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My First Week in Ottawa + Westwood Ridges Update

My first week in Ottawa has been very busy. I am hoping to be officially sworn in as MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith on May 27th.

During the by-election campaign, we stated that electing me as Canada’s second Green MP would send a strong message to the other parties that it was time to find the political courage to start taking effective action to deal with the climate change crisis. The incredible amount of media coverage of the results of our by-election, and the statements and policy developments we have seen out of the Liberals and the NDP show that, as anticipated, the election of a second Green MP has not gone unnoticed.

Elizabeth May and Paul Manly at press conference
With Elizabeth May at one of our press conferences on the Hill

I was happy to see the Prime Minister on May 7th refer to the Green Party’s Nanaimo-Ladysmith by-election victory, and state that the results showed that Canadians are "preoccupied" with Climate Change. It is going to be a major election issue on the fall ballot.

I welcomed the NDP and the Liberals bringing forward Climate Emergency motions to the House of Commons. Despite there being glaring issues with the contradictions inherent in both parties’ support for new mega fossil fuel projects, Elizabeth May supports both motions. I hope to join the debate on the Liberal motion when the House is back in session on May 27th.

I’ve finished my orientation sessions and I am working on hiring staff and opening my constituency office and my office on the hill. Soon you will be able to call my office or send an email and have helpful friendly staff respond.

Paul Manly being interviewed by a news videographer.
One of the many media interviews I have done in the past week.

I’ve done multiple media interviews and taken part in two press conferences with Elizabeth May, once again putting climate change front and centre in the media. I’ve held meetings with Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada, and with a coalition of groups coordinated by Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) to discuss the issues they want to see addressed in the general election. Both of these groups were happy to see the alignment between the Green Party policy book, Vision Green, and their priorities.

Meeting with Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada

On Thursday, May 16, I started to get a flood of calls, emails and Facebook messages about the Department of National Defence (DND) lands on Westwood ridges being closed for recreational users. This area has been used for decades by thousands of people every year to walk their dogs, hike, trail-run and mountain bike. The DND lands are used to access trails to Roberts Roost, Westwood Ridges and Mt Benson. On Friday, May 17, I wrote a letter to Defence Minister the Hon. Harjit Singh Sajjan asking for a deferral on this enforcement order until there has been a comprehensive consultation with Snuneymuxw First Nation, recreational user groups, the City of Nanaimo, the RDN and DND.

The DND needs access to rifle ranges for training and to test new equipment but the city has grown massively since this range was established in the 1920’s and operating a safe rifle range so close to the city in an area prized for its recreational uses poses challenges. I have requested an opportunity to work with Minister Sajjin for a resolution to this issue. You can read my letter here.

To contact me you can send an email to:

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