Waterloo Region Climate Consultation

Climate Consultation Waterloo Region - Thursday, August 18, 7:00 PM~ Kitchener City Hall Rotunda

Waterloo Region Climate Consultation

Thursday, August 18, 7:00 PM

Kitchener City Hall Rotunda
200 King St. W., Kitchener
Kitchener, N2G 4G7, Canada

All five MPs in Waterloo Region are teaming up for this multi-constituency consultation.  We need you to commit now to attend this most important of consultations!

We’ll show our support for the People’s Climate Plan. Organizers with the People’s Climate Plan are calling for the national climate strategy that respects climate science and Canada’s commitments in the Paris Agreement, ensures a plan to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050, and enshrines justice for all workers and Indigenous communities.

Get directions to this event ~ due to LRT construction, out of towners should try to come early in case of detours

EVERYONE needs to come to this important event.

This is a multipartisan event that is the result of collaboration of many different groups. Both Liberal and Conservative MPs will be in attendance, with GPC and likely NDP folk helping to facilitate.

Standing up for Social Justice

As previously mentioned, two very contentious resolutions were put forward at the 2016 Green Party of Canada Convention. Even if you were unable to attend, you can watch recordings of The Real News Network’s livestream in a convenient WRGreens YouTube playlist.

For me, the choice was summed up by what Lisa Barrett said in this quotation [found in this video]:

"The Green party supports social justice and human rights, and those should never be compromised. And if they had been when we were boycotting South Afruca, Nelson mandela would have died in jail. It worked, and I think iof we hold string, we will be leaders among Canadian political parties in showing the courage to say, we did it once, we can do it again. Let's stand up or social justice." - Lisa Barrett - GPC Shadow Cabinet international Affairs Critic

During the resolution workshop on Saturday, a proposed amendment to the “Revoking the Charitable Status of the Jewish National Fund Canada (JNF)” resolution that would remove any mention of the JNF, making it generic was put forward, but voted down because it substantively changed the original intent of the amendment. The workshop voted to pass the original resolution and send it on to a plenary vote, where the amendment was reintroduced and pushed through.  The Palestinian Self-Determination and the Movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions resolution was indeed grounds for spirited debate, both in the workshop and the plenary.
Because both resolutions dealt with Isreal, the chief arguments against them were accusation of antisemitism.  As I understand it, since they were announced there was a strong campaign to stop both resolutions.  The idea that any Canadians should be prevented from even discussing human rights is reprehensible to me, personally.
What it boils down to is that sanctioning a nation that uses its power to commit human rights violations against a captive population is a defense of human rights, not an antisemitic attack.  This is a human rights issue, a sphere in which Canadians used to aspire to lead the world.   Foreign policy does not enter into it.

On Sunday, August 7th, at the 2016 Green Party of Canada 2016 Convention, the Green Party leader of Quebec, Alex Tyrrell reported:

“The Green Party of Canada delegates have just voted to endorse Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the Israeli government at the federal convention in Ottawa!

Congratulations to all the party members, who worked hard to advocate for human rights in the face of harsh criticism, intimidation and smear campaigns carried out by the Israel lobby.

There is no excuse, justification or reason to permit the Israeli government to continue their reign of terror against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.”

The National Post article  offers a reasonably balanced view of the issue. (Although the comments below make up or it.)

The way [Green Party president, Ken] Melamed sees it, the fact the issue was being debated at all was a sign of how democratic the Green Party is. Other political parties don’t even touch topics like these, he suggested.

If grassroots within the Green Party of Canada membership want to debate something and bring it into the policy book — no matter how controversial — there’s nothing stopping them.

—”Greens add support for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel to official party policies

Haaretz reports: “Canadian Green Party Votes to Support Boycott of Israel: The resolution was opposed by party leader Elizabeth May, who said the vote was ‘a position that I can’t support.’

Unlike an actual anti-Semitic attack, this resolution is not forever, instead it will last only “until such time as Israel implements a permanent ban on further settlement construction in the OPT, and enters into good faith negotiations.”

BE IT RESOLVED that the GPC supports the use of divestment, boycott and sanctions (“BDS”) that are targeted to those sectors of Israel’s economy and society which profit from the ongoing occupation of the [Occupied Palestinian Territories] OPT;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the GPC will support such a form of BDS until such time as Israel implements a permanent ban on further settlement construction in the OPT, and enters into good faith negotiations with representatives of the Palestinian people for the purpose of establishing a viable, contiguous and truly sovereign Palestinian state.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the GPC opposes all efforts to prohibit, punish or otherwise deter expressions of support for BDS.

— Palestinian Self-Determination and the Movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions

The article CJPME: GREEN PARTY BDS RESOLUTION SUPPORTS HUMAN RIGHTS makes no secret that Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East supports this outcome.

While Canada does indeed need to clean our own house and really truly address our own truth and reconciliation process, that does not preclude standing up for civil rights elsewhere.

I am proud to be a member of the only major Canadian political party to stand up for social justice in Israel.

Earth Overshoot Day 2016

Guest Post by Environment Hamilton

Earth Overshoot DayToday is Earth Overshoot day, which means that today humanity has used up the amount of resources that the planet can reliably provide us renewably for the entire year. It moves several days earlier each year; in 2015 it happened on August 13th. The official website makes a number of suggestions for ways that you can make a difference.

The idea that we can continue to demand ever more each year from a planet that isn’t getting any bigger is more than a little nuts, so maybe it’s time to stop taking the word of economists about it.

Follow @EnvHamilton on Twitter and Facebook

GPC Convention 2016

Shadow Cabinet Justice Critic, Dimitri Lascaris at the GPC Candidate's Lunch in Guelph, 2015
Green Party of Canada’s Shadow Cabinet Justice Critic, Dimitri Lascaris

August 5th to 7th, 2016 is the Green Party of Canada’s Convention in Ottawa.

It looks to be a fabulous jam packed weekend of events.  If you haven’t registered, I believe it is still possible to attend the Convention although the Regular registration rate has ended.  If you go, remember to save your receipts as a portion of convention fees are eligible for federal political contribution tax-receipts.

Although I’d love to be there for the keynote speeches and the Proportional Representation workshop, perhaps the thing I will regret missing most will be the debate and the opportunity to vote on the two policy resolutions put forward by our new Shadow Cabinet Justice Critic, Dimitri Lascaris, who wrote the:

Palestinian Self-Determination and the Movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions resolution

as well as cosponsoring the Revoking the Charitable Status of the Jewish National Fund Canada (JNF) resolution.

This may well be the first time this contentious issue will be publicly debated in Canada, particularly after the Canadian Parliament’s shameful motion to suppress free speech about BDS has cast even more of a chill over this contentious subject.

“In July 2011, that parliament of Israel voted on a question of whether to condemn calls for boycotts against Israel as a civil wrong. The vote carried, but it was not overwhelming. There were 47 members of the Knesset who voted for it, and 38 members voted against it. The 38 members who voted against it were certainly not hate filled against the State of Israel.” —Elizabeth May

Fortunately those of us unable to attend this year will be able to watch the Convention livestream on The Real News Network.

Since that unfortunately includes me, if you are going, please give my regards to everybody there!


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