Congratulations WRGreens ~ We Made History!

Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner made history last night in Guelph, winning the first Green Party seat in Ontario

We’re all very excited that Mike Schreiner won last night.  Finally a Green has broken through in Ontario.

The Green Party
Growing a party
2015 Waterloo candidate Richard Walsh joined the party.
Candidates Bob Jonkman (Kitchener—Conestoga) and Zdravko Gunjevic (Waterloo)

What I have to say here is how proud I am of the hard work and dedication put in by all the WRGreens Candidates and volunteers.  Our work certainly paid off in the votes our candidates earned.

First time candidate Zdravko Gunjevic earned a whopping 4.83% of the vote in Waterloo.

Bob Jonkman won 6.51% of the vote in Kitchener—Conestoga.

Candidate David Weber (Kitchener South—Hespeler) and his team

David Weber won 7.35% of the vote in Kitchener South—Hespeler.

Cambridge Candidate Michele Braniff (at the TIE debate) and Kitchener Centre Candidate Stacey Danckert (at the African-Canadian Debate) were in Guelph to support Mike Schreiner representing the WRGreens.

Michele Braniff won 6.27% of the vote in Cambridge.

Stacey Danckert won 6.84% of the vote in her new riding, Kitchener Centre.

At its peak, I couldn’t get all the Green Partiers in a single photograph!

Well done WRGreens!

But this is just the beginning of our story.  Onward!

[reprinted from the KitCon Blog]

#ONelxn: There is another Choice

Our ad in Saturday’s Local Section of The Record (June 2, 2018)

In spite of a groundswell of public opinion, spurred by the non-partisan fairdebates.ca petition, the TV broadcasting Consortium refused to allow Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner into the televised Ontario Leader Debates.

Both Liberal Leader Premier Kathleen Wynne and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath expressed public support for Mike’s inclusion.  The double barrelled argument was that not only does the Green Party of Ontario field candidates in every riding across the province, the GPO exceeded the 2% Elections Ontario threshold (earning nearly 5% of the vote).

Alas, the unaccountable Broadcast Consortium refused to bow to public opinion and excluded him anyway.

Locally CBCKW rigorously supported the Consortium’s GPO censorship by refusing to allow local Green candidates to be included in its riding specific local broadcast, unless one of the “big 3” candidates declined to attend. Stacey was invited to the Kitchener Centre broadcast, but was explicitly informed she had only been included because they only had 3 microphones, and PC candidate Mary Henein Thorn declined.  Zdravko was excluded on Tuesday, Bob on Wednesday.  Mr Norris neglected to inform his listeners he was excluding our candidates, so at the CNIB’s ReVision All Candidate’s Meeting, someone asked why Bob decided not to appear on CBC.  It’s bad enough excluding us, but making it look as though some of our candidates chose not to show up is much worse.

But we have received some coverage.  The Toronto Star Editorial Board endorsed Mike Schreiner for Guelph MPP. and hosted a video Q&A with the Green Party Leader.

YouTube: Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner talks to the Star and answers your questions

The Agenda has given the GPO some excellent coverage as well, inviting our shadow cabinet members to participate, as well as analyzing the GPO Platform.

May 23, 2018
Finding a Home in Ontario

YouTube: Finding a Home in Ontario

May 25
Analyzing The Green Party Platform

YouTube: Analysing the Green Party Platform

May 25
The Green Party Leader

YouTube: Ontario Election 2018: The Green Party Leader

The biggest problem faced by Greens isn’t coming up with great policy, it’s getting it out there so people know about it.  That is why this is such an important issue.

In spite of everything, I am convinced Ontario is going to join the Green Wave and send Mike Schreiner along with a healthy complement of Green MPPs to Queen’s Park.  Like an opinion poll, that’s just a guess, but what I’m seeing and hearing suggests this will come to pass.  Even in our Kitchener-Conestoga riding, a traditional Conservative stronghold, the turmoil within the PC Party could very well provide an opportunity in what should have been a safe seat.  With the added bonus of the Liberal leader’s concession, our chances are even better.

What we do know for sure is that the addition of even a single Green voice in the legislature will be a game changer.  And that can only be a good thing; not just for Greens, but for Ontarians.  More and more people are starting to realize there is another choice.  It really is time to start doing politics differently.  If you haven’t yet voted, tomorrow ~ June 7th, 2018 ~ is the day.

As GPO candidate Andrew West says,

“If everyone…who ever thought about voting Green DID vote Green. we would win!”
~ @greenAndrewWest

If you need help getting to the polls, give us a call at 226-476-4529 and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.

Advance Polls in Waterloo Region

Voting Day is Thursday, 7 June 2018, but if you’re busy or out-of-town you can vote now at one of the advance polls. Here are the locations as listed on the Elections Ontario website

Returning Office Voting

Dates: 10 May to 6 Jun 2018
Times:
Monday to Saturday: 10 AM – 8 PM
Sunday May 13, May 20, June 3: 12 PM – 5 PM
Sunday May 27: 10 AM – 8 PM

In-person voting at returning offices ends on June 6 at 6 P.M.

Advance Polls

Dates: Saturday, 26 May to Wednesday 30 May 2018
Time: 10:00am to 8:00pm

Cambridge Elections Ontario

Cambridge Returning Office

Location is accessible
30 Pinebush Road unit 101 Map
Cambridge, N1R 8K5

Phone number is (866) 850-0473

Allan Reuter Centre

Location is accessible
507 King Street EastMap
Cambridge, N3H 3N4

Cambridge Centre

Location is accessible
355 Hespeler RoadMap
Cambridge, N1R 6B3

Cambridge Place

Location is accessible
73 Water Street North Map
Cambridge, N1R 7L6

Kitchener Centre Elections Ontario

Kitchener Returning Office

Location is accessible
137 Glasgow Street unit 210 Map
Kitchener, N2G 4X8

Phone number is (866) 850-4574

Downtown Community Centre

Location is accessible
35B Weber Street West Map
Kitchener, N2H 3Z1

Stanley Park Zehrs Store

Location is accessible
1005 Ottawa Street North Map
Kitchener, N2A 1H1

Victoria Hills Community Centre

Location is accessible
10 Chopin Drive Map
Kitchener, N2M 2G2

Kitchener — Conestoga Elections Ontario

Kitchener — Conestoga Returning Office

Location is accessible
1187 Fischer Hallman Road Map
Kitchener, N2E 4H9

Phone number is (866) 850-8977

Breslau Community Centre

Location is accessible
100 Andover Drive Map
Breslau, N0B 1M0

Elmira Lion’s Club

Location may have an accessibility barrier
40 South Street West Map
Elmira, N3B 1K8

Forest Heights Community Centre

Location is accessible
1700 Queen’s Boulevard Map
Kitchener, N2N 3L6

Wilmot Recreation Complex

Location is accessible
1291 Nafziger Road Map
Baden, N3A 0C4

Kitchener South — Hespeler Elections Ontario

Kitchener South – Hespeler Returning Office

Location is accessible
148 Manitou Drive unit 202 Map
Kitchener, N2C 1L3

Phone number is (866) 714-2812

Country Hills Community Centre

Location is accessible
100 Rittenhouse Road Map
Kitchener, N2G 4G7

Heritage College Community Centre

Location is accessible
175 Holiday Inn Drive Map
Cambridge, N3C 3T2

Kingsdale Community Centre

Location is accessible
72 Wilson Avenue Map
Kitchener, N2C 1G5

Waterloo Elections Ontario

Waterloo Returning Office

Location is accessible
630 Weber Street North unit 100 Map
Waterloo, N2V 2N2

Phone number is (866) 259-7278

Albert Mccormick Community Centre

Location is accessible
500 Parkside Drive Map
Waterloo, N2L 5J4

Kitchener-Waterloo Bilingual School

Location is accessible
600 Erb Street West Map
Waterloo, N2J 3Z4

Rim Park

Location is accessible
2001 University Avenue East Map
Waterloo, N2K 4K4

Election Finance Laws

The Liberals in previous years had a bad habit of having expensive dinners that cabinet ministers could attend.  This is a problem as it means rich people have more access to the government then people with little or no disposable income. This can be a problem in a democracy.

In democracy, money shouldn’t outweigh citizens.

Mike Schreiner led the charge to reform political fundraising laws in order to stop this ‘pay for access’. During the process he also got corporation and union donations to political entities banned, brought down the donation limits (although the new limits are still higher than most people can afford).

Candidates, MPPs, cabinet ministers can no longer attend fundraising dinners.  People do not have to pay to access Ontario politicians.

Elections Ontario has handy guidebooks for Political Parties, Candidates and their CFOs on their website. They are in easy to understand language, spell out clearly what are fundraising events and restrictions on who can attend these events.  Donation limits are easily found out as well.  The limit is $1222 for 2018. This amount can be donated to:

  • a Party, and
  • to a constituency association
  • and to a campaign.

You can donate $1222 in total to election campaigns.  This can be donated to one campaign or spread out over several campaigns.  The maximum you can donate in total is $3,666 in total.

Earth Day with David Suzuki

Election Finance laws are mildly frustrating for someone in the position of CFO or as a fundraising director.  Having to say, “Sorry, you can’t donate that much, as much as I would like to accept it” or “no we can’t charge admission to this event” is hard to do.  That is why the recent Earth Day rally in Guelph with David Suzuki, Sarah Harmer, Elizabeth May and Mike Schreiner was free.   Anyone could attend the event.  We did ask for donations at the event, which is allowed, but a donation was not required for attendance.

However, the frustration is worth it to make democracy stronger.  Everyone should have access to the people running for office and in office without having to pay for the privilege.  The representatives elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario are there to represent us, the people in the province.  Right now, we are having an election, essentially one big job interview for candidates.  We all should have access to them, no matter how much money we have, because the candidates who are elected are supposed to represent us at Queen’s Park.

When people running for office break Election Finance laws, I wonder what they do they really think about democracy?  What other laws will they break to get or retain power?

The laws governing election spending limits and ‘pay for access’ are there to help make our elections fair and democratic.

Large election events don’t just happen.  They are never planned in isolation.  Candidates (and especially leaders of parties) never just show up.  Ignorance of the law is no excuse and is never an excuse.

Election laws are there to protect you, the people of Ontario.

Returning Offices in Waterloo Region

Looking for more information about the election? Contact your local Returning Office:

Cambridge

Cambridge Smartcentre
30 Pinebush Road unit 101, Cambridge, N1R 8K5 Map
Phone number is +1-866-850-0473
You can vote from May 10 – Jun 6

Monday to Saturday: 10 AM – 8 PM
Sunday May 13, May 20, June 3: 12 PM – 5 PM
Sunday May 27: 10 AM – 8 PM

Elections Ontario: Cambridge

Kitchener Centre

137 Glasgow Street unit 210, Kitchener, N2G 4X8 Map
Phone number is +1-866-850-4574
You can vote from May 10 – Jun 6

Monday to Saturday: 10 AM – 8 PM
Sunday May 13, May 20, June 3: 12 PM – 5 PM
Sunday May 27: 10 AM – 8 PM

Elections Ontario: Kitchener Centre

Kitchener — Conestoga

Returning Officer: Nick Driedger

1187 Fischer Hallman Road, Kitchener, N2E 4H9 Map
Phone number is +1-866-850-8977
You can vote from May 10 – Jun 6

Monday to Saturday: 10 AM – 8 PM
Sunday May 13, May 20, June 3: 12 PM – 5 PM
Sunday May 27: 10 AM – 8 PM

Elections Ontario: Kitchener–Conestoga

Kitchener South — Hespeler

148 Manitou Drive unit 202, Kitchener, N2C 1L3 Map
Phone number is +1-866-714-2812
You can vote from May 10 – Jun 6

Monday to Saturday: 10 AM – 8 PM
Sunday May 13, May 20, June 3: 12 PM – 5 PM
Sunday May 27: 10 AM – 8 PM

Elections Ontario: Kitchener South–Hespeler

Waterloo

630 Weber Street N unit 100, Waterloo, N2V 2N2 Map
Phone number is +1-866-259-7278
You can vote from May 10 – Jun 6

Monday to Saturday: 10 AM – 8 PM
Sunday May 13, May 20, June 3: 12 PM – 5 PM
Sunday May 27: 10 AM – 8 PM

Elections Ontario: Waterloo

WRGreens Campaign Launch

Strong Women in Politics: Stacey Danckert (Kitchener Centre), Hannah Bell (PEI MLA) and Michele Braniff (Cambridge)

These three women give me hope.

It is exciting to that 2/5ths of Waterloo Region’s Green Party Candidates are women.  Stacey Danckert will represent Kitchener Centre and Michele Braniff Cambridge in the Election we are about to have here in Ontario.

The inspirational woman in the middle is Hannah Bell, the newest elected Green in Canada.  In a recent PEI By-Election, Hannah won the second Green seat in the PEI Legislative Assembly.  In PEI the Greens are the Third Party, and they are polling awfully well.  Even though they are only a caucus of two, they have already demonstrated that politics can be done differently.

And oddly enough, citizens like that.

Ontario’s Green Party Candidates are looking for their chance to do the same thing here.   It’s time.

REMINDER for TODAY:
Join the Waterloo Region Greens and Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner  for our 2018 provincial election Campaign Launch at Fresh Ground, located at 256 King Street East, Kitchener, N2H 2V6

Come celebrate with us as we kick off the biggest campaign we’ve ever run in Green Party history! We’ll have lots of excitement as the writs are drawn up and the election is officially underway. Make sure to wear Green so we can show Ontario that the Green Wave is here.

When: May 9, 2018 3:30 pm
Where: Fresh Ground (at The Working Centre), 256 King St E, Kitchener

The event is free, but spots are limited so RSVP today.https://gpo.ca/event/campaign-launch-kitchener/

Candidates: Zdravko Gunjevic (Waterloo), David Weber (Kitchener South—Hespeler), Pauline Thornham (Brampton North), Bob Jonkman (Kitchener—Conestoga), Ingrid, Michele Braniff (Cambridge), Abhijeet Manay (Mississaga-Streetsville)

 

Campaign Launch: Waterloo Region

On Wednesday, May 9th, Mike Schreiner, Leader of the Green Party of Ontario, will be launching our official campaign for the 2018 provincial election.

Come celebrate with us as we kick off the biggest campaign we’ve ever run in Green Party history! We’ll have lots of excitement as the writs are drawn up and the election is officially underway. Make sure to wear Green so we can show Ontario that the Green Wave is here.

The event is free, but spots are limited so RSVP today. https://gpo.ca/event/campaign-launch-kitchener/

When: May 9, 2018 3:30 pm
Where: Fresh Ground (at The Working Centre), 256 King St E, Kitchener

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!