This discussion is centred around the issues facing people with developmental disabilities and their families in Waterloo Region. It will provide an opportunity for members and organizations involved in the developmental services sector to hear learn about the policies offered by local politicians and their parties over the next four years.
Care has been taken to ensure this is not a debate. The panel of participants represent the four major parties in the 5 Waterloo Region constituencies with no candidate running against each other in the upcoming election.
The audience will be individuals with an interest in the Developmental Sector, primarily family, self-advocates and persons supported by the Sector and people volunteering or working in the Sector or related Sectors. The purpose of the evening is for candidates to outline their Parties Platform related to the Developmental Sector and to speak to the issues related to the Sector.
Since our Cambridge candidate Michele Braniff was unable to attend, Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner pitched in. (Just one of the many things that makes him a great leader!)
After watching the other teams compete on the obstacle course, Mike scientifically determined which team member should play which position.
But things didn’t actually work out as planned.
The Glorious Greens made it through two rounds before being disqualified; not bad for our first time out (and valuable experience for next time!)
In between times we got to meet interesting people.
#Wloo candidate Zdravko Gunjevic ran into his MP, the Hon. Bardish Chagger.
The Glorious Greens team got to pose with FlapJack, the festival mascot
#KitCon Greens’ Bob Jonkman introduced Mike to the Hon. Bardish Chagger.
The current Kitchener—Conestoga Green candidate (Bob Jonkman) and the previous Kitchener—Conestoga Green Candidate (David Weber) introduced Mike to the Kitchener—Conestoga Conservative MP, Harold Albrecht.
We had an information booth set up inside the Woolwich Memorial Centre.
Alongside our button making event…
…where kids of all ages…
…could make their own button…
while being serenaded with live music!
Our first outing at the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival was a great success.
Life is Sweet at the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival… what a glorious day! We hope to see you there next year!
The Waterloo Region Greens are pleased to announce we have achieved a full slate of candidates for the 2018 Ontario Election. The last slot was filled when Bob Jonkman won the nomination for Kitchener—Conestoga.
Each riding has its own page ~ complete with contact information ~ in the menu bar at the top of the blog.
We’ll post important elections dates in our calendar (there’s a link in the top menu bar). Subscribe to the blog in the right sidebar) to keep up with all the WRGreens election action (you’ll receive blog posts direct to your email box!)
WRGreens are on social media:
Tomorrow GPO Leader Mike Schreiner will join the WRGreens Candidates (except Michele) in the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival Pancake Flipping Contest. If you can’t make it there between 10am and noon, there’s a good chance you’ll find candidates at our booth in the Woolwich Memorial Centre concourse.
Before the budget was officially released, we had spent 4 hours in “Budget Lockup,” where we were allowed to read and evaluate the budget before everyone else, while being disconnected from the rest of the world. We were then given a brief opportunity to share our thoughts about the budget with Steve Paikin.
There just wasn’t enough time for a more thorough discussion, so I wanted to share more of my thoughts with you here.
Deficits are not in and of themselves a bad thing (most of us borrow for the things we need), but it is completely unnecessary right now, in our strong economic climate. We can support the people in our communities and strengthen our social programs and we can afford to do it now. For example, we could increase royalty fees for our natural resources, which we are currently practically giving away (like the water that we sell to Nestle for $1/million L!).
We could create road tolls and move away from nuclear, among so many other revenue tools that could be discussed.
I didn’t want to spend time talking about what people already know we know. But this budget doesn’t cut it.
We need more aggressive emissions targets (net zero by 2050), we need to stop allowing the biggest emitters exemptions from the cap and trade (right now 150 of the largest emitters pay nothing!).
We need to put more money into transitioning into a Green economy – it creates more jobs and moves us to where we need to be, rather than further away from it.
And the great lakes and biodiversity saw such a pittance in this budget, I think it really shows the Liberals’ hand on protecting our natural environment.
We need to stop throwing good money after bad on nuclear power. It helped us move away from coal when we needed to, but it has also proven itself to be far too costly. As a matter of fact, it largely accounts for about one quarter of the deficit we face over the next year! Now that renewables have become affordable, we should be moving towards 100% renewables, including inexpensive hydro from Quebec and Manitoba. We could also be working harder to do the upgrades that will cut the amount of energy that we need.
There are lots of things that get a piece of the pie here, but notably missing is any mention of a future for basic income. Will they even look at the data, let alone roll it out province – wide?
And until then, I appreciate that they are streamlining OW and ODSP programs a bit, but the people in our communities that are accessing these programs need more money now – there is no way to live healthfully off of the tiny amount we provide to support those most in need. For example $50 on dental care for children won’t even cover an exam!
All in all, when you look at it more carefully, the budget doesn’t seem like a plan at all but rather, pieces of a plan. If you plan well, social program spending actually saves you money (i.e., less hospital spending, less on police, less on poverty stop-gaps), whereas if you implement solutions haphazardly, they are likely to cost even more and achieve nothing. While the Liberals will speak to helping the many social programs that get a mention in the budget – programs that the GPO has been advocating for increased spending for years – they haven’t developed a consistent plan to actually do it. The lack of sincerity on rolling this out right before an election after 14 years of not doing it, just doesn’t sit well with me.
But how can we blame them? This is how politics has been done for more years than I know. This time, let’s demand more. Let’s demand that they show us how they will pay for it. Let’s demand that they are consistent in their policies. Let’s demand transparency and honesty. Let’s demand a healthy and happy future for our children and grandchildren.
The 2018 Ontario election is fast approaching, and it’s time to get ready. People are hungry for a different kind of politics – one based on honesty and integrity. Mike Schreiner and the Green Party of Ontario will bring that refreshing voice.
This Thursday, the five local Green Party ridings are coming together to plan our next few months. Join Stacey Danckert, candidate for Kitchener Centre, and Zdravko Gunjevic, candidate for Waterloo, in this open meeting.
All are welcome. Please bring along anyone who would like to contribute! The Green Party is committed to grassroots decisionmaking, and we are going to build a campaign that resonates for people here in Waterloo Region.
Canadian and Ontario politics are badly in need of some new voices; it has become painfully clear that if we really want real change, we need to stop voting for the candidate we think might win and start voting for the candidate who will best represent us. After all, if we don’t start voting for what we want, we’ll never get it!
WRGreens need your help! Volunteers can make all the difference, and of course your vote will always be appreciated. You’ll find contact information for your WRGreens Riding in the menu link above, and if you’re not sure which is your riding, you can find out how from the “find your riding” link in the sidebar.
Although we don’t normally solicit donations here, with an election coming, this is a great time to donate if you’re going to, especially if you want the most bang for your buck. If you get your donation in by December 31st, your donation limit resets to zero so your limit resets to 0 for 2018.
In spite of the mainstream claims the 2008 recession is over, we are aware that although it may be true for the one percent, it isn’t for most people. If you aren’t in a position to donate; please don’t. Come out to our events or volunteer instead!
If you can afford to donate now (or in the future), something I did not realize before joining the party is that political donations come with tax breaks. I was shocked to learn three quarters of anything you donate up to $400 will be refunded when you do your taxes! After that the rebates reduce in size, check the chart below for details.
WRGreens aren’t set up to take online donations (yet) but you can donate directly to the Green Party of Ontario, your year-end donation of $5, $10, $25 or whatever you can afford will be most appreciated. Any donation you can make will help fund the preparations for our upcoming crucial election, mere months away!
We need Green voices at the table, not just for today, but into the future. The Green Party is a grassroots party operating on a minimal budget; with your help we can run more robust campaigns, and elect more Greens!
WRGreens congratulate Waterloo’s “Zee” Zdravko Gunjevic and Kitchener Centre’s Stacey Danckert on their nomination as Green Party Candidates at Sunday’s combined WRGreens GPO Constituency Association nomination meeting at the Kitchener Public Library.
A second combined nomination meeting for the other WRGreens ridings is in the works, possibly for December. We’ll keep you posted!
Photos by Laurel Russwurm released under a Creative Commons Attribution License may be attributed to WRGreens. These (and many more) are available in the WRGreens Flickr album.
NOTE: If you find yourself in one of our blogs or Flickr albums but would prefer not to appear there, or should you wish to remain but be identified by name, please contact Laurel at email@example.com