Charging the Yukon’s Green Party candidate is fighting for the environment and challenging what she characterized as a lackluster response from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals on the matter.
“It is, in fact, my top political priority,” said Lenore Morris, who announced on June 24 that she’s running during the federal election. “I’m concerned and distressed that no other national party, particular any of the ruling parties, and that means the Liberals and Conservatives, are paying adequate attention to the environment or making it any kind of serious priority.”
A member of the Greens for 10 years and part of its riding association for six, if elected, it would be her first time holding office.
Since joining the party, she said there’s been a perceptible change in tone surrounding the environment.
“On one hand there’s been this exponential increase in awareness about environmental issues, we’ve seen that particularly in the last year,” Morris said. “On the other hand, what’s distressing is that things are actually worse from an environmental point of view now than they were 10 years ago.”
Couple that with a slipshod response to the problem means humanity is playing catch-up, she said.
“We’re starting to do stuff about it, but we’re doing it so slowly that I don’t think we’re going to get caught up on this unless we have a more radical change and that includes having parties in government that have a much stronger position on environmental issues.”
Morris wants adaptive strategies to be devised to stem climate change, which is acutely felt in the North. This means money, big money, has to be earmarked, she said.
“We’re not taking airy-fairy concepts here, we’re talking about actual dollars and cents issues, one of the big issues here, almost certainly, is going to be forest fires.”
The Greens, led by Elizabeth May, want increased investment in renewables, to spark a National Housing Plan and patch up relations with Indigenous people, among other things.
Morris said her plans align with the overarching party platform, of course, but she pointed out one issue in the Yukon that she wants to tackle.
Yukon Energy Corp. pitched a new energy plant last month, powered entirely by fossil fuels (the public feedback period ended earlier this month.)
The facility would be 20 megawatts, larger than six diesel rentals that are roughly two megawatts each, which are used during system failures. The new power plant would fill in during these capacity shortfalls, ramping up power supply, CEO Andrew Hall told this newspaper recently.
“There’s been a lot of people that have been unhappy about the fact that the only options on the table are fossil fuel options,” Morris said. “We’re in a place where we have this huge geothermal potential, as well as wind and solar. It’s very frustrating to see that there’s not being more effort made to develop that.”
Morris has lived in the Yukon uninterrupted for over 19 years. She has a law practice in Whitehorse, specializing in areas like civil litigation, family law and real estate.
She said she considers herself a capitalist. Holding a degree in business, Morris said she understands the role business holds in Canada, but that they can, and should, be part of the solution in transitioning Canada away from a fossil fuel-reliant economy.
Contact Julien Gignac at