Meeting Notes 21 September 2018

Friday, 21 September 2018, 4pm to 6pm
Hepcat Swing Dance Studio, 42 Erb Street, Waterloo, Ontario
Donna Evans, Deborah, Deni Cavanagh, Derek Donnan, David Weber, Ingrid Douglas, Don Douglas, Cathy Scott, Stacey Danckert, Sam Nabi, Tori Mikhnovsky, Matthew Piggott, Teresa Cornwell, Marie Bridel, Laurel Russwurm, Bob Jonkman, Regan Sunshine Brussé, Kris Braun

EDA / CA Updates


  • Cambridge has an official Constituency Association as of Tuesday, 7 August 2018
    • 15 people at the inaugural meeting
    • Executives are Ingrid Douglas, Michele Braniff, Don Douglas, with four Members-At-Large

Kitchener South — Hespeler

  • Kitchener South — Hespeler has made a submission to the GPO to form a Constituency Association

  • It was pointed out that every riding has a CA; those that don’t have their own members have a CA administered by the GPO
  • In most ridings, there is a great deal of overlap in the memberships of the CA and the EDA

Kitchener Centre

  • Held their AGM in Victoria Park, also on Tuesday, 7 August 2018
    • There were several new people and members!

Meeting Notes

  • It’s time to put in place some organizational structure for WR Greens
    • We will set up some committees to take leadership
    • These committees will operate across riding boundaries, eg. Events Committee will post and promote events in all five Waterloo Region ridings, for both GPO and GPC.

  • There is an upcoming Federal election, on or before Monday, 21 October 2019
    • We need to have this structure in place and working before the campaigns start
    • What kind of structure do we need?

  • Who is running in the 2019 Federal election?
    • We need a Nominations Committee
    • Get additional people to run, to be involved in the campaigns
    • Michele Braniff will likely run in Cambridge
    • Bob Jonkman will run…
    • Nominations Committee will run a search for candidates

Membership Committee

  • To increase Green Party membership (different memberships for GPO and GPC)
  • Look for membership from a younger crowd? Reaching out to social media?
    • 57 is the average age of a Green Party member
  • There are lots of students in Waterloo Region
    • Most vote in their home riding
      • But get them involved anyway
    • GPO memberships are waived for students: AGM18C08 – Waiving Membership Fees for Young Greens
      • “Youth under the age of 18”
      • “Students that are members of a campus club”
    • Look for PoliSci and Environmental students
    • We’re looking to get people involved in the campaigns, not just interns who make coffee
    • Young people are not anti-Green, but anti-politics
    • Young people are “natural voters”, but are not involved
    • Maybe we should target another group (that are more involved)?
      • University groups have large turnover every year, so we would have to start a membership drive all over again
    • Young people may be involved in protests, but change requires political action
  • Tori Mikhnovsky will be the Membership and Communications Committee Chair
    • Tori tells us of Project: Trashion
      • 30 September 2018
      • WR Greens should have an information booth, with students
  • Who knows how to set up a Campus club? Perhaps Regan (Conestoga College)?
    • Campus Clubs may not be necessary
    • Get 10-15 on each campus (UofW, WLU), find an organizer on campus
    • But there are advantages to a Campus Club (postering, Students Union support)
    • …and free GPO membership for members of a Campus Club!

  • What other ideas?
    • Brand visibility
    • eg. Mike Schreiner was very vocal in the Waterloo-Wellington Water Watchers
    • We should find a local cause or students issue
    • eg. the Countryside Line
      • Sam Nabi tells us about Hold the Line
        • Waterloo Region has defined a boundary between urban growth and agricultural lands
        • There is pressure from the province and developers; we need local politicians to stand up for the Countryside Line
        • Waterloo Regional chair Ken Seiling was a champion (but is not running for re-election)
    • Successful campaigns find an issue and do a deep dive
      • WR Greens need to find an issue that is locally prominent
      • It should be a “painful” issue, not a celebration
    • Other parties are handing out petitions
      • This is seen as “That party is working for me”
    • Lots of organizations to choose from: eg. LeadNow, Rise For Climate, &c.

  • Regan Sunshine Brussé got involved in the 2015 federal election
    • It shaped her future
    • Got involved in Alliance Against Poverty, is now running for municipal council (Kitchener ward 2)
    • Regan tells us of the problems caused by the Kitchener city clerk over her middle name Sunshine
    • She needs more more help: volunteers, canvassers, &c. Contact:
    • WR Green members (as individuals, not as Green Party representatives) can give Regan an endorsement on her website

  • Provincial interference with municipal elections (Toronto council size)
    • Is this an issue we can take on?

Nominations Committee

  • Approach “soft” Greens running in the municipal election
    • Have coffee, make an offer to help with their campaign
    • Help someone now, introduce to WR Greens later
    • “Green Friendly” candidates
    • Some candidates are already prominently Green
    • Brant Green Drinks (held 13th of every month) invited candidates to speak

  • Connect the Green things people are already doing to political action

Events Committee

  • Hold a Meet and Greet with local candidates?
    • WREN had an all-candidates event on Thursday, 20 September 2018
    • There is probably not enough time before the election
    • We will definitely have an event after the election
      • either before December, or after New Years
  • Getting to events (discovering other organization’s events)
    • Needs a “Tabling Sub-committee” to staff information tables.
    • KWPeace is having a Perspectives On Peace symposium in the Kitchener City Hall Rotunda on Saturday, 27 October 2018 from noon to 2:00pm; is inviting local groups to have an info table

Communications Committee

  • Purpose?
    • To reach out to the media (eg. Letters to the Editor)
    • Respond to public inquiries (e-mail, &c.)
    • Blog and Social Media
    • Regular newsletter
    • Communicate internally (with members)
  • Communications meeting
    • Meeting is imminent
    • What is the focus (of the meeting? of the committee?)
    • Create a communications plan
      • “These are the channels, this is the frequency” (newsletter, social media, &c.)
  • Communications Committee also to do Outreach?

Volunteer Committee

  • We already have one volunteer!

  • Are we creating more committees than we can fill?

  • For future meetings:
    • Have a clear agenda
    • Have a timeline for each agenda item


  • Committee Chairs:
    • Kris Braun will be the Nomination Committee chair
    • Tori Mikhnovsky will be the combined Membership/Communications/Outreach/Volunteer Committee chair
    • Bob Jonkman will be the Events Committee chair
    • Committees should be no more than five members (including the chair).
    • Bob Jonkman will set up a mailing list for each committee
  • David Weber will organize some sign waving events for local candidates
  • Stacey Danckert will create a Candidate Questionnaire, to be posted on the website
    • For municipal elections target regional candidates for questions

  • Committee Chairs to send a blurb explaining their Committee to Tori by 28 September

  • If someone has a passion for specific issues, approach Stacey
    • eg. Environment
    • but don’t ignore other aspects: Electoral Reform, Fair Wage
    • eg. Cleanup Organization
      • During cleanup sort waste by brands, then approach those companies to make changes
        • But some of these companies are already sponsoring cleanups, eg. Tim Hortons on Earth Day
      • Neighbourhood Associations already do park cleanups
    • These projects can fulfill high school students volunteer hours
    • The Events Committee will help out with this

Future Meetings

  • WR Greens to meet every other month
  • Committee meeting to take place every month
    • Committees can meet prior to the general meeting
    • Combine this with a social event
      • eg. Committee meeting 6:00-6:30pm, general meeting 6:30-7:00pm, social meeting 7:00-9:00pm
  • When to meet?
    • On a specific day, eg. 21st of every month?
    • On a specific weekday, eg. 3rd Friday of every month?
    • Bob Jonkman will create a poll to find the best method
  • Regular meetings will have Committees reporting
  • Online meetings need to be arranged

  • We should organize some meetings in Guelph (they’re expressed an interest)
  • Also meet in Brant

  • Potential venue for meeting/social: Glen Morris golf course

  • Do we need a Fundraising Committee?
    • To be discussed at the next meeting

Member News

  • Matt and Jennifer Piggott will be starting new jobs in Toronto
    • So Kitchener Centre CA and EDA will need a new CEO and President
    • Matt will provide mentoring for the new EDA chair
    • We need a sendoff event!

Acronym Expansion

  • CA – Constituency Association (the provincial riding association)
  • EDA – Electoral District Association (the federal riding association)
  • GPO – Green Party of Ontario
  • GPC – Green Party of Canada
  • AGM – Annual General Meeting for an EDA or CA
  • UofW – University of Waterloo
  • WLU – Wilfrid Laurier University
  • WREN – Waterloo Region Environmental Network

Meeting notes taken by Bob Jonkman

All WR Greens meeting minutes