Note that this is not a Green Party event, although Green Party members are encouraged to attend
Earth is in crisis, but there is much we can and should do. How can we work with nature to heal the wounds we’ve inflicted?
A handful of leading-edge thinkers will be presenting their solutions at a public forum. All speakers have been involved in research and practices that contribute to the reversal of greenhouse gas emissions through natural agricultural approaches and tree-planting to restore land, and from environmental activists who see the need to encourage any and all methods to draw down existing carbon that will complement the technological methods of preventing future emissions.
This event will honour Michael Purves-Smith, who initiated the project, but did not live to see it take place. Michael’s goal was to raise awareness in Waterloo Region of the urgency for a holistic solution to the crisis of the biosphere.
Partnering With Nature To Heal The Biosphere
Welcome and IntroductionJohn Jackson
Start Susan Bryant and Shannon Purves-Smith
4 per 1000 Initiative Jodi Koberinski
Climate Smart Food Lloyd Helferty
Soil, Organic Matter, Decomposition Dr. Paul Voroney, University of Guelph
Q & A with panel
Population, Importance of Educating Women Shannon Purves-Smith
Restoring Nature, Restoring Ourselves Martin Tamlyn, Ignatius Centre
Nature Bonds and Transforming Taxation Niara van Gaalen
Join us for the KW premiere of Directly Affected: A Pipeline under Pressure, a film that details the known risks posed by the expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline–risks to people and our planet. Following the film, Chief Myeengun Henry (Chippewas of the Thames) and Dr. Angela Carter (BSIA Fellow and Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at UW) will reflect on the film and lead a discussion about the Canadian government’s buyout of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline and tanker project. Members of Parliament from Kitchener and Waterloo will be invited to attend the town-hall and participate in the discussion. Join us for an engaging film, great food and an important conversation! Door open at 5:45 p.m.
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!
Snack on delicious desserts and enjoy fantastic live music with Madison Galloway and check out the live auction with Nick Maidment. You’ll also have an opportunity to meet special guest Dr. Poh-Gek Forkert, a researcher and toxicologist who’s published more than eighty papers and book chapters on the metabolism of toxic chemicals. Her most recent work was on the Paris Pit case with the Concerned Citizens of Brant (CCOB). She’ll also talk about her new book Fighting Dirty: How a Small Community Took on Big Trash, the story of one small group of farmers, small-town residents, and Indigenous people who took on the world’s largest waste disposal company to stop them from expanding a local dumpsite into a massive land fill.
“It struck me early on, though, that for all their deep roots in this land, community members didn’t have a voice in decisions about how that land was to be used. As a scientist, I was trained to be dispassionate, objective, logical, rational—and none of that changed. But for the first time in my personal life, I joined forces with a community of people as they fought to avert environmental catastrophe.”
— Dr. Poh-Gek Forkert
If you’ve already got your copy of “Fighting Dirty,” bring it along so Dr. Forkert can sign it; but if you haven’t, I expect you’ll be able to pick up a copy on Saturday.
Brantford-Brant Greens, the Grand River Environmental Network, OPAL Alliance and others have partnered with the CCOB in sharing our concern for this fragile watershed and supporting the precautionary measures that must be taken to protect our water.
Celebrate Our Waters: A Family Event, Book Launch and Fundraiser Saturday, November 18the, 2017 2-5pm St. Paul’s United Church 48 Broadway Street West, Paris, Ontario, N3L 2S5
The Green Party doesn’t have a massive “war chest.” We don’t have corporate or union donors and the big advertising budgets they bring.
Our strength is in our grass roots… ordinary Canadians who think green thoughts. People who want a greener future. Not just for us, but for our kids. And posterity.
What we do have is ideas. Ideas worked out by members. Ideas expressed in policy, blogs, and multimedia. Because the Green Party doesn’t have big advertising budgets, it is very hard to get green ideas reported in Main Stream Media (MSM).
But we can get our ideas out there— if we work together.
You can help these ideas take root and grow by sharing them with your social media network.
Some people hesitate about sharing links to articles & videos. We worry that talking about politics online will alienate our family and friends. Let’s face it: we all have family and friends with different ideas. Some support other parties, and certainly many — probably even most — don’t support any party or even consider themselves political.
The Internet is still new enough that it’s easy to forget the reason it exists is to make it easy to exchange information.
Social Media is for sharing our interests with our family and friends. Maybe you’re a Green Party member, supporter, or even voter. But maybe you’re not, maybe you don’t like the Green Party candidate in your riding, maybe you don’t agree with everything in Green Party policy. But chances are good that anyone reading this is interested in at least some green ideas.
If we each share one green idea, article, or video on social media each day, we aren’t likely to alienate anyone. Especially as Facebook and Twitter have taken to limiting which of our posts our friends and family actually see. The beauty of social media sharing is that there is no need to argue or try to convert anyone. By sharing articles that resonate with us, we’re giving our friends and family an opportunity to learn what’s important to us — very often information they won’t see in the MSM. If they aren’t interested, they won’t read that article or watch that video. But maybe they will.
Even if they just skip over that Tweet or Facebook post, the fact you’ve shared it increases how far Twitter or Facebook will share. Even if our family and friends don’t read our blog articles, or look at our videos, or look at our graphics, you’ll help WRGreens increase our “Google juice” just by sharing.
Especially in a world where the first official act of the new American president was to take down the American Government Climate Change page, it becomes more and more evident we can no longer afford a way of life that puts corporate interests ahead of the public interest. We can’t put profits ahead of clean air and fresh water. So please, help us make social media work for us.
We honour and value equally the Earth’s biological and ecological diversity together with the context of individual responsibility toward all beings.
In Calgary this past week the Green Party of Canada took a principled stand for human rights, demonstrating our respect for people in Canada and around the world.
S16-P013 Measures to pressure the government of Israel to preserve the two-state solution: addendum to current Middle East policy
Canada’s friendship with Israel does not mean we should avert our eyes from the human rights abuses Israel continues to visit upon its captive indigenous population. The Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) has been under martial law for decades. The Government of Israel’s continuing policy of appropriating land for settlements from what little land is left in Palestinian hands has been deplored around the world, not only because it is an egregious violation of International Law, but, as the United States has pointed out, this active colonialism undermines any hope for peace.
If the Green Party of Canada is to live up to the promise of our core values of non-violence, diversity and social justice, we must hold every country — including and perhaps especially our friends — accountable to International Law. The sad truth is that Canada has failed to do what our government’s own policy says it will.
Thankfully the Green Party has stepped up to the plate, with the adoption of enhanced foreign policy that will give the growing number of Canadians who want peace in the Middle East a voice in Parliament. At the SGM, we revisited the Israel-Palestine policy adopted in August to address perceived problems in the original resolution. At the Calgary SGM, the new Consensus Resolution put forward by the GPC Shadow Cabinet was adopted by 84.35% of the plenary. GPC members who weren’t able to attend can watch the livestream on the Party Website.
You can also listen to Dimiti Lascaris (the original resolution’s mover) being interviewed on Vancouver’s Co-Op Radio. Dimitri explains this past weekend’s adoption of a suite of policies defending the rights of indigenous peoples in Canada and Palestine establishes the Green Party of Canada as the champion of human rights in Canada’s Parliament. (His interview begins at 19:52 of the podcast.)
Canada is not the only member of the International Community to be reconsidering Middle East policy. I found the following quotation from Australian MP Adam Bandt to be particularly apt.
“There is no point in being friends with governments if you do not use that supposed friendship to stand up to them when they do the wrong thing—to say, ‘You need to act on what is clearly an egregious abuse of human rights.’ Otherwise, if you do not stand up to governments when they do that, you become complicit in it. The standard that you walk past is the standard that you accept. That means that the Australian government has now been put on notice. It has taken action in the past, and it is time that it renewed that action so that we address what is clearly an unlawful but also immoral abuse of children.”
— The Honourable Adam Bandt, Australian MP, (Green) Nov. 21, 2016
Truth and Reconciliation
As Canada embarks upon our own road to Truth and Reconciliation, we need to do what we can to promote active solutions. For the GPC that process began with the adoption of this suite of Canadian Indigenous Peoples’ rights policy, including rejection of the odious “Doctrine of Discovery.”
S16-P001 Implement Recommendations from the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples Report, 1996
Policy Resolution Submitted by Lorraine Rekmans
BE IT RESOLVED That the Green Party of Canada urge the Government of Canada implement the recommendations made by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.
S16-P002 Rebuilding and Recognition of Original Indigenous Nations
Policy Resolution Submitted by Lorraine Rekmans
BE IT RESOLVED that the Green Party of Canada urge the Government of Canada to implement, support and resource measures to advance Indigenous nation building where Indigenous peoples develop and implement their own strategies for rebuilding Indigenous nations and measures to reclaim Indigenous nationhood, including;
(a) cultural revitalization and healing processes; and,
(b) political processes for building consensus on the basic composition of the Aboriginal nation and their political structures; and,
(c) processes undertaken by individual communities and by groups of communities that may share Indigenous nationhood.
S16-P003 Support Indigenous Women
Policy Resolution Submitted by Lorraine Rekmans
BE IT RESOLVED that the Green Party of Canada urges the Government of Canada to work in partnership with Indigenous women and fund such programs and services that ensure poverty amongst Indigenous women is eliminated.
S16-P004 Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery
Policy Resolution Submitted by Lorraine Rekmans
BE IT RESOLVED that the Green Party of Canada renounces and repudiates the Doctrine of Discovery and calls on the Government of Canada to repudiate and renounce the Doctrine of Discovery.
S16-P005 Indigenous Peoples’ Health Care in Canada
Policy Resolution Submitted by Lorraine Rekmans
BE IT RESOLVED that The Green Party calls upon the Government of Canada to engage Indigenous Peoples of Canada in the negotiation and implementation of the next federal/provincial /territorial Health Accord;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The Green Party calls upon the Government of Canada to establish measurable goals and identify and close gaps in health outcomes for Indigenous people by implementing the recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The Green Party calls upon the Government of Canada to ensure that Health Care services for Aboriginal people in Canada meet or exceed the standards set for all Canadians;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Green Party calls on the Government of Canada to provide federal funding to Indigenous healing centres.
Former Green Party Deputy Leader and current Councillor of the City of Vancouver, Adriane Carr submitted an emergency resolution to Green Party SGM regarding the recent ill advised Kinder Morgan decision.
The Green Party has been clear about pipelines: the only hope of effective climate change policy starts with keeping it in the ground. In spite of our new Liberal Government’s COP 21 commitment in Paris, Canadians have been seeing a disconnect between words and actions. Instead of the promised NEB reformation, the current government has left the flawed process in place, and insupportable pipelines are being approved same as always.
S16-P020 is the Husky Oil Spill resolution, intended to raise public awareness of the effects of the July 20 2016 oil spill in Saskatchewan, calling on Saskatchewan to review its environmental assessment rules and ensure there are adequate pipeline inspections
Elizabeth gave a report on the Electoral Reform process to the plenary on Saturday (I’m hoping to post video on the WRGreens YouTube channel).
In order to fulfil their mandate, the MPs representing four of the five parties in Parliament and on the ERRE Committee came together to form consensus. This required both Green and NDP Committee members to soften the stance of their respective parties and accept the notion of a referendum. (Incredibly, the Liberals who promised to make every vote count dissented, as the party is now frantically back pedalling on their own promise while the other four parties fight for it.) You can read/download the PDF the full final ERRE Committe report for yourself here.
On Sunday morning there was an Electoral Reform workshop, featuring PEI Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker, who has recently having his own adventures with Electoral Reform. The workshops resulted in three new resolutions that were adopted at the SGM (but still in need of ratification — don’t forget to vote!)
Members of the SGM Electoral Reform workshop decided to amend party policy as follows, with three new resolutions that frame the GPC policy to allow Elizabeth more leeway in Electoral Reform negotiations on our behalf.
Be it resolved that the Green Party of Canada’s position regarding referenda on electoral reform is:
That the Green Party of Canada supports conducting a referendum on electoral reform with options of proportional systems with a Gallagher index of 5 or less, as presented by the Special Parliamentary committee on Electoral Reform, but only
1) if the referendum presents only proportional voting options;
2) after at least two consecutive elections using a proportional voting system.
To more effectively lobby for meaningful electoral reform at this critical juncture, it was decided the Green Party should explicitly back a single specific form of Proportional Representation. Among other things it will make it easier to explain this important issue the majority of Canadians who are just now learning about PR when we only have one system to explain. Although the GPC has expressed a preference in this resolution, the language of the resolution was careful not to close the door to support of any other suitable Proportional System with a Gallagher Index of 5 or less.
S16-D018 Preferred Voting Model
BE IT RESOLVED that the Green Party of Canada supports mixed member proportional representation as its preferred method for achieving equal and effective votes.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Green Party of Canada will remain open to other proportional representation options with a Gallagher index of 5 or less, as presented by the Special Parliamentary committee on Electoral Reform
The third electoral reform resolution empowers the party to keep working hard for electoral reform at this critical juncture.
S16-D019 GPC Task Force
BE IT RESOLVED that the Green Party of Canada create a task force that will liaise and work with the Party Leader and the Shadow Cabinet to focus on promoting electoral reform within Canada.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Green Party of Canada will direct resources and funding toward educating the public on the GPC’s electoral reform priorities
Whose Democracy Is It?
The Liberal Government has sent postcards to every Canadian household (at great expense), completely ignoring the work of its own ERRE Process in which Canadians are asked to complete a deeply problematic survey which requires participants to sacrifice an unreasonable amount of personal privacy in order to have our input included. The Government’s own website gives a little background, and then redirects us to the corporate website of the marketing firm we are expected to share such personal information as our household income. This is supposed to be okay, because we are not required to tell them our name. Except the personally identifiable information we are required to share is sufficient for Vox Pop Labs to ensure the answers made by multiple people completing the survey at the same address are distinct individuals (indicating the personal data we are required to surrender is far more invasive than simply giving our names would be.
At the GPC SGM there was talk of Operation Postcard parties throughout the festive season, and to make the process easier, Bonnie North was instrumental in helping develop the tools to make participation easier.
Fair Vote Canada had also set up a website intended to help Canadians navigate the convoluted survey at mycanadiandemocracy.ca/
The negatives attached to the mydemocracy.ca online survey make it difficult to recommend that Canadians engage in the Government’s dubious exercise, particularly in light of concern the aim of the survey is to provide justification to back away from meaningful reform.
Which is why I was ecstatic to discover there are other ingenious ways to send an emphatic message. I was particularly taken with this clever idea of what we can do with our government postcards:
There are many variations on this theme, some of which can be found under the Twitter #OperationPostcard hashtag. But since only a single postcard is being sent to each Canadian household, those of in homes with more than one citizen are limited to a single opportunity to express a preference with the postcard. But fear not! If there are more people in your household who would like to offer an opinion, or even if you haven’t received your postcard yet in the mail, the Green Party provides an opportunity to print your own copy of the postcard at home here.
The Real Questions
Because the government survey fails on so many levels, the Green Party has put together its own straight forward survey to allow Canadians to answer The Real Questions. It’s packaged in an online tool so we can send to our own responses ~ along with am optional personalized message ~ direct to Maryam Monsef, The Minister of Democratic Institutions and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. I sincerely hope every Canadian takes this opportunity to make our preferences known to the government. You don’t even have to be a GPC member or even a supporter to fill this survey out… it’s being offered as a public service.
The most fun to come out of the electoral reform workshop was this parody song, “All I Want For Chrisrtmas Is PR,” performed here by the GPC SGM Plenary.
In the past, all Green Party Policy resolutions passed at Convention were ratified by the entire membership in an online vote. SGM 2016 has restored this practice, and so all GPC members should be in receipt of email instructions on how to vote to ratify the resolutions. All GPC members across Canada should have received an email on December 7th, 2017 which contains information and our voting credentials.
If you haven’t received your, please contact the GPC immediately. Don’t forget to vote!
The above links only work if you sign into the GPC website (they’re in the secure members area). I’ve included them as I found it helpful to be able to refer to the texts to know what I was voting on. There didn’t seem to be a way to do that from within the voting app.
“I am very happy that all the motions being sent out for ratification were the products of a consensus-seeking process. Many were unanimous. Those that moved to a vote were passed overwhelmingly. I support all of them.”
— Elizabeth May, “What happened in our Calgary meeting”
All GPC members can (and should) participate in the ratification vote. You can vote until February 6th, 2017. Don’t leave it until the last minute! Remember your membership must be in good standing at least 30 days prior to the end of voting, so if you’ve allowed yours to lapse, get it caught up before January 6th, 2017.
(And while you’re at it, this would be a good time to make a donation to the GPC ~ and don’t forget the GPO 🙂
Do you know a $400 GPC donation will give you a $300 tax refund? Money spent on membership and at least some of the cost associated with AGM and SGM attendance is eligible. Remember to stay within annual donation limits for political donations. Hmm…sounds like we should have a dedicated article about these rules for federal and provincial parties here.
Justin Trudeau wants to tax carbon to impact climate change.
The Problem: Canada isn’t producing enough to make an impact. Sign The Petition!
Click “Sign Up” to sign a petition to demand Trudeau Stop the Implementation of a carbon tax.
I was curious to see what the Petition actually said, so I did click on the link.
If you do the math, we’re emitting at a level 3 times greater than the average of the rest of the world.
If you take into consideration that emissions stay in our atmosphere for millennia, the 1.65% number isn’t even close to what our contribution has been toward climate change. It will take a world war mobilization type effort to avert runaway climate change.
I don’t agree with a cap and trade system, and believe that the generous subsidies that we provide for the fossil fuel industry should be eliminated as well, but a price on carbon will be required to get the masses out of their emissions comfort zones. The tax amounts to 2 cents a litre in the first year and only 11 cents in the last year. We seem to have been able to handle those kinds of increases in the past without substantial hardship. You will be affected far less if you reduce your emissions, that’s what the tax is intended to do. Or is it easier to throw others (who are geographically and financially more vulnerable) under the bus? The mindset that got us into this mess, certainly won’t get us out of it. It’s time to move away from the use of fossil fuels – if we do that – there will be no burden from the tax.
When the largest collective scientific effort in human history tells us that we clearly need to be shifting away from fossil fuels as rapidly as possible, the best the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has to offer is the equivalent of my college roommates letting the dirty dishes pile up in hopes that someone else will wash them first.
Let’s look at the numbers to see how well the “we’re such a small part of the problem that we’re not worth bothering with” argument stands up to logic. Canada is the 8th largest emitter in the world, and has contributed more to combined historical emissions than all but seven other nations. With less than half of one percent of the global population, Canada emits 1.67% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Canada has 0.475% of the world’s population. That means that of total current global emissions, Canada takes up 3.52 times our fair share of a number that is collectively far too large to begin with. That number is also clearly artificially low because the way it is calculated leaves out a number of glaringly obvious considerations. In any honest assessment we also bear responsibility for emissions from factories that were offshored in order to slash wages but that are still producing products exclusively for sale in North American markets, because that’s our stuff and therefore clearly our responsibility. Canada is also responsible for the emissions resulting from burning the roughly 5% of global fossil fuel exports that come from us. So we’re emitting several times more than our fair share. Any argument that Canada should not act is, by definition, irresponsible.
If we look at a more honest per capita measurement, we can see that the average Canadian is causing more than twice as much harm to the planet than the average Chinese citizen (typically the first direction fingers are pointed). China has increased the strength of its climate commitments aggressively several times in recent years. China is also well on its way to meeting or even exceeding its targets. Canada, on the other hand, not only has spectacularly weak emissions targets compared to the other industrialized nations, we are in no way even going to come close to meeting those targets. Here’s another comparison: China is investing 1% of its per capita income into renewable energy. Canada is investing 0.19% instead, making less than one fifth as much effort to move away from fossil fuel use.
Finally, there is a level of absurdity about overseas finger pointing. I don’t have the opportunity to lobby the governments of Saudi Arabia or China to change their oil policies, but even if they do the right thing and stop producing oil, our continuing to do so willy nilly would still be roasting our loved ones. Canadians do have the ability as well as the responsibility to impact emissions here at home.
Caterina Lindman represented the Citizen’s Climate Lobby at the Waterloo Region Climate Consulation at Kitchener City Hall in August. CCL is a strong advocate for the Fee and Dividend carbon tax; which is why one of the things she spoke about was the CCL recommendation to begin with a $30 per tonne carbon tax in 2018, with annual increases of $10 per year.
Earlier this month the Canadian Government announced its plan to implement a Carbon tax.
“It will start at $10 per tonne and increase by $10 each year, up to $50 a tonne by 2022. Trudeau added that the tax will be revenue neutral for the federal government. Proceeds from the tax will be returned to the provinces where they were collected.
“Trudeau said that details regarding implementation will largely be left up to the provinces. Each jurisdiction should decide on whether they want a cap-and-trade system (the sort of scheme favoured by the Obama administration) or a direct price on greenhouse-gas emissions (like with B.C.’s system for taxing air pollution).”
You can’t, however, say the same about fossil fuel pipelines.
Credits Explainer video and Fee & Dividend Infographic by Citizen’s Climate Lobby
Energy East Pipeline and Caterina Lindman photos by Laurel Russwurm, released under a Creative Commons Attribution License
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.
Today 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.