Transforming Canada: A Human Rights Story

Transforming Canada: A Human Rights Story

Human rights and Indigenous rights have been a big part of my professional career. For four years I led the development of human rights policy and operations at the BC Ministry of Attorney General. 

There, my team transformed the delivery of human rights services in British Columbia and launched a new BC Human Rights Commission. We worked hard to end systemic racism in BC’s child apprehension system, which takes more indigenous children away from their parents now than during the residential school years. 

We also enabled our government to protect transgender persons in British Columbia through the BC Human Rights Code. And, we did it in record time, after years of delay. 

How did we do this? By bringing three elements together in a timely and effective way: 

Activists: The Vancouver Pride Parade organizers threatened to ban the BC Liberals from the parade if the BC Liberal government did not amend the Human Rights Code to protect transgender persons. This focussed our political leaders, gave us a very clear deadline, and provided a great slogan: Just Do It. 

Empowered Competent Teams: Our policy analysts and legal teams did their homework. We worked together, each member empowered to move as quickly as possible. We reviewed legislation across Canada and around the world on transgender rights. We waded through the molasses of Ministers’ Briefing Notes, Cabinet Memoranda, legal reviews, drafting instructions, briefing binders, legislative reviews, and the 1001 other steps needed to pass legislation in Canada. And in doing so, we transformed transgender rights in BC. 

Leadership: The Premier and Attorney General committed personally to lead. They engaged with opposition groups, like socially conservative backbenchers from BC’s “bible belt”. They shared credit with the opposition NDP. Both groups got behind the initiative. The legislation passed with unanimous support in the BC legislature. Folks watching the final vote from the galleries were in tears. I was too. 

The Green Party can bring this kind of activism, competence, and leadership to Canada by electing strong Green MPs. To do that, we need experienced leadership and a competent, empowered team to make it happen. 

This is why I am so encouraged by the Green Party’s leadership race. It brings together nine candidates and their amazing teams — people who are activists, highly competent, and natural leaders. We are going to transform the Green Party. When we do, we will transform Canadian politics. And, when we do that, we may even change the course of human civilization.


The Green Party requires all candidates to gather 150 signatures before September 1st. Here’s how you can support my campaign, in less than 5 minutes:

  1. Click the “Nominate” button below;
  2. Name of contestant: select “David Merner”;
  3. Consent to the candidacy: check the box;
  4. Fill out the rest of the form and submit;
  5. Check your email after submitting, since you should receive a confirmation email; and
  6. Reply to the email to confirm your nomination.

NOTE: if you have Gmail, the Green Party confirmation email may not go into your main inbox. Please check your “promotions” tab to ensure you don’t miss the email. Your reply email to the Green Party can be as simple as follows:


I would like to confirm my intent to be a nominator of:

David Merner

Thank you,

(Insert your name)



It’s exciting to see how all the leadership candidates have been getting better and better throughout the race. One of the things we are all doing better is fundraising. A couple of the candidates have succeeded in reaching out to generous donors united by religion or country of origin. Our approach is to reach out to all communities across our diverse country. I sincerely appreciate your financial support. Anything you can donate will help. Together, we will make a difference to the Green Party, our country, and our planet. 



Evelyn Tanaka  (she/her) is an environmental activist born and raised in Treaty 7 Moh’kinsstis (Calgary).

As a child she wanted to be just like Jane Goodall because she loved the biodiversity of the African savannah. Her love of nature translated into a BSc in Ecology (2003) and an MA in Anthropology/Primatology (2006) from the University of Calgary. She has also spent extended periods of time in five African countries – Madagascar, Kenya, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Mali. 

Evelyn is an environmental leader who has helped transitioning auto workers and newcomers to Canada to find work in the green economy. She has worked on renewable energy with rural communities all over Alberta. She volunteered as a board member of a nonprofit organization called True Vision Ghana AIDS Foundation to help her friend Faustina meet the basic needs (food, medicine, education) of 40 AIDS orphans in northern Ghana. Over time they expanded their support into teaching sex ed in a number of rural schools and providing micro-loans to caregivers of AIDS orphans.

In the 2019 election, she ran in her home riding of Calgary Shepard. Along the way, Ev hosted a full moon signposting party, gave wildflower seed packages out at the doors, did her first debate, learned a lot, and made Green friends across the country. Less than a year after jumping into politics, she is now the Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Alberta. She is the Volunteer Coordinator and a Phone Canvasser on our campaign.

“David is a very compassionate leader and is good at listening to different perspectives and offering his knowledge. He takes the time to get to know individual Greens across the country and values everyone’s skills, talents, and contribution. He is committed to justice and centres the voices of marginalized Canadians in everything he does. I am confident that David will be the most ethical leader of the Green Party of Canada.”


Join the movement to elect a true grassroots Leader of the Green Party of Canada. Someone who will unite the Green Party and empower Members to elect a strong Green caucus to Parliament! 

As we expand David’s campaign across the country, we need volunteers to help with everything from media and communications, to outreach, fundraising, event planning and research. Training and guidance will be provided. It’s a great opportunity to get involved in a winning leadership campaign and to learn how to campaign at the national level. 

To volunteer for David’s campaign please email us at:


Bridging the Gap: Millennials and Boomers – with Meryam Haddad

August 3rd, 3:00 – 3:30 PM PDT

Click here

Get Acquainted Series – Green Leadership Candidates – with Amita Kuttner

August 4th, 5:30 – 8:00 PM ADT

Click here

Bridging the Gap: Millennials and Boomers – with Meryam Haddad

August 5th, 3:00 – 3:30 PM PDT

Click here   

We have some events pending, please check  our website  for more information. 

Also, join me on Zoom every Saturday at 11:00 AM Pacific / 2:00 PM Eastern for our weekly chat. All event details are at  – click on “Events”.



Follow our campaign on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with events, Green Party policy, and campaign updates!  @DavidMerner  @David.Merner  DavidMernerESS

Thank you again for your support. We all have until the September 3 “cut off date” to encourage our family members, friends, and neighbours to join the Green Party of Canada!