Get Ready for 2019!

Most critical election in Canadian History?

We need 2019 to be the year Canadians fill Parliament with MPs with both the political will and commitment to make effective Climate policy.   The climate change clock is ticking, and we can no longer afford to hope protests will mobilize the Canadian government against Climate Change.

We can’t keep waiting for other political  parties to do what needs doing.

We don’t have the luxury of time in which we help elect other party MPs in hopes they will do the right thing, only to watch as they do what the party tells them to do instead.

We have no choice but to elect more Green MPs to send to Parliament to ensure that we have a Parliament prepared to meet Climate Change head on.

We need all the help we can get to send Greens to Ottawa to work with Elizabeth May.  We all know what an amazing job Elizabeth May is doing now… just imagine how much more effective she’ll be with more MPs to help!

And with an unfair political system in which most voters aren’t engaged, the sad fact is financial donations are incredibly important.  Donations allow us to reach out beyond you– and the Green community of Canadians who understand what is happening– and help reach new voters we can encourage to vote.

Donations allow us to afford information tables at local festivals and fairs, which help raise the Green profile enormously.  They can help pay for our own events, like film screenings or education nights, as well as buying the materials to make buttons at our button making events, as well as paying for literature to hand out at them. 

And, if we’ve got money in the bank, our candidates can have their election signs in in hand when the writ is drawn, so we can hit the ground running.  During the election, donations can buy election signs and literature and ads in our local newspapers. Most people have no idea how much Greens manage on a shoestring budget.  And every little bit helps.

We have been lucky to be able to attract and field an excellent slate of Candidates here in Waterloo Region, and we’re planning on doing it again in the New Year.  (Watch this space for information about the 2019 nominations.

If you can afford to make a donation to the Green Party, now is the time.  Any donation made before December 31st will count as a 2018 donation.  Then, if you’re able to donate again in 2019 you’ll be donating under the 2019 donation limit.


2018 FEDERAL GREEN PARTY CONTRIBUTION LIMITS

Effective January 1, 2018

The following limits apply to the total amount of Green Party of Canada donations you will make in 2018.  (If you’ve already donated, be sure you don’t exceed your allowed limit.)

Only Canadian citizens or permanent residents may make political contributions, donating up to:

$1,575 per year, to the Green Party of Canada, and another
$1,575 per year in total between your local Green Electoral District Association(s), Nomination Contestant(s) and Candidate campaigns
$3,150 total maximum allowed contribution

(Note: anything you donated to the Green Party of Ontario does not apply here.)

TAX CREDITS

All Canadians with a taxable income will receive a generous tax credit when they donate to the Green Party.
The sum of all your political contributions determines the size of your reduction in taxes payable.

Donations

between     $     0   and   $400    75% cent refund
between     $400   and   $750    $300 plus 50 per cent of any amount over $400
more than $750      gives you    $475 plus 33 1/3 per cent of any amount over $750 up to a maximum of $650 per year

If you make a $400 donation today, you’ll get a $300 tax credit when you file your income tax next year.  

Donate to your local Green Party of Canada Electoral District Association:

You can also make a matching donation to the The Green Party of Canada !


Canada Revenue Agency website has more information about tax credits.
Elections Canada website has more information about contribution limits.

Save the Basic Income Pilot Project


[republished from the KitCon Blog]

Back in 2015, 122 Ontario doctors pressed then Ontario Liberal Minister of Health Eric Hoskins to adopt Basic Income because income (or lack thereof) is a serious health issue.   The Wynne Government took its sweet time about it, and I have no doubt at all their Basic Income Pilot was intended to result in re-election.   Still, WRGreens own Stacey Danckert pointed out the last Liberal Budget provided no funding to do anything after the pilot would have ended.

During our recent provincial election campaign, the Liberal, NDP, Green, and Doug Ford’s PC Party all indicated they they would continue the Ontario Basic Income Pilot after the election.

Universal Basic Income

The idea of Universal Basic Income is actually an old one, dating back to the Fourteen Hundreds. Far from being a left wing, socialist or communist idea, the concept spans the political spectrum, no doubt in part because poverty does too. There are left (human dignity) and right (stop theft) arguments for such a system, particularly in capitalist nations like Canada that are already investing vast sums in a piecemeal social safety net that has not managed to make a dent in citizen poverty.   In Canada politicians of every political stripe have agreed we need to eliminate child poverty, and yet poverty is still with us.

Even American Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman advocated for a basic income alleviation of poverty.

"Suppose one accepts, as I do, this line of reasoning as justifying 
governmental action to alleviate poverty; to set, as it were, a floor under the 
standard of life of every person in the community."

—Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom

In his role of economic adviser to Republican President Richard Nixon, Friedman supported a negative income tax as a means of creating that floor and eliminating poverty. Had Nixon’s government not fallen in scandal, such a regime may have even been implemented in the US.

The international resurgence of interest in the idea of a Universal Basic Income gathering steam in the early 21st Century is growing fast for a host of reasons, including the collapse of manufacturing due to so called “free trade” agreements combined with the rapidly approaching decimation of the job market by ever increasing loss of human jobs through automation.

Read more about the Conservative Argument For UBI in “Four Reasons Why Conservatives And Libertarians Should Support Basic Income|Those who support limited government and free markets should support fighting poverty by giving more money to the poor” and “The Libertarian Case for a Basic Income.

All of this is why it was reasonable to take Premier Ford’s promise to continue the OLP’s Basic Income Pilot Project if his party came to power.  Whether for or against the idea, it only makes sense for any government to complete a project that has already cost the taxpayers of Ontario so much to get the data at the end of the rainbow. Any decision to take the matter further or toss it out could then be made based on facts rather than partisan rhetoric.

Sadly it seems Mr Ford prefers rhetoric. Rather than forging sound public policy in order to govern “for the people,” his new Government has opted to cancel Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot.

More than 20,000 people have signed this change.org petition asking the Ford Government to Save the Ontario Basic Income Pilot Project.  But the Ford Government isn’t listening to the people.

But all doesn’t need to be lost.

The Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction has appealed to the federal Liberal Government:

“We already have the infrastructure. They should adopt the program.”
Tom Cooper, Director, Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction

The mayors of the municipalities that have been piloting the Ontario Basic Income have likewise asked feds to take over Ontario’s basic income pilot

Federal NDP  Leader Jagmeet Singh calls on Liberals to save Ontario’s axed basic income pilot.

It isn’t exactly such a crazy idea.

The Liberal Party of Canada has a long history with Basic Income, and in fact it was Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s Government  that co-authored the 5 year Mincome Pilot in Dauphin Manitoba in the 1970’s. Unfortunately, as often happens with long term projects under short sighted FPTP voting, Mr Trudeau’s Government fell and the data from the just completed pilot project was shelved and buried, only emerging for consideration many decades later.

And lately, the Federal Liberals have been flirting with the idea of Basic Income as well.

We believe there is tremendous national value in finishing this project. Every province is grappling with how to provide a strong social safety net that allows people to lead dignified lives without creating excessive administration. We are in desperate need of preventative approaches that will reduce the burden of poverty on our health care, education, and criminal justice systems.

Elizabeth May and Mike Schreiner, Schreiner and May ask Trudeau to rescue Basic Income pilot

Instead of starting their own Basic Income project from scratch, the Justin Trudeau Liberal Government need only spend $50 million dollars to complete the Ontario Basic Income Pilot project.  That would be an incredible bargain basement price for data that would prove invaluable for making federal economic policy.

What can we do to help?

We can write our own letters to the Prime Minister and our own MP (and remember– physical letters travel postage free to the federal government.)  But we can also sign every petition… like the one just begun by our friends at The Council of Canadians:

Petition: Call on the federal government to take over Ontario’s basic income pilot project.

Every little bit helps.

 

Have a Green Thanksgiving!

Although I have issues with the colonial origins of our “Thanksgiving” tradition, the idea of expressing public thanks for that for which we are truly thankful is a good one.  It is especially easy to forget such things when so many negative things are ongoing, but to be able to continue to work for a sustainable workable future, it is important not to allow despair to prevail.  We can draw strength from reminding ourselves that there is still plenty of good in the world, and by harnessing that good, we can build the future we need for our children, and generations to follow.

In 2018 Canada, I am thankful so many of us have come to understand the necessity of adopting a proportional representation voting system, in spite of Mr. Trudeaus’s attempt to shut the idea of a truly representative democracy back in the closet, as his predecessors have done throughout Canadian history.

So I am very thankful that, instead of allowing this to happen:

  • the Provinces of BC and PEI are holding electoral reform referenda
  • the Yukon Territory has undertaken a study of electoral reform
  • a new government has been elected in Quebec after all opposition parties made a public pact to enact Proportional Representation no matter which formed new government
  • Ontario struggles under an FPTP extremist government which strips its most populous city in the country of almost half its (already) inadequate municipal representation
  • New Brunswick again suffers an electoral outcome like that which triggered its previous electoral reform process
  • Alberta looks down the barrel at the prospect of right wing populism in its already toxic atmosphere of polarization
  • Canadian provinces are pitted against each other by the federal government
  • PEI political polling suggests the PEI Greens may form the first Green led government in Canada

As an Ontarian, I don’t care who’s first but we can’t afford not to change.  Defenders Of The Status Quo fight so hard because once any jurisdiction in Canada adopts Proportional Representation and the sky doesn’t fall, the rest of us will be able to see with our own eyes that the myths they’ve frightened generations of Canadians with have always been pure misinformation.  Once that happens, the rest of the country will fall into  Proportional Representation like dominoes.  We are surely at a Proportional Representation tipping point.

Even in the unlikely event PR is staved off a little longer, at least Canadians are beginning to understand that even with our existing grotesquely inequitable voting system, we need to stop being bullied into voting ‘strategically’ for lesser evils but instead vote for what we want.

I am thankful that all five Waterloo Region Greens ranked in the top 20% of Ontario Green Party candidates in the 2018 provincial election.

I am thankful that, in spite of staggering odds against, and in the face of the Broadcast Consortium’s exclusion from the Ontario Leadership debates, Mike Schreiner made history this year by winning election as our first Ontario Greens Member of Provincial Parliament.

Bravo Mike!

WRGreens are thankful for our estimable federal and provincial representatives:
Mike Schreiner and Elizabeth May.

And so I would like to wish us all a Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at WRgreens!

Regards,
Laurel Russwurm
KitConGreens

Lower The Voting Age!

Young People in Discussion

We know that people who start voting young tend to become voters for life. By including youth in the democratic process earlier, we can take a giant step towards a healthier democracy.

It flies in the face of fairness that 16 and 17-year olds are old enough to work — and pay taxes — while not being allowed to vote for the government those taxes are funding.

Elizabeth May and the Green Party strongly believe that our youth deserve better.

click to Support Elizabeth May’s bill to lower the voting age to 16

[Reprinted from the KitConGreens blog]

Pardon Canadians Convicted for Possessing Marijuana!

Cannabis should never have been made illegal, but since it was, the Green Party supports good public policy to rectify the mistakes of the past.

GPO Leader Mike Schreiner talks about Cannabis in Kitchener

The Green Party is pleased that Canadians will soon be able to access marijuana openly and safely — free from the threat of being criminally charged.

However, many thousands of Canadians who previously smoked or possessed cannabis, but were caught by police, will remain criminals in the eyes of the law. A disproportionate number of racialized Canadians have been charged, and all those convicted face serious obstacles applying for jobs and travelling abroad.

Join us in demanding the Liberal government provide amnesty for all Canadians convicted solely on charges of marijuana possession.

click to send a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Wilson-Raybould

[Reprinted from the KitConGreens blog]

No Pipelines, Please #StopKM

If Canada is to be a Climate Leader, we need to reduce our fossil fuel production, not triple it.  #KeepItInTheGround

When Texas-based Kinder Morgan threatened to walk away from their disastrous pipeline and tanker project, the Trudeau government jumped in to buy them out with $4.5 billion of taxpayer dollars.

Canada is being sold a lemon by a bunch of billionaires from Texas, who are laughing all the way to the bank. Instead of investing in renewable energy, clean water for Indigenous peoples, and strong social programs, we’re buying a failing and risky dirty oil project.

Tell Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Bill Morneau to cancel the buyout of Trans Mountain now!

click to send a letter to PM Justin Trudeau & Minister Bill Morneau

[reprinted from the KitConGreens blog]

Earth Day was a Blast!

[republished from the KitCon blog]

David Weber (Kitchener South—Hespeler), Stacey Danckert (Kitchener-Centre) and Bob Jonkman (Kitchener—Conestoga)
David Weber (Kitchener South—Hespeler), Stacey Danckert (Kitchener-Centre) and Bob Jonkman (Kitchener—Conestoga)

This year three of our WRGreens Candidates joined GPO leader Mike Schreiner in Guelph for a spectacular Earth Day Celebration.

Joni NehRita performed on acoustic guitar

Joni NehRita opened the Earth Day Event with some of her sustainable music.


2018 Juno Award Nominated singer/songwriter Alysha Brilla

Kevin Sutton’s spoken word performance.

Mike Schreiner

David Suzuki

Listening to David Suzuki

Elizabeth May

Bob Jonkman, David Weber and Mike Schreiner


As the event drew to a close we had more music, this time from singer-songwriters Sara Harmer

…culminating in a good old fashioned sing-along.

[More photographs available on Flickr]

Elizabeth May’s midterm report for the Trudeau Administration

Unsurprisingly the big one was Mr Trudeau’s badly broken Electoral Reform promise.

Democratic deficit, the failure to restore protections to “navigable waters,” Environment policy direction, Climate Change policy, failure to live up to Reconciliation, ignoring evidence given by experts and citizens to Parliamentary Committees and National Consultations… there is much need for improvement.

“…the intangibles are re-engaging Canadians in having faith and hope and trust in a government — if you squander that you encourage cynicism and you hurt democracy in a fundamental way.”

— Elizabeth May

Mike Schreiner gets ready to turn #Guelph Green in 2018!

Elizabeth May and Mike Schreiner arrive

On Tuesday October 6th, 2017 #KitCon Greens Laurel and Bob joined the Guelph Greens to celebrate the Grand Opening of their new Office.

Deputy Leader Bonnie North (Barrie—Innisfil) joins Mike at the opening.
Kitchener Conestoga’s Bob Jonkman networks with Greens from around Ontario.
Elizabeth May joined the Guelph Greens for the Grand Opening celebration.
Elizabeth introduces Mike Schreiner
Mike says a few words (video coming)

When Greens get together there’s always plenty to talk about
Discussing Green Issues
Mike Schreiner is great to talk to
Bob (Kitchener—Conestoga), Pat (Halton), Elizabeth (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Ingrid and Ken (Brantford—Brant)

 

Mike leads!
panorama: getting ready for the group photo  [link to official GPO Group Photo]
Photographers at Work
Green Leadership in Ontario
Mike Schreiner (Green Party of Ontario Leader) and Elizabeth May (Green Party of Canada Leader)
Next time you’re in Guelph, stop by the office at 163 Suffolk and say “hi”
Those of us who navigate by landmarks can look for the
Mike For Guelph banner hanging above the storefront 🙂

[Reblogged from Kitchener Conestoga Greens]

Photo Credit
All photos © by Laurel Russwurm and released under a
Creative Commons Attribution License.

Find more photos from the Opening in the KitConGreens Flickr Album