hm it's, it's campaigning. It's the first past the post enforcing a level of animosity between parties. The parties that are closest to each other on the political spectrum will spend most of the time attacking each other because they're trying to hold on to the vote that won't bleed off to someone else because people are getting phobic about strategic voting. First past the post is the system of (electioneering) that actually enforces hostilities and reduces cooperation. Green Party is the only party that actually wants cooperation. I tried before the election repeatedly to talk to Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair about whether we could do one time only electoral cooperation with the goal of getting rid of first past the post. Before an election is not when they want to talk. Depending on the math and the seat counts after the election, I certainly will attempt to try to get them. Maybe I'll be a mediator, a matchmaker, some kind of helpful ah salve over their wounds to say, look guys, can't we work together? And wouldn't it be better for Canada if we worked (overlap) together.
PM: (OVERLAP) ISN'T THAT IS THAT WHAT YOU'RE REALLY RUNNING FOR, TO BE THAT PERSON?
EM: I'm running to not – I don't want to be any one person in the next Parliament. I want a group of Green MPs who will demonstrate to Canadians that it's possible to be respectful, ethical, hard working and actually stick to principle.
PM: BUT YOU'RE ALSO SAYING YOU WANT TO BE THE MEDIATOR.
PM: THE PEACEMAKER, THE DEAL MAKER BETWEEN THOSE WHO WANT TO BRING DOWN THE CONSERVATIVES.
EM: Well the Conservative party is unlikely to have more seats than the others at the end of the next election. Should Mr. Harper have a few more seats than the other parties, I will call the Governor General and say, we need time as Opposition party leaders to discuss whether we can offer the – our head of state and by the way our head of state who's now been Queen longer than any other monarch, so a little celebration but –
PM: BUT WHY WOULD HE TAKE YOUR CALL, THE GOVERNOR GENERAL?
EM: Oh that –
PM: (OVERLAP) BUT WHAT CREDIBILITY –
EM: (overlap) Constitutionally he'd have to.
PM: BUT WHAT CREDIBILITY WOULD YOU NEED –
EM: I'm a single –
PM: – TO HAVE HIM TAKE THAT CALL?
EM: Even in our – In our system of government the Governor General would take my call. Any Member of Parliament who wants time as the leader of a party to talk about presenting to our head of state, Her Majesty, through the Governor General a more durable, productive Parliament. That – they're neutral. They're nonpartisan.
PM: BUT WHEN I SAY –
EM: They need to know if it's a durable parliament, what work can it get done, is it in the interest of Canada.
PM: RIGHT. WHEN I MEAN CREDIBILITY I MEAN IN THE SENSE OF WHAT YOUR STATUS IS. YOU – THAT YOU WON YOUR OWN SEAT? CAN YOU HAVE OTHER SEATS THAT YOU'RE UM REGARDED OFFICIALLY AS A PARTY WITHIN PARLIAMENT? DO YOU NEED ALL THAT?
EM: No. Actually, Peter, when I went to the election night party May 2, 2011, and I didn't at that point have any expectations of winning more than my own seat, I had the phone number for Rideau Hall with me so that I could put in that call that night if it was a minority parliament, that Stephen Harper and Conservatives would not again form government with a minority, simply because the NDP and the Liberals were paralyzed by their hyper partisan dislike for each other. We need to do the people's work that includes getting out of a recession, that includes action on the climate crisis. We can't afford to wait. And I believe that we will govern better when we govern together.
PM: SO I ASSUME YOU STILL HAVE THAT PHONE NUMBER IN YOUR POCKET?
EM: (laugh) Yes, absolutely. And I'll have a few more – a lot more MPs ah to buttress the argument when I talk to the Governor General.
PM: WELL LET'S – LET'S TALK ABOUT BOTTOM LINE IN TERMS OF POLICY. IF YOU END UP SITTING DOWN – SAY THEY ALL MAGICALLY SAY YES, ELIZABETH MAY, WE WANT YOU THERE WITH US TO TALK ABOUT WHAT IS POSSIBLE. IN TERMS FOR YOU OF WHAT IS POSSIBLE, IF YOU'RE IN THAT POSITION, THE ONE YOU WANT TO BE IN –
PM: –WHERE YOU COULD BE HOLDING THE BALANCE OF POWER –
PM: – AH WHAT ARE YOUR BOTTOM LINES? YOU'VE OUTLINED YOUR PROGRAM.
PM: AND IT'S EXTENSIVE, WIDE RANGING AND EXPENSIVE.
EM: Well we pay for it.
PM: WELL YOU COSTED IT OUT AND THERE WILL BE ARGUMENTS ABOUT – ABOUT THAT COSTING. BUT NEVERTHELESS IT'S THERE – THE NATIONAL PHARMACARE PROGRAM TO FREE TUITION TO AH ENDING OIL PRODUCTION BY THE MIDDLE OF THE CENTURY, A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT THINGS. ARE ALL THOSE BOTTOM LINE POSITIONS?
EM: No. What – Where I think, and it's an absolutely fair question, and I should also clarify that in this discussion that I want to have with the Liberals and New Democrats, I'm not angling to get the Green party into their coalition. I prefer the Greens to remain an Opposition party that's able to hold the government to account. Well in terms of what's our bottom line, it's if you do these things we won't bring your government down. That's what we need. And I think that relationship probably existed between Lester B. Pearson and Tommy Douglas in the late sixties and that's why we have universal public healthcare system, that's why we have Canada Pension Plan.
PM: OKAY WELL LET'S GET TO WHAT – WHAT WOULD BE THE THINGS THAT THEY WOULD HAVE TO DO THAT WOULD GIVE YOU THAT PROMISE TO THEM THAT YOU WOULDN'T BRING THEM DOWN?
EM: Short list – get rid of first past the post. Bring in proportional representation, repeal Bill C-51, reduce the powers of the Prime Minister's Office because they are illegitimate and unhealthy and real climate action beginning the day after the election. We have to get to work to prepare for the deadline negotiations that will take place in Paris.
PM: BOTH THE – MR. TRUDEAU AND MR. MULCAIR SAY THEY WOULD GO TO PARIS. (OVERLAP) IS THAT A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION OR IS THAT JUST TALK?
EM: They, oh they'll go to Paris alright, but unless there's a lot of Greens elected, we won't make a difference when we get there. It takes a lot of work to understand what has been going on in the negotiations since Copenhagen. And the Opposition parties, other than the Greens, there hasn't been a Member of parliament for the Liberals or New Democrats attend those negotiations for so long that I – that you know what, you have to hit the ground running. And no disrespect to either Mr. Trudeau or Mr. Mulcair, they haven't been engaged in the process of those negotiations. Unfortunately the Conservatives have been engaged and have been slowing down and sabotaging progress in global negotiation since 2006. It's a complex negotiation. There are many moving parts. Canada needs to hit the ground on Oct. 20 starting with outreach to other countries, likeminded countries. We have to have a First Minister's Conference to improve our own position when we go into the negotiations and we have to have done a lot of groundwork. I want Canada to go to those negotiations, not as a constructive partner, I want us to go to be the leader that actually brings the whole process to a real conclusion that's ambitious and more aggressive than anything that's currently being planned.
PM: NOW WHEN YOU WENT THROUGH YOUR LIST OF BOTTOM LINE POSITIONS, ASIDE FROM ENVIRONMENT IT DIDN'T INCLUDE ANY OF YOUR MAJOR PLANKS FROM YOUR PLATFORM JUST ANNOUNCED A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO.
EM: Well abolishing C-51 isn't really an environmental position. It's about protecting us from –
PM: NO AND YOU'VE BEEN CLEAR ON –
EM: terrorist threat.
PM: YOU'VE BEEN CLEAR ON THAT –
PM: –ALL ALONG. BUT IN TERMS OF THE BIG NEW ONES – NATIONAL PHARMACARE, FREE TUITION, THOSE AREN'T IN THERE.
EM: I think that those will come because they make sense. And I believe that with public discussion of these issues during an election, I don't think those need to be bottom line positions. We will never give up working on them. I think they will happen. I think we can persuade ah the other parties in a parliament that this makes so much sense. I mean the Canadian economy will save $11 billion by bringing in a Pharmacare plan. If there's – and we – goodness knows, the National, you've helped educate Canadians with a panel discussion on why Pharmacare makes sense for Canada. And the big question was why aren't the other parties coming up in favour of this. I think that ideas that make so much sense where we have, relatively speaking, some common ground in terms of concern for health care among all the Opposition party leaders, I think we can do things together without making them bottom line positions.
PM: LET ME DO WHAT I DID WITH THE OTHER LEADERS IN TERMS OF GOING THROUGH A CHECK LIST ON SOME VERY CURRENT ISSUES THAT AH THE OPPOSITION PARTIES, THE LIBERALS AND THE NDP, BOTH SAY THAT THEY MAY IMPACT RIGHT AWAY IF THEY ACHIEVED OFFICE. SO I ASK YOU THESE QUESTIONS IN TERMS OF WHETHER YOU WOULD SUPPORT OR WHAT YOU WOULD EXPECT TO HAPPEN –
EM: Mhm okay.
PM: –IF ONE OF THOSE PARTIES ACHIEVED POWER OR IF TOGETHER THEY (OVERLAP)
EM; One or two or yeah.
PM: –ACHIEVED POWER.
EM: Yeah, yeah.
PM: SO THIS IS PRETTY STRAIGHTFORWARD. IT'S KIND OF A YES OR NO.
PM: IF YOU GET WHAT I MEAN.
EM: Lots of luck.
PM: YEAH. (LAUGH) YEAH. UM THE TFSAs, THE TAX FREE SAVINGS ACCOUNTS.
EM: Leave them at $5,000.
PM: LEAVE THEM AT 5, SO DON'T TAKE THAT EXTRA STEP.
PM: UM UNIVERSAL CHILD CARE BENEFIT.
EM: Absolutely keep it.
PM: AS IS UNIVERSAL EVERYBODY.
EM: Mhm, mhm.
PM: IT DOESN'T BOTHER YOU THAT THE RICH GET THAT AS WELL.
EM: No. And we're actually – we want to do a number of programs across Canada that will help families. One of them is our carbon fee and dividend program will end up giving everybody a cheque, our program which we can do immediately. We do need to have carbon pricing and that's part of a climate plan. But that will, that will assist everybody right across the country. And in the same way it goes to everybody equally. We don't take into account higher income. That, that comes out in the wash in the tax system.
PM: GST, DO YOU TOUCH THAT?
EM: No. We are taking one point of existing levels of GST to put them into municipal infrastructure on top of the gas tax. So that's about $6.4 billion a year that will go into municipal infrastructure. But we don't touch the rate of
GST. PM: INCOME SPLITTING.
EM: We remove income splitting for anyone other than seniors. The pension income splitting, seniors income splitting remains. But that program is just too expensive to be able to bring in. It ah, unless you have another source of revenue to cover it, it doesn't make sense.
PM: SMALL BUSINESS TAX RATE.
EM: We believe the small business tax rate should be 9 per cent.
PM: SO A DROP IN THAT.
EM: A drop.
PM: BIG CORPORATE TAXES.
EM: Big corporate taxes should return to what they were in 2009, just 19 per cent, bearing in mind that in the year 2000 they were 28 per cent. We think 19 per cent is reasonable. It's certainly unreasonable currently at 15 per cent. Big corporate tax rate in Canada is half that of the United States and the lowest in the industrialized world. These guys haven't turned into job creators. They've got, as Mark Carney called it, the dead money, $630 billion in corporate bank accounts. So they've taken the money that they were – that they've saved because of low taxes and they're just hoarding it. So 19 per cent is reasonable.
PM: AND WHEN YOU GO THROUGH THAT LIST, YOU'RE NOT DISSIMILAR FROM THE OTHER TWO PARTIES. I MEAN THERE ARE SOME SLIGHT DIFFERENCES.
PM: BUT FOR THE MOST PART, YOU'RE KIND OF IN AGREEMENT WITH THEM ON MOST OF THOSE POINTS, RIGHT?
EM: Yeah pretty much.
PM: WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU?
EM: It tells me that there are other differences that are more meaningful like the fact that I – that the Green Party believes that a Member of Parliament fundamentally works for their constituents and that we don't whip votes. That it's critical for us that we restore parliamentary democracy, supremacy of parliament. We have other issues like reducing the power of the PMO that we think is critical. If we can rescue democracy from politics in this country that's far more meaningful than whether there's a deficit here or there or the tax rate is 19 or 18 per cent. I mean we use a 19 per cent large corporate tax rate to be able to say, okay that's $7.5 billion more that allows us to do more things to ensure that Canadian quality of life improves. I think our biggest new idea doesn't cost any money at all and that's a council of Canadian governments where we have the federal government, provincialterritorial governments, municipal level of government as well as First Nations, Metis and Inuit people at the same table to craft our national policies. Where do we want to go on energy policy, what do we want do on a transportation policy, what do we do about education. We should work together. I know it's not 1867, it's not just the federal government and the provinces that matter. The municipal order of government really matters and needs a seat at the table and so do First Nations.
PM: WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE NDP AND THE LIBERALS, MR. MULCAIR AND MR. TRUDEAU, IS THERE A NATURAL FIT WITH EITHER OF THOSE FOR THE GREENS?
EM: Oh you could say there's a natural fit for us with almost anybody because we like collaboration. So you know, in the past I think Progressive Conservative Party or the populist strain of Reform under Preston Manning. Strange that the current Conservative Party doesn't seem to represent either of those earlier strains of the party that amalgamated around Mr. Harper. We can work with anybody. I mean even in a majority Parliament under Stephen Harper, I got unanimous support for my national Lyme Disease strategy bill. My private member's bill passed unanimously. We can work across party lines with just about anybody.
PM: HAVE YOU TRIED TO TAKE THAT COLLABORATION TO A DIFFERENT LEVEL? I MEAN INSTEAD OF HAVING THREE PARTIES RUNNING UP AGAINST STEPHEN HARPER, REDUCING THAT TO TWO. HAVE YOU SAT DOWN WITH EITHER OF THOSE LEADERS AND SAID, LOOK, WE CAN MAKE A DEAL HERE.
EM: I have tried to reach Mr. – I mean ah literally so many times I can't count, including an individual letter to every Liberal and New Democratic Party member of Parliament to say can't we find a way for electoral cooperation before the next election.
PM: AND YOU GET NOWHERE ON THAT?
EM: Well Mr. Mulcair ordered his MPs not to answer my letter. And then they made it public and attacked me for sending it. So it was what you might call a (chuckle) failed attempt. But I never give up. I think that –
PM: BUT WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER GUYS?
EM: Ah they were not allowed to – they were allowed to talk to me. That was better, but they said they couldn't participate in my idea. I wanted to form an ad hoc committee of Members of parliament to start figuring out what cooperation might look like in advance of an election so – Because I said, look, the leaders aren't going to be ready to talk about this yet, but surely we as MPs in different parties could start figuring it out, because there's a lot of questions to fill in the gaps. The nature of first past the post – and now I'm repeating myself – creates this hyper partisan (sigh) – it's just horrific the level of, of, of petty squabbling over things that really don't matter when something as huge as the climate crisis is looming. We should be able to work together. The fact that we haven't been able to work together before an election doesn't mean that when the election is over and a minority parliament and we'll see what cards we've been dealt by the people of Canada who choose their own MPs, then we'll figure out what can we do together to ensure that Canada is Canada again, the country we really are.
PM: YOU WATCHED THE INTERVIEWS WITH THE OTHER THREE LEADERS.
PM: DID YOUR VIEWS ABOUT ANY OF THEM CHANGE AS A RESULT OF THAT?
EM: Oh I know them all really well, so no. I mean I – it would take a lot for me to – I've worked closely with all three in Parliament for – and I've known – I've known Stephen Harper from well before I've got into Parliament. And I've known Justin Trudeau from well before I got to Parliament. And I've known Tom Mulcair – I didn't really get to know Tom Mulcair till, till I was elected. But no, my views don't change based on interviews.
PM: I HEAR –
EM: And no matter how good the interviewer is.
PM: I CAN APPRECIATE THAT. BUT I'M JUST WONDERING WHETHER THERE WAS ANYTHING THAT WAS SAID IN THOSE THAT, THAT MAKES YOU THINK, WELL YOU KNOW, MAYBE I CAN WORK WITH THEM A LITTLE MORE THAN I THOUGHT I COULD.
EM: You see, there's so much attention on the personality of the leaders and I think that's a problem in our system. The real question is –
PM: BUT YOUR PARTY IS YOUR PERSONALITY.
EM: No, it's Claire Martin and it's – it's Lynn Quarmby and it's Jo-Ann Roberts and it's (overlap) Gordon Miller and it's –
PM: (OVERLAP) NO, NO, NO, I KNOW YOU WANT TO GET THOSE NAMES OUT THERE. BUT FOR THE MOST PART FOR MOST CANADIANS –
PM: –THE GREEN PARTY IS ELIZABETH MAY.
EM: Well that's a problem of the way again – again that's a function of what I just mentioned which is the focus is too much on leaders. I mean Bruce Hyer has been my deputy leader and serving in Parliament for years, Daniel Green in Quebec, deputy leader doing a wonderful job. Like it is not a one person party but it is hard for them to get the same amount of media time that I can get. But the reality of it is the personality of the leaders of other parties is not whether I can work with them or not as people. It's what does their party want to do in public policy terms. It's very clear the Conservative party does not want to move to real climate action. It was Stephen Harper by himself within the G7 taking Angela Merkel's language about decarbonization and making it go till the end of the century instead of midcentury. (overlap)
PM: (OVERLAPPING) SO BUT YOU'RE LOOKING ABOUT THE CONSERVATIVES-
EM: (overlapping) That tells me all I need to know about public policy. Yes.
PM: –PUBLIC POLICY. BUT IN TERMS OF THE OTHER TWO, HAVE THEY BEEN SAYING ANYTHING IN THIS CAMPAIGN – INTERVIEWS OR SPEECHES OR WHAT HAVE YOU – THAT MAKES YOU SIT BACK AND PAUSE AND SAY, YOU KNOW, ACTUALLY I CAN WORK WITH THEM?
EM: But I knew I could work with any of them before the campaign started. PM: BUT ON POLICY. EM: On policy, look, their policies on climate aren't as good as the Green Party's. They're going to need a suppression. Neither party – neither the NDP nor the Liberals – oppose tankers loaded with bitumen on the BC coastline. They're going to need Green pressure so that we can turn down the Kinder Morgan expansion. We disagree fundamentally on trade deals. I was shocked that Bruce Hyer and I were the only MPs to vote against the Canada-Korea trade deal even though it violated NDP policy – it's consistent with Liberals. But we've got a real problem with investor state agreements. I wish we could get a Canada-China investment treaty and Stephen Harper selling us out on our sovereignty as more of an election issue. EM: Because a future government, in fact future governments – since the treaty is going to hold till 2045 – need to be able to figure out how do we protect ourselves from Stephen Harper's sellout of our sovereignty.
PM: LET ME ASK YOU THE LAST QUESTION. AND YOU KNOW, I ASKED THE VARIOUS LEADERS THIS QUESTION – THE OTHER LEADERS. BUT IN A WAY YOU'VE ALREADY BASICALLY ARGUED YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BE IN THAT SAME POSITION. THERE'S NO WAY YOU'RE GOING TO END UP AS PRIME MINISTER.
EM: Oh I didn't say that.
PM: WELL YOU – YOU SUGGESTED YOUR –
EM: (overlap) It would make a hell – hell of a TV movie.
EM: Hell if a Green Party leader in Canada became prime minister. It could happen.
PM: IT –
EM: Under our parliamentary system –
PM: ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN.
EM: That's right.
PM: ESPECIALLY IN THIS ELECTION.
PM: BUT YOU'VE BASICALLY SUGGESTED YOUR GOAL IS TO BE THE PEACEMAKER, THE DEAL MAKER TO TRY AND GET IN THERE WITH THE OTHER PARTIES. UM SO WHAT IS IT THAT ELIZABETH MAY THINKS ABOUT HERSELF THAT COULD SUGGEST SHE COULD BE THAT PERSON. NOT POLICY, NOT POLITICS, YOU.
EM: Well I'm the hardest working person you're ever going to meet. I believe in this country and I love Canada and I know how to forge con-
PM: THEY ALL LOVE CANADA DON'T THEY?
EM: (overlap) Yeah well I – I –
PM: DON'T THEY?
EM: We have different – Let's say there are nuances of difference of how we see Canada among the four leaders of all of us. But yes, loving Canada is rather a precondition for wanting to be in Parliament in the first place, commitment to the country. But beyond that, what I bring to it is that I'm good at forging consensus. I don't like knee capping the other guys. I never speak ill of any of them. In Parliament I've worked across the parties. I've never heckled once. I believe in finding the good in everyone, bringing that out and saying: can't we – can't we forge a political consensus here so that we're not using Parliament as a place to continue to cross swords but as a place to roll up our sleeves and do the work the people want us to do. And I'm definitely the best qualified to do that.
PM: ELIZABETH MAY, THANK YOU SO MUCH.
EM: Thank you.