The lowest percentages were 85.1% and 86.9% … the remaining policy was approved by more than 90% of the voters. Thank you so much for participating in the democratic process. It is gratifying to see the Green Party of Canada leading the way on human rights issues for both Canadian and Palestinian indigenous peoples.
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.
There are several important events coming up in the new year that may be of interest to Waterloo Region Greens. Our calendar will keep you up to date on any WRGreens events, as well as events put on by other organizations that may be of interest to local Greens.
Provincial Basic Income Consultation
Friday January 13th, 2016
6:30 – 9:00pm
Kitchener City Hall
200 King Street West
“Basic income is an idea which provides a different approach to income security and reducing poverty,” the statement said. “It’s important we hear as many views as possible to ensure we get this right.”
The ministry says it’s particularly interested in thoughts about how the pilot program is designed, including who should be eligible, which communities to include, and how it will be evaluated.
“What they’re doing is trying to collect information in order to build a position. It’s very difficult (for us) to take a firm position at this point because we don’t actually know what the province is going to end up doing,” Bartholomew-Saunders said. “They’re collecting information to determine what they’re going to be doing.”
Guaranteed Livable Income was an important part of the 2015 GPC platform, and remains as party policy, so we are pleased to see the Ontario Liberals proceed with this program. The danger is that it could actually make Ontario poverty conditions worse if implemented badly.
Saturday, January 28th, 2017
10:30am – 1:00pm Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational School
787 King St W,
Kitchener, ON N2G 1E3
Bring your gently used, clean clothes that you don’t want any more and leave with new (to you) stuff! We will be accepting donations beginning at 10:30am, event starts at 11. The event is COMPLETELY FREE and aims to raise awareness about textile waste and how our clothes affect the environment. No under garments or lingerie accepted please! There is free parking available at the KCI lot, just off King Street. Public transit also available via route 7 from Uptown Waterloo. You can swap men’s wear, women’s wear, kids clothes, jackets, shoes and accessories. Please share this invite with your family and friends. No tears or stains. Just bring items you would bring home. Our past clothing swaps have been featured on CBC, CTV, and various newspapers and magazines within the Waterloo Region.
If you or someone you know is interested in helping out at the event please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is free parking available at the KCI lot, just off King Street. Public transit is also available via route 7 from Uptown Waterloo.
[Note: the school was formerly Kitchener Collegiate Institute, and is still known locally as KCI]
One of the most important Green Party of Canada campaign issues was the Guaranteed Livable Income. The idea was piloted in Canada under the name “Mincome” under the first Prime Minister Trudeau. What happened then is what happens all to often… the government fell and its successors had no interest in implementing policy based on their predecessor’s pilot project. Here in Waterloo Region, we have our own Basic Income Waterloo Region advocacy group that’s part of a Canada-wide grassroots movement to make a basic income guarantee the next great innovation in social policy.
The Ontario Liberal Government is considering running its own pilot program, and it would be enormously helpful to fill out their
While on the surface it may seem that such a program would be prohibitively expensive, ironically research shows the effect of a properly managed basic income guarantee is actually a savings to government, as well as a boost to small business and innovation. Check out Basic Income Waterloo Region’s Frequently Asked Questions page.
Reykjavik’s city council voted last week to ban Israeli goods in a symbolic gesture to protest Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
The city council of Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, has voted to ban all Israeli-made goods in protest of the continuing “occupation of Palestinian territories” and Israel’s “policy of apartheid” against Palestinians. Concerns regarding Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians were renewed following Israel’s announcement in July that it would build Israeli homes in the contested West Bank, inciting violent protests.
Most countries consider these new settlements, as well as previous ones, illegal, and even the US State Department has expressed its concerns over Israeli settlement expansion. In the past, Reykjavik’s city council has been critical of Israel and has previously adopted resolutions that acknowledge Palestinian rights to independence and a sovereign nation. According to Iceland’s foreign ministry, the small island nation purchased $6 million of Israeli imports, most of which in the form of fruits and vegetables, equipment, and machinery.
Iceland’s national government said that the boycott would only be limited to the country’s capital and has tried to distance itself from the action of Reykjavik’s city council. Yet, as Iceland’s largest city and home to half its population, Reykjavik’s decision to boycott Israel will likely cause some economic impact though it is hard to say whether or not it will be significant. Israeli exports totaled $53.7 billion in 2014, meaning its exports to Iceland represent a meager 1.1% of its total annual exports.
Overall, it appears that Israel is much more concerned with the symbolic impact of the boycott as opposed to its economic effects as they have been actively fighting against several recent international boycotts in response to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people, most notably the BDS movement (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions).
Israel’s government responded to news of Reykjavik’s boycott with harsh criticism. Emmanuel Nahshon, Israel’s foreign minister, responded by saying:
“A volcano of hatred is erupting out of the city council building in Reykjavik. Without any reason or justification, other than pure hatred, we hear calls to boycott Israel. We hope someone in Iceland comes to their senses and stops the blindness and the one-sidedness that is directed at Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.”
Some Icelanders were also critical of the boycott, including a local attorney who said the ban on Israeli goods violates the Icelandic constitution. It remains to be seen if Israel will take action against Iceland as a result of the new boycott.
There has been an uproar in Canada since our government passed a motion condemning the BDS movement, claiming that bringing such economic and political pressure to bear is anti-semitic.
Israel’s foreign minister, Emmanuel Nahshon’s claim that calls to boycott Israel are “Without any reason or justification, other than pure hatred” is patently absurd. BDS political and economic pressure aims to convince Israel to conform to International Law.
If Nations can blithely choose which parts of International Law they will deign to follow without any repercussion (as Israel does in flouting of International Law by encroaching on the what little Palestinian territory remains with new settlements), International Law is meaningless.
This summer the Green Party of Canada recently passed a motion to support the BDS and the right of Canadians to dissent, earning the distinction of being the first national Canadian political party to do so.
When Israel ceases breaking international law, calls for BDS would dissipate, but it seems its current government won’t even consider accepting this simple solution.
It looks to be a fabulous jam packed weekend of events. If you haven’t registered, I believe it is still possible to attend the Convention although the Regular registration rate has ended. If you go, remember to save your receipts as a portion of convention fees are eligible for federal political contribution tax-receipts.
Although I’d love to be there for the keynote speeches and the Proportional Representation workshop, perhaps the thing I will regret missing most will be the debate and the opportunity to vote on the two policy resolutions put forward by our new Shadow Cabinet Justice Critic, Dimitri Lascaris, who wrote the:
When we talk about climate action in Canada, the conversation often turns to fossil fuel subsidies — the billions of dollars our Federal and Provinical governments, as well as Export Development Canada, have been spending to support our oil & gas sector. The 2015 Paris climate agreement, signed last fall by the current Federal government, gives new urgency to keep global temperature rise below two degrees. To do that, we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
This week, the “Three Amigos” summit saw Canada, the U.S., and Mexico agree to common goals for transitioning to a low-carbon, clean energy future. Like the Paris agreement, it’s a generally positive committment that needs to be followed up — soon — with action.
The “North American Climate, Clean Energy, and Environment Partnership”, as it’s called, re-affirms Canada’s 2009 committment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies in the “medium term”. This week’s news sets a more specific goal — Canada, the U.S., and Mexico have agreed to a phase-out date of 2025.
So let’s get going. If Canada is serious about transitioning away from fossil fuels, we need to do much more than the Liberal election platform proposes (a modest scaling-down of one particular tax deduction). We still have a complex web of subsidies that benefit the oil & gas sector. They all need to go.
Tax deductions let corporations declare expenses to reduce their taxable income. These four programs directly encourage the expansion of fossil fuel operations at home and abroad:
10% deduction for Canadian Oil and Gas Property Expenses (e.g. buying oil sands rights, buying a well, leases, permits, and licenses)
30% deduction for Canadian Development Expenses (e.g. expanding a mine, building new haulage routes)
30% deduction for Foreign Resource Expenses (e.g. overseas exploration and drilling of fossil fuels)
100% deduction for Canadian Exploration Expenses (e.g. surveying land for new fossil fuel extraction opportunities, environmental studies, and community consultations before opening a mine)
Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) is a way for all kinds of businesses to deduct the cost of equipment over several years.
Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance (ACCA) speeds that process up, putting money back into the hands of fossil-fuel companies faster and reducing their taxes.
While the ACCA no longer applies for oil sands projects, it was recently introduced for liquified natural gas (LNG) projects.
In 2014, Canada eliminated duty fees for offshore oil and gas drilling equipment. This makes it more affordable for Canadian companies to drill for fossil fuels in our vulnerable Atlantic and Arctic waters.
Flow-through share deductions
Normally, tax deductions can only be claimed by the business that actually incurs the eligible expense. However, flow-through shares let corporations pass on the deductions directly to investors, whose income gets taxed as capital gains, at half the rate of regular income.
Canada allows flow-through shares for qualifying Canadian Development Expenses and Canadian Exploration Expenses – a sweet kickback for both corporations and their individual investors.
In Canada, natural resources such as minerals, oil, gas, and groundwater are owned by the Provinces. They charge royalties to companies that extract these resources.
B.C. offers a Deep Drilling Credit that waives royalty fees between $444,000 and $2.81 million per well for new fossil-fuel drilling projects.
B.C. also offers up to 50% discount on royalites for oil & gas companies to build new roads and pipelines through the Infrastructure Royalty Credit Program. The purpose of the program is to boost oil & gas exploration, and extend the drilling season year-round.
Reduced sales tax
Both Manitoba and B.C. don’t charge provincial sales tax on machienry and equipment involved in oil, gas, and mining. This includes prototyping equipment, surveying and exploration equipment, and even drill bits. There’s also a discount on the electricity required to operate the machinery.
Where do we go from here?
This week’s “Three Amigos” agreement needs to be followed up with aggressive action.
If we are to keep the planet from spilling over that 2-degree threshold, we can’t continue funding dirty fuels.
If we’re going to encourage clean energy development, we can’t keep incentivizing oil & gas exploration.
As we move forward, remember that there is a lot of work to be undone. It starts with dismantling these subsidies.
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 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.
Green Party policy requires a leadership review following every election.
In spite of disappointing results in the most strategically voted election in Canadian history, the federal Green Party membership rallied in support of Ms. May, who has infused the party with her inspiring leadership. The month long review returned a stunning 93.6% approval!
“I’m humbled to receive a strong mandate from our engaged membership to continue in my role as leader,” May said in a statement to reporters Monday.
“I will continue to pursue critical issues that are so important to our members, from climate action to restoring legitimacy in the environmental review process, from ending subsidies for fossil fuels to becoming a world leader in the 21st century renewable energy economy.”
As the 2015 election fades into memory, I am continually astounded to see how much Green Party Policy is being discussed… Apparently people were trying to convince Tom Mulcair to embrace the Green Party education policy as a means of retaining leadership of the NDP Party — although not as Green Party Policy. I tried sharing the link to the Green Party of Canada press release but there’s something wrong with the link, so in the interest of reminding people about this awesome GPC policy, I’ve chosen to reproduce it here.
September 16, 2015
(OTTAWA) – Green Leader Elizabeth May (Saanich – Gulf Islands), unveiled the Green Party’s Youth and Education Strategy that includes a plan to abolish tuition fees for students and their families. The strategy would also implement a debt-forgiveness program for student debt above $10,000.
“We must invest in Canadian youth and the skills, training, and education that is necessary to create jobs,” said May. “Young people are faced with the challenge of finding a job after they finish school, in a tough economy, while battling student debt. The Green Party is committed to investing in youth and removing barriers, like student debt, so young Canadians can find stable, sustainable jobs.”
The Green Party’s National Student and Education Strategy will:
● Immediately cut tuition fees for students and their families without adequate financial means, and remove the inadequate 2% cap on tuition for all First Nations and Inuit students.
● Abolish tuition fees for post-secondary education and skills training for Canadians by 2020 through constructing a system of federal grants collaboratively with the universities and colleges.
● Eliminate any existing or future student federal debt above $10,000.
● Abolish interest on new student loans and increase available funding for bursaries.
● Create a national Community and Environment Service Corps, which will provide $1 billion/year to municipalities to hire Canadian youth.
● Help students and their families through the Guaranteed Liveable Income (GLI), to ensure no person’s income falls below what is necessary for health, life, and dignity.
“In these times of high youth unemployment, heavy student debt is a burden that keeps young Canadians from being able to start their post-academic lives on an even footing,” said Gord Miller, former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario and Green Party candidate (Guelph). “The debt forgiveness program and our plan to eliminate tuition fees by 2020 represents positive change for students and their families.”
“I am pleased to be here with Elizabeth today in Guelph to make this announcement,” continued Miller. “Our plan will make education more accessible for students. These critical investments in trades, apprenticeships, and education will ensure that all young Canadians have the skills to build a successful future.”
“It is a bold idea, but we can and must afford it. We can implement this investment in our youth through common sense measures like eliminating subsidies to fossil fuels and restoring the corporate tax rate to what it was in 2009,” concluded May. “We don’t need to continue with the status quo; we can do better.”
The Green Party was the first party to release a fully costed platform, available here.
For additional information or to arrange an interview, contact: