Green Party of Canada leadership candidate Dimitri Lascaris held a campaign event Friday, Aug. 14, at Nanaimo’s Maffeo Sutton Park. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

Green Party of Canada leadership candidate Dimitri Lascaris held a campaign event Friday, Aug. 14, at Nanaimo’s Maffeo Sutton Park. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

Federal Green leadership hopeful brings eco-socialist campaign to Nanaimo

Dimitri Lascaris one of nine candidates running for party leader

A leadership candidate for the federal Green Party wants to expand the boundaries of what’s up for debate.

Dimitri Lascaris, a lawyer from Montreal, was at Nanaimo’s Maffeo Sutton Park on Friday night to meet people and tell them about his campaign to try to become the party’s next leader this fall.

Lascaris labelled himself an eco-socialist and said the majority of Canadians have a positive view of socialism. He said “progressives are not being represented in the Parliament of our day” and said other parties are competing for the middle of the political spectrum.

Lascaris said some of his values include social justice, peace and non-violence, ecological sustainability and respect for diversity.

He discussed his support for defunding the RCMP by 50 per cent over five years, with that money reallocated to addressing “causes of behaviours that we describe as criminal” such as poverty, homelessness, mental health issues, domestic abuse and substance abuse.

“The police ultimately are dealing with the symptoms of social injustice and oftentimes are doing so in a way that’s brutal and systemically racist,” he said.

He wants to have conversations about getting Canada out of NATO and reducing defence spending, saying that the country spends two per cent of its GDP on “merchants of death when we are confronted by an existential climate crisis that is far more dangerous than any military threat that we confront.”

Lascaris said Canadians should be having a conversation about “taxing billionaires out of existence” by capping wealth accumulation and taxing 100 per cent of net worth over $500 million, and implementing a 75 per cent tax rate for income over $500,000 per year.

story continues below

Asked whether Canadians will want to vote for fiscal responsibility in an era of pandemic deficits, Lascaris said he subscribes to modern monetary theory and said the government’s pandemic response has shown Canadians how money they were told wasn’t there can suddenly materialize.

“The Bank of Canada has the ability to create currency necessary to continue to fund all the programs that I want to fund,” he said. “We’ve only scraped the surface of our fiscal ability to do that.”

Lascaris said as a securities class-action lawyer, he’s taken on big banks and said it’s radicalized him and he wants to be a politician who can make change in the face of corporate interests. He said the Green Party can be the conscience of the nation.

“We can force discussion about the issues that the mainstream political parties do not want to discuss,” he said. “Dramatic change begins there. It begins in expanding the boundaries of debate.”

The other eight candidates for leadership of the Green Part of Canada are Judy Green, Meryam Haddad, Courtney Howard, Amita Kuttner, David Merner, Glen Murray, Annamie Paul and Andrew West.

The deadline to become a voting member of the party is Sept. 3 and the next leader will be chosen via online voting between Sept. 26-Oct. 3.

RELATED: Elizabeth May resigns as Green party leader



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Federal Politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo RCMP want to speak with two people who might have spoken with the driver of a vehicle before it hit a pedestrian at the 7-Eleven store at University Village Mall Feb. 3. (Photos submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP ask for help with Harewood hit-and-run investigation

Police release photos of people of interest who spoke to the suspect driver just prior to incident

(News Bulletin file)
Wellington, Ladysmith secondary schools latest with COVID-19 cases

NDSS and Bayview Elementary also experienced exposures, says SD68

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ business committee is recommending busing for the Rutherford and Frank J. Ney elementary school area be retained. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo school trustees vote against cutting Rutherford-Frank J. Ney bus route

Staff report points to yearly transportation budget deficits

Nanaimo RCMP seek help in locating Shannon Lettington, 35. (Submitted photo)
Nanaimo RCMP searching for missing 35-year-old woman

Shannon Lettington, of Nanaimo, has not contacted her family since October

A rendering of Front Street transportation improvements set to get underway as soon as next week. (McElhanney image/City of Nanaimo)
Work set to start on Front Street cycle track in downtown Nanaimo

Road work and street reconfiguration project scheduled to start in March, finish in May

Beef to the plow driver who completely soaked me in dirty slush at the bus stop at Fifth and Hillcrest. I could tell you were driving quite fast so I tried to back up as far as the snowbank would allow but you did not slow down. I am 68 and had to pick up a prescription and had no choice but to continue on soaking wet.
Beefs & Bouquets, March 3

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

A man holds a picture of Chantel Moore during a healing gathering at the B.C. Legislature in Victoria on June 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. First Nation demands transparency in probe into second fatal RCMP shooting

‘Police have killed more Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation members than COVID’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

The B.C. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 26 that the estate of deceased Sooke man and Hells Angels prospect Michael Widner is to be divided between his wife and his secret spouse. (Black Press Media file photo)
Estate of dead B.C. Hells Angels prospect to be divided between wife, secret spouse

Michael Widner’s 2017 death left a number of unanswered questions

Comox Valley-raised Shay Sandiford has earned a spot on the Canada skateboard team. Facebook
Vancouver Islander selected to Canada’s first-ever national skateboard team

Courtenay’s Shay Sandiford has his eye on qualifying for this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo

This Dec. 2, 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of its Janssen subsidiary’s COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Johnson & Johnson via AP
Canada approves Johnson & Johnson’s 1-shot COVID-19 vaccine

It is the 4th vaccine approved in Canada and the 1st that requires just a single dose

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

Most Read