The Kitchener–Conestoga provincial Consituents Association and the Kitchener–Conestoga federal Electoral District Association will be having their Annual General Meeting in four weeks:
What: AGM for Kitchener–Conestoga Green Party CA and EDA When: Thursday, 15 March 2018 from 7:00pm to 8:00pm Where: Kennedy’s Restaurant Location: 1750 Erb’s Road, St. Agatha, Ontario Map
We’ll elect new executive for the upcoming year. Positions to be filled are:
EDA Chief Executive Officer (currently Bob Jonkman)
EDA Financial Agent (currenty Laurel Russwurm)
CA President (currenty Bob Jonkman)
CA Chief Financial Officer (currently Laurel Russwurm)
Up to three Principal Officers (currently Marie Bridel, David Weber, Wiyanna Green)
The AGM is at 7:00pm, but please join us for dinner at 6:00pm, and feel free to stay and chat about politics over a beverage until closing. Have a look at Kennedy’s menu!
Everyone is welcome to attend the AGM, but only paid-up members can vote or run for the Executive. Lapsed members can renew their membership that night, but new members need to submit their membership payment by 1 March 2018.
The AGM also marks the closing day for candidate nominations for the Provincial Election. If you’d like to run, please contact Maureen Balsillie, Organizer for the Green Party of Ontario at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1–519–400–1437
The Kitchener–Conestoga Nomination Contest will be held in early April to select our candidate for the June provincial election.
Hope to see you at a Green Party event soon!
Kitchener–Conestoga Green Party of Ontario
The 2018 Ontario election is fast approaching, and it’s time to get ready. People are hungry for a different kind of politics – one based on honesty and integrity. Mike Schreiner and the Green Party of Ontario will bring that refreshing voice.
This Thursday, the five local Green Party ridings are coming together to plan our next few months. Join Stacey Danckert, candidate for Kitchener Centre, and Zdravko Gunjevic, candidate for Waterloo, in this open meeting.
All are welcome. Please bring along anyone who would like to contribute! The Green Party is committed to grassroots decisionmaking, and we are going to build a campaign that resonates for people here in Waterloo Region.
It’s clear that Elmira resident Michael Purves-Smith was celebrated in the realm of academia as a professor, and in the realm of music as a conductor, composer, and performer.
But the Michael Purves-Smith I knew was an engaged citizen concerned with democracy and local politics.
When the provincial Liberal Green Energy Act made a mockery of local planning in Elmira, Michael led the opposition to the Biogas plant against insurmountable odds. In my wildest imaginings I never expected to see the citizens of Elmira picketing Woolwich Township.
Michael’s passionate concern for the future of this planet led him to don Leadnow colours in hope of bringing real change to Canada.
And his was a familiar face at environment events throughout the region like the “Beyond Crisis” screening at the Waterloo Princess Theatre last fall.
Michael sought to lead Canadians beyond lip service to effective climate action, going so far as to write his own novel to wake us up to the urgency of climate change.
The 2018 election is coming up, and you can be part of the momentum. Contact email@example.com to see how you can get involved in the campaign.
We’re committed to making decisions that put people first. So as we prepare for a provincial election in June, it only makes sense to start with the people here in Waterloo Region.
Over the last few months, newly-nominated candidates Zdravko Gunjevic (Waterloo) and Stacey Danckert (Kitchener Centre) sat down with local community groups to hear about what issues are top-of-mind for folks who live here.
This is what we heard:
Meeting on safe injection sites hosted by Downtown Kitchener BIA
We have amazing organizations in Waterloo Region who work on-the-ground on harm reduction strategies. The Fentanyl crisis is hitting our community hard and safe injection sites will help save lives.
Organizations like OneRoof, AACKWA, and the various emergency shelters in Kitchener-Waterloo are closest to the people, but their resources are stretched thin. They need permanent, stable funding in order to consider opening up a safe injection site.
The Region of Waterloo is currently determining the need for a safe injection site, gathering information from users and harm reduction groups.
Stable provincial funding, either to the Region’s public health department or to one of the harm reduction groups, would provide the financial certainty we need to open up a safe injection site, and start saving lives.
Soup & bannock lunch hosted by UW Aboriginal Education Centre
The weekly soup and bannock lunch on the University of Waterloo campus helps to build bridges between the Aboriginal Education Centre and other campus departments; to provide a sense of community and homestyle cooking for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students on campus.
When we visited, there were awareness-raising activities related to the inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, activities which are also intertwined with UW’s 16 days of action for gendered violence.
Violence disproportionately affects Indigenous women, trans and non-binary folks, and people of colour, and we need to amplify these issues locally. The annual Take Back the Night march is organized on an ad-hoc basis every year, as no one organization has the capacity to take it on in a permanent way. Dedicated funding is needed to support initiatives like these.
We also spoke with Chief Troy Thompson, of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne. His community is at the end of a 30-year legal battle for their land rights in Eastern Ontario. A current buy-out is being offered by the Federal government, for far less than the land was worth. Troy’s community has a difficult decision to make about whether to accept the legal settlement, or keep fighting in the courts. This adversarial approach to land claims is completely unacceptable behaviour by governments that claim to be ushering in an era of reconciliation.
Locally, the UW Aboriginal Education Centre has started a Mohawk language program. The resurgence of Indigenous languages is a vital part of undoing the effects of colonialism. The language program has proven extremely popular and it’s enjoying substantial growth. This is the kind of model that could be replicated elsewhere.
Meeting with ShamRose for Syrian Culture
ShamRose is a community group active in Waterloo Region since 2012. The group played an important role in welcoming nearly 1,500 Syrian refugees in 2015-2016. The group helps settle and integrate newcomers, provides translation services, supports people job hunting and runs an Arabic school on Saturdays.
Some of the barriers and challenges the group, and by extension, Syrian/ Arabic newcomers face in Waterloo Region include:
Housing. Funding provided to government sponsored refugees is not enough when compared to actual market cost.
Health. There is a shortage of family doctors, which is a province-wide issue.
Language learning. ESL classes have been consolidated into larger class sizes, where Arabic-speaking students may not interact as much with native English speakers. We need a return to smaller class sizes and a more integrated approach.
Employment. Most Syrian newcomers have a trade which isn’t immediately recognised in Canada.
Support for Women and Childcare. Women tend to stay home with children while men get language lessons and/ or a job. This trend puts a damper on Women’s economic opportunities, and is exacerbated by unaffordable childcare options.
Transportation. Transit passes are expensive and there are a limited amount of free passes.
I have no doubt our community will feel her loss for decades to come. We will miss her dedication, wisdom and humanity; and her skill at building bridges so we can hear each other. You can help Trudy’s important work carry on, attend their events, find out what they need, or volunteer at the Social Development Centre if you can. My heart goes out to her family & friends.
Visitation: 10:00am to 2:00pm, Friday 12 January 2018 Sharing Memories: 2:00pm, Friday 12 January 2018 Where: Henry Walser Funeral Home Location: 507 Frederick Street, Kitchener Map Phone: +1-519-749-8467
Canadian and Ontario politics are badly in need of some new voices; it has become painfully clear that if we really want real change, we need to stop voting for the candidate we think might win and start voting for the candidate who will best represent us. After all, if we don’t start voting for what we want, we’ll never get it!
WRGreens need your help! Volunteers can make all the difference, and of course your vote will always be appreciated. You’ll find contact information for your WRGreens Riding in the menu link above, and if you’re not sure which is your riding, you can find out how from the “find your riding” link in the sidebar.
Although we don’t normally solicit donations here, with an election coming, this is a great time to donate if you’re going to, especially if you want the most bang for your buck. If you get your donation in by December 31st, your donation limit resets to zero so your limit resets to 0 for 2018.
In spite of the mainstream claims the 2008 recession is over, we are aware that although it may be true for the one percent, it isn’t for most people. If you aren’t in a position to donate; please don’t. Come out to our events or volunteer instead!
If you can afford to donate now (or in the future), something I did not realize before joining the party is that political donations come with tax breaks. I was shocked to learn three quarters of anything you donate up to $400 will be refunded when you do your taxes! After that the rebates reduce in size, check the chart below for details.
WRGreens aren’t set up to take online donations (yet) but you can donate directly to the Green Party of Ontario, your year-end donation of $5, $10, $25 or whatever you can afford will be most appreciated. Any donation you can make will help fund the preparations for our upcoming crucial election, mere months away!
We need Green voices at the table, not just for today, but into the future. The Green Party is a grassroots party operating on a minimal budget; with your help we can run more robust campaigns, and elect more Greens!
“Between 2008 and 2011, according to the Department of Justice, Canada spent $311 million targeting illicit drugs, with a majority of that money going to law enforcement. Most of that was for the ‘war’ against cannabis (marijuana). Marijuana prohibition is also prohibitively costly in other ways, including criminalizing youth and fostering organized crime. Cannabis prohibition, which has gone on for decades, has utterly failed and has not led to reduced drug use in Canada.
“After analyzing the recommendation of the Canadian Senate’s 2002 Special Committee on Drugs and the examples of strategies used by some European countries, the Green Party of Canada has come to the conclusion that it is time to legalize the adult use of marijuana. Furthermore, the Greens believe that drug addictions should be treated as a health problem, not as criminal offences.
“Green Party MPs will:
Legalize marijuana by removing marijuana from the drug schedule;
Create a regulatory framework for the safe production of marijuana by small, independent growers;
Develop a taxation rate for marijuana similar to that of tobacco;
Establish the sale of marijuana to adults for medicinal or personal use through licensed distribution outlets;
Educate the public about the health threats of marijuana, tobacco, and other drug use;
Launch a public consultation on the decriminalization of illicit drugs, considering the current high costs of the law enforcement effort;
Provide increased funding to safe injection sites, treatment facilities, and addict rehabilitation.
Like the Green party, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party.promised Legalization, although not in quite the same way :
“We will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana.
“Canada’s current system of marijuana prohibition does not work. It does not prevent young people from using marijuana and too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts of the drug.
“Arresting and prosecuting these offenses is expensive for our criminal justice system. It traps too many Canadians in the criminal justice system for minor, non-violent offenses. At the same time, the proceeds from the illegal drug trade support organized crime and greater threats to public safety, like human trafficking and hard drugs.
“To ensure that we keep marijuana out of the hands of children, and the profits out of the hands of criminals, we will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana.
“We will remove marijuana consumption and incidental possession from the Criminal Code, and create new, stronger laws to punish more severely those who provide it to minors, those who operate a motor vehicle while under its influence, and those who sell it outside of the new regulatory framework.
“We will create a federal/provincial/territorial task force, and with input from experts in public health, substance abuse, and law enforcement, will design a new system of strict marijuana sales and distribution, with appropriate federal and provincial excise taxes applied.”
On November 21st, 2017 the Health Canada branch of the Justin Trudeau Government began a public consultation that will be open until January 19th, 2018. One might think the Government would undertake its public consultation before actually drafting legislation. A cynical citizen might suspect such a backward agenda might indicate the consultation was purely for show. An optimistic Canadian might think better late than never.
To legalize marijuana sales in Ontario, the GPO supports:
✅ Regulating and licensing small businesses and dispensaries to sell marijuana in a safe and controlled way
✅ Ensuring tax revenues from marijuana sales are used to fund education, mental health and addiction programs
✅ Creating more local jobs and boosting prosperity by supporting small businesses
But the Green Party is not in charge.
Canadian Cannabis Crackdown
Because cannabis was illegal before any sort of scientific testing was done, there has been precious little modern scientific study of the substance. What little study there has been suggests negative effects of cannabis are less harmful than many other substances that can be purchased openly and legally by anyone. Like aspirin. People can kill themselves with aspirin. But it is physically impossible for anyone to kill themselves with cannabis.
The worst health risks with cannabis centre around the fact that it is most often smoked in combination with tobacco, and we now know tobacco is hazardous to our health. And yet the Canadian Government only allowed patients access to edibles after another Supreme Court challenge.
“We believe, however, that the continued prohibition of cannabis jeopardizes the health and well-being of Canadians much more than does the substance itself or the regulated marketing of the substance. In addition, we believe that the continued criminalization of cannabis undermines the fundamental values set out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and confirmed in the history of a country based on diversity and tolerance.”
— Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs (2002) REPORT OF THE SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ILLEGAL DRUGS
And yet the Canadian Government promising cannabis legalization has increased it’s war on cannabis even more. They are cracking down on cannabis at a frantic pace in the lead up to legalization.
This is not right.
“I see legalizing [marijuana] or putting it in shops as trying to normalize narcotics, when the truth is there is nothing normal about it. It’s a mind-altering drug that causes impairments and like cigarettes is not healthy.”
Fantino says he understands the enticement of marijuana. It’s a new cash frontier where many people, including many former police officers and politicians, could get in on the ground floor. This helps explain why the marijuana lobby is so opposed to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Trudeau might be their best chance to move this fight forward. With Harper, it’s dead.
“There’s a lot of money in it,” Fantino said. “Big money.”
He said he was offered “to fall in with a company” that wanted to pay him very well to simply lend his name to it.
Jerry Habuda, board of PUF Ventures
— Former Toronto Police officer, spent a large part of his career investigating drug crimes, including undercover work, surveillance, patrol at a community housing project, investigating those on bail for drug crimes PUF:Canadian Sec Stock Quote – PUF Ventures Inc
Joe Perino, board of PUF Ventures
— Former Toronto Police officer, 30-year veteran of the service who worked on the force’s drug investigations unit
Sandy Pratt, Chief Financial Officer, Emerald Health
— Worked at Deloitte (auditing firm involved in the senate scandal), Vice President of Business Development and Executive Financial Officer of the Royal British Columbia Museum, a Crown corporation About Emerald Health Botanicals
George Smitherman, THC BioMed, Alta Vista Ventures
— Former Ontario Liberal deputy premier; 30+ years public policy fields at Municipal, Provincial, Federal Level; Senior Advisor, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure and Ontario’s Minister of Health How public officials got into the weed game
Ernie Eves, Chairman, Timeless Herbal Care (a Jamaican medical marijuana company)
— Former Progressive Conservative premier of Ontario, and