Earth Day was a Blast!

[republished from the KitCon blog]

David Weber (Kitchener South—Hespeler), Stacey Danckert (Kitchener-Centre) and Bob Jonkman (Kitchener—Conestoga)
David Weber (Kitchener South—Hespeler), Stacey Danckert (Kitchener-Centre) and Bob Jonkman (Kitchener—Conestoga)

This year three of our WRGreens Candidates joined GPO leader Mike Schreiner in Guelph for a spectacular Earth Day Celebration.

Joni NehRita performed on acoustic guitar

Joni NehRita opened the Earth Day Event with some of her sustainable music.


2018 Juno Award Nominated singer/songwriter Alysha Brilla

Kevin Sutton’s spoken word performance.

Mike Schreiner

David Suzuki

Listening to David Suzuki

Elizabeth May

Bob Jonkman, David Weber and Mike Schreiner


As the event drew to a close we had more music, this time from singer-songwriters Sara Harmer

…culminating in a good old fashioned sing-along.

[More photographs available on Flickr]

A Sweet Saturday!

[reprinted from KitConGreens: KitConGreens: A Good Time Was Had By All with more/different photos]

The Glorious Greens team of candidates was the very first WRGreens entry in the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival‘s Pancake Flipping Contest!

Candice Lepage and the Glorious Greens Team: Mike Schreiner (GPO Leader), Bob Jonkman (Kitchener-Conestoga GPO Candidate), Stacey Danckert (Kitchener Centre GPO Candidate), David Weber (Kitchener South Hespeler GPO Candidate) and Zdravko Gunjevic (Waterloo Candidate)

Since our Cambridge candidate Michele Braniff was unable to attend, Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner pitched in.  (Just one of the many things that makes him a great leader!)


After watching the other teams compete on the obstacle course, Mike scientifically determined which team member should play which position.

Mike Schreiner, Bob Jonkman and Stacey Danckert
But things didn’t actually work out as planned.

The Glorious Greens made it through two rounds before being disqualified; not bad for our first time out (and valuable experience for next time!)


In between times we got to meet interesting people.


#Wloo candidate Zdravko Gunjevic ran into his MP, the Hon. Bardish Chagger.


The Glorious Greens team got to pose with FlapJack, the festival mascot

#KitCon Greens’ Bob Jonkman introduced Mike to the Hon. Bardish Chagger.

The current Kitchener—Conestoga Green candidate (Bob Jonkman) and the previous Kitchener—Conestoga Green Candidate (David Weber) introduced Mike to the Kitchener—Conestoga Conservative MP, Harold Albrecht.

We had an information booth set up inside the Woolwich Memorial Centre.


Alongside our button making event…


…where kids of all ages…


…could make their own button…


while being serenaded with live music!


Our first outing at the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival was a great success.

David Weber, Mike Schreiner, Bob Jonkman, Zdravko Gunjevic and Stacey Danckert

Life is Sweet at the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival… what a glorious day!  We hope to see you there next year!

You’ll find more photos in the WRGreens Flickr Album, the KitConGreens Flickr Album and Laurel Russwurm’s EMSF Flickr Album]

WRGreens Slate of Candidates for 2018

• Stacey Danckert: Kitchener Centre • Zdravko Gunjevic: Waterloo • Bob Jonkman: Kitchener—Conestoga • Michele Braniff: Cambridge • David Weber: Kitchener South—HespelerThe Waterloo Region Greens are pleased to announce we have achieved a full slate of candidates for the 2018 Ontario Election.   The last slot was filled when Bob Jonkman won the nomination for Kitchener—Conestoga.

Stacey Danckert: Kitchener Centre
Zdravko Gunjevic: Waterloo
• Bob Jonkman: Kitchener—Conestoga
Michele Braniff: Cambridge
David Weber: Kitchener South—Hespeler

Each riding has its own page ~ complete with contact information ~ in the menu bar at the top of the blog.

We’ll post important elections dates in our calendar (there’s a link in the top menu bar).  Subscribe to the blog in the right sidebar) to keep up with all the WRGreens election action (you’ll receive blog posts direct to your email box!)
WRGreens are on social media:

Tomorrow GPO Leader Mike Schreiner will join the WRGreens Candidates (except Michele) in the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival Pancake Flipping Contest.  If you can’t make it there between 10am and noon, there’s a good chance you’ll find candidates at our booth in the Woolwich Memorial Centre concourse.

Meet Mike at the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival #WRAwesome

On Saturday April 7th, the Waterloo Region Greens will be hosting our first info booth at the 2018 Elmira Maple Syrup Festival!

We’ll be able to provide information about the Green Party for the approaching election, but we will also be hosting a (free) button making event where kids of all ages will be able to create their own button, like we did at Open Streets Waterloo last year.

Our booth will be located inside the Woolwich Memorial Centre. You’ll find us in the main concourse, outside the swimming pool area, across from the washrooms.

But if that isn’t enough, there’s more!

You’ll get to meet the newly chosen Kitchener-Conestoga GPO Candidate for the upcoming 2018 Ontario Election.

And he’ll be joined by 3 of the other WRGreens Candidates *and* Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner to participate in the Pancake Flipping Contest between 10:am – Noon in the arena.  And this isn’t just an ordinary Pancake Flipping Contest!

You’ll find more information on the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival on their website: www.elmiramaplesyrup.com/

Here are my Open Street Map maps to help you find your way!

GPO Finance Critic Stacey Danckert on the Ontario Budget

Stacey DanckertCandidate, Kitchener Centre, GPO Finance Critic

As the Finance Critic for the Green Party of Ontario, last night I appeared with the other opposition critics to discuss the 2018 Liberal budget on TVO’s The Agenda.

Before the budget was officially released, we had spent 4 hours in “Budget Lockup,” where we were allowed to read and evaluate the budget before everyone else, while being disconnected from the rest of the world.  We were then given a brief opportunity to share our thoughts about the budget with Steve Paikin.

There just wasn’t enough time for a more thorough discussion, so I wanted to share more of my thoughts with you here.

Deficit

Deficits are not in and of themselves a bad thing (most of us borrow for the things we need), but it is completely unnecessary right now, in our strong economic climate. We can support the people in our communities and strengthen our social programs and we can afford to do it now. For example, we could increase royalty fees for our natural resources, which we are currently practically giving away (like the water that we sell to Nestle for $1/million L!).

We could create road tolls and move away from nuclear, among so many other revenue tools that could be discussed.

Environment

I didn’t want to spend time talking about what people already know we know. But this budget doesn’t cut it.

We need more aggressive emissions targets (net zero by 2050), we need to stop allowing the biggest emitters exemptions from the cap and trade (right now 150 of the largest emitters pay nothing!).

We need to put more money into transitioning into a Green economy – it creates more jobs and moves us to where we need to be, rather than further away from it.

And the great lakes and biodiversity saw such a pittance in this budget, I think it really shows the Liberals’ hand on protecting our natural environment.

We need to stop throwing good money after bad on nuclear power. It helped us move away from coal when we needed to, but it has also proven itself to be far too costly. As a matter of fact, it largely accounts for about one quarter of the deficit we face over the next year! Now that renewables have become affordable, we should be moving towards 100% renewables, including inexpensive hydro from Quebec and Manitoba. We could also be working harder to do the upgrades that will cut the amount of energy that we need.

Social Programs

There are lots of things that get a piece of the pie here, but notably missing is any mention of a future for basic income. Will they even look at the data, let alone roll it out province – wide?

And until then, I appreciate that they are streamlining OW and ODSP programs a bit, but the people in our communities that are accessing these programs need more money now – there is no way to live healthfully off of the tiny amount we provide to support those most in need. For example $50 on dental care for children won’t even cover an exam!

All in all, when you look at it more carefully, the budget doesn’t seem like a plan at all but rather, pieces of a plan. If you plan well, social program spending actually saves you money (i.e., less hospital spending, less on police, less on poverty stop-gaps), whereas if you implement solutions haphazardly, they are likely to cost even more and achieve nothing. While the Liberals will speak to helping the many social programs that get a mention in the budget – programs that the GPO has been advocating for increased spending for years – they haven’t developed a consistent plan to actually do it. The lack of sincerity on rolling this out right before an election after 14 years of not doing it, just doesn’t sit well with me.

But how can we blame them? This is how politics has been done for more years than I know. This time, let’s demand more. Let’s demand that they show us how they will pay for it. Let’s demand that they are consistent in their policies. Let’s demand transparency and honesty. Let’s demand a healthy and happy future for our children and grandchildren.

Stacey Danckert, GPO Finance Critic
Candidate, Kitchener-Centre

John Vanthof (NDP), Steve Paikin (host, The Agenda), Stacey Danckert (GPO) and Vic Fedeli (PC)-

More video from the 2018 Ontario Budget episode of The Agenda can be found here:

Minister Sousa discussing the budget

Expert economic analysis

 

Leadership Tour: Mike Schreiner in KW Thursday! #GPO2018

Mike Schreiner’s Social Innovation Round-table

When: 4:00pm to 6:00pm on Thursday, 22 March 2018
Where: Kitchener Public Library
Location: 85 Queen Street North, Kitchener, Ontario Map

Mike will host a round-table discussion with Waterloo Region leaders and influencers to discuss the path they want Ontario take.

This inclusive meeting is open to everyone! Light snacks and refreshments will be served.


A Social Evening with GPO Leader Mike Schreiner

When: 7:00pm to 9:00pm, Thursday 22 March 2018
Where: Abe Erb Waterloo
Location: 15 King Street South, Waterloo Map

Join Mike and the WR Greens for a locally brewed beverage, a locally prepared meal or snack, and meet your local Green Party candidates and candidate-nominees from the five Waterloo Region ridings.

 

Waterloo & Kitchener Centre choose 2018 Candidates

WRGreens congratulate Waterloo’s “Zee” Zdravko Gunjevic and Kitchener Centre’s Stacey Danckert on their nomination as Green Party Candidates at Sunday’s combined WRGreens GPO Constituency Association nomination meeting at the Kitchener Public Library.

WRGreens Kris Braun introduces the Candidate Nominees
Stacey Danckert for Kitchener Centre
The former Waterloo Candidate talks about why she wants to represent Kitchener Centre.
The last riding boundary redistribution moved Stacey to Kitchener Centre
Zdravko Gunjevic for Waterloo
“Zee” Zdravko Gunjevic talks about why he wants to represent Waterloo
This is Zdravko Gunjevic’s first time seeking a political nomination
While the voting members cast ballots, Bryan Izzard readies the refreshments
Bryan’s fabulous food was (as always) a hit
Teresa announces the candidates!
Introducing the new candidates: Stacey Danckert and Zdravko Gunjevic
Julia Gogoleva and Sam Nabi talk about Volunteer Organizing for WRGreens
Small Group Discussion

A second combined nomination meeting for the other WRGreens ridings is in the works, possibly for December.  We’ll keep you posted!


Photos by Laurel Russwurm released under a Creative Commons Attribution License may be attributed to WRGreens.  These (and many more) are available in the WRGreens Flickr album.
NOTE: If you find yourself in one of our blogs or Flickr albums but would prefer not to appear there, or should you wish to remain but be identified by name, please contact Laurel at laurel.russwurm@gpc.ca

The Shape of Green Things To Come

WRGreens Meetup
WRGreens monthly Regional Meetup at the Queen Street Commons Cafe

If you’re new here, the WRGreens is an umbrella group formed by all the Green Party associations ~ federal EDAs and Provincial CAs ~ for the five ridings in Waterloo Region.

Mike Schreiner
Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner

In my experience, Greens are truly grass roots people who tend to be more interested in getting green things accomplished than seeking careers in politics.  And because we’re the smallest of the major parties, (and the inequity of our electoral system makes it extraordinarily difficult to get Greens elected) we have to work much harder than the big parties to be heard.

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.

Even without an elected Green MP in Ontario, provincial leader Mike Schreiner has worked hard and had an amazing influence on the provincial legislature in lobbying for campaign finance reform, emancipating local craft beer and working tirelessly to protect local water from multinational bottlers.  Our work depends on people power, and by working together we can do a much better job of spreading green thoughts.

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!

Bob Jonkman discusses green issues at the WRGreens Open Streets Booth in 2016
Michele Braniff
Storyteller, artist, graphic recorder Michele Braniff

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.”

Naturally, there can only be one word for us: Green!   So in addition to our  usual  information booth in the Waterloo Public Square Marketplace, our own Cambridge Green storyteller Michele Braniff will be telling Tales of Green on the Main Stage beside Laurel Creek!

We hope to see you there!

WRGreens Open Streets UpTownWaterloo Map based on OpenStreetMap ~ click for full map

Greens Joined Waterloo Region’s Rally For Proportional Representation

1918
A decent sized crowd especially for short notice outdoor February event!
1887
Mildish weather for February
Kitchener-Conestoga's Bob Jonkman was the Master of Ceremonies
Kitchener-Conestoga’s Bob Jonkman was the Master of Ceremonies
Kitchener Centre's Sam Nabi
Kitchener Centre’s Sam Nabi spoke on behalf of Waterloo Region Greens
Sam Nabi
Sam Nabi
CTV coverage
CTV coverage
crowd
Who’s not listening to Canadians?
Alim Natthoo
Alim Natthoo
Kitchener South-Hespeler's David Weber
David Weber
Sam Nabi chats with Waterloo Greens Stacey Danckert
Sam Nabi chats with Waterloo Greens Stacey Danckert
1870
Louisette Lanteigne holds her sign behind e-616 Petition author Jonathan Cassels
1905
Electoral reform is serious business.
1986
Richard Walsh
1992
Teresa Cornwell
2077
Shannon Purves-Smith
2117
Julia Gogoleva
2126
Mo Markham
2241
Bob Jonkman (and son Will, who looked after the event’s sound).
140032
Dogs for Democracy
142602
Former Green Party Candidate Cathy Maclellan
2506
Bob Jonkman speaks with Laura Hamilton of “Divest Waterloo” and “Food Not Bombs” (the event’s unofficial caterer.)

Just a little reminder:  Parliamentary Petition e-616 is the single most important thing any of us can do for Electoral Reform right now…
https://petitions.parl.gc.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-616

You do not have to be a Canadian citizen to sign.
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:

https://wrgreens.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/sign-petition-e-616/

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.