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.

 

WR Greens Election Planning Meeting — Thursday, 15 February 2018

The 2018 Ontario election is fast approaching, and it’s time to get ready. People are hungry for a different kind of politics – one based on honesty and integrity. Mike Schreiner and the Green Party of Ontario will bring that refreshing voice.

This Thursday, the five local Green Party ridings are coming together to plan our next few months. Join Stacey Danckert, candidate for Kitchener Centre, and Zdravko Gunjevic, candidate for Waterloo, in this open meeting.

What: Election planning meeting
When: Thursday, 15 February 2018, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Where: Re/Max Office
Location: 720 Westmount Rd East, Kitchener Map

The agenda will include:

  • brainstorming goals for the election
  • building a pathway to achieve those goals

All are welcome. Please bring along anyone who would like to contribute! The Green Party is committed to grassroots decisionmaking, and we are going to build a campaign that resonates for people here in Waterloo Region.

Check out the Green Party of Ontario priorities to get a feel for the party’s policy priorities. If you have any ideas or questions in the meantime, just send an e-mail to kitchenercentre@gpo.ca

See you there!

Sam Nabi
Communications Chair, Kitchener Centre

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

Waterloo and Kitchener Centre Nomination Meeting, Sun 22 Oct 2017

Hi Waterloo Region Greens! Just a reminder that this Sunday will be the nomination meetings for both the Kitchener Centre and Waterloo Constituency Associations.

Any Green Party of Ontario members in these ridings are invited to vote for the person who will become the GPO candidate for the provincial election in June 2018. And everybody is invited to attend!

What: Waterloo and Kitchener Centre Nomination Meeting
When: Sunday, 22 October 2017 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm Cal
Where: Central Branch, Kitchener Public Library
Location: 85 Queen Street North, Kitchener, Ontario Map

Once the candidates have been nominated we’ll kick off the 2018 election campaign! Learn about Green issues and find ways to make an impact.

Please RSVP by e-mailing Teresa Cornwell at tcornwell@yahoo.com

Potluck Picnic In The Park with the @WR_Greens

Tonight’s Potluck Picnic In The Park is a GO!

It won’t rain: Environment Canada is predicting a 70% chance of dryness. It will be cool on Wednesday evening, though, so bring a sweater or light jacket.

If it does rain, we have a Rain Date: Thursday, 31 August 2017, same time, same place (7:00pm, Picnic Shelter at Victoria Park). Keep an eye on this web page for up-to-date updates!

Picnic table with foodThe Waterloo Region Greens are having a Summertime Get Together! Join us for a Potluck Picnic In The Park under the picnic shelter in Kitchener’s Victoria Park.

Bring a dish to share, and bring your own beverage (non-alcoholic; this is a public venue). To accommodate dietary preferences, please label your food if it has nuts, wheat, dairy, eggs, or meat.

Although the listed time is from 7:00pm to 9:00pm, you’re very welcome to start earlier and stay later!

What: Waterloo Region Greens Summer Get Together: Potluck Picnic in the Park
When: Wednesday, 23 August 2017 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Where: Picnic shelter, Victoria Park, Kitchener, Ontario Map

And since the rain is no stranger to Kitchener, we’ll have an alternate rain date on Thursday, 31 August 2017. Keep an eye on the WRGreens blog and @WR_Greens for rain postponement announcements.

Join the WR Greens Discussion mailing list to keep up-to-date on Waterloo Region Green Party events.

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

Friday: Don’t miss Mike at TWB

Meet Mike!
7:00pm – 9:00 pm Friday Night

at TWB Co-op Brewpub300 Mill St., Kitchener

Did you know TWB is short for “Together We’re Bitter” ?

Join Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner for an evening out with your fellow Greens.  A great chance to share your thoughts and discuss the local issues that matter to you.
The evening will end with a no-holds-barred live interview about beer regulation hosted by local comedian Michael Masurkevitch (We Are Millennials).

Invite your friends!

 An added treat for those interested in looking behind the scenes at the TWB Brewery ~ for $5 you can get a ticket for a special tour of the Brewery from 7-7:30pm.

Cowspiracy at the KPL

Don’t forget to register at EventBrite for the Thursday evening special free screening of the “Cowspiracy” documentary tomorrow (Thursday, April 20th, 2017) at the KPL main branch.

an investigation of food industry sustainability

Doors open at 6:30!

There will be a fabulous selection of pre-film snackage before the movie (6:30 – 6:45pm) as well as wonderful door prizes from Cafe PyrusBlack Arrow CyclesLucia’s Vegan Catering and The Avocado Co-op.

Film screening will begin promptly at 6:45.

See you tomorrow ~ they still have some room, so bring a friend!

6:45pm—8:45pm
Special screening of the documentary COWSPIRACY & Talk

Kitchener Public Library, Central Branch
85 Queen Street North, Kitchener
brought to us by 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
http://kwpeace.ca/event/cowspiracy-screening-and-talk/?instance_id=3224

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.