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.”
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.
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!
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.
Prohibition focused on the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages; however, exceptions were made for medicinal and religious uses. Alcohol consumption was never illegal under federal law. Nationwide Prohibition did not begin in the United States until January 1920, when the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect. The 18th amendment was ratified in 1919, and was repealed in December, 1933, with the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment.
Not only did it not stop otherwise law abiding people from consuming alcohol, the costs — to the economy, the justice system and society — were staggering.
Although the American Prohibition against alcohol never made drinking it illegal, the same was not true of cannabis prohibition in Canada, where users could be fined and imprisoned. As the 20th century wore on, the punishments became more severe, especially as Canada (again) followed the American lead.
The war on drugs is rooted in racist policies, and it’s failure has been as obvious as Prohibition.
During the 2015 election, the NDP talked about decriminalizing cannabis, but the Liberals said that wasn’t good enough; they would take a step further and legalize it.
Sadly voters again gave too much First Past The Post power to one of the same old parties promising “real change”. For real change, you have to vote smart– and different.
Although the Justin Trudeau Government says it will legalize cannabis, its about half way through its term and they keep arresting people.
The Green Party has better policy:
4.9 Ending the war on drugs
Between 2008 and 2011, according to the Department of Justice, Canada spent $311 million targeting illicit drugs, with a majority of that money going to law enforcement. Most of that was for the ‘war’ against cannabis (marijuana). Marijuana prohibition is also prohibitively costly in other ways, including criminalizing youth and fostering organized crime. Cannabis prohibition, which has gone on for decades, has utterly failed and has not led to reduced drug use in Canada.After analyzing the recommendation of the Canadian Senate’s 2002 Special Committee on Drugs and the examples of strategies used by some European countries, the Green Party of Canada has come to the conclusion that it is time to legalize the adult use of marijuana. Furthermore, the Greens believe that drug addictions should be treated as a health problem, not as criminal offences.
Green Party MPs will:
Legalize marijuana by removing marijuana from the drug schedule;
Create a regulatory framework for the safe production of marijuana by small, independent growers;
Develop a taxation rate for marijuana similar to that of tobacco;
Establish the sale of marijuana to adults for medicinal or personal use through licensed distribution outlets;
Educate the public about the health threats of marijuana, tobacco, and other drug use;
Launch a public consultation on the decriminalization of illicit drugs, considering the current high costs of the law enforcement effort;
Provide increased funding to safe injection sites, treatment facilities, and addict rehabilitation.
On September 8 of this year, Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party of Ontario, made the following comment regarding the proposed regulations for marijuana sales:
“This looks like another Liberal plan to say a lot and do very little, supporting big corporations and political insiders over local small businesses.
Having limited retail outlets across Ontario for legal marijuana will do virtually nothing to combat the huge illegal market.
The Green Party does not support the monopolization of marijuana. The marijuana industry should be like the craft brewery industry – helping build local businesses, creating local jobs and contributing tax dollars to local communities across the province.
The GPO supports strict regulations and controls for marijuana sales. The government can license retails outlets with strict rules focused on safety and health for small businesses.
This announcement at this time is a cynical ploy by the Liberals to divert attention from their ongoing legal scandals.”
Hello WR Green Party members, supporters and friends!
There are a number of events coming up in the (very) near future.
What: GPC Policy Meeting When: Friday, 15 September 2017 from 7:00pm to 8:00pm Where: Kitchener Downtown Community Centre, 35 Weber St. W, Kitchener Map
The December SGM in Calgary tasked federal council to strike a committee of members from across the country to devise changes to how we develop policy in the party. Friday, September 15, we’re meeting in Kitchener to discuss the work of this group, and hear from you, the members, on how you feel we should proceed. (My apologies for the extremely short notice on this one! –Bob)
Every year the IPM is kicked off by a parade through the IPM grounds, and so the Green Party of Ontario attends and proudly shows its colours! The parade starts at 10:00am, we’re meeting at 9:00am in the parade assembly area. The parade takes about an hour, but there’s lots of other stuff to do!
“Beyond Crisis” is the sharing of a handcrafted story featuring over fifty voices from across the spectrum of climate engagement, with notable speakers including Dr. James Hansen, Naomi Klein, and many other thought leaders from across southern Ontario, Canada and the U.S. Meet the director Kai Reimer-Watts! (This is not a Green Party event)
Join us for an evening of discussion and networking on the theme of building peace in Kitchener-Waterloo. Program includes a panel discussion, dinner (suggested donation is $10), and a chance to speak with organizers of the various Peace and Social Justice organizations in Waterloo Region. Richard Walsh is on the discussion panel, and WR Greens will have an information table.
The five Waterloo Region provincial Constituents Associations will be having nomination meetings in the next few weeks to select candidates to run in the June 2018 provincial election. Interested in running, or meeting the nominees? Contact your local CA executives, or send a message to email@example.com to get more information.
Finally, we’re planning our (not so) regular WR Greens meeting. Help us choose a date and location at Poll: Fall 2017 Meeting
Remember, you can always see the WR Greens events on our calendar. Hope to see you at these events!
The day started out windy and overshadowed by glowering clouds and a smattering of raindrops that ended around noon, but the forecast thunderstorm never materialized at UpTown Waterloo’s Open Streets.
Sadly the Artists Alley had to be cancelled (the alley is pretty much a wind tunnel) but Open Streets UpTown Waterloo carried on.
And you know what? It was a great day that was well enjoyed by all those who came out in spite of the scary looking clouds! Throughout the day the wind kept the weather shifting, so although it was hot, it wasn’t unbearably so, and sun and cloud alternated throughout the day.
Our side event, Michele Braniff’s storytelling segment “Tales of Green” was a lot of fun. The setting ~ beside Laurel Creek ~ was perfect for Michele’s feature story, “How Much Water Does The River Need?”
It started to rain a bit through the first story, but everyone stayed to find out how it came out.
Between tales some of the audience chose to retreat in the face of rain. Those who stayed felt the odd summer sprinkle but enjoyed Michele’s other two tales immensely.
After the storytelling was over, the rain started coming down more steadily and the OpenStreets organizers decided to end the festivities an hour early. While vendors were packing up, kids on bikes got some great fun riding through the emptying Square in the warm summer rain.
The weather sure kept everyone guessing, but what I can tell you is that a good time was had by all. And of course the rain actually stopped for the day at 4pm. 😉
[And if we’re really lucky, perhaps Ontario’s Monsoon Season will be over in time for the Multicultural Festival next weekend!]
The largest barrier to electing Greens has traditionally been our unfair winner-take-all electoral system that makes people feel they need to vote strategically for other parties because they are afraid Greens can’t get elected. It’s been an ongoing Catch-22 scenario: the reason Green candidates “can’t” get elected is because too many supporters don’t vote Green because they’re afraid Green candidates can’t get elected. Fortunately that is all changing as Canadians are finally starting to realize that not only can Canadian Greens get elected, even a single Green MP can make a huge difference.
One way to do that is by getting together to discuss the things we want to do and work out strategies to make that happen. Sometimes we have planning events, sometimes social events, and sometimes organizational events. Very often they are all of the above, like last week’s excellent monthly Regional Meeting at the Queen Street Commons Cafe where four of our five Waterloo Region ridings had representation.
Everyone from long time organizers to anyone curious about what Green means in Waterloo Region is welcome to attend WRGreens Regional meetings. Come out to find out what’s coming up, to volunteer or even just to share green thoughts. We had a report from the 2017 Green Party of Ontario AGM (Annual General Meeting) and discussed plans for upcoming events– like the one coming up this Sunday!
WRGreens will again be at Uptown Waterloo’s Open Streets. The @OSWaterloo organizers have been fantastically inventive in meeting the massive challenge of LRT roadworks and keeping the awesome summer festival vibrant. This year they’ve chosen to incorporate the Uptown Waterloo trails as the “street” venues, which will be seriously awesome.
They’ve also given each of the four festival dates a theme, and the first theme for Sunday June 18th (Father’s Day) the theme is “Word.”
9:00am—12 noon Cambridge Community Clean Up: City Green Booths Open
Pick up your supplies from the City Green Booth nearest you and do your clean up when it’s convenient for you.
Cambridge City Green booth locations : 1. Holiday Inn Drive Tim Hortons parking lot
2. Galt Arena Gardens
3. St. Benedicts/Clemens Mill Library Branch
4. Victoria Park (Salisbury Ave corner of the park just before Highland Public School)
5. Monsignor Doyle Secondary School https://www.meetup.com/Cambridge-City-Green/events/237639111/
* The event is free, purchase of beer is not neccessary, and the space is wheelchair accessible. No food available for purchase but feel free to bring your own. If you have any questions, please email the organizer, Julia Gogoleva, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday May 11th, 2017
The Case for Divesting from Fossil Fuels in Canada
67 Erb St W
Waterloo, ON N2L 6C2
Divest Waterloo/CIGI to host an evening with Jeff Rubin, a world-leading energy expert and former chief economist at CIBC World Markets. As a senior fellow CIGI, Jeff has written extensively on the future of the Canadian oil sands and the financial imperative to shift our economy away from fossil fuel dependence. Jeff will be speaking at CIGI to address pension fund managers, members of the finance and insurance industries, and the general public about the financial case for divesting from fuels.
An excellent way for small parties to break through the disproportional elections barrier is by making a splash in a by-election. During a general federal election, everyone has their own riding to think about. But when there are By-elections, a grass root party like the Greens can build itself a major advantage by strengthening our network by beefing up our numbers with cross border cooperation.
Here’s the thing: if you can help get a neighbouring Green candidate elected during a by-election, it will be that much easier to get more Greens elected in 2019 ~ perhaps even the candidate in your own riding!.
For those living close by, volunteering your time, whether to:
help out at events,
hand out flyers,
knock on doors (canvass),
put up signs,
to answer phones
or whatever …
…even just a few hours here and there could make all the difference.
Attend events & debates to cheer them on!
No matter where you live, donations will help any of these candidates.
The one thing Greens are not using to the fullest is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal: social media.
Many of us are frugal about sharing things to our social media feeds because we are concerned about annoying our friends. What people don’t realize is that Facebook, Twitter etc. don’t show everything we post to all of our friends and followers.
Even if you live on the other side of the country and don’t know a soul in the candidate’s riding, liking, retweeting and sharing will help them … because the more people engage, the more the candidate’s Social Media platform will spread their posts to more of their own followers!
Do you want to see Green videos go viral? Share them!
Do you want to build a meme? Share it!
Twitter tip: a ❤ isn't as good as a Retweet.
Remember: EVERY time you share anything on Twitter or Facebook etc. you will be helping help increase the candidate’s social media reach ~ and increasing her odds of being elected! .
Do you want to elect Green candidates? Help make NOISE!
If you are not a Canadian citizen but are resident in Canada you can sign.
You do not have to be resident in Canada to sign. My Australian electoral reform friends can’t sign, but Canadian citizens resident in Australia can.
You do not have to be old enough to vote to sign.
Young people who sign this now may be lucky enough to have their votes count when they are old enough.
But signing is not enough: you need is to confirm your valid email address before your signature will be added.
Our hope is to get the petition signature number as high as possible. 300,000 (about what the mydemocracy survey got) would be amazing.
I understand 240,000 would be fabulous, as that is 1% of Canadian voters.
The 122,981 signatures we have already are amazing.
This is the very first Parliamentary e-petition to top 100,000 signatures. That is the magic number that is supposed to trigger a Parliamentary debate.
The e-411 (Islam) petition only managed 69,742 signatures, and it resulted in Mr. Mulcair’s unanimously accepted Parliamentary Motion on October 6, 2016 as well as Ms. Khalid’s Motion 103 which resulted in HoC debate.
The higher we can get this number, the better. Read more about the petition here:
If you can share with your social network, that would be awesome.
And Green voters should sign, because we need Proportional Representation to have any hope of properly addressing Climate Change. The reason this issue is so important is that this is the foundation that must be laid for pretty much every issue Canadians face. Without fair representation we might as well not have democracy at all.
If every Canadian who voted Green in 2015 signed this petition, Greens alone could generate upwards of 600,000 signatures.