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

NEW!! People, Politics and Planet Podcast

WRGreens Meetup: Kitchener Centre Candidate Stacey Danckert and Teresa Cornwell host GPC Deputy Leader Jo-Ann Roberts and GPO orrganizer Maureen Balsillie at our DTK Office

@JoAnnRobertsYYJ’s has just unveiled her new “People Politics and the Planet” GPC Podcast!

In this era of knee-jerk partisanship and decision-based evidence making, the currency of actual ideas has become sadly devalued in Canadian politics. Veteran broadcaster (and Green Party Deputy Leader) Jo-Ann Roberts is changing all that with the new podcast *People, Politics and Planet*, a wide-ranging audio journey through some fascinating political terrain where you’ll meet some of the country’s most thought-provoking policy innovators.

Sure, they mostly lean towards Green — but, as Jo-Ann finds out, that’s where the all interesting stuff is happening.

Find it on itunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/people-politics-and-planet/id1437188430?mt=2

or download it directly from the Green Party of Canada website at
https://www.greenparty.ca/en/podcast
Don’t forget to subscribe for new episodes!

The podcast subscription feed URL is not easily found; add this link to your favourite podcatcher:

Podcast icon https://rss.simplecast.com/podcasts/7692/rss


Photo Credit
Jo-Ann Roberts meets WRGreens © by Laurel L. Russswurm and released under a Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike 2.0 Generic License

People, Politics and Planet with Jo-Ann Roberts is a Green Party of Canada podcast.

GPC Convention 2018

Among an incredible lineup of Green headliners from across Canada and around the word we have the brilliant Caroline Lucas, the UK MP for Brighton Pavilion who holds the distinction of being the first Green Party candidate in the world to be elected under the odious First-Past-The-Post, proving it was possible to break the glass ceiling.

For those of us unable to attend the 2018 Green Party of Canada Convention in BC, we can watch the the high points being streamed online via the GPC Facebook Page.  You can also follow the Convention on Twitter at #greenconv18

If you’ve missed them, catch the recordings here:

Friday September 28th, 2018

Friday Night’s brilliant Lineup of speakers can be seen here:
https://www.facebook.com/GreenPartyofCanada/videos/2902323799793027/

Saturday September 29th, 2018

Saturday Morning’s Program headlining the brilliant Caroline Lucas
(and many more goodies) can be seen here:
https://www.facebook.com/GreenPartyofCanada/videos/1825623187581859/

Saturday Night: Elizabeth May Delivers the Keynote Address
https://www.facebook.com/GreenPartyofCanada/videos/280310239251749/


Note: you don’t need to be logged into Facebook to watch these.

I will add links to additional videos as they become available.


Photo Credit: Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party
© by http://underclassrising.net/ and released under a Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike 2.0 Generic License

WRGreens at Kultrún World Music Festival


This year we’re looking forward to having our very first Waterloo Region Greens information booth at KULTRÚN.

The local World Music festival created by Neruda Arts began in Waterloo Square but quickly outgrew the space so they moved to Victoria Park.  Kultrún always has a stunning mix of great music from around the world.  (That’s where I became a fan of the Jerry Cans last year).  Victoria Park has room for two full size stages, one by the Clocktower and the other down by the water. This lets them squeeze in even more music, with stage crews setting up one stage while the music flows on the other. It also keeps the audience moving back and forth, handy for an event dubbed “KW’s largest outdoor dance party.”

The Festival actually begins with a special Friday Afternoon event at 2:00pm
The Conversation: The Condor and The Eagle Prophecy at Open Sesame
Although this event is free, space is limited, so you must register.

The 8pm, Friday July 13th, 2018
GALA: Morena Son from Cuba, Aurora & Mateo and Dj Fosforita
at The MUSEUM on Friday Night.
[The only Kultrún event with an admission fee.  Advance tickets: $45.00; Table of 10 $400.00]

Saturday July 14th

  • 12:00pm DJ Fosforita (Toronto/Ecuador)
  •   2:00pm Grupo Yautepec (Mexico)
  •   3:00pm Subhira Quartet (Chile)
  •   4:00pm Briga (Montreal/Poland)
  •   5:00pm Maracatu Mar Abeto (Toronto/Brazil)
  •   6:00pm Jeong ga ak hoe (Korea)
  •   7:00pm Eliana Cuevas (Venezuela)
  •   8:00pm Morena Son (Cuba)
  •   9:00pm Four Corners of the World
  •   9:45pm Afrikana Soul Sister (Montreal/Mali)

Sunday July 15th, 2018

  • 1:00pm Cara Loft (First Nations)
  • 2:00pm White Pine Dancers (First Nations)
  • 3:00pm Beatriz Pichi Malen (Indigenous Mapuche)
  • 4:00pm Cascabel (Toronto/Cuba/Mexico/Venezuela)
  • 5:00pm OKAN (Toronto/Cuba)
  • 6:00pm Aurora (Spain)
  • 7:00pm Alysha Brilla (Canada/Tanzania)
  • 8:00pm Colectro  (Colombia)

Victoria Park, Kitchener (MAP)

Pictured on my mini poster are Eliana Cuevas from the 2014 Jazz Festival and Alysha Brilla performing at this year’s Multicultural Festival.  If you haven’t yet been, here’s a taste of what’s in store for you this year:

Hope to see you at Kultrún!


For more information visit the Kultrún website

[republished from the KitConGreens blog]

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]

51st annual K-W Multicultural Festival

Experience the Richness of Waterloo Region's Cultural Matrix | The 51st annual K-W Multicultural Festival - Drop by the WRGreens Booth! - Victoria Park Kitchener - Saturday June 23, Sunday June 24, 2018, 12-8pm - Saturday 7pm: Alysha Brilla and the Brilltones | Afro-Tribal Dancers * Arta- The Romanian Association * COCCC Lion Dance Group * Ensemble Topaz * Filcan Association Of KW * Freedubstar * Gerima Harvey * Grand River Chinese School * Hopa-Tropa, E-Ha-Ha! * Infinite Harmonix * Intensely Irish * Junior Folk Dance Team Of KW Chinese School * Kitchener Musical Band Society * Kw Royal Scottish Country Dance Society * Limelight Dance Crew * Maria Wu Music Education Centre * Martisor * Najda Now Dabke Group * Nepalese Canadian Association Of Waterloo Region * Notbadniks * Rozmaj Ukrainian Dancing * Ruben And Friends * Sakhi Group * Shreya Prasad And Fizaa Luthra * Sombrero Azul, Danzas Y Culturas * Sri Abiramy Dance Academy * Starlite Steelband * Strathyre Highland Dancers * The Imbayakunas * University Of Waterloo Indian Cultural Association (UWICA) * VJ Inamdar * Zespol Goralskie Harnasie

Saturday June 23 & Sunday June 24 Noon – 8pm

Come out to Victoria Park in Kitchener next weekend and soak up a wide assortment of traditional music and dance,

Afro-Tribal Dancers * Arta- The Romanian Association * COCCC Lion Dance Group * Ensemble Topaz * Filcan Association Of KW *  Freedubstar * Gerima Harvey * Grand River Chinese School  * Hopa-Tropa, E-Ha-Ha! *  Infinite Harmonix * Intensely Irish * Junior Folk Dance Team Of KW Chinese School * Kitchener Musical Band Society * Kw Royal Scottish Country Dance Society * Limelight Dance Crew * Maria Wu Music Education Centre * Martisor * Najda Now Dabke Group * Nepalese Canadian Association Of Waterloo Region * Notbadniks * Rozmaj Ukrainian Dancing * Ruben And Friends * Sakhi Group * Shreya Prasad And Fizaa Luthra * Sombrero Azul, Danzas Y Culturas * Sri Abiramy Dance Academy * Starlite Steelband * Strathyre Highland Dancers * The Imbayakunas * University Of Waterloo Indian Cultural Association (UWICA) * VJ Inamdar * Zespol Goralskie Harnasie

check out the artisans and awesome vendors

7 Rutas * African Craft & Jewelry * Anmol Fashion Inc * Asiri’s Treasures * Beads Plu$ Accessories (Gift Heaven) * Blue Dream- Tie Dye Girl *  El Tambache * Fashionable Jewels * Feng’s Creations * Goodview Fashion * Haven Furnishings Ltd. * Henna By Mehdiya * Henna4You * J&T Shades * Jawara Import * Kamila’s Amber * K-W Flags * Los Mayas * Mama Mombasa * Maya Collection * Origins * Portrait For You * Sumak Arts * Tibetan Arts * Treasure Of Tibet

wander through information booths that run the gamut from the arts through philosophy, spirituality, self help, community service, politics and social justice

artist george abraham * City of Kitchener – 2018 Artist in Residence: Sumaira Tazeen * Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region * Waterloo Central Railway * Amnesty International Group 9 * Assaulted Women’s Helpline * Bring on the Sunshine * Buddhist Light Internation Association – Waterloo Subchapter * Casa Relief International * Dianetics Foundation *Cameron Cultural Association of Kitchener-Waterloo(CCAKW) * Canadian Blood Services * Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington * Carizon Family and Community Services * VRTUCAR * Community Support Connections – Meals on Wheels and More * Conestoga College LINC * Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region * FairVoteCanada -Waterloo Region * Interfaith Grand River * Kitchener Public Library * Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery * KW Chapter, Council of Canadians * KW Counselling Services * LINK Picnic Festival * Living Wage Waterloo Region * Lotus Meditation * Save on Energy (IESO) * Shatitsirotha Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre * Society of Ontario Freethinkers * Solidarity Alliance * SPECTRUM – Waterloo Region’s Rainbow Community Space * The AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Area ( ACCKWA) * The Spinal Garage Wellness Centre * Waterloo Public Library * YMCA * Kitchener Centre Conservative E.D.A. * Kitchener Centre Federal Liberal Association * Waterloo Region Green Party * BFM Foundation * Calvary en Espanol * Scientology Volunteer Minister * Christian Arabic Church of Kitchener * Evangel Community Ministries/ Bibles Blessings and Prayer * Falun Dafa Association of Waterloo Region * Gayatri Pariwar Western Ontario * Infinite Light Amitabha Organization of Canada * Islamic Information Center of University of Waterloo (IICUW) * St. Mary Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church

and of course don’t forget to sample glorious food from around the world at the annual Multicultural Festival.

The Saturday Night concert features three time Juno nominated Canadian musician with Indo-Tanzanian and European roots.
ALYSHA BRILLA & THE BRILLTONES 
SATURDAY JUNE 23, 7PM

Sunday afternoon check out the folkie-country
JESSIE T
SUNDAY JUNE 24, 4PM
and the HipHop
SUNDAY JUNE 24, 7PM
For more information visit the K-W Multicultural Festival website 

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

Don’t Let The Sun Set on Canada’s PEARL

Sunset at the Canadian Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL)
© by Dan Weaver, used with permission

Five years ago the 39% “majority” Harper Government wanted to close Canada’s Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) of the Arctic.

But it didn’t.

Waterloo Region “Stand Up For Science” Rally at Carl Zehr Square (2012)

Even so, the Canadian science community breathed a collective sigh of relief when the 2015 election replaced the Harper Government’s 39% “majority” with a Justin Trudeau 39% “majority” that promised “evidence based policy.”

But it seems that Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Government— like Stephen Harper’s before it, intends to close Pearl.  There was no press release or discussion, PEARL was simply ignored in the budget.  No funds are forthcoming. The important program is finished without funding, if it shuts down science will no longer be done there.

Why would this ostensibly pro-science government chosen to shut down the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL)?  This is a serious problem.

The Green Party of Canada released the following statement regarding the planned closure to Canada’s high Arctic research station:

The last time this vital research station on Ellesmere Island was threatened with closure was in 2012, during the infamous anti-science Harper years, which also featured the muzzling of scientists on the government payroll,” said Richard Zurawski, GPC Climate Change Critic.

“I am not surprised PEARL is on the chopping block again. The Liberals say a lot of nice things – mouthing all the proper words at the right time, projecting a pro-science and research campaign – while simultaneously choking off funding and giving vested fossil fuel interests a free hand,” Mr. Zurawksi said.

GPC Leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands)

Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands), said: “The Arctic recorded its eighth lowest summer ice extent, along with the lowest winter extent this year, and ocean levels are rising at their fastest levels on record, which threatens low-lying coastal cities.

“Why would a government, supposedly so committed to science, climate change and international collaboration, allow this research station to be closed? I wish I had an answer. Without research, we will not discover answers. And without answers, we cannot take educated, informed action on climate change,” Ms. May said.

But it’s not too late to save PEARL … and Canadian atmospheric climate science!

Sign the Evidence for Democracy Petition in asking the government to:

  • Invest $1.5 million per year to make PEARL a national laboratory

  • Provide a well supported and stable funding environment for climate research in Canada by reinstating a funding model for climate science similar to the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences (CFCAS) that was cut by the Harper government.

Canadian Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) © by Dan Weaver, used with permission

Find out more at Evidence For Democracy

Read the CREATE Arctic Science blog

Image Credits
Sunset at the Canadian Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) and the photograph used in the Sign The Petition Save Pearl graphic are both © by Dan Weaver, and used with permission

Stand Up for Science and GPC Leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands) photos © by Laurel L. Russwurm are released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) License