Here’s a sampling of things for Waterloo Region Greens to do in Earth Month and beyond. (I’ll update the calendar later tonight)
Tuesday, April 18th, 2017
Michael Harris MPP Town Hall
Breslau Community Centre,
100 Andover Drive, Breslau
U of W Sustainability lecture at Kitchener Public Library
KPL Central Branch,
85 Queen St N, Kitchener, Ontario
Canada N2H 2H1
Thursday, April 20th, 2017
Energize: Sustainable City Challenge
Sustainability Challenge at UofW
200 University Avenue West
Canada N2L 3G1
Special screening of the documentary COWSPIRACY & Talk
Kitchener Public Library, Central Branch
85 Queen Street North, Kitchener
Divest Waterloo/Citizens’ Climate Lobby Waterloo Region/Food Not Bombs/Climate Vegan
View map of library location
Bus Routes # 8 University – Fairview Park (View Route Map)
Please Register at EventBrite. This a FREE event but seating is limited
Friday April 21, 2017
WRGreens Meet & Greet with Provincial Leader Mike Schreiner
Saturday April 22nd, 2017 ~ EARTH DAY #EarthDay
Woolwich Community Clean Up
Please contact Ann for a location near you. firstname.lastname@example.org or 519 669-6027
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
March For Science
75 King Street South, Waterloo ON
Saturday April 29th, 2017
People’s Climate March Ottawa
Confederation Park• Laurier Ave W & Elgin St, Ottawa, Canada K1P 5J2
Tuesday May 2nd, 2017
Waterloo Green Party of Canada EDA AGM
TWB Cooperative Brewing,
300 Mill St., Kitchener
Waterloo Greens Pub Night: Discuss International Trade Deals
300 Mill St., Kitchener
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.
Saturday June 3rd, 2017
Alliance Against Poverty Free Transit for Low Income Individuals – Community Forum
in the fully-accessible downstairs hall of Historic St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
137 Queen Street South, Kitchener, Ontario N2G 1W2
Tickets available at Eventbrite
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.
Let’s work together to change the world.
On Sunday, October 2nd the The Brantford-Brant Women’s, Youth and Seniors’ Liberal Clubs hosted the multi-partisan Brantford-Brant Electoral Reform Community Forum in the Odeon Building at the Laurier Brantford campus.
[Note: the CPC MP attended and spoke at the LPC event, and of course Greens were there by invitation as well. Where was the NDP I wonder?]
Temara Brown described the six different electoral systems, a fairly difficult task, particularly when being challenged by unruly audience members at every turn. But she carried it off.
The event followed the usual Library of Parliament script for Community Dialogue suggested by ERRE.
The Brantford Expositor covered the event in Forum puts spotlight on electoral reform
Unfortunately there are some errors in the Expositor article. For instance, Michele Braniff was the 2015 GPC candidate. As well as being a GPO Candidate, Temara Brown is the GPO’s Shadow Cabinet member for the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.
The article gives a capsule rundown of the 6 electoral Systems discussed, where the worst error in the article mischaracterizes the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system as “A variation of the preferential vote”. Electoral systems are complex, which is one of the many reasons why a referendum would be a bad idea at the best of times.
Historically, STV predates AV by a few decades, so it would be more correct to say AV is a variation of STV. But that’s just semantics. The real problem is that STV is perhaps the best system of Proportional Representation, while AV is a winner-take-all system much like our First Past The Post.
Even so, it was nice to see some balanced coverage of the ERRE event. For the most part, Canada’s Main Stream Media is making no bones about it’s desire to retain the status quo. That is perhaps the biggest reason Canadians are so woefully uninformed about electoral reform options. Instead of informing Canadians of our options, or even actually reporting on the ERRE consultation process, the media tables at ERRE consultation events are standing empty. So kudos to the Expositor for reporting the news!
In spite of the Main Stream Media obstructionism, the process marches quietly on.
And a good thing, too.
Even with the LRT construction, OPEN STREETS Waterloo is going ahead! And we’re glad, too, because we had a great time at our first Open Streets in June!
AND we’re expecting an even better time tomorrow in July (July 24th, 2016).
Drop by and say “hi,” sign the petition, and talk to us about Green issues, including electoral reform!
It’s going to be a hot day so dress appropriately, wear sunscreen and bring a refillable water bottle!
This year our own Bob Jonkman (Kitchener—Conestoga) has been involved in organizing the annual Nonviolence Festival Day In the Park. This family friendly free festival is held in the cool shade of the Victoria Park island.
Building New Relations
The world is built through our relationships – each of us affecting the other, and being affected by our surroundings.
Building New Understanding
The way we understand the world (our personal values, beliefs, philosophies, etc.) guide what we do in the world.
A change in consciousness equals a change in the world.
Building New Strengths
As we continue to act in the spirit of nonviolence, we grow internally, developing new skills and comprehensions.
By working together in new ways we open the future to new personal and social possibilities.
The first Nonviolence Fair and Concert was held in 2005, in Waterloo Park. It was organized by volunteers to highlight the many positive activities in Waterloo region.
Drop by and say “hi” to the folk at the Green Party information booth!
And don’t forget to sign Elizabeth’s electoral reform petition!
On April 24, 2007, Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller released a report in which he warned that “funding cuts spanning 15 years have left Ontario vulnerable to a catastrophe similar to the Walkerton tainted water tragedy.” (Guelph Mercury, April 25, 2007). The Mercury reported that Miller also told a press conference in Sudbury that, “Our present course puts our ecosystems, our biodiversity, our health and parts of our economy at serious risk of deterioration and catastrophic events.”
In 2007, residents were challenging Nestlé’s Water Taking in Aberfoyle, citing the disconnect between MPP Liz Sandalls claim the “The Clean Water Act focuses on source water protection” while effectively allowing Nestlé to take whatever water it likes absent independent data on the impact to local aquifers.
Bottling and selling our water is hugely profitable for Nestlé, and yet the multinational isn’t even paying its way as the result costs Ontario money.
Mike Schreiner writes:
“Several industries get a total free ride when it comes to taking our water, an explosive new report from Ontario’s Environment Commissioner revealed. Those who do pay for taking water — “phase one” industrial and commercial users that include bottled water producers; vegetable and fruit canning facilities; and certain types of chemical manufacturers — are charged a paltry $3.71 per million litres used.
This is not a typo.
This nominal fee works out to less than $10 for enough water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool. That works out to $0.00000371 per litre. After the ECO report I walked down to the basement in Queen’s Park to double check that a 500ml bottle of water was still selling for $2. That’s right, you can buy a litre of bottled water at Queen’s Park for more than it costs a company to take 1 million litres of our water.
This absurd system enables the provincial government to recover only 1.2 per cent of the money it spends on water quantity management programs. Since the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) receives less money today than it did in 1992, the budget it has for water management is not enough to make it an effective steward of our water resources. Yet, the province is essentially giving away our water.
HuffPo: “Companies Are Ripping Off Ontario’s Water Resources” by Mike Schreiner, Leader of the Green Party of Ontario
And yet it goes on. Nestlé continues to pump water out of Ontario Aquifers and sell it back to us, reaping enormous profits. Or worse, shipping it elsewhere, which has permanently lowers the supply of water available to us in our aquifers.
The water Nestle is taking comes from municipal water supply– the drinking water our municipal governments filter and treat to make sure is safe for us to drink. To offset the costs of cleaning, storing and delivering water to our taps, Ontario citizens pay our local public utilities about $1.50 for 1,000 litres of water for our personal use. The reason we pay so little for the water we consume is because the taxes we pay subsidizes the cost. This is how public utilities work, and the reason they exist: by sharing the infrastructure investment, the costs can be kept down to ensure the public has equal and reasonably affordable access to a necessity.
But the Provincial Government gives Nestlé a sweetheart deal.
We pay $3.00 per 1,000 litres
Nestlé pays $3.70 per 1,000,000 litres
The multinational company pays pays a miniscule fraction of what we pay, which allows it to realize enormous profits when bottling our water and selling it back to us. Do they employ some Canadians? Sure thing. Does the company pay its fair share of taxes? Truthfully, I don’t know. What I do know is that this company is paying too little for the refined natural resource it sells at a profit. Ontario taxpayers are subsidizing this rich and powerful multinational, so we know Nestlé is perfectly happy to not pay its fair share. And companies are shameless: they exist to make as much profit as possible, so of course they take what they get.
But there is no reason the citizens of Ontario should let this go on. The Green Party of Ontario has been opposing this for a long time.
Laura Lee Roberts shared a great Environmental Defense article: WHAT A DEPOSIT RETURN MIGHT LOOK LIKE IN ONTARIO. From my perspective, since Ontario practically gives Nestle our drinking water for free, the least they could do is use glass bottles.
Sign the petition:
Ontario: Deny Nestle Water-Taking Permit in Aberfoyle
Guaranteed Liveable Income is part of Green Party of Canada policy. During the 2015 it was a integral piece of the GPC’s integrated plan to eliminate poverty in conjunction with a renewed commitment to Universal Health Care, introduction of Pharmacare, a National Housing Strategy, and the elimination of Post Secondary tuition and debt relied for those struggling under enormous student debt loads.
Oddly enough, this is not at all a new thing. The Canadian Government partnered with the Manitoba Government to run a guaranteed annual income pilot project they called Mincome in Dauphin ~ A Town Without Poverty? ~ back in the 1970s. As often happens with long term projects in countries using winner-take-all voting systems, the government changed and the new lot boxed up all the data and stored it away.
This is becoming a hot topic worldwide, and here at home we’re hearing about this from all levels of government:
The Trudeau Liberals just prioritized one of Richard Nixon’s favourite conservative policies: ‘mincome’
A Basic Income For Ontario? Province Plans Pilot Project As Part Of Budget
Waterloo Regional Council to Vote on Endorsing Basic Income Pilot
The Waterloo Green Party had is hosting the second Guaranteed Livable Income Green Learning Community event on Saturday to help get a handle on what this social policy is all about.
As a learning community, we’ve met once already to develop a set of questions we’d like to explore. When we meet on the 18th, we’ll dig deeper, sharing what we’ve learned and discussing more. All are welcome, no need to have attended our first session.
You can join the Green Learning Community Event
Guaranteed Livable Income
Learning Community ~ Session 2
1:30 PM – 3 PM
The Journey ~ A Christian Church
16 Eby St. N.
*note: although the venue this time is a church, it is a non-secular event
The Manitoba Mincome Study; Even a small Guaranteed Income has dramatic positive effects on society
A Way to Get Healthy: Basic Income Experiments in Canada
Download the 39 page PDF file:
THE TOWN WITH NO POVERTY Using Health Administration Data to Revisit Outcomes of a Canadian Guaranteed Annual Income Field Experiment
You can get more information from our awesome local advocacy group, Basic Income Waterloo Region
The Waterloo Region Greens send our warmest greetings
to Elizabeth and Mike on your shared birthday!
Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner has been sharing GPO’s ideas for restoring trust in the integrity of our system by reforming political party funding rules.
Some of these Green ideas have been incorporated in Bill 201, currently being considered by the House. Clearly our message is gaining traction, since the Liberal Government took the unprecedented step of inviting Mike to participate in the drafting new legislation by speaking to the Standing Committee on General Government today.
“The Liberal bill reflects many GPO priorities, including eliminating corporate and union donations, limiting third-party advertising, and introducing a per-vote allowance to finance political parties.
However, there are still some glaring omissions that need to be addressed, and Mike’s presentation is making sure these are still on the table before the bill gets past..
—Becky Smit, Executive Director, GPO
This afternoon Mike told the Standing Committee on General Government what the Ontario Green Party likes about Bill 201:
- It eliminates corporate and union donations
- A more democratic way to fund political parties: per-vote funding
- It restricts third-party advertising during writ and pre-writ periods
- Establishes donation limits for nomination contestants and leadership races
- Eliminates general and by-election contribution periods to a party
Then he outlined the significant revisions the GPO would like to see in Bill 201:
- Lower contribution limits and eliminate loopholes
- Lower spending limits for political parties
- Eliminate the partial reimbursement of campaign expenses
- Improve disclosure and oversight rules
You can read the full text of Mike’s presentation to the committee:
We can help by:
- Spreading the word on Twitter:
@OntarioGreens live tweeted during Mike’s presentation #onpoli #QPnot4sale
- Like our post on Facebook
- Send a message to Premier Wynne