Dr. Courtney Howard, MD

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Announcement from Dr. Courtney Howard

Big day today -- feels like a bit of a life turning point. Got up this morning and announced that I'm running to be the next leader of the Green Party of Canada.

(from Facebook)

It’s a critical moment in human history–our time to do some epic good.
Check out our website–there’s an embedded video and ways to get involved.
Looking forward to excellent adventures in your company 🙂

Big day today — feels like a bit of a life turning point. Got up this morning and announced that I’m running to be the next leader of the Green Party of Canada.

drcourtneyhoward.ca

Here’s my take on where we’re at:

We are at a moment of overlapping emergencies. Humanity faces not only a pandemic caused by a virus which jumped from animals to humans, but also the need to cope with its economic fallout, and the climate and biodiversity-related disruption that increases our risk of further crises, including other pandemics.

It has never been clearer that we need a healthy planet in order to have healthy people and healthy economies. And that politics is a huge determinant of health.

As the chair of the advocacy subcommittee of the World Health Organization-Civil Society Working Group on Climate Change and Health, I recently helped initiate and organize an open letter to G20 leaders calling for a green and healthy recovery from the pandemic that includes safe work and shifts fossil fuel subsidies to invest in healthy, low-pollution energy, transport, and agriculture.

This letter received support from organizations representing
40 million health workers worldwide, or two-thirds of the global workforce.

Now we need to bring those recommendations to life.

I’ve done research, policy work, and advocacy with the goal of creating healthier communities, but the pandemic has made desperately clear that politics is, in many ways, the limiting step in seeing evidence-based policy implemented.

With only 5 cases of COVID-19, and zero episodes of community transmission, the NWT’s strong pandemic response has both inspired me, by showing me what is possible with good collaboration between decision makers and scientific experts, and given me space to step away from the bedside.

We have work to do to get our society onto a safe and healthy path.

We need to shift power to ensure decision making spaces are fueled by the ideas generated by more youthful and diverse representatives; shift money to reduce inequality, fund a universal basic income, and invest in the social and technological innovation that can be Canada’s new calling card; and above all, we need to shift our joint vision so we explicitly set our sights on maximizing the health and wellbeing of our nation and our planet.

I don’t think we get two chances at this–we will not see this combination of disruption, resource, and political will again within the time window remaining to us to provide today’s children with the healthy climate they need to thrive.

Humans need a lot of love right now. It is tempting to fold inwards. And yet–to prevent further crises–we much reach out. I’ve learned that action feels better than anxiety. I don’t worry anymore, I just do the work. And that work has brought me into contact with some of the most talented and inspiring people I have ever met.

In the ER, the most difficult cases always seem to come in at once. When we are tired. When we’ve just sat down to eat. In the last hours of an overnight shift. And yet–the sickest patients also offer us the greatest opportunity to use our skills and to have an impact. We get through those tough cases thanks to fantastic team members, compassion, humour, and a data-driven, action-oriented approach—elements which can help us overcome the overlapping crises we now face as a country.

Rising up and offering our best at a moment of crisis is the making of us as healthcare providers–and I believe we now share this type of opportunity outside of the hospital’s walls. The future won’t look like the past, but if we focus on fundamentals–fresh air, clean water, good food, and each other–it can be vibrant.

I look forward to working with Canadians from coast to coast to coast to bring a healthy future to life as the next leader of the Green Party of Canada.

Sending warm wishes and energy from Yellowknife,
Courtney

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