Dr. Courtney Howard, MD

This is a time capsule and a set of resources

Planetary Health in Politics

For more than a decade, Dr Howard volunteered for the Liberals, the Greens and the New Democratic Party, and was a member of the Conservative Party of Canada. She participated in the last leadership election of every political party in one way or another.

Before all of this work, Dr Howard read the constitution and founding documents of all the parties, and generally agrees with every party’s platforms, generally. 

Dr Howard believes that the reason for that is that people fundamentally desire health and wellbeing for themselves and their children.

Knowing that decisions based on evidence are most likely to achieve those aims, Dr Howard believes that ideally we will be electing an increasing number of thoughtful community-minded people with the desire to serve their populations by using the tool of evidence and investigation to achieve the best outcome. 

In the spring of 2020, very aware of the urgency of the moment of a healthy recovery, and believing it necessary to emphasize the shared drivers between pandemics and climate change, Dr Howard decided to join the Green Party of Canada leadership race, to replace Elizabeth May at the helm. 

In late 2019, Elizabeth May stepped down as Leader of the Green Party of Canada, and a leadership contest was called. Dr Howard was influenced by her colleagues, family and friends and decided to join the race. She was the last candidate to join— she had to make sure that her role duties as an Emergency Physician were fulfilled during the COVID—19 pandemic. Luckily, Yellowknife and the Northwest Territories were mostly saved from COVID cases. 

From mid-June 2020 until October 3rd, 2020, Dr Howard ran for Leader of the Green Party of Canada, as a way to bring a stronger message for Planetary Health in the Canadian and global political landscape. 

She led a 12-week changemaking series that saw more than 600 participants, and fundraised more than $140k.

Dr Howard ended up third in a very tight race. 

She is no longer affiliated with any political party at this time. 

Time capsule. See the website as in was in the summer of 2020; and access all the campaign and Changemaking School material. 

This is intended to be a resource for others interested in running for office on a Planetary Health platform.