Vancouver Quadra profile: Geoff Wright, Green

Running on behalf of the Green Party, Dr. Geoff Wright is determined to bring climate-conscious and evidence-based policymaking to Ottawa as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Vancouver Quadra.

Pulling from his background in engineering, his academic career researching air pollution and his two-time tenure as president of the Association of Canadian Ergonomists, Wright is running on a platform of environmental sustainability, investment into post-secondary education and transparent campaigning.

“I've been in occupational health and safety all my life. And I've worked at all three levels of government,” said Wright. “In contentious situations, science can defuse things very, very quickly… It's not ‘he said, she said,’ or ‘I think this and they think that.’ It's straight down the line.”

Wright stands with the Green Party on their climate plan, which includes cutting 60 per cent of carbon emissions by 2030 and reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. To achieve this goal, they plan to collaborate with both Indigenous leadership and other political parties.

“The youth have got it right,” said Wright. “They're saying we've got to do something [about the climate] … We're into crisis mode now, into emergency mode now, so we don't have the time. But we have to do something. This election is so pivotal.”

His primary goal if elected is to shut down expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline, which the Liberal government bought in 2018 for $4.8 billion.

“My issue is I do not want diluted bitumen being shipped to unknown markets … it doesn't make sense to be exporting oil from this coast and importing it on the east coast,” said Wright.

Wright also wants to push policy away from hydrocarbons and hydrocarbon-fueled vehicles and towards investment into infrastructure supporting electric vehicles. Specifically, he expressed a desire for government agencies like Canada Post to transition towards electric-powered vehicles.

Regarding education, Wright stands with his party in pushing for a $10 billion investment into post-secondary and trade schools, with the goal of making tuition free and accessible for all Canadian students, as well as forgiving existing student debt.

“Universal access to quality post-secondary education and skills training is a right, not a privilege… Moreover, post-secondary education is part of Canada’s treaty obligations to Indigenous Peoples and a key focus for reconciliation,” reads Wright’s website.

The Green Party has faced criticism for holding platform similarities to the NDP, especially regarding the environment. While Wright acknowledged these similarities, he also pointed out distinguishing features.

“I would say what sets us apart [from the NDP] is our stance on LNG, liquified natural gas. The NDP is supporting [LNG],” said Wright. The Green Party is against LNG because of the accompanying environmental harms of fracking and methane production.

To fund their initiatives, the Party wants to increase the federal corporate tax from 15 per cent to 21 per cent while not increasing taxes for small businesses, to introduce a corporate tax to transnational e-commerce companies like Netflix and Amazon and to close tax loopholes which benefit the wealthy.

The Greens were also the first party to provide a full platform to the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) for cost evaluation. Their proposals received initial criticism for being expensive and difficult to execute from the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Democracy (IFSD). But on October 3, the IFSD re-assessed the Green Party's revised platform and gave it an overall 'pass' rating.

This article has been updated to clarify Dr. Wright's academic experience researching air pollution and to include the IFSD's reassessment of the Green Party platform.