Born in Ontario, I grew up in the USA. My name is Richard Jack, Interim Leader of the Saskatchewan Green Party.
I worked for the Saskatchewan government for 37 years in the Department of Health, in IT and clerical positions. I was a lay chaplain at the Unitarian Fellowship of Regina for 20 years and have held virtually every Board position in my Church. I am one of the four founders of the Regina Multi-Faith Forum. I have had a lifetime of community and political activity. I became interim Saskatchewan Green Leader after the fall federal election. Previously I have been Deputy Leader for the last couple of years. I was proud to support Elizabeth May in the fall election. Inspite of many challenges, the Green Party received around a million votes.
Since then, major changes have occurred with leadership races nationally and in several provinces. The membership and growth of Green Party’s is continuing. The issues that the Green Party is emphasizing are on all Canadian minds. We demand a modernized electoral system that allows for fairer representation and the deemphasis on money in politics, together we will build a better society. Saskatchewan faces unprecedented challenges as we move forward. The commitments of 10 million provincial dollars and 250 million dollars federally to transition away from coal and fossil fuels is totally inadequate. To leave the 25% of Saskatchewan people and 50% of Albertans to transition without adequate support is mind blowing.
Saskatchewan has spent several billion to extend the life of the coal industry by CCS when the whole world is ending coal production. Carbon Capture technology is a useful vehicle to reduce pollution but should be used in the interim with natural gas, and in the long term with biofuel, and industries like cement, steel, and fertilizers. Our tax system should punish polluters and reward environmentally friendly projects. We have left over four thousand abandoned oil and gas wells in this province. Some may be repurposed for geothermal but the taxpayers are left to clean up the rest. Worse, we have the billion dollar cleanup of the uranium tailings up at Uranium City.
The Saskatchewan Green Party is opposed to the proposed SMR nuclear reactor program on economic, environmental, and moral grounds. We could have a full discussion alone on this issue but I leave it to distinguished experts like Dr Jim Harding to do that.
Saskatchewan will face many challenges in the future but by working with many progressive groups we will meet those challenges.