Global Green News conducted an extensive interview with Saskatchewan Green Party leader, Naomi Hunter, about provincial issues, her assessment of Green politics in Canada and her plan for Saskatchewan. As a contributor and admirer of Global Green News, Hunter gave genuine responses on what she believes are the challenges faced by the party, province and country.
Hunter discussed three main issue areas with Global Green News which she believes are essential to the current and future politics of Saskatchewan. The three issue areas were identified as; standing with Indigenous Peoples, green energy and water security. She stressed that these are not the only issues that must be focused on but rather that these are some of the main focus points of her party.
Indigenous reconciliation was identified as a top priority by Hunter:
Adopting all of the recommendations of the ‘Truth and Reconciliation Commission’ is a must for Hunter. As Greens, she expressed that upholding Indigenous affairs has to be kept as a constant important issue.
Hunter also applauded the nomination of Canada’s first Indigenous Governor General Mary Simon. She explained that it is vital to have more Indigenous women participate in high profile political roles to represent the voice of many. Hunter acknowledges that some Indigenous Peoples do not want to participate in the provincial or federal political system due to lack of trust and she respects these decisions.
Green energy as discussed by Hunter involves using solar energy extensively. This is a strategy that Hunter has discussed with Global Green News in the past and is confident in this approach. She also stands firmly against the development of nuclear energy in the form of small modular reactors:
Additionally she argued that nuclear development would largely take place on Indigenous land, something that she says should be avoided at all costs.
A last issue area that was discussed by Hunter was water security. According to Hunter, the prairies are at a serious risk of drought. This could be devastating for the region’s numerous farmers. When it comes to water, Hunter wants to remind everyone that many Northern communities are under water boiling advisories constantly and that this has to change.
Hunter is both a provincial and federal Green candidate. The Saskatchewan Green Party is encouraging their candidates to run in all elections as a goal of having a more integrated agenda. Hunter says that her party is trying to have election timelines rehashed in the province. Her party wants municipal elections moved further away from provincial elections to have candidates in every possible election. They are currently only two weeks apart.
More candidates across jurisdictions, allows for more issues to be addressed according to Hunter. She believes in grassroots organizations and their capabilities.
Hunter strongly feels that the first past the post system is a failed system and condemns Justin Trudeau for not changing it. Electoral reform is important to herself and to her party:
Long term plan
After being reminded by Global Green News that no Green seats were won in the 2020 Saskatchewan legislature, Hunter quickly replied by stating that the Greens won 4,000 more votes in 2020 and became the third party in some ridings. According to Hunter, the party grew five times in size since she has assumed leadership.
Simply put, she sees herself as the premier of Saskatchewan in 2028. As long as the party will have her, Hunter says that she will lead them.
Global Green News asked Hunter how she evaluates the fact that the last eight legislatures in the province were formed by the NDP or the Saskatchewan party. Hunter expressed that her party is getting more organized. Her team is made up of activist grass roots Canadians and they believe in their goals.
Naomi Hunter wanted to remind readers that Elizabeth May succeeded as a federal Green without falling into brokerage politics. Hunter said that the climate crisis can’t wait and she is ready to tackle it.