Climate Change is an enormous problem. Even if we manage zero emissions, the problem is we have already exceeded our carbon budget, we’re living on borrowed time. We don’t just need to stop emissions, we need to start putting carbon back where it belongs. But there is no single magic solution. The reality is that there are many ways the Climate Crisis can be addressed. The book “Drawdown” looks at 100 of the solutions.
“We would want to implement these solutions whether or not Global Warming was even a problem because they have cascading benefits to human and planetary well being.
• Renewable electricity results in access to abundant clean energy for all
• Plant rich diet, reduced food waste, results in a healthy global population with enough food and sustenance.
• Family planning and educating girls? This is about human rights, about gender equality. This is about economic improvements and the freedom of choice. It’s about justice.
• Regenerative agriculture, managed grazing, agriforestry, silvopasture — restores soil health, benefits farmers and brings carbon back to the land.
• Protecting our ecosystems also protects biodiversity and safeguards planetary health and the oxygen that we breathe. It’s tangible benefits to all species is incalculable.”
“We estimate that to implement all 80 solutions would cost about $29 trillion US$ over 30 years. That’s just about a trillion a year. Now I know that sounds like a lot, but we have to remember that global GDP is over $80 trillion every year.”
“And the estimated savings from implementing these solutions is $74 trillion US$ dollars– over double the cost. That’s a net savings of 44 trillion dollars.
“So Drawdown is possible. We can do it if we want to. Its not going to cost that much and the return on the investment is huge.
“Here’s the welcome surprise: when we implement these solutions, we shift the way we do business from a system that is inherently exploitative and extractive to a new normal that is by nature restorative and regenerative. We need to rethinhk our global goals to move beyond sustainability towards regeneration. And along the way, reverse global warming.”
I recommend getting a copy of the book Drawdown for yourself. The book isn’t mired in jargon, it’s written to be understandable to ordinary people. And not only will it make a great gift for those interested, and it would perhaps make a good educational tool to share with our public libraries and schools, but elected representatives as well.
If you missed the sold out event featuring Dianne Saxe, the Environment Commissioner of Ontario last night (January 11th, 2019),
or if you were there and want to see it again, you can watch it on the Facebook Livestream capture here: https://www.facebook.com/divestwr/videos/356227264929627/
It affects every municipality in Ontario. Bill 66 allows municipalities across the province to create “open-for-business by-laws” that would trump critical legal requirements to protect water, natural heritage, farmland and human health and well-being. These by-laws would take precedence over municipal official plans.
It threatens drinking water across Ontario. Open-for-business by-laws would override policies in approved source protection plans intended to protect existing and future sources of municipal drinking water from threats such as landfills, sewage systems and improper handling of fuel, manure and pesticides.
It threatens wetlands, woodlands and habitat for species at risk across Ontario. Open-for-business by-laws would circumvent protections for these important habitats and species set out in the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) under the Planning Act.
It threatens farmland across Ontario. Open-for-business by-laws would bypass agricultural protections set out, for example, in the PPS. This could lead to more urban sprawl.
It threatens two million acres of natural areas and farmland across the Greenbelt. Open-for-business by-laws would override protections for natural heritage and farmland set out in the Greenbelt Plan and the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan.
It threatens fresh water and the ecological health of the Lake Simcoe watershed. Open-for-business bylaws would trump requirements set out in the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan.
It would undermine efforts to make Ontario communities more livable, sustainable and resilient. Open-for-business by-laws would override PPS policies supporting active transportation, affordable housing, green infrastructure and climate resiliency.
It would compromise transparency and public engagement. Contrary to current legal requirements (Planning Act, Clean Water Act), the by-laws could be passed without any prior public notice, behind closed doors.
It would leave citizens without recourse. Community members would not be able to appeal open-for-business by-laws to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.
It threatens human and wildlife health through increased exposure to toxic chemicals. Bill 66 proposes to repeal the Toxics Reduction Act, which requires certain industrial facilities to consider ways to reduce the use and emission of toxic chemicals in their operations.
During the election, Mr Ford categorically promised not to touch the Greenbelt.
Not only is the Greenbelt home to 5,500 farms, 78 species at risk and 102 million tonnes of carbon storage, the reason it was protected in the first place was to protect a great deal of Ontario’s water.
Because it was introduced quietly going into Christmas, and the Ford Government has since made no secret of its intention to push Bill 66 through quickly, I don’t know if anyone has yet managed a thorough examination of all the ramifications of Bill 66.
It may only be 35 pages long, but it’s an omnibus bill, which means everything you need to know isn’t contained in this draft legislation. You’d have to read through every one of the 22 laws it will change:
Some of the changes it makes may be good things, but bad things thoroughly outweigh any good that might be there. That’s the thing about Omnibus Bills: many different things are bundled together in a package too big to be adequately considered in a democracy.
There is no reason Bill 66 couldn’t be stopped, and the good parts could be reintroduced as ordinary laws that can be properly understood and debated in the Legislature.
Our unrepresentative voting system has gifted Mr Ford’s government with 100% power to pass any law it wants, even though it was elected by only 40% of the votes cast (a mere twentysomething percent of eligible votes).
So what’s the rush?
There is nothing stopping them from allowing citizens and the MPPs in the legislature to know what it is they are passing, and allow adequate parliamentary debate of all aspects. That’s how our system is supposed to work. In a majority government, even though the party with all the power can pass any law it wants, the reason we have an opposition parties is to ensure that our legislators make sure the laws they pass stand up to scrutiny. If there are bad unintended consequences, or even if the legislation is too broad or unclear, the opposition parties can be trusted to point these things out so they can be dealt with before they become law.
The only reason for pushing something like this through fast is to keep us from knowing what they’re doing until it’s too late. Keeping the people in the dark is not how a Government for the people would operate.
In the Region of Waterloo discussion of Bill 66, Waterloo Mayor Jaworsky said, “No one asked for this.” Mr Ford keeps talking about making Ontario “Open For Business.” But what does that mean? They say this law is supposed to “cut red tape” that prevents development.
But the fact is that development isn’t being prevented. There is plenty of room in Ontario, plenty of land available and open for development without going anywhere near the protected lands of the Green Belt. There is no need to endanger our water or anything else. That’s why municipalities across Ontario are passing resolutions saying they don’t want or need this.
Why is this happening?
When the laws protecting Ontario’s water and the Greenbelt were put in place, land prices in the Greenbelt stayed low. When farmland can’t be turned into a factory or subdivision, it stays viable as farmland. But because of the low prices, some developers bought land in the Greenbelt, speculating that in time they would elect a government willing to undo the Greenbelt protections. And so they did.
In spite of all-party approved changes to Ontario’s election financing law preventing political parties from accepting corporate donations, the changes didn’t go far enough. To skirt the law, developers like Mattamy Homes were allowed to contribute ridiculous sums of money to Partisan third party advertiser Ontario Proud, specializing in attack ads against Mr Ford’s opponents. (And Mr Ford is undoing that election financing law because the people he is for have lots of money to spend to ensure the governments they want get elected. But that’s another story.)
The only reason the Ford Government is trying so hard to carve up the green spaces of our province with factories and subdivisions is because their rich supporters want to make a profit.
Ontario has been doing a pretty good job of long term planning, protecting sensitive environments, our water and our food supplies. Once farmland is paved, its gone.
The best we can hope for from Bill 66 is that decades of careful land management will be messed up. Much of the law protecting our water dates back to the previous PC Government, and were put in place to protect Ontario from another Walkerton. Or another Elmira.
If that’s not bad enough, Bill 66 does away with any requirement for public notice or consultation or meetings, and no matter what problems are caused, we won’t even be able to appeal to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. So called “Open For Business” by-laws passed behind closed doors will trump laws, policies and municipal official plans developed through extensive and open public consultation. Communities would have no recourse to influence or challenge them.
And even if your Council doesn’t do any of these things, the Council next door might, and endanger the environment we all share.
January 20th is the deadline for comments to Bill 66 on the Environmental Registry of Ontario (EBR).
Be sure that you and others that you know speak up and let your concerns be known. It would be fantastic if your group or organization can make an official response or submission. There is plenty of information in the Bill 66 Recent Articles linked below. There are a myriad of issues and concerns, but you can say as little or as much as you like in your comment. Don’t be shy about making comments personally – even if it is just a short sentence or two. I would suggest making it clear right at the top that you don’t want Bill 66. I am afraid to say that at this point they are not likely to listen to what we say, but they will certainly tally up how many comments support or oppose the bill.
Please take two minutes to send a message to the Ontario Government to stop Bill 66:
You can also visit the Green Party of Ontario’s Defend The Greenbelt website. If you feel you need assistance in using the comment process, the GPO advises you to Click here for step-by-step instructions to participate in the government consultation.
And you can also call the Premier’s Office directly!
Call 416 325-1941 and leave a short message for Premier Doug Ford re your concerns about Bill 66
Catherine Fife, Waterloo, New Democratic Party
Room 154, Main Legislative Building,
Queen’s Park, Toronto M7A 1A5
Tel 416 325-6913, fax 416 325-6942
Suite 220 100 Regina St. S, Waterloo N2J 4P9 (office is in City Hall Bldg)
For legislative issues: Cfife-QP@ndp.on.ca
For community issues: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel 519 725-3477, fax 519 725-3667
Laura Mae Lindo, Kitchener Centre, New Democratic Party
Room 170, Main Legislative Building,
Queen’s Park, Toronto, M7A 1A5
Tel 416 326-7221, fax 416 326-7217
Suite 212, 25 Frederick St., Kitchener, N2H 6M8
For legislative issues: LLindo-QP@ndp.on.ca
For community issues: LLindo@ndp.on.ca
Tel 519 579-5460, fax 519 579-2121
Mike Schreiner, Guelph, Green Party
Room 451, Main Legislative Building,
Queen’s Park, Toronto M7A 1A2
Tel 416 325-4664, fax 416 325-4666 Mschreiner@ola.org
Although this is not a Green Party event, it is sure to be of interest, not just to Greens, but every Ontarian interested in the health of our environment. It’s sure to be a lively discussion you won’t want to miss.
Join us on Friday, January 11th from 12.30 to 2pm outside of MP Bardish Chagger’s office / Waterloo City Hall at 100 Regina Street in Uptown Waterloo.The focus will be on youth, but all are welcome.
Kitchener-Waterloo Climate Save, RISE for Climate Waterloo, Divest Waterloo, and the local chapters of Citizens’ Climate Lobby and 350.org would like to facilitate and support youth climate strikes in our region … for their future. We hope to have youth climate strikes on the 1st Friday of every month after this.
Doug Ford is coming to town for a fundraising dinner tomorrow Friday, January 11th, with local Conservative MPP’s. Join with others from across our community to protest and let them know your thoughts about Bill 66. Bring a banner or a sign to explain that you value protecting our water, land and air and that public consultation is core to our democracy.
Bring some friends and join the fun.
We will meet at the main entrance to Bingemans at 425 Shirley Ave around 5:30pm for about an hour while they all arrive. If you are driving please try to find a place to park at other businesses along Shirley Ave. Grand River Transit Bus #34 runs every half hour out to Bingemans leaving the Charles Street terminal and returning every 30 minutes.
Since Premier Ford wants to quickly push Omnibus Bill 66 though the Legislative Assembly of Ontario quickly, things are moving very fast.
On Tuesday morning Bob Jonkman was among the WRGreens attending the Region of Waterloo’s tabling of the staff report on Bill 66. GREN’s Kevin Thomason made a presentation on behalf of the ad hoc coalition of Waterloo Region groups mobilizing against Bill 66 which was very well received, and two motions were adopted by the Region then and there.
On Tuesday night, Sam Nabi (Hold The Line WR) made a presentation to Wellesley Township, while a simultaneous delegation was made to Woolwich Township’s Committee of the Whole by Bob Jonkman, representing KWPeace. Woolwich Council will be putting together a resolution to be tabled at next week’s Woolwich Township Council Meeting.
If you can come out to any of these Municipal Council Meetings (and bring your friends), it will send a string message to our local councils that this is very important to us. With the Provincial Government listening to the developers who elected them, the more seats we can fill, the better. We need to exercise our grass roots, because that’s the only power we’ve got.
Monday, January 14th, 2019
3:00pm City of Waterloo Council Presentation 4:00pm City of Kitchener Council Presentation 7:00pm – Wilmot Township Council Presentation
Tuesday, January 15th, 2019
7:00pm City of Cambridge Council Presentation 7:00pm Woolwich Township Council Presentation #2
Monday, Jan 21st, 2019
7:00pm – North Dumfries Township Presentation
Part of the urgency is the upcoming deadline for the Ontario Bill of Rights.
While the holidays have been a wonderful break from Bill 66, we don’t have much time to send a strong, clear message to Premier Ford about our concerns this Bill could have on our community, farmland, green space, and natural resources.
I’d like to remind you of the upcoming meeting this Thursday at the same room at CIGI as our initial community meeting. Details are as follows:
Date: Thursday, January 3, 2019 Time: 7:00pm Location: Room A142, CIGI – Centre for International Governance and Innovation – 67 Erb Street West, Waterloo Map Access: Through main West doors (facing Erb St) near Caroline St. Intersection
A tentative agenda for the meeting is as follows:
update/status of groups working to book Council delegation appearances at municipal and regional councils
update/status of groups working to book MPP meetings in local ridings
time for groups to meet in breakout sessions and figure out next steps/activities
planning/discussion of January 12th Bill 66 training event/protest in Ajax
planning/preparations for January 15th event at Kitchener City Hall with ECO Dianne Saxe and other speakers
We had a tremendous turnout at our initial meeting and It will be important to have at least one delegate from each community group at this next meeting to help ensure a strong, co-ordinated response to Bill 66.
Please share any questions or ideas and I hope to see you on Thursday evening.
P.S. There is a draft Citizens Toolkit for Bill 66 that is coming together as groups across the province aggregate their materials and efforts. It is evolving daily and contains some good background and supporting material against Bill 66.
P.P.S Also attached below are some initial social media images and video that are under development provincially:
We need 2019 to be the year Canadians fill Parliament with MPs with both the political will and commitment to make effective Climate policy. The climate change clock is ticking, and we can no longer afford to hope protests will mobilize the Canadian government against Climate Change.
We can’t keep waiting for other political parties to do what needs doing.
We don’t have the luxury of time in which we help elect other party MPs in hopes they will do the right thing, only to watch as they do what the party tells them to do instead.
We have no choice but to elect more Green MPs to send to Parliament to ensure that we have a Parliament prepared to meet Climate Change head on.
We need all the help we can get to send Greens to Ottawa to work with Elizabeth May. We all know what an amazing job Elizabeth May is doing now… just imagine how much more effective she’ll be with more MPs to help!
And with an unfair political system in which most voters aren’t engaged, the sad fact is financial donations are incredibly important. Donations allow us to reach out beyond you– and the Green community of Canadians who understand what is happening– and help reach new voters we can encourage to vote.
Donations allow us to afford information tables at local festivals and fairs, which help raise the Green profile enormously. They can help pay for our own events, like film screenings or education nights, as well as buying the materials to make buttons at our button making events, as well as paying for literature to hand out at them.
And, if we’ve got money in the bank, our candidates can have their election signs in in hand when the writ is drawn, so we can hit the ground running. During the election, donations can buy election signs and literature and ads in our local newspapers. Most people have no idea how much Greens manage on a shoestring budget. And every little bit helps.
We have been lucky to be able to attract and field an excellent slate of Candidates here in Waterloo Region, and we’re planning on doing it again in the New Year. (Watch this space for information about the 2019 nominations.
If you can afford to make a donation to the Green Party, now is the time. Any donation made before December 31st will count as a 2018 donation. Then, if you’re able to donate again in 2019 you’ll be donating under the 2019 donation limit.
2018 FEDERAL GREEN PARTY CONTRIBUTION LIMITS
Effective January 1, 2018
The following limits apply to the total amount of Green Party of Canada donations you will make in 2018. (If you’ve already donated, be sure you don’t exceed your allowed limit.)
Only Canadian citizens or permanent residents may make political contributions, donating up to:
$1,575 per year, to the Green Party of Canada, and another
$1,575 per year in total between your local Green Electoral District Association(s), Nomination Contestant(s) and Candidate campaigns
$3,150 total maximum allowed contribution
(Note: anything you donated to the Green Party of Ontario does not apply here.)
All Canadians with a taxable income will receive a generous tax credit when they donate to the Green Party.
The sum of all your political contributions determines the size of your reduction in taxes payable.
between $ 0 and $400 75% cent refund
between $400 and $750 $300 plus 50 per cent of any amount over $400
more than $750 gives you $475 plus 33 1/3 per cent of any amount over $750 up to a maximum of $650 per year
If you make a $400 donation today, you’ll get a $300 tax credit when you file your income tax next year.
Donate to your local Green Party of Canada Electoral District Association:
Bad news, our Post-Holiday Event for tonight needs to be cancelled.
An unfortunate combination of last-minute cancellations, car troubles, and unavailability means that expected attendance is down to a handful of people. Rather than having a few people bring potato salad for dozens and having it go to waste, it’s better to cancel now, and have another event later in the spring when more of us can meet each other.
My apologies for the late notice; these things sneak up on you and then explode.
Event Planning Committee Chair
Hello Waterloo Region Greens! Merry Belated Christmas and Happy Upcoming New Year!
The holidays are half over, and in the usual Christmas madness we’ve only now been able to get ourselves coordinated for our Holiday Event. Bryan Izzard has offered to host at his farmhouse in Baden on Saturday, 5 January 2019, starting at 6:00pm. I guess that makes it a Post-Holiday Event!
Join all your friends of the Waterloo Region Greens for a final celebration of the holidays and 2018’s accomplishments — and since it was an election year, there were many accomplishments!
It’s a potluck event, so bring an appetizer, sweet or savoury snacks, salad, fancy beverages, dinner entree, or dessert. And when you come, please label your dish if it contains wheat, nuts, eggs, dairy, meat, &c.
What: WR Greens Post-Holiday Event When: Saturday, 5 January 2019 at 6:00pm Where: Bryan Izzard’s house Location: 3876 Sandhills Road, Baden, Ontario Map: https://osm.org/go/ZXnSv4rx-?m=
If anyone needs a ride you can ask your fellow WR Greens on this Discussion List, or send me an e-mail to say whether you need a ride or can offer one, and I’ll sort ride-givers and ride-takers, make a list (and check it twice). Don’t forget to include your address!
And shortly after our Post-Holiday Event we’ll have another regular WR Greens meeting on Wednesday, 9 January 2019. We need to set up candidate nomination dates for the EDAs (there’s a federal election in 2019!), and start planning for the summer’s festival events and other political happenings.
What: WR Greens Regular Meeting When: Wednesday, 9 January 2018 from 6:00pm to 7:00pm, followed by Social Night Where: Innovation42 Co-Working Space (tentative) Location: 2nd Floor, 283 Duke Street West, Kitchener, Ontario Map: https://osm.org/go/ZXnwU_oa?m=
I’ll send out a reminder early that week with confirmation of the meeting location.
See you all at Bryan’s house on Saturday, 5 January!