Bob Jonkman has championed Proportional Representation since he volunteered for Fair Vote Canada in the 2007 referendum. As an Executive Member of the very active Fair Vote Waterloo Region Chapter, Bob came to believe electoral reform could best be accomplished by entering politics. He ran for office federally in 2015 and provincially in 2018 as the Green Party candidate in Kitchener—Conestoga.
Working with local social justice organizations has helped foster Bob’s commitment to achieving the goals of equity and inclusion. His community service includes work with the WRNonviolence Day In The Park, KWPeace, and as an active member of the Social Development Council of Waterloo Region. Bob has volunteered with the PTA, worked to save Victoria Glen Park from development, fought the placement of a biogas mega plant in downtown Elmira, and served on the Elmira BioFuel Citizens’ Committee. In his spare time Bob enjoys participating at CKMS-FM, the local community radio station where he is on the Board of Directors.
Bob’s digital community service includes organizing and giving presentations at computer user group meetings. As a long time member of the Free Software community, Bob encourages the use of software that respects computer users’ freedom. He’s a strong advocate for transparent government and freely available Open Data in government and business, balanced with protection of personal privacy through cryptography and safe online practices.
Professionally, Bob is a small business owner providing computer consulting, technical support and training to large and small Ontario businesses.
Born in the Netherlands and raised in Burlington, Ontario, Bob and Laurel chose to move to Elmira to raise their son twenty years ago.
Bob’s commitment to the Green Party is rooted in shared values that have inspired his work to enact positive change for a stronger democracy and a sustainable future.
I tabled the first ever Green legislation in Ontario history, a bill to protect the drinking water supply of nearly 200,000 people in the Guelph region.
And I did it with dozens of water defenders at my side.
It’s time we started taking seriously our sacred responsibility to leave a liveable planet for our children and grandchildren. The Paris Galt Moraine Conservation Act would protect our water from contamination, urban sprawl and reckless resource extraction.
And while the Premier has been threatening to poke holes in the Greenbelt, this legislation would grow the Greenbelt, conserving more farmland and wildlife habitat.
We face an uphill battle. Majority governments don’t pass many opposition bills. So I need your help to write to your MPP and sign my petition urging the government to #ProtectOurWater.
Last week’s WRGreens PreNomination Social was a fabulous success.
WRGreens will be holding 2 nomination meetings. The first will be a combined meeting for Kitchener Centre and Waterloo. Today—Monday February 4th, 2019— is the last day to join the Green Party and be eligible to vote to choose which of these nominees will be the 2019 Green Party Candidate!
This is the lineup of 2019 GPC nominees for Kitchener Centre:
And here are the GPC candidate nominees for Waterloo.
Over the next month, each of the nominees will be asked to tell you a little bit about themselves here. We’ll also be publishing videos for each on the WRGreens YouTube page.
The Candidate Nomination will take place on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at 7:00pm – 8:30pm.
You must live in the riding and attend the nomination meeting in person to vote.
Fridays for Future Climate Strike: Kitchener-Waterloo
This event is dedicated to building a youth voice to speak up for climate action in solidarity with Greta Thunberg and other young people across the world.
Join us on
Friday, February 1st
from 12.30 to 1:30pm
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.
This is the beginning of a big year for the Green Party in Waterloo Region! We’re gearing up to run a slate of strong candidates committed to putting sustainable policies at the forefront of the 2019 federal election.
Our first step is selecting our candidates. Join us for this social as we meet the candidate nominees for our Waterloo Region ridings. It looks like at least Waterloo and Kitchener-Centre will have contested nominations, which means members will choose which candidate represents them.
This will be a fun and social evening, including musical guests Sammy Duke and Yvonne & Rob. Donations to support the musicians and prepare for the campaigns will be welcome.
Not a Green Party member? You’re especially welcome! You can learn more about the Greens, our values and priorities. There will be an opportunity to sign up as a member in time to vote in the nominations starting March 6.
Looking forward to great conversations tonight!
Thursday, January 31st, 2019 7:00 – 9:00pm
at Fresh Ground ~ 256 King St E, Kitchener
Excitement in the Green community is at an all time high: the Green movement is growing. You may already be part of it without even realizing it! Every conversation you have about our communities, economies, and environment builds the impetus toward change. We’re seeing an appetite for a green future beyond anything we’ve seen in past elections… and this one hasn’t even begun!
WTGreens are growing a people-powered movement in Waterloo Region to elect our first Green MPs!
You’re invited to our 2019 WRGreens Candidate preNomination Social Thursday, January 31st
7:00 – 9:00pm
at Fresh Ground ~ 256 King St E, Kitchener
People from all parties and backgrounds are invited to come find out how we will make the community, economy, and environment our priority.
WRGreens believe our only credible path toward a healthy and robust future for our region and our country is decisive action: we need to start electing Green MPs. We have all the tools and solutions. All we need do is choose to act together. Be part of the solution by joining the first wave of this movement as we build toward the October election!
Come meet Waterloo Region’s Green Party candidate nominees
So far we have half a dozen declared candidate nominees for Kitchener Centre, and we may have contested nominations in all 5 ridings! This is your chance to find out what our potential Waterloo Region Greens candidates are working for, and why they’ve committed to running under the Green banner in 2019! If you are interested in throwing your hat in the ring (or know someone else who might be) for the riding of
Our first combined nomination meeting will take place on March 6th, when GPC members of the Kitchener Centre and Waterloo EDAs will choose their candidates. Then In April, we’ll host the combined meeting for Kitchener South–Hespeler, Kitchener–Conestoga, and Cambridge candidates.
If you’re not a member yet, before you can vote for the next Green Party Candidate in your riding, you’ll need to join the party. You can purchase your $10 membership online before the preNomination Social, or you can wait and do it at the event.
Whether you’re a GPC member or a friend, this will be a great opportunity to grab a coffee, listen to music, and get to know each other. Families are welcome.
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: email@example.com
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.