Leap Now

Leap for the WorldThese are the 15 Leap Manifesto Demands:

  1. The leap must begin by respecting the inherent rights and title of the original caretakers of this land, starting by fully implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

  2. The latest research shows we could get 100% of our electricity from renewable resources within two decades; by 2050 we could have a 100% clean economy. We demand that this shift begin now.

  3. No new infrastructure projects that lock us into increased extraction decades into the future. The new iron law of energy development must be: if you wouldn’t want it in your backyard, then it doesn’t belong in anyone’s backyard.

  4. The time for energy democracy has come: wherever possible, communities should collectively control new clean energy systems. Indigenous Peoples and others on the frontlines of polluting industrial activity should be first to receive public support for their own clean energy projects.

  5. We want a universal program to build and retrofit energy efficient housing, ensuring that the lowest income communities will benefit first.

  6. We want high-speed rail powered by just renewables and affordable public transit to unite every community in this country – in place of more cars, pipelines and exploding trains that endanger and divide us.

  7. We want training and resources for workers in carbon-intensive jobs, ensuring they are fully able to participate in the clean energy economy.

  8. We need to invest in our decaying public infrastructure so that it can withstand increasingly frequent extreme weather events.

  9. We must develop a more localized and ecologically-based agricultural system to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, absorb shocks in the global supply – and produce healthier and more affordable food for everyone.

  10. We call for an end to all trade deals that interfere with our attempts to rebuild local economies, regulate corporations and stop damaging extractive projects.

  11. We demand immigration status and full protection for all workers. Canadians can begin to rebalance the scales of climate justice by welcoming refugees and migrants seeking safety and a better life.

  12. We must expand those sectors that are already low-carbon: caregiving, teaching, social work, the arts and public-interest media. A national childcare program is long past due.

  13. Since so much of the labour of caretaking – whether of people or the planet – is currently unpaid and often performed by women, we call for a vigorous debate about the introduction of a universal basic annual income.

  14. We declare that “austerity” is a fossilized form of thinking that has become a threat to life on earth. The money we need to pay for this great transformation is available — we just need the right policies to release it. An end to fossil fuel subsidies. Financial transaction taxes. Increased resource royalties. Higher income taxes on corporations and wealthy people. A progressive carbon tax. Cuts to military spending.

  15. We must work swiftly towards a system in which every vote counts and corporate money is removed from political campaigns.

    The Leap Manifesto Petition

Leap banner_0573

The idea that going green is going to cost us jobs is purely a myth.  Alberta’s lost  jobs are directly attributable to the fact the fossil fuel companies bailed when they failed to get the profit they wanted.  There’s plenty of evidence the reverse is true.  There is good information available on the Leap site, including downloadable info, a paper sign up sheet so people can get added to the petition &tc..  Best of all, there is an online list of signatories, so we know which of our family and friends are missing  😀

And the Fossil Fuel companies want pipelines, and now they are driving the political process with fear.  That’s why, in spite of everything we know, there is talk the Liberals want to fast track the Energy East Pipeline!  We must make sure the Paris Accord isn’t just window dressing and now they can get back to business as usual.  That’s why it is important.

Please sign, share, and talk to your family and friends about this.

wind turbine

GPC Leadership Review: The Results Are In!

Congratulations Elizabeth May-93.6%WRGREENS FINALavatarGreen Party policy requires  a leadership review following  every election.

In spite of disappointing  results in the most strategically voted election in Canadian history,  the federal Green Party membership rallied in support of Ms. May, who has infused the party with her inspiring leadership.  The month long review returned a stunning 93.6% approval!

“I’m humbled to receive a strong mandate from our engaged membership to continue in my role as leader,” May said in a statement to reporters Monday.

“I will continue to pursue critical issues that are so important to our members, from climate action to restoring legitimacy in the environmental review process, from ending subsidies for fossil fuels to becoming a world leader in the 21st century renewable energy economy.”

— Elizabeth May,
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May receives 93.6% support in party review

The Waterloo Region Greens are pleased to extend our warmest congratulations!


It’s Time To Leap

I am so tired of excuses. Money isn’t real: it is merely a symbol that only has meaning because we believe in it. Our environment, on the other hand, is real.


Guest Post by Leslea Smith

I read the “leap manifesto“. It’s not radical. It’s not outrageous. It’s common sense, logical, and shows very clearly how transitioning to greener energy options, isn’t just good for the planet, it’s good economic sense.

We have a country that’s huge.

We have huge areas where wind & solar power generation can be done very easily.Nikola Tesla

And thanks to the work of Nikola Tesla, we know that we can move the electricity these devices create, to where it’s needed, with minimal loss.

The wind turbines near me, in Halkirk Alberta, provide energy to the grid, to power places like Calgary & Edmonton. The energy could go to California, thanks to the way AC power works. Halkirk supplies Alberta. But the simple fact is that it could power Toronto just as easily.

There’s NO reason at all, that we can’t produce 100% of all our…

View original post 281 more words

The Green Party on Education

WRGreens Richard Walsh (Waterloo), Bob Jonkman (Kitchener-Conestoga) and Michele Braniff (Cambridge) were among the many Green Party Candidates who joined Elizabeth May as she announced the Education portion of the Green Party of Canada's platform at the University of Guelph.
Richard Walsh (Waterloo), Bob Jonkman (Kitchener-Conestoga) and Michele Braniff (Cambridge) were among the many Green Party Candidates who joined Elizabeth May as she announced the Education portion of the Green Party of Canada’s platform at the University of Guelph on September 17th, 2015.

As the 2015 election fades into memory, I am continually astounded to see how much Green Party Policy is being discussed… Apparently people were trying to convince Tom Mulcair to embrace the Green Party education policy as a means of retaining leadership of the NDP Party — although not as Green Party Policy. I tried sharing the link to the Green Party of Canada press release but there’s something wrong with the link, so in the interest of reminding people about this awesome GPC policy, I’ve chosen to reproduce it here.

September 16, 2015

(OTTAWA) – Green Leader Elizabeth May (Saanich – Gulf Islands), unveiled the Green Party’s Youth and Education Strategy that includes a plan to abolish tuition fees for students and their families. The strategy would also implement a debt-forgiveness program for student debt above $10,000.

“We must invest in Canadian youth and the skills, training, and education that is necessary to create jobs,” said May. “Young people are faced with the challenge of finding a job after they finish school, in a tough economy, while battling student debt. The Green Party is committed to investing in youth and removing barriers, like student debt, so young Canadians can find stable, sustainable jobs.”

The Green Party’s National Student and Education Strategy will:

● Immediately cut tuition fees for students and their families without adequate financial means, and remove the inadequate 2% cap on tuition for all First Nations and Inuit students.

● Abolish tuition fees for post-secondary education and skills training for Canadians by 2020 through constructing a system of federal grants collaboratively with the universities and colleges.

●  Eliminate any existing or future student federal debt above $10,000.

● Abolish interest on new student loans and increase available funding for bursaries.

● Create a national Community and Environment Service Corps, which will provide $1 billion/year to municipalities to hire Canadian youth.

●  Help students and their families through the Guaranteed Liveable Income (GLI), to ensure no person’s income falls below what is necessary for health, life, and dignity.

“In these times of high youth unemployment, heavy student debt is a burden that keeps young Canadians from being able to start their post-academic lives on an even footing,” said Gord Miller, former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario and Green Party candidate (Guelph). “The debt forgiveness program and our plan to eliminate tuition fees by 2020 represents positive change for students and their families.”

“I am pleased to be here with Elizabeth today in Guelph to make this announcement,” continued Miller. “Our plan will make education more accessible for students. These critical investments in trades, apprenticeships, and education will ensure that all young Canadians have the skills to build a successful future.”

“It is a bold idea, but we can and must afford it. We can implement this investment in our youth through common sense measures like eliminating subsidies to fossil fuels and restoring the corporate tax rate to what it was in 2009,” concluded May. “We don’t need to continue with the status quo; we can do better.”

The Green Party was the first party to release a fully costed platform, available here.


For additional information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
cell: (613) 614 4916
office: (613) 562 4916 (224)


Debra Eindiguer
Green Party of Canada
cell: (613) 240 8921



Kirsten Strom
Executive Assistant to Director of Communications
t: 613.562.4916 (200)
Toll Free 1.866.868.3447

Photo Credit
I stitched three photos together to create this awesome panorama photo (so the original is absolutely huge), but you can download it in a variety of sizes from Flickr here. And if you’re interested in more photos from the education announcement you’ll find them in my Flickr album

GPC Education Announcement Panorama by Laurel L. Russwurm is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) License

Sign the Leap Manifesto

The Green Party has been on board with the Leap Manifesto from the start. Unfortunately Canada’s political will needs a bit of a push, what with the Alberta NDP pushing pipelines…

You can help by signing the Leap Manifesto petition online and you can also download it as a printable pdf file here.

WRGREENS FINALavatarI missed it when the CBC aired the “This Changes Everything” documentary this past Sunday
night, but I understand you can still watch it online at CBC (unfortunately not available for Free Software users). I think that’s the ink (but I can’t check.)

The Waterloo Region Greens are planning a local screening. Check back for details (or subscribe to the blog for updates).

Kitchener-Conestoga + Kitchener South-Hespeler Greens AGM


You’re invited to join us for the Kitchener—Conestoga & Kitchener South Hespeler Annual General Meeting

Bob Jonkman works at the WRGreens Office #elxn42
Bob Jonkman at the WRGreens Office #elxn42

Date: May 1, 2016
Time: 7 pm
Place: Huether Hotel
Barley Works, upper “Operations Room”
59 King Street North, Waterloo, ON, N2J 2X2
RSVP: david.weber@greenparty.ca
Please join other area supporters for our Annual General Meeting at 7 pm on Sunday May 1st, where we will elect our local Green Party executive for the upcoming year and discuss direction and plans for the future.

Elizabeth May joined Bob Jonkman and Richard Walsh for street side sign waving last fall
Elizabeth May joined Bob Jonkman and Richard Walsh for street side sign waving last fall

It is important that we strengthen our membership, engage our fellow citizens, and promote electing Green candidates. For these reasons, we encourage you to consider running for one of the positions on the Executive Board. The positions are not overly demanding of your time. The goal is to meet occasionally, organize info tables at local events staffed by volunteers, and ensure a Green presence in our community all year round.

The following positions on the Executive Board are open, with the first three being the most essential:

  • Chief Executive Officer (GPC) or President (GPO)KitSHAvatarKitConAvatar
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Secretary
  • Membership Chair
  • Fundraising Chair
  • Organizing Chair
  • Communications Chair
  • Member-at-Large
    Elizabeth May & David Weber
    Elizabeth May joins Kitchener South—Hespeler candidate David Weber in elxn42

    You must be a member of the Green Party of Canada or the Green Party of Ontario in order to vote or stand for a position on the corresponding executive at the AGM.
    Don’t miss out on the fun!
    Any person whose membership has lapsed within the last year may renew their membership at the meeting to acquire voting privileges.  It’s preferable to do this online at the Green Party of Ontario website at gpo.ca or at the Green Party of Canada website greenparty.ca.

Contact David Weber (AGM organizer) for more information at 519-591-5773 or david.weber@greenparty.ca. Hope to see you there!KitchenerSouth-HespelerGreenParty


Voting System Debate at Kitchener City Hall TONIGHT!

PR v AV Panel POSTERAlternative Vote vs Proportional Representation
Barry Kay vs Dennis Pilon
Come down to Kitchener City Hall for the
Electoral Reform Debate of the Century!
April 7, 2016

Kitchener City Hall Council Chamber
200 King Street West, Kitchener N2G 4V6

Hey Waterloo Region Greens! Come find out what the fuss is about!

Proportional Representation is incredibly important, especially for small nation wide parties… like the Greens!  Did you know that if the average number of votes it took to elect a Liberal MP in 2015 was applied to the number of votes the GPC won, we would have 16 GPC MPs in Parliament?

The question is what will replace First Past The Post?

I started learning about Proportional Representation from Fair Vote Canada, the multi-partisan group that advocates for Proportional Representation.  PR can be achieved in many different ways, no matter which Proportional system is chosen, the Green Party would win more seats in Parliament that it earns in votes.  My own assumption is that if Canadians thought voting Green would actually elect anyone, there could be twice as many Green voters…or more.

While the Liberal electoral reform election promise sounded like an ad for Fair Vote Canada, they really didn’t  promise Proportional Representation… it just sounded like they did.  The Liberal party is actually divided on this; and while some Liberals support Proportional Representation, many Liberals support replacing FPTP with Alternative Vote, another winner-take-all system.

But I’m no expert, so I invite you all to come out to this panel discussion and learn from people who are.

Fixing Canada’s Democracy ~ Making Every Vote Matter Petition

The Liberal Promise:

To make sure that every vote counts, the Government will undertake consultations on electoral reform, and will take action to ensure that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system.
Justin Trudeau, Speech from the Throne
December 4, 2015

What’s wrong with our current voting system?

While proponents [of the current system] often speak of the system as having the virtue of local representation, in fact representation is restricted to those who happen to vote for the winning party. Again, we think of this as normal—one alternative, known as proportional representation, is often derided as having been designed for “losers”—when a moment’s thought should reveal how arbitrary it is. Why should only the “winners” be represented in a democracy? The point of an election, surely, is to represent the people—all the people, not just some of them.
Andrew Coyne
The Walrus, October 2015

Why is proportional representation the best solution?

In countries where it has been introduced, it tends to reduce partisanship by promoting more collegial cross-party law-making. It helps to increase voter turnout, because people no longer see their votes as “wasted.” It ensures that representation from a region is not dominated by monolithic blocks of MPs from a single party…which completely distorts the diversity of perspectives of those populations. And it boosts the representation of women and of marginalized groups in Parliament…
Craig Scott
Maclean’s Magazine, December 2014

…and you’re sure the current system is broken?

YES!!!In contrast to many other systems, the Canadian provides very few checks and balances on a prime minister with a majority. The unelected Senate is a wet noodle; the government backbenchers are yes-men; the cabinet members are appointed by the top dog. With a couple of exceptions, none would dare stand up to such a domineering leader and controlling staff.
Jeffrey Simpson
The Globe and Mail, 2015

…and you’re sure PR is the way to go?

YES!!!Countries that count votes, not seats, tend to enact policies that are less homophobic and less racist. They have lower incarceration rates and are less interested in “law and order” approaches to crime. They wage war less often and get out of wars in which they do engage faster. They spy on their citizens less. They protect the environment better, embrace renewable energy faster and have more success reducing CO2 emissions. Forbes recently gave all five top spots for “Best places to do business 2015” to PR countries…
Patricia Lane

Prime Minister Trudeau promised that 2015 would be the last first-past-the-post election in Canadian history, and that every vote would count in our next election. This is our one chance to fix Canadian democracy for good — add your name in support of proportional representation.

Please go to http://www.greenparty.ca/en/democracy to sign this petition.

And share 🙂

Divest Waterloo presents Gordon Laxer at the KPL

WRGreen folk may be interested in Divest Waterloo‘s presentation:
Gordon Laxer: After the Sands: Energy and Ecological Security for Canadians
Wednesday April 6th, 2016
@ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
at the Kitchener Public Library ~ 85 Queen St N, Kitchener, ON, Canada N2H 2H1

KWPeace writes:

Gordon Laxer
is coming to KW to give a public lecture on his new book, After the Sands: Energy and Ecological Security for Canadians.

Impeccably researched, After the Sands is critical reading for anyone concerned about rising sea levels, pipeline and tanker spills, climate change chaos and Canada’s future in a carbon restricted world.

Ralph Nader hails it as “a myth-destroying blockbuster book.”

The talk will be followed by responses from the community to relate Laxer’s work to local struggles and opportunities.

Where: Kitchener Public Library, Central Library Theatre, 85 Queen Street North, downtown Kitchener [Map]
When: Wednesday, April 6th, 7:00–8:30pm (note that community groups will have information tables outside the theatre starting at 6:30)

The event is free and open to the public—everyone is welcome!

Please register here: afterthesands.ticketfi.com

This event is hosted by the Department of Political Science with support from numerous campus and community groups including the Kitchener Public Library, the Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre, the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability, the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Sustainable Campus Initiative, Waterloo Political Economy Group (WatPEG), Waterloo Public Interest Research Group (WPIRG),ClimateActionWR, the Council of Canadians (Guelph and Centre Wellington Chapters), Divest Waterloo, and KAIROS. Wordsworth Books and Hacienda Coffee folks will be on hand with books for sale and treats to share!

BREAKING: Gordon Laxer was just named as a finalist for the John W. Dafoe Book Prize for non-fiction stories on Canada.

NASA: Athabasca tar sands environmental impact 1984 vs 2011
NASA: Athabasca tar sands environmental impact 1984 vs 2011 (Public Domain image)

GPO: The 2016 Calabogie Convention

GPO green logo

The Green Party of Ontario will be hosting its 2016 Convention at Calabogie Peaks Resort, from May 13-15, 2016.

Just announced, our keynote speaker will be Jo-Ann Roberts, GPC candidate and former CBC Radio Host. We’re very excited to have Jo-Ann join us, to tell tales from her high profile campaign in Victoria, where she ended in 2nd place with a mighty 23,666 votes (that’s more votes than 151 MPs who were elected!)

Register now!

Mike Shreiner
Mike Shreiner, Leader GPO

The convention is only 6 weeks away, and things are shaping up to be an excellent weekend. Here’s a snippet of what we have planned so far:

Hear from our Keynote Speaker, Jo-Ann Roberts

Participate in our Strategic Pathway to Election ’18 presentation & breakout sessions with GPO Leader Mike Schreiner & ED Becky Smit (members only)

Discuss the incoming policy and constitutional resolutions with passion and grace (available online)

Connect with like-minded, passionate Greens from across the province, in a beautiful setting in Eastern Ontario

Join in a nature walk, a nighttime campfire, or grab a drink at the hospitality suite

Remember, all Convention registration payments and accommodations are eligible for a generous tax credit of up to 75% back. This means you could be paying as little at $73.53 after taxes for an entire weekend, food, gala dinner, speakers & accommodations!

Sign up for a day, evening or weekend. Keep tabs on the still evolving Calabogie Convention Agenda here.

X marks the ballotVoting

Political Conventions are the place where party members forge policy and vote in elections. This year, registered Green Party of Ontario members don’t have to attend the Convention to cast their votes for the 2016 Provincial Executive Elections. For the first time ever, the GPO is are offering online voting through Simply Voting, a secure, independent voting management company.

Online voting will be open from April 16, 2016 to May 14, 2016 at 1:30 PM. You will receive an email from vote@simplyvoting.com on April 16, 2016 with your unique link to the secure ballot and your password.

For more information on the election, please go to www.gpo.ca/elections.