The #WRally4PR video is online

Watch the complete February 11th Waterloo Region Rally here:

I’m planning on releasing a series of bite sized pieces from the rally as “soundbites.” The first is this powerful 5 minute clip of Liberal Sharon Sommerville’s impassioned talk about Real Betrayal:

Worth Repeating:
Parliamentary Petition e-616 is the single most important thing any of us can do for electoral reform.
https://petitions.parl.gc.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-616

Sign The Electoral Reform Petition

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 123,023 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.

 

 

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.

 

 

Sign Petition e-616

[reblogged from Whoa!Canada]

Petition e-616 can be found at
https://petitions.parl.gc.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-616

This petition to the Canadian Government website has broken all records and continues to grow.  As of writing it is up to:

122,577 signatures

Sign the Petition: e-616

You can help make every vote count by signing the petition.

And after you’ve signed it (and sent the email confirmation)  you can help even more by encouraging your friends and family and co-workers and your kid’s teachers and your dentist and doctor and letter carrier and fellow religionists (including your minister, rabbi, imam or priest) … because *any* Canadian can and should sign this petition too.   You don’t even need to be old enough to vote.  If you haven’t yet hit voting age, signing now may result in an electoral system where your vote will count by the time you can vote.

If enough of us sign e-616, our Government might yet deliver on this oh so important promise.

Because when all Canadians are represented in Parliament, it will make our government much more accountable than it is today because no single party — no single party leader will have the power to impose an agenda against the public good.  We know Proportional Representation most often produces stable government capable of long term planning.  We also know Proportional Representation leads to co-operation between parties, not polarization like we have now.  First Past The Post elected Donald Trump in the USA, and FPTP could just as easily give us a Canadian version too.

First Past The Post gives the winner 100% of the power with only 39% (or less) of the votes.

Proportional Representation ensures 39% of the votes only deliver 39% of the power.

Right now the Liberal Government is rallying around Private Member’s Motion 103 because they hope it will makes them look like progressive multicultural heroes.  If the Conservative Party chooses an O’Leary or a Leitch as its leader, the Liberal Party hopes to ride a wave of lesser-evilism into a second majority term.  (Clever Canadians should recall how well such a plan worked out for Hillary Clinton.  Clever Conservatives won’t choose a leader the Liberals can use as a boogeyman.)

But here’s the thing: M-103 wouldn’t even be an issue if every vote counted. If the Liberal Government is truly committed to a healthy multicultural democracy it would be writing the promised electoral reform legislation as we speak.  If they are truly worried a referendum would prove too divisive or open to manipulation, the ERRE Committee’s referendum might be deferred to after 3 elections… by which time Canadians will understand Proportional Representation well enough to make an informed choice.

Canada is supposed to be a Representative Democracy.

But when a majority of Canadians aren’t represented in Parliament, it isn’t, really.

Canadians need to be able to elect the government we want by electing MPs that can actually represent us.  When the Liberal Government was elected with a majority, I hoped the fact the party was divided between Alternative Vote and Proportional Representation we would get a fair process.  Even knowing Justin Trudeau was an Alternative Vote supporter as far back as the Liberal Leadership race.  And for a while it really looked like we were.  Mr. Trudeau and senior Liberals assured us he would let the process go through.   My Liberal friends were positive that Proportional Representation couldn’t possibly fail with a fair process, because the evidence of over a century clearly supports Proportional Representation as the fairest way to achieve representative democracy.  And 14 Canadian Commissions, Assemblies & Reports recommended PR (with 0 recommending keeping First Past the post or adopting Mr. Trudeau’s favourite Alternative Vote (alias Preferential/Instant Runoff).

But so many people kept asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about Proportional Representation he decided to pull the plug on it.  So much for a fair process.  So much for real change.  And nobody is angrier about this unfair outcome than my Liberal friends.

Sign The Electoral Reform Petition

Electoral Reform Hashtags

The easiest way to encourage your friends and family is to share on social media.

#CDNpoli
#EngagedinER
##ProportionalRepresentation
#ChaqueVoteCompte
##PerformOnReform
##NotFineWith39
#ERRE
#electoralreform
#CdnDemocracy
#TrudeaKeepYourPromise
#ERNow

and don’t forget to check out the PR4Canada Resources page!

2017 SGM Policy Ratification Results Are In!

green-voteI am pleased to see these nearly unanimous results on the GPC website.  All policy adopted at the 2016 Special General Meeting in Calgary has been ratified.

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.

You can download your own certified copy of the Simply Voting results here.

2017 SGM Ratification Vote Results

National Day of Action for Electoral Reform

National Day of Action for Electoral Reform | Journée Nationale de Mobilisation pour la Réforme ÉlectoraleWaterloo Region joins the National Day of Action for Electoral Reform
[sponsored by Fair Vote Waterloo]

Download the poster: posterFINAL.pdf (.PDF, 4 MBytes)

TIME & LOCATION

1:00pm at Carl Zehr Square at Kitchener City Hall confirmed! Map 1

WHY?

Justin Trudeau promised that 2015 would be the last First-Past-The-Post election and that the Liberals would introduce electoral reform legislation within 18 months. He promised to Make Every Vote Count.

Justin Trudeau a promis que 2015 serait la dernière élection menée sous le mode de scrutin uninominal à un tour. Il promettait aussi de faire en sorte que Chaque Vote Compte et que le gouvernement libéral légiférerait la réforme électorale dans les premiers 18 mois de son mandat.

On Wednesday, February 1, 2017, the Liberals abandoned that pledge. We urgently need to band together and tell our parliamentarians that we expect them to be true to their word and we want ELECTORAL REFORM NOW!

Le 1 février 2017, le gouvernement libéral abandonnait cette promesse. Il est urgent que les citoyens et citoyennes se mobilisent pour dire à nos parlementaires que nous attendons d’eux qu’ils tiennent leur parole et que nous demandons LA RÉFORME ÉLECTORALE DÈS MAINTENANT!

Please join us on February 11, 2017 on Parliament Hill and across the country to show your support for Electoral Reform!

Joignez-vous à nous le 11 février sur la colline parlementaire et partout au pays pour manifester votre appui pour la réforme électorale.

If you’re on Facebook you can sign up for this event at WR Electoral Reform National Day of Action

Don’t Let Rookie Minister Bury #ProportionalRepresentation

Justin Trudeau's Liberal 2015 Campaign Promise: We will make every vote count
Shortly after the ERRE Committee submitted its report, the Honourable Maryam Monsef was relieved of her position as Minister of Democratic Institutions in a cabinet shuffle.  An even younger rookie MP was elevated to the Minister of Democratic Institutions position.

Our electoral system is foundational to our democracy. At its core, is a question of how we, as Canadians, govern ourselves.Our government believes that time was needed to consult Canadians about this complex issue.  Our view has always been clear.   Major reforms to the electoral system, changes of this magnitude, should not be made if they lack the broad support of Canadians.

Public consultations came in many forms.  Members of Parliament were encouraged to hold Town Halls, to hear the views of their constituents. My predecessor travelled throughout the country visiting every province and territory, to host similar Town Halls on behalf of the government.

An All Party Special Committee of the House of Commons worked long hours and in December produced a thorough report that documents the many complexities of electoral reform.

In recent weeks, more than 360,000 Canadians participated in mydemocracy.ca to provide their insight into our democratic values.

Now, following all of these consultations, it has become clear that Canadians have a range of views about whether to continue using the current First Past The Post system to elect MPs to the House of Commons.

We respect and thank all those who have come forward to participate in these discussions. It has informed our decision. And it has become evident that the broad support needed among
Canadians for a change of this magnitude does not exist.

[en francais]

Therefore, my mandate letter states a clear preference for a new electoral system, let alone a consensus, has not emerged.

Furthermore, without a clear preference or a clear question a referendum would not be in Canada’s Interest.

Changing the electoral system is not in my mandate.

We have listened to all Canadians in this debate.

To Canadians who cherish their democracy and who value the direct connection they have with their Member of Parliament.

Canadians want their Parliamentarians to work with each other and to cooperate on policy.

They want their government to be accountable.

They want their MPs to act in the interest of their constituents.

We agree.

My job is to strengthen and protect our democratic institutions and ensure they represent the values of Canadians. We are moving to accomplish that mandate.

CPAC: Karina Gould, the new Minister of Democratic Institutions, announcing government decision to break its campaign pledge to change Canada’s voting system. [begins at about 4 minute mark]

The New Minister Karina Gould Buries Proportional Representation

Can we afford not to implement electoral reform?  Long term planning doesn’t often happen in winner-take-all systems.  That’s part of why Canada is so far behind the curve in green tech, public transit, climate change, eliminating poverty etc.

Even when we do get good policy chances are good it won’t last through policy lurch.

What Can We Do?

Use the Green Party of Canada tool to send a message:
A Broken Promise to Canada

EVENTS

Sunday February 5th, 2017
GUELPH Rally for Proportional Representation
Guelph City Hall   1PM

Rally organised by Fair Vote Guelph
https://www.facebook.com/events/1852627561618419/
MP Longfield acknowledges that recent poll results in Guelph in support of
Proportional Representation are valid.
We need visible support at the rally to show our government that we want PR.
Please come to the Rally for PR  on Sunday at Guelph City Hall at to support  a fair open and transparent Democratic process .

.



Wednesday February 8th, 2017
Call-Blitz and Tweet-Storm
* All Day *
Contact:

  • your local MP,
  • the Prime Minister’s Office and
  • Karina Gould

Respectfully express your opinion, tell them we’ll #seeyousaturday


Saturday February 11, 2017
NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION
Canada Wide Protest
Be LOUD ~ Be HEARD.

Cross Canada Protest Times

Atlantic           15:00
Eastern           14:00
Central           13:00
Mountain/SK 12:00
Pacific           11:00
@JustinTrudeau and the #LPC promised that 2015 would be our last #FPTP election. #PerformOnReform
https://www.facebook.com/events/885031191552272/



We can also call or write our Waterloo Region Liberal MPs

Bryan May
Bryan.May.P9@parl.gc.ca
+1-613-996-1307 – Ottawa Office
+1-519-624-7440 – Cambridge Office

Bardish Chagger
Bardish.Chagger.P9@parl.gc.ca
+1-613-996-5928 – Ottawa  Office
+1-519-746-1573 – Waterloo Office
Raj Saini
Raj.Saini.P9@parl.gc.ca
+1-613-995-8913 – Ottawa Office
+1-519-741-2001 – Kitchener Office
Marwan Tabbara
Marwan.Tabbara.P9@parl.gc.ca
+1-613-992-1063 – Ottawa Office
+1-519-571-5509 – Kitchener Office

Justin Trudeau
Justin.Trudeau.P9@parl.gc.ca
+1-613-995-0253 – Ottawa Office
+1-514-277-6020 – Montreal Office

The Waterloo Region Record
letters@therecord.com

Raj Saini
Raj Saini
Marwan Tabbara
Marwan Tabbara
bryanmay
Bryan May
bardishchagger
Bardish Chagger

 

Tragedy in Sainte-Foy, Québec

The MONTREAL GAZETTE reports:
6 dead, 8 injured in terrorist attack at Quebec City mosque
On January 29th, 2017
pq-flag-stainte-foy-flag

Our hearts go with Alex Tyrrell, leader of the Quebec Green Party who will attend the citizen’s initiative Vigile de solidarité avec les musulman-es de Québec #SalamQc.

Here in Waterloo Region we’re having our own Prayer and Solidarity Vigil organised by @KitchenerMasjid tonight from 6:00 – 7:00 pm at Kitchener City Hall


Elizabeth May tweeted:

Devastated to hear of murderous attack on Quebec City mosque. As Greens, we join Prime Minister in condemning attack. It is heartbreaking.
WRGreens are in full agreement with the sentiments expressed by Ms. May and Prime Minister Trudeau.

To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada

WRGreens stand with all Canadians who believe we must extend a safe haven to those newly denied by President Trump’s latest Executive Order.

We sincerely hope the Prime Minister follows up… and because things often get lost in the shiffle, it never hurts to remind our elected officials (especially in a winner-take-all democracy) that we really do expect them to see it through.   Just in case, supporting the Leadnow Petition to Tell Trudeau: Welcome Those Fleeing Violence and Deportation Under Trump may very well help.

Attacking innocents is not the Canadian Way.  Our strength is in our diversity.
wrgreens-blogo-bordered

Go Green on Social Media

social-media-iconsThe 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.
wrgreens-logo-banner
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.

WRGreens are on YouTube!

Introducing the WRGreens YouTube Channel. Until recently the only thing we’ve had are playlists, mostly of WRGreens video online from previous elections.

But in December I made WRGreens very first short video about the GPC SGM adoption of the Indigenous suite of policy.

And I’ve also just posted a video of Bob Jonkman (Kitchener-Conestoga) presenting the round table report at the Waterloo Region Basic Income Pilot Consultation in Waterloo Region.

While it’s good the Provincial Liberals have expressed the intention of piloting Basic Income, it is important to engage as much as possible.  Done right, the evidence shows Basic Income would actually save the government money, in both direct (less bureaucracy) and indirect (healthier, better educated and more productive citizens), there is a very real concern that instead of doing it right, they’ll try to amplify the direct savings by making the basic Income amount too low, or making other cuts, to public housing, say.

If you haven’t already, please complete the online Basic Income Pilot Consultation survey (and encourage others to do so as well) — and be sure to recommend Waterloo Region as a pilot site!   Basic Income Waterloo Region has some compelling reasons why Waterloo Region would be an excellent Pilot choice.

Find out more from Basic Income Waterloo Region!
Find out more from Basic Income Waterloo Region!

And if you have a You Tube account, don’t forget to follow WRGreens ~ and share our videos too!

Bob Jonkman looking through the Basic Income handout.

Welcome 2017

Dreaming of A Green New Year

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

GPOflag avatar smallFriday January 13th, 2016

6:30 – 9:00pm
Kitchener City Hall
200 King Street West
Kitchener, ON
N2G 4G7

Register for the Kitchener Consultation here.

You can make an online submission until January 31, 2017

Basic Income Waterloo meets with Richard Walsh and Bob Jonkman at the Waterloo Greens Office during the 2015 election
Basic Income Waterloo meets with Richard Walsh and Bob Jonkman at the Waterloo Greens Office during the 2015 election

“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.”

— Kitchener Post: Public invited to have say on basic guaranteed income

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. 

Find out more about Basic Income from our own long time local advocacy group, Basic Income Waterloo Region.


GPC Federal Council Meeting

Sunday 22 January 22nd, 2017
6 to 8 pm EST

Any Green Party member (in good standing) is welcome to attend GPC Federal Council Meetings online. The next meeting will be on Sunday, January 22nd from 6 to 8 pm EST.

If you wish to attend, you can register here


Trusted Clothes Swap at KCI

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 events@trustedclothes.com.

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]


GPC Online Ratification Vote

gpcflag-avatarFinally, there is the online vote to ratify the policy adopted at the December SGM in Calgary.  All GPC members can (and should) participate in the ratification vote until February 6th, 2017.

Don’t leave it until the last minute!


You’ll find these — and more as we hear about them—  in the WRGreens Calendar you can always find in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Be sure to keep an eye on this calendar  for future Green events and outings (movie nights, learning communities, etc.) in Waterloo Region.

Subscribe to the blog (click the green “follow blog” button at the top of the sidebar) for regular updates.

This is going to be a very good year!