5. Power Up New Leaders
A. Distribute Digital Power
Affordable broadband is a human right, a determinant of health, and an important portal of access to virtual work and decision making tables.
1. Develop a National Strategy on Broadband and Connectivity to:
a. Solve disparities between urban, rural, and Indigenous communities with particular attention to last-mile connectivity issues.
b. Consider the implications of Indigenous rights with regards to control of the electromagnetic spectrum over their territories.
c. Consider next-generation options and review the federal procurement contracts process for tech vendors.
3. Suspend data caps permanently.
4. Work with provinces and territories to ensure the focused provision of technology to assist with schooling and work for people of lower socioeconomic means who are less able to access public infrastructure and equipment as a result of the pandemic.
B. Power Parliament with Youth and Diverse Voices
A decision-making body lacking in diversity is a group with blind spots. People of different descriptions and backgrounds trend towards different decisions: for example—across the political spectrum an increasing proportion of female decision makers is associated with decreased mortality rates and more pro-environmental and pro-social decisions.
- Lower the voting age to 16.
- Create a campaign school and mentorship program within the Green Party designed to lower barriers to participation and success for candidates experiencing systemic racism and other types of discrimination.
- Work with provinces and territories to replicate the Northwest Territories’ successful Campaign School for Women, with a broader mandate to enhance the political representation of all underrepresented groups at provincial, territorial, and national levels.
- Prioritize electoral reform.
Campaigns cost money and candidates benefit from well-connected and deep-pocketed people in their networks. It is easy to see how systemic racism and discrimination poses additional barriers to successful campaigning and election for women, people of colour, immigrants, LGBTQI people, differently-abled people, and more. An initiative that has been successful in terms of increasing the number of women elected to political office is the Northwest Territories’ campaign school for women. Benefiting from funding from both the territory and the federal government, it successfully increased the number of female cabinet ministers and is credited as being important to the election of Canada’s only current female premier. The Green Party can create such a campaign school as well as a mentorship system pairing less-privileged candidates with more-privileged sponsors in order to internally help people to overcome systemic discrimination. More broadly, it would be possible for the federal government to systematically fund and promote similar initiatives in each province and territory.