Still time to get a sign!

https://www.greenparty.ca/en/get-a-sign

It is October 1st, in less than 3 weeks a new parliament will have been elected.

There is lots you can do to help ensure Greens are elected in Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and beyond!

  1. Volunteer to help your local candidate
  2. Donate money to your local candidate
  3. Get a Green sign for your lawn
  4. Tell 5 people you are Voting Green and Why
  5. All of the Above

https://www.greenparty.ca/en/get-a-sign

Braniff’s Blog

Mission Possible: A 20-Step Answer to a Truly Wicked Question 

How can Canada meet international commitments to respond to the current climate emergency while maintaining fiscal responsibility and a strong economy?

 Canada has declared a Climate Emergency; yet there is an ever-widening gap between Canada’s greenhouse gas reduction commitments and projected results of current government policy.  Recently, I talked to a young gentleman who identified himself as a “climate denier”; yet he agreed that Canada needs clean air, pure water and solid government leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  The downside of ignoring man-made climate change is catastrophic but few people would argue that cleaning up to establish better stewardship of the planet is an unsafe or wasted effort. Nevertheless, we remain paralyzed in our policy response to the climate problem.   

The counter-argument seems to be that jobs, the economy and fiscal restraint are the focus of Canadian voters.  This approach is more a product of unhealthy politics than reality or logic. Yes, there are Canadians who are employed and heavily invested in the fossil-fuel energy sector.  Yes, there is heated regional conflict about investing in pipelines. Yes, current political debate has polarized the question into a false choice between the environment and the economy.  We need government leadership to mediate and negotiate through the conflicting interests to reach a satisfactory collaborative solution. What we need is social innovation in government.

Social Innovation has been successful in the business and non-profit sectors in Canada to develop creative, collaborative and brilliantly designed solutions to seemingly intractable challenges in resource management, delivery and other high-conflict disputes.   Social Innovation has been compared to improv-theatre or the improvisation of jazz musicians. Social Innovation puts away adversarial fighting and invites all stakeholders to collaborate based on shared values and goals. As I discussed in a previous blog, Social Innovation starts with a Wicked Question which juxtaposes opposing values or goals in creative tension.  It is like navigating downstream between a rock and a whirlpool. I have included an example of a Wicked Question in italics at the beginning of this blog. A wicked question is demanding and relentless with respect to the problem yet has room to be gentle and protective of the people involved. “How can Canada get fully on track for its GHG Emission Targets while also providing a transition plan and social safety net for the workers and families currently reliant on the fossil fuel economy as we develop a Greener Economy?”

Mission Possible is a very specific, measurable and attainable response to the wicked problem of climate change.  It is probably not the only answer to this truly wicked question, but a better strategy than the no-win competition that has been paralyzing our Parliament.  We need not choose between the economy and the environment. We need collaboration so we can do both! #socialinnovation  #wickedquestion #missionpossible #chooseboth

Braniff’s Blog

Mission Possible: 20 Steps for SMART Climate Action 

On May 8, 2019, the Green Party of Canada announced Mission Possible, a 20 step climate action plan that starts with declaring a climate emergency.  The second step is for an inner cabinet of all parties to provide government leadership to deal with the declared emergency.   A non-partisan cabinet was successful in both Canada and England during the Second World War. Climate change is an enduring and complex problem which requires long term planning and full collaboration across party lines.

Meanwhile, in Ottawa, that same month, the Liberal majority defeated an NDP motion to declare a climate emergency.  The next day, the Liberals brought forward their own motion to declare a climate emergency. Within hours, the Liberals also approved the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion.   Andrew Scheer has not yet announced a policy on climate change but has been quoted by Maclean’s magazine: “It is bad, and we’ll find a way to do our part.”   There appears to be potential for consensus but no concerted, collaborative effort….yet.

Mission Possible: 20 Steps

As I write this blog, the election has not yet officially begun.  Yet, there seems to be plenty of jostling for votes. The traditional parties are making promises as usual:  promises that are vague and conditional upon getting a majority in the House of Commons. The Green Party, true to our commitment to do politics differently, has built Mission Possible on a platform of collaboration.  The promise is attainable and accountable.  If sufficient Green Party members are elected to the House of Commons to form or influence a minority government, the Green Party Mission Possible is ready for all-party collaboration to achieve Canadian non-partisan government leadership so that Canada can meet our commitments from the Paris Accord.   Remember that Mike Schreiner (Green MPP facing a Conservative majority government) was successful in securing unanimous support at Queen’s Park for Bill 71, Paris Galt Morraine Conservation Act.

There are 20 steps and each step meets the criteria of a SMART goal:  specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-limited. The Action Plan will be fully costed.  What this means is that Mission Possible is an action plan which Canadians can afford that provides a comprehensive blueprint for government leadership on an international crisis.  And, the plan offers complete and comprehensive accountability so that it will be easy to know if the goals for the 20 steps are achieved on schedule.   Mission Possible meets or exceeds the standards set by the “people’s platform” of the Canadian Green New Deal.  When it comes to climate action, we need to be SMART.   

#MissionPossible  #climateactionplan   #SMARTgoals #Braniffsblog

Braniff’s Blog

The Wicked Question of Right and Left

How can the Canadian Parliament provide progressive social policies which safeguard the environment, provide a social safety net for our most vulnerable citizens and keep Canadians healthy and safer while maintaining sound fiscal policies and a resilient economy?

Politics often slips into labels about left and right and this approach can be divisive and polarizing.  It is also not particularly helpful or useful when it comes to governance and leadership. If we think of movement, such as walking (whether by two or four legs or using a cane, crutches or wheelchair), balance and momentum require effort and coordination of both the left and the right.   The Green Party call to action is “Not left. Not right.  Forward Together”.

Canada faces complex, seemingly intractable social problems, that is, wicked problems.   There is a tendency to try and solve wicked problems with simple remedies (like a recipe) or to hire a team of experts (which is more appropriate for complicated problems).   Wicked Problems require collaboration, creativity and social innovation.   (If you want a practical and quick read on changing the world through social innovation, check out Getting to Maybe: How the World Is Changed by Frances R. Westley).    Social Innovation approaches complex social problems with “design thinking”, that is, the kind of creativity and teamwork for art, architecture or high-function, ergonomic tools and furniture. 

The Wicked Question: Courageous and Demanding in its Expectations

It begins with a wicked question.  A wicked question is not a riddle or a trick question.  This is an investigative question full of curiosity. A wicked question is designed to focus on the dilemma of holding opposites in creative tension.  For example, faced with the challenge of heating a room for people with varying comfort-levels, the wicked question would try to figure out how to make the room warm enough for Aunt Carol (who wears long pants all summer) without being too hot for Uncle Ray (who has been known to wear a spring jacket in a snowstorm).   The wicked question is courageous and demanding in its expectations. It is about navigating the course downstream between the rocks and the whirlpool. The wicked question is what you need to find your way when you are “between a rock and a hard place”.  

The question at the start of this blog (in italics) is an example of a wicked question about balancing concerns and values of the left and of the right.   We live together here in Canada; we share the same communities and the same wicked problems. We need to apply some design thinking to use social innovation and work better…. together.   

#wickedquestions #wickedproblems #forwardtogether #socialinnovation #braniffsblog

Annual General Meeting of the Kitchener–Conestoga EDA and CA — 6 June 2019

Meeting
Meeting!
Hello Kitchener–Conestoga Green Party members: The Annual General Meeting for the Kitchener-Conestoga federal Electoral District Association and provincial Constituency Assocation is happening!

What: Annual General Meeting of the Kitchener–Conestoga EDA and CA
When: Thursday, 6 June 2019 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Where: Kennedy’s Restaurant
Location: 1750 Erbs Road, St. Agatha, Ontario Map

RSVP

(RSVPs are optional, but will help with reservations)

Current Green Party members in KitCon can vote for, and run for positions on the Executive. Lapsed members (whose membership has expired recently) can renew their membership at the meeting.

These are the executive positions currently held:

Kitchener–Conestoga Green Party of Canada Association

  • Chief Executive Officer (Bob Jonkman)
  • Financial Agent (Bryan Izzard)
  • One or more Members-At-Large (Elisabeth Honek, Laurel Russwurm, Patrick McDonald)

Kitchener–Conestoga Green Party of Ontario Constituency Association

  • President (Elisabeth Honek)
  • Chief Financial Officer (Bryan Izzard)
  • One or more Principal Officers (Laurel Russwurm, David Weber)

Nominations will be made at the AGM; you can nominate yourself.

Thank you, and see you at the AGM!

–Bob.


Bob Jonkman
E-mail: mailto:bob.jonkman@greenparty.ca
Phone: +1-226-476-4529
Web: https://bobjonkman.ca/
Twitter: @BobJonkmanGPC

Vote for the person who will best represent you in your riding!

PEI Greens: A Night of Firsts

PEI Greens 2019 : Members of the Legislative Assembly | Peter Bevan-Baker in New Haven—Rocky Point | Hannah Bell in Charlottetown—Belvedere | Lynne Lund in Summerside—Wilmot | Trish Altass in Tyne Valley—Sherbrooke | Michele Beaton Mermaid—Stratford | Karla Bernard in Charlottetown—Victoria Park | Steve Howard in Summerside—South Drive | Ole Hammarlund Charlottetown—Brighton |
results via CBC

Back in 2015, Peter Bevan-Baker was the first Green ever elected in PEI.  It was only the second time any third party had ever won a seat in PEI.

Then, in a 2017 by-election, Hannah Bell won a second Green seat.

I’m not a big believer in Opinion Polls in politics.  Parties used to do them as research, to get a feel for how voters felt, and to get an idea which way they might vote (and what they could change to get voters to vote for their party).   Largely because I think they’re misused.  But it’s a good bet the only Opinion Polls we see today are only the ones whoever paid for them wants us to see.  They are used as advertising.  Propaganda to convince us how to vote.   And in these days of decimated news rooms, main stream media outlets have taken to writing entire articles about Opinion Poll results: they’re treated as news by the main stream media.

The only Opinion Poll that counts is the one on Election Day.   Even so, for the last year or so, the third party Greens have been consistently polling ahead of PEI’s Liberal Government.  That’s not a single Opinion Poll, it’s a trend— and in a traditionally 2 party province.   Clearly such a trend is a strong indication that voters are looking for change.

This trend made people start thinking and talking about the unthinkable… what if the upstart Greens, going into the election with only 2 MLAs — were to come out the other side with enough support to form government?  Pretty wild idea, right?

Firsts

Last night, PEI Greens MLA’s Peter Bevan-Baker and Hannah Bell were both re-elected to the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island.  That was the first time any third party MLA had ever been re-elected in PEI.

It was also the first time a third party became a second party in PEI.  The Greens are likely to form the Official Opposition (at minimum).

Although the Greens didn’t win enough seats (14) to claim a majority, they did win 8 seats.  Clearly a Green record for Canada.

A clear majority— five of the eight elected Greens— are women.  I understand no PEI party has ever managed anything like this before.

Added to the single female PC candidate, that makes six: a record number women sitting MLAs in PEI.  Another First.

 2019 Prince Edward Island General Election Result Chart | Colour: Blue | Progressive Conservative - Leader Dennis King | 26 Candidates | 8 seats in 2015 | 8 seats at the dissolution of the legislature | 12 seats in 2019 | +4 | 29,333 votes | 36.52% Change -0.88 | Colour: Green | Green Party of PEI | Leader Peter Bevan-Baker | 26 Candidates | 1 seat in 2015 | 2 seats at the dissolution of the legislature | 8 seats in 2019 | +6 | 24,591 votes | 30.62% | Change +19.81 | Colour: Red | Liberal - Leader Wade MacLauchlan | 26 Candidates | 18 seats in 2015 | 16 seats at the dissolution of the legislature | 6 seats in 2019 | -10 | 23,711 votes | 29.52% | Change -11.31 | Colour: Orange | New Democratic - Leader Joe Byrne | 23 Candidates | 0 seats in 2015 | 0 seats at the dissolution of the legislature | 0 seats in 2019 | -- | 2,402 votes | 2.99% | Change -7.98 | Colour: Grey | Independent | 3 Candidates | 0 seats in 2015 | 1 seat at the dissolution of the legislature | 0 seats in 2019 | -1 | 282 votes | 0.35% | Change +35 | Colour: White | Vacant | 0 seats at dissolution | 1 Seat in 2019 | TOTAL 104 Candidates | 2015: 27 seats | dissolution: 27 seats | 2019 27 seats | Popular Vote: 80,319 | 100% |
Wikipedia: 2019 Prince Edward Island General Election

Now What?

The ruling Liberals dropped to third place.  The PEI Progressive Conservative Party had gone through 5 leaders in 5 years, but 2 months before this election, they chose a new leader.  Under Dennis King’s leadership, the PC’s won 12 seats, two shy of a majority, but certainly enough for a minority government if he can get the Confidence of the House.  The CBC commentators talked about how Mr King’s leadership style had contributed to the civility of the election.  Listening to his own post election speech, peppered with words like collaboration and sustainability, he seems to be an old style PC, and it sounds as though the reimagined PC party will actually be both progressive and conservative under his leadership.

But its early days; we will need to see how it unfolds.

Under Westminster rules, Liberal Premier Wade MacLauchlan  will be given an opportunity to win the confidence of the house.  This seems unlikely as the outgoing Premier was unable to retain his own seat, and his party is down to 6 MLAs.

More likely possibilities are that Dennis King’s PCs could form an actual minority government on their own.  Or his PCs could forge a Confidence and Supply Agreement with the Greens.  Or the Liberals to ensure electoral stability for the next 4 years.   Or the PCs could join with another party to form a ruling coalition.

Just as the Greens and Liberals could form a majority ruling coalition.  My best guess is the PEI Greens won’t join a coalition with anyone; they’ve worked too hard to build a viable third party to turn PEI back into a 2 party province.

Is it really a Green wave sweeping the country?  It sure looks like it.  But if we had some form of Proportional Representation, there would be many more Green MPs in Parliament.  Nearly a million voters voted Green federally in 2008.  And not a single Green was elected that year.  The GPC hasn’t earned that many votes since.   That doesn’t mean those Green voter stopped being Green, they just stopped voting Green because voting Green wasn’t effective.  So maybe it isn’t a “Green Wave” … maybe it’s just a case of the people who want to vote Green actually voting Green.  Because they believe in the policy that’s been formed out of Green values.  And they believe in the candidates who would best represent them.

However it plays out, it will be interesting.   Go Greens!

Hannah Bell and Peter Bevan Baker at the 2018 Guelph Green Party Convention


[Republished from Whoa!Canada]

More Reading: Tragedy and politics on Prince Edward Island

A statement from PEI Greens Peter Bevan-Baker

On The Loss of a Friend

CHARLOTTETOWN – It is with the deepest sadness that Green Party leader, Peter Bevan-Baker issued the following statement:

“As Leader of the Green Party of Prince Edward Island, I was bereft to learn about the death of Josh Underhay and his son in a tragic accident today.

“Josh has been a dear friend and colleague of mine for many years, as a volunteer, musician, passionate cycling advocate and Green Party supporter. He has touched the lives of everyone who knew him, including the students he taught, fellow musicians, and members of the party. Whether advocating for proportional representation, dazzling us with his mastery of languages, or being there to support fellow candidates, Josh brought humour, enthusiasm and boundless energy to every situation.

“I simply cannot imagine how much he will be missed.

Peter Bevan-Baker and Josh Underhay

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, and I know we will all join together to provide each other with support and comfort during this terrible time.”

All Green election activities will be suspended for the remainder of the campaign.

We ask all media to respect the privacy of the family at this time. Please direct all media inquiries to Green Party of PEI Director of Communications Shannon Carmont.


You can help Josh Underhay’s family by donating to the GoFundMe:
https://www.gofundme.com/raise-money-for-the-family-of-josh-underhay

Welcome WRGreens Candidates

WRGreens second nomination meeting has filled our slate of 2019 WRGreens candidates.  Congratualations!

Cambridge GPC Candidate

  • Michele Braniff

Kitchener—Conestoga GPC Candidate

  • Stephanie Goertz

Kitchener South—Hespeler GPC Candidate

David Weber, Kitchener South—Hespeler Candidate makes his case

  • David Weber

Mingling

Music

Networking

Cambridge, Kitchener—Conestoga and Kitchener South—Hespeler Candidate Nominees
Candidate Nominees: Cambridge: Michele Braniff, Kitchener—Conestoga: Stephanie Goertz,
Kitchener South—Hespeler: Ian Graham, Archie Henderson, David Weber

With all our candidates chosen, our 2019 candidates first official outing was the following Saturday’s pancake flipping team at the 2019 Elmira Maple Syrup Festival.

In 2015 WRGreens only female candidate was Michele Braniff in Cambridge.  In 2018 we got closer to gender balance when Stacey Danckert ran in Kitchener Centre provincially.  But now, in 2019, we are especially pleased to note the WRGreens gender imbalance now swings the other way, with 3 of our 5 (60%) candidates being women.

THE FULL SLATE

Congratulations to all our 2019 candidates!

David Weber                Michele Braniff             Stephanie Goertz            Kirsten Wright             Mike Morrice
Kitchener South—Hespeler  •   Cambridge    •   Kitchener—Conestoga      •     Waterloo      •     Kitchener Centre

 

 

 

 

Environmental Events in April 2019

The following are not Green Party events, but should be of interest to everyone who is concerned about the environment and our survival.

Green Drinks Kitchener Waterloo Cambridge

Green Drinks, Kitchener Waterloo Cambridge | Saving the World One Sip at a Time COME ONE, COME ALL for an informal gathering of environmentally conscientious, sustainably-like-minded people who enjoy casual conversation, good food and good fun!

Are you working on, interested in, or thinking about sustainable facilities, renewable energy and the environment? We are too! So why don’t you come out and join us for some friendly conversation about all things GREEN.

With a focus on Sustainable Development, we extend this invitation to ALL friends of local businesses, communities, academia, and governments to gather for some wonderfully inspired conversation! This is a great chance to catch up with friends, meet new people, and to share our ideas, insights, and visions for a sustainable future!

Gatherings are held every 2nd Wednesday of the month. Won’t you please join us?

Next Meeting:

April 10th, 2019, 6-9 pm

Barley Works Billiards Room

The Huether Hotel,

59 King St N, Waterloo, ON.

Hosted By: Ecovert Commissioning Corporation & Co-Hosted By: Livescape


Plan Ahead! Venues are pending as we are considering rotating locations quarterly, alternating between Kitchener, Waterloo & Cambridge. Please Stay Tuned!:

8 May 2019: Heuther Hotel / Barley Works


Green Drinks K-W-C on the Web:

FaceBook / Instagram / LinkedIn / greendrinkskwc@gmail.com

Eventbrite Event Page


Thank You:

Green Drinks KWC co-ordination team: Ecovert Cx Members: Alex Gordner, Kate Nelson, Rebecca Chiba and Livescape Member: Ashley DeMarte

Special thanks to the support of GeoSource & Diverso Energy with their food sponsorhip for out Revival Event held March 13th, 2019.


Brant Green Drinks

Brant Greendrinks | Eat Talk Drink ThinkBrant Green Drinks on the 13th day of each month

Who: people like you who are interested in environmental issues, making a difference, networking, or just plain having a good time with friends and neighbours!

What: good drinks, good people, good times!

Why: good drinks, good people, good times!

Agenda: good drinks, good people, good times!

Brant Green Drinks is the Brantford/Brant chapter of an organic, self-organizing, international network of environmentally conscious, lively people, like yourself, from all walks of life.

There is no formal agenda for our gatherings, just good drinks, good people, and good times. Come out and you’ll be made welcome. Just say, “are you green?” and we will look after you and introduce you to whoever is there.

Green Drinks is a great way of catching up with people you know and also for meeting new friends and making business contacts. Everyone invites someone else along, so there’s always a different crowd. The gatherings are very simple and unstructured, but many people have found employment, made friends, developed new ideas, done deals and had moments of serendipity.

So, come along, bring a friend, we’re looking forward to meeting you!

For more information or if you have any questions,
please contact organizer Ken Burns: kenburns [at] brantgreens.ca

When: Saturday, 13 April 2019 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm or for as long as folks are around

Where:
Devlin’s Advocate
93 Dalhousie Street, Brantford


Rebel Dance Party

Fending Off Extinction

Extinction RebellionExtinction Rebellion aims to make these questions front and centre in the minds of every person across the world: Why are we allowing our rulers to send us and our planet to an early grave? Do we want to live or not?

We think that we do… and we want to make some noise and have some fun to prove it! Bring signs and drums and join us for some flash dancing in the streets.

Uptown Waterloo Square
75 King Street South, Waterloo, Ontario

15 April 2019 marks the start of International Extinction Rebellion Week when people worldwide will take to the streets to demand decisive action from governments on climate change and ecological collapse. We invite you to join us and help us build this movement.

Demands:

  1. The Government must tell the truth about the climate and wider ecological emergency, reverse inconsistent policies and work alongside the media to communicate with citizens.
  2. The Government must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels.
  3. A national Citizen’s Assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.

More at https://rebellion.earth/demands/


Our Water, Our Future

Our Water | Our Future | no Bill 66 Thank you for your patience as we worked to reschedule this event! We will hope that you will be able to join us on April 17th at 7pm First United Church in Waterloo! We are optimistic the weather won’t be a problem in April. We have lots of room so please bring a friend. Registration is open once again!

While we appear to have made important progress on turning back one of the most egregious components of Bill 66, there remain significant problems in this bill, including Schedule 5 repealing the Toxics Reduction Act. Major concerns remain that the Ford ‘government for the developers’ may reduce the support for monitoring and enforcement of legislation that protects our water, land and air quality.

Join us on April 17th at First United Church in Waterloo at 7pm to celebrate our progress on Bill 66 and to engage with experts as they explain other current dangerous proposals and corresponding calls for action.

We have two powerful keynote speakers: Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association, former water policy advisor for Ministry of the Environment, and legal representative for citizens in the Walkerton Inquiry; and Bruce Davidson, Co-founder and Vice-Chair of Concerned Walkerton Citizens.

There will be lots of time to have your questions answered, as well as presentations from Susan Bryant of APT Environment on Elmira’s ongoing water contamination; Kevin Thomason of Grand River Environmental Network on countryside protection; and a representative of Waterloo Wellington Water Watchers on source water protection.

Refreshments will be served; please bring along your travel mug or water bottle.

Please register on Eventbrite: Our Water Our Future