Comment on #Bill66 ~ DEADLINE Sunday!

During the election, Mr Ford categorically promised not to touch the Greenbelt.

Not only is the Greenbelt home to 5,500 farms, 78 species at risk and 102 million tonnes of carbon storage, the reason it was protected in the first place was to protect a great deal of Ontario’s water.

But now Mr Ford’s majority government has introduced Bill 66, The Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018, legislation. This will indeed open Ontario’s Greenbelt up to development.

Because it was introduced quietly going into Christmas, and the Ford Government has since made no secret of its intention to push Bill 66 through quickly, I don’t know if anyone has yet managed a thorough examination of all the ramifications of Bill 66.

It may only be 35 pages long, but it’s an omnibus bill, which means everything you need to know isn’t contained in this draft legislation.  You’d have to read through every one of the 22 laws it will change:

Some of the changes it makes may be good things, but  bad things thoroughly outweigh any good that might be there.  That’s the thing about Omnibus Bills: many different things are bundled together in a package too big to be adequately considered in a democracy.

There is no reason Bill 66 couldn’t be stopped, and the good parts could be reintroduced as ordinary laws that can be properly understood and debated in the Legislature. 

Our unrepresentative voting system has gifted Mr Ford’s government with 100% power to pass any law it wants, even though it was elected by only 40% of the votes cast  (a mere twentysomething percent of eligible votes).

So what’s the rush?

There is nothing stopping them from allowing citizens and the MPPs in the legislature to know what it is they are passing, and allow adequate parliamentary debate of all aspects.  That’s how our system is supposed to work.  In a majority government, even though the party with all the power can pass any law it wants, the reason we have an opposition parties is to ensure that our legislators make sure the laws they pass stand up to scrutiny.  If there are bad unintended consequences, or even if the legislation is too broad or unclear, the opposition parties can be trusted to point these things out so they can be dealt with before they become law.

The only reason for pushing something like this through fast is to keep us from knowing what they’re doing until it’s too late.  Keeping the people in the dark is not how a Government for the people would operate.

In the Region of Waterloo discussion of Bill 66, Waterloo Mayor Jaworsky said, “No one asked for this.”  Mr Ford keeps talking about making Ontario “Open For Business.”  But what does that mean?  They say this law is supposed to “cut red tape” that prevents development.

But the fact is that development isn’t being prevented.  There is plenty of room in Ontario, plenty of land available and open for development without going anywhere near the protected lands of the Green Belt.  There is no need to endanger our water or anything else.  That’s why municipalities across Ontario are passing resolutions saying they don’t want or need this.

Why is this happening?

When the laws protecting Ontario’s water and the Greenbelt were put in place, land prices in the Greenbelt stayed low.  When farmland can’t be turned into a factory or subdivision, it stays viable as farmland.  But because of the low prices, some developers bought land in the Greenbelt, speculating that in time they would elect a government willing to undo the Greenbelt protections.  And so they did.

In spite of all-party approved changes to Ontario’s election financing law preventing political parties from accepting corporate donations, the changes didn’t go far enough.  To skirt the law, developers like Mattamy Homes were allowed to contribute ridiculous sums of money to Partisan third party advertiser Ontario Proud, specializing in attack ads against Mr Ford’s opponents.  (And Mr Ford is undoing that election financing law because the people he is for have lots of money to spend to ensure the governments they want get elected.   But that’s another story.)

The only reason the Ford Government is trying so hard to carve up the green spaces of our province with factories and subdivisions is because their rich supporters want to make a profit.

Ontario has been doing a pretty good job of long term planning, protecting sensitive environments, our water and our food supplies. Once farmland is paved, its gone.

Once farmland is developed, it’s not farm land anymore.

The best we can hope for from Bill 66 is that decades of careful land management will be messed up.  Much of the law protecting our water dates back to the previous PC Government, and were put in place to protect Ontario from another  Walkerton.  Or another Elmira.

If that’s not bad enough, Bill 66 does away with any requirement for public notice or consultation or meetings, and no matter what problems are caused, we won’t even be able to appeal to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.  So called “Open For Business” by-laws passed behind closed doors will trump laws, policies and municipal official plans developed through extensive and open public consultation.  Communities would have no recourse to influence or challenge them.

And even if your Council doesn’t do any of these things, the Council next door might, and endanger the environment we all share.

What Can We Do?

We have until January 20, 2019, to formally tell the Ford Government consultation what we think about Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018 on the province’s website.

January 20th is the deadline for comments to Bill 66 on the Environmental Registry of Ontario (EBR).

Be sure that you and others that you know speak up and let your concerns be known.  It would be fantastic if your group or organization can make an official response or submission.  There is plenty of information in the Bill 66 Recent Articles linked below.  There are a myriad of issues and concerns, but you can say as little or as much as you like in your comment.   Don’t be shy about making comments personally – even if it is just a short sentence or two.  I would suggest making it clear right at the top that you don’t want Bill 66.  I am afraid to say that at this point they are not likely to listen to what we say, but they will certainly tally up how many comments support or oppose the bill.

Please take two minutes to send a message to the Ontario Government to stop Bill 66:

COMMENT ON Omnibus Bill 66 HERE

DEADLINE SUNDAY: January 20th, 2019

You can also visit the Green Party of Ontario’s Defend The Greenbelt website.  If you feel you need assistance in using the comment process, the GPO advises you to Click here for step-by-step instructions to participate in the government consultation.

You can still use Hold The Line tool to send email to local politicians.


And of course we can always contact our Member of Provincial Parliament:


Michael Harris Jr, Kitchener-Conestoga, Progressive Conservative Party

Rm 434, Main Legislative Bldg,
Queen’s Park M7A 1A8
Toronto:  tel 416 326-6945, fax 416 326-6942

Constituency office:
Unit 3 and 4, 63 Arthur St. S., Elmira, N3B 2M6
Mike.harrisco@pc.ola.org
Tel 519 669-2090, fax 519 669-0476


Amy Fee, Kitchener South – Hespeler, Progressive Conservative Party

Hepburn Block, 6th floor, 80 Grosvenor,
Toronto, M7A 1E9
Tel:  416 325-1128

Constituency office:
Unit 4, 4281 King St. E., Kitchener N2P 2E9
Amy.fee@pc.ola.org
Tel 519 650-9413, fax 519 650-7006


Belinda Karahalios, Cambridge, Progressive Conservative

Hepburn Block, 6th floor, 80 Grosvenor St.,
Toronto, M7A 1E9
Tel. 416 325-1793

Constituency Office:
498 Eagle St. N., Cambridge N3H 1C2
Belinda.karahalios@pc.ola.org
Tel 519 650-2770, fax 519 650-3918


And you can also call the Premier’s Office directly!

Call 416 325-1941 and leave a short message for Premier Doug Ford re your concerns about Bill 66


Catherine Fife, Waterloo, New Democratic Party

Room 154, Main Legislative Building,
Queen’s Park, Toronto M7A 1A5
Tel 416 325-6913, fax 416 325-6942

Constituency Office:
Suite 220 100 Regina St. S, Waterloo N2J 4P9 (office is in City Hall Bldg)
For legislative issues: Cfife-QP@ndp.on.ca
For community issues: cfife-co@ndp.on.ca
Tel 519 725-3477, fax 519 725-3667


Laura Mae Lindo, Kitchener Centre, New Democratic Party

Room 170, Main Legislative Building,
Queen’s Park, Toronto, M7A 1A5
Tel 416 326-7221, fax 416 326-7217

Constituency Office:
Suite 212, 25 Frederick St.,  Kitchener, N2H 6M8
For legislative issues:  LLindo-QP@ndp.on.ca
For community issues: LLindo@ndp.on.ca
Tel 519 579-5460, fax 519 579-2121


Mike Schreiner, Guelph, Green Party

Room 451, Main Legislative Building,
Queen’s Park, Toronto M7A 1A2
Tel 416 325-4664, fax 416 325-4666    Mschreiner@ola.org

Constituency Office:
173 Woolwich St., Guelph N1H 3V4
Mschreiner-co@ola.org
Tel 519 836-4190, fax 519 836-4191


Bill 66 Recent Articles and Background:

Get Ready for 2019!

Most critical election in Canadian History?

We need 2019 to be the year Canadians fill Parliament with MPs with both the political will and commitment to make effective Climate policy.   The climate change clock is ticking, and we can no longer afford to hope protests will mobilize the Canadian government against Climate Change.

We can’t keep waiting for other political  parties to do what needs doing.

We don’t have the luxury of time in which we help elect other party MPs in hopes they will do the right thing, only to watch as they do what the party tells them to do instead.

We have no choice but to elect more Green MPs to send to Parliament to ensure that we have a Parliament prepared to meet Climate Change head on.

We need all the help we can get to send Greens to Ottawa to work with Elizabeth May.  We all know what an amazing job Elizabeth May is doing now… just imagine how much more effective she’ll be with more MPs to help!

And with an unfair political system in which most voters aren’t engaged, the sad fact is financial donations are incredibly important.  Donations allow us to reach out beyond you– and the Green community of Canadians who understand what is happening– and help reach new voters we can encourage to vote.

Donations allow us to afford information tables at local festivals and fairs, which help raise the Green profile enormously.  They can help pay for our own events, like film screenings or education nights, as well as buying the materials to make buttons at our button making events, as well as paying for literature to hand out at them. 

And, if we’ve got money in the bank, our candidates can have their election signs in in hand when the writ is drawn, so we can hit the ground running.  During the election, donations can buy election signs and literature and ads in our local newspapers. Most people have no idea how much Greens manage on a shoestring budget.  And every little bit helps.

We have been lucky to be able to attract and field an excellent slate of Candidates here in Waterloo Region, and we’re planning on doing it again in the New Year.  (Watch this space for information about the 2019 nominations.

If you can afford to make a donation to the Green Party, now is the time.  Any donation made before December 31st will count as a 2018 donation.  Then, if you’re able to donate again in 2019 you’ll be donating under the 2019 donation limit.


2018 FEDERAL GREEN PARTY CONTRIBUTION LIMITS

Effective January 1, 2018

The following limits apply to the total amount of Green Party of Canada donations you will make in 2018.  (If you’ve already donated, be sure you don’t exceed your allowed limit.)

Only Canadian citizens or permanent residents may make political contributions, donating up to:

$1,575 per year, to the Green Party of Canada, and another
$1,575 per year in total between your local Green Electoral District Association(s), Nomination Contestant(s) and Candidate campaigns
$3,150 total maximum allowed contribution

(Note: anything you donated to the Green Party of Ontario does not apply here.)

TAX CREDITS

All Canadians with a taxable income will receive a generous tax credit when they donate to the Green Party.
The sum of all your political contributions determines the size of your reduction in taxes payable.

Donations

between     $     0   and   $400    75% cent refund
between     $400   and   $750    $300 plus 50 per cent of any amount over $400
more than $750      gives you    $475 plus 33 1/3 per cent of any amount over $750 up to a maximum of $650 per year

If you make a $400 donation today, you’ll get a $300 tax credit when you file your income tax next year.  

Donate to your local Green Party of Canada Electoral District Association:

You can also make a matching donation to the The Green Party of Canada !


Canada Revenue Agency website has more information about tax credits.
Elections Canada website has more information about contribution limits.

Have a Green Thanksgiving!

Although I have issues with the colonial origins of our “Thanksgiving” tradition, the idea of expressing public thanks for that for which we are truly thankful is a good one.  It is especially easy to forget such things when so many negative things are ongoing, but to be able to continue to work for a sustainable workable future, it is important not to allow despair to prevail.  We can draw strength from reminding ourselves that there is still plenty of good in the world, and by harnessing that good, we can build the future we need for our children, and generations to follow.

In 2018 Canada, I am thankful so many of us have come to understand the necessity of adopting a proportional representation voting system, in spite of Mr. Trudeaus’s attempt to shut the idea of a truly representative democracy back in the closet, as his predecessors have done throughout Canadian history.

So I am very thankful that, instead of allowing this to happen:

  • the Provinces of BC and PEI are holding electoral reform referenda
  • the Yukon Territory has undertaken a study of electoral reform
  • a new government has been elected in Quebec after all opposition parties made a public pact to enact Proportional Representation no matter which formed new government
  • Ontario struggles under an FPTP extremist government which strips its most populous city in the country of almost half its (already) inadequate municipal representation
  • New Brunswick again suffers an electoral outcome like that which triggered its previous electoral reform process
  • Alberta looks down the barrel at the prospect of right wing populism in its already toxic atmosphere of polarization
  • Canadian provinces are pitted against each other by the federal government
  • PEI political polling suggests the PEI Greens may form the first Green led government in Canada

As an Ontarian, I don’t care who’s first but we can’t afford not to change.  Defenders Of The Status Quo fight so hard because once any jurisdiction in Canada adopts Proportional Representation and the sky doesn’t fall, the rest of us will be able to see with our own eyes that the myths they’ve frightened generations of Canadians with have always been pure misinformation.  Once that happens, the rest of the country will fall into  Proportional Representation like dominoes.  We are surely at a Proportional Representation tipping point.

Even in the unlikely event PR is staved off a little longer, at least Canadians are beginning to understand that even with our existing grotesquely inequitable voting system, we need to stop being bullied into voting ‘strategically’ for lesser evils but instead vote for what we want.

I am thankful that all five Waterloo Region Greens ranked in the top 20% of Ontario Green Party candidates in the 2018 provincial election.

I am thankful that, in spite of staggering odds against, and in the face of the Broadcast Consortium’s exclusion from the Ontario Leadership debates, Mike Schreiner made history this year by winning election as our first Ontario Greens Member of Provincial Parliament.

Bravo Mike!

WRGreens are thankful for our estimable federal and provincial representatives:
Mike Schreiner and Elizabeth May.

And so I would like to wish us all a Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at WRgreens!

Regards,
Laurel Russwurm
KitConGreens

Saturday is the WR Nonviolence Day In The Park!

It’s the 14th Annual Waterloo Region Nonviolence Day in the Park!

Saturday July 21st, 2018
Noon – 5 pm
Victoria Park Island, Kitchener, Ontario

Visit the WRGreens booth on Roos Island, and make your own button!  

51st annual K-W Multicultural Festival

Experience the Richness of Waterloo Region's Cultural Matrix | The 51st annual K-W Multicultural Festival - Drop by the WRGreens Booth! - Victoria Park Kitchener - Saturday June 23, Sunday June 24, 2018, 12-8pm - Saturday 7pm: Alysha Brilla and the Brilltones | Afro-Tribal Dancers * Arta- The Romanian Association * COCCC Lion Dance Group * Ensemble Topaz * Filcan Association Of KW * Freedubstar * Gerima Harvey * Grand River Chinese School * Hopa-Tropa, E-Ha-Ha! * Infinite Harmonix * Intensely Irish * Junior Folk Dance Team Of KW Chinese School * Kitchener Musical Band Society * Kw Royal Scottish Country Dance Society * Limelight Dance Crew * Maria Wu Music Education Centre * Martisor * Najda Now Dabke Group * Nepalese Canadian Association Of Waterloo Region * Notbadniks * Rozmaj Ukrainian Dancing * Ruben And Friends * Sakhi Group * Shreya Prasad And Fizaa Luthra * Sombrero Azul, Danzas Y Culturas * Sri Abiramy Dance Academy * Starlite Steelband * Strathyre Highland Dancers * The Imbayakunas * University Of Waterloo Indian Cultural Association (UWICA) * VJ Inamdar * Zespol Goralskie Harnasie

Saturday June 23 & Sunday June 24 Noon – 8pm

Come out to Victoria Park in Kitchener next weekend and soak up a wide assortment of traditional music and dance,

Afro-Tribal Dancers * Arta- The Romanian Association * COCCC Lion Dance Group * Ensemble Topaz * Filcan Association Of KW *  Freedubstar * Gerima Harvey * Grand River Chinese School  * Hopa-Tropa, E-Ha-Ha! *  Infinite Harmonix * Intensely Irish * Junior Folk Dance Team Of KW Chinese School * Kitchener Musical Band Society * Kw Royal Scottish Country Dance Society * Limelight Dance Crew * Maria Wu Music Education Centre * Martisor * Najda Now Dabke Group * Nepalese Canadian Association Of Waterloo Region * Notbadniks * Rozmaj Ukrainian Dancing * Ruben And Friends * Sakhi Group * Shreya Prasad And Fizaa Luthra * Sombrero Azul, Danzas Y Culturas * Sri Abiramy Dance Academy * Starlite Steelband * Strathyre Highland Dancers * The Imbayakunas * University Of Waterloo Indian Cultural Association (UWICA) * VJ Inamdar * Zespol Goralskie Harnasie

check out the artisans and awesome vendors

7 Rutas * African Craft & Jewelry * Anmol Fashion Inc * Asiri’s Treasures * Beads Plu$ Accessories (Gift Heaven) * Blue Dream- Tie Dye Girl *  El Tambache * Fashionable Jewels * Feng’s Creations * Goodview Fashion * Haven Furnishings Ltd. * Henna By Mehdiya * Henna4You * J&T Shades * Jawara Import * Kamila’s Amber * K-W Flags * Los Mayas * Mama Mombasa * Maya Collection * Origins * Portrait For You * Sumak Arts * Tibetan Arts * Treasure Of Tibet

wander through information booths that run the gamut from the arts through philosophy, spirituality, self help, community service, politics and social justice

artist george abraham * City of Kitchener – 2018 Artist in Residence: Sumaira Tazeen * Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region * Waterloo Central Railway * Amnesty International Group 9 * Assaulted Women’s Helpline * Bring on the Sunshine * Buddhist Light Internation Association – Waterloo Subchapter * Casa Relief International * Dianetics Foundation *Cameron Cultural Association of Kitchener-Waterloo(CCAKW) * Canadian Blood Services * Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington * Carizon Family and Community Services * VRTUCAR * Community Support Connections – Meals on Wheels and More * Conestoga College LINC * Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region * FairVoteCanada -Waterloo Region * Interfaith Grand River * Kitchener Public Library * Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery * KW Chapter, Council of Canadians * KW Counselling Services * LINK Picnic Festival * Living Wage Waterloo Region * Lotus Meditation * Save on Energy (IESO) * Shatitsirotha Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre * Society of Ontario Freethinkers * Solidarity Alliance * SPECTRUM – Waterloo Region’s Rainbow Community Space * The AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Area ( ACCKWA) * The Spinal Garage Wellness Centre * Waterloo Public Library * YMCA * Kitchener Centre Conservative E.D.A. * Kitchener Centre Federal Liberal Association * Waterloo Region Green Party * BFM Foundation * Calvary en Espanol * Scientology Volunteer Minister * Christian Arabic Church of Kitchener * Evangel Community Ministries/ Bibles Blessings and Prayer * Falun Dafa Association of Waterloo Region * Gayatri Pariwar Western Ontario * Infinite Light Amitabha Organization of Canada * Islamic Information Center of University of Waterloo (IICUW) * St. Mary Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church

and of course don’t forget to sample glorious food from around the world at the annual Multicultural Festival.

The Saturday Night concert features three time Juno nominated Canadian musician with Indo-Tanzanian and European roots.
ALYSHA BRILLA & THE BRILLTONES 
SATURDAY JUNE 23, 7PM

Sunday afternoon check out the folkie-country
JESSIE T
SUNDAY JUNE 24, 4PM
and the HipHop
SUNDAY JUNE 24, 7PM
For more information visit the K-W Multicultural Festival website 

Making History

Since becoming personally involved in elections, I’ve found myself watching televised election coverage on Election Night.  This year, that was at Ethel’s Lounge in Waterloo with three of our 5 Waterloo Region Greens Candidates and WRGreens volunteers and supporters.

Each broadcaster concentrates on the ridings their partisan experts consider important,  instead of showing the riding results equally, so it’s hit or miss for all the rest.  We chose to watch TVO’s coverage that night at Ethel’s, as TVO was the only MSM broadcaster to include a Green leaning commentator.

At the end of the day, it’s hard to get the big picture.  So for my own interest, I decided to check out Elections Ontario (unofficial results) to get an idea how our Green Candidates did overall. Although I did this for my own interest, Bob pointed out this might be of interest to others, so here it is.

Mike Schreiner Guelph 29,082 45.04% | Bonnie North Barrie—Innisfil 3,182 7.19% | Robert Kiley Kingston and the Islands 3,504 6.48% | Stephen Leahy Ajax 1,224 2.51% | Justin Tilson Algoma—Manitoulin 989 3.60% | Stephanie Nicole Duncan Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill 1,195 2.66% | Keenan Aylwin Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte 5,354 11.72% | Mark Daye Bay of Quinte 1,730 3.43% | Debra Scott Beaches—East York 2,128 4.26% | Laila Zarrabi Yan Brampton Centre 1,053 3.13% | Raquel Fronte Brampton East 500 1.33% | Pauline Thornham Brampton North 1,366 3.45% | Lindsay Falt Brampton South 1,472 3.86% | Julie Guillemet-Ackerman Brampton West 999 2.63% | Ken Burns Brantford—Brant 2,707 4.72% | Don Marshall Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound 2,922 5.95% | Vince Fiorito Burlington 2,828 4.48% | Michele Braniff Cambridge 3,018 6.27% | Gordon Kubanek Carleton 1,985 3.95% | Mark Vercouteren Chatham-Kent—Leamington 1,636 3.53% | Kirsten Snider Davenport 1,624 3.55% | Mark Wong Don Valley East 917 2.53% | Janelle Yanishewski Don Valley North 1,015 2.52% | Morgan Bailey Don Valley West 1,268 2.77% | Eryn Sylvester Mississauga—Malton 674 1.79% | Abhijeet Manay Mississauga—Streetsville 1,349 2.81% | Sarah Hutchinson Mushkegowuk—James Bay 164 1.78% | James O’Grady Nepean 2,679 5.06% | Michelle Bourdeau Newmarket—Aurora 1,788 3.63% | Joe Dias Niagara Centre 1,788 3.63% | Karen Fraser Niagara Falls 2,057 3.46% | Jessica Tillmanns Niagara West 2,578 5.58% | Bill Crumplin Nickel Belt 1,137 3.12% | Kris Rivard Nipissing 997 2.83% | Jeff Wheeldon Northumberland—Peterborough South 2,727 4.52% | Emily DeSousa Oakville 1,976 3.51% | Marianne Workman Oakville North—Burlington 2,045 3.69% | Nicholas Lapierre Orléans 1,603 2.51% | Deborah Ellis Oshawa 1,957 3.61% | Cherie Wong Ottawa Centre 2,266 3.52% | Les Schram Ottawa South 1,618 3.09% | Patrick Freel Ottawa West—Nepean 1,937 3.83% | Sheilagh McLean Ottawa—Vanier 1,951 4.07% | Al De Jong Oxford 2,247 4.30% | Halyna Zalucky Parkdale—High Park 2,544 4.66% | Matt Richter Parry Sound—Muskoka 9,438 20.02% | Lisa Olsen Perth—Wellington 2,746 5.86% | Gianne Broughton Peterborough—Kawartha 2,055 3.36%Laura Campbell Dufferin—Caledon 7,011 12.53% | Michelle Corbett Durham 2,359 3.88% | Reuben DeBoer Eglinton—Lawrence 1,230 2.43% | Bronagh Morgan Elgin—Middlesex—London 2,049 3.88% | Nancy Pancheshan Essex 1,853 3.45% | Shawn Rizvi Etobicoke Centre 1,329 2.32% | Nancy Ghuman Etobicoke North 991 2.73% | Chris Caldwell Etobicoke—Lakeshore 2,101 3.63% | Janet Errygers Flamborough—Glanbrook 2,307 4.47% | Daniel Reid Glengarry—Prescott—Russell 1,429 2.93% | Anne Faulkner Haldimand—Norfolk 2,095 4.14% | Lynn Therien Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock 2,584 4.50% | Jason Lopez Hamilton Centre 2,102 5.75% | Brian Munroe Hamilton East—Stoney Creek 1,873 4.26% | David Urquhart Hamilton Mountain 2,300 5.14% | Peter Ormond Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas 2,302 4.16% | Sari Watson Hastings—Lennox and Addington 1,910 4.24% | Kirsten Bennett Humber River—Black Creek 485 1.57% | Nicholas Wendler Huron—Bruce 1,804 3.42% | Andrew West Kanata—Carleton 2,827 5.33% | Adam Narraway Pickering—Uxbridge 2,105 3.96% | Anna Dolan Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke 1,436 2.98% | Walter Bauer Richmond Hill 1,248 2.88% | Kevin Shaw Sarnia—Lambton 1,856 3.65% | Kara Flannigan Sault Ste. Marie 1,044 3.25% | Sanjin Zeco Scarborough Centre 902 2.31% | Nicole Peltier Scarborough North 543 1.62% | David Del Grande Scarborough Southwest 1,144 2.64% | Lydia West Scarborough—Agincourt 635 1.72% | Linda Rice Scarborough—Guildwood 877 2.44% | Priyan De Silva Scarborough—Rouge Park 1,014 2.41% | Valerie Powell Simcoe North 3,615 6.65% | Jesseca Perry Simcoe—Grey 4,192 6.88% | Rita Bilerman Spadina—Fort York 1,817 3.66% | Colin Ryrie St. Catharines 1,923 3.72% | Elaine Kennedy Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry 1,596 3.67% | David Robinson Sudbury 1,504 4.16% | Rachel Dokhoian Thornhill 1,043 2.21% | John Northey Thunder Bay—Atikokan 880 2.71% | Amanda Moddejonge Thunder Bay—Superior North 838 2.79%Ember McKillop Kenora—Rainy River 721 3.60% | Christine Penner Polle Kiiwetinoong 406 6.28% | Greg Locke King—Vaughan 1,754 3.41% | Stacey Danckert Kitchener Centre 3,23 David Weber Kitchener South—Hespeler 3,198 7.53% | Bob Jonkman Kitchener—Conestoga 2,793 6.51% | Anthony Li Lambton—Kent—Middlesex 1,655 3.29% | Anita Payne Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston 2,410 4.79% | Derek Morley Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes 2,347 4.80% | Carol Dyck London North Centre 2,493 4.61% | Pamela Reid London West 2,211 3.75% | Lisa Carriere London—Fanshawe 2,050 4.52% | Jose Etcheverry Markham—Stouffville 2,153 4.00% | Caryn Bergmann Markham—Thornhill 859 2.29% | Deborah Moolman Markham—Unionville 993 2.12% | Eleanor Hayward Milton 2,208 5.04% | Noah Gould Mississauga Centre 1,149 2.63% | Basia Krzyzanowski Mississauga East—Cooksville 1,498 3.45% | Libby Yuill Mississauga—Erin Mills 1,312 2.74% | Lloyd Jones Mississauga—Lakeshore 1,572 2.95% | Casey Lalonde Timiskaming—Cochrane 723 2.63% | Lucas Schinbeckler Timmins 273 1.75% | Adam Sommerfeld Toronto Centre 1,377 3.12% | Andrew Trotter Toronto—Danforth 2,248 4.38% | Teresa Pun Toronto—St. Paul's 1,690 3.23% | Tim Grant University—Rosedale 2,652 5.37% | Michael DiPasquale Vaughan—Woodbridge 972 2.26% | Zdravko Gunjevic Waterloo 2,613 4.83% | Dave Rodgers Wellington—Halton Hills 5,066 8.64% | Stacey Leadbetter Whitby 1,958 3.42% | Randi Ramdeen Willowdale 932 2.30% | Krysta Glovasky-Ridsdale Windsor West 1,393 3.58% | Henry Oulevey Windsor—Tecumseh 1,907 4.42% | Roma Lyon York Centre 843 2.29% | Grad Murray York South—Weston 942 2.53% | Alexandra Zalucky York—Simcoe 2,195 4.82%(note: the above all candidates image is actually in three pieces, part 1 is the first 6 rows, part 2 the next 5 rows, and part 3 the last 5 rows. Click on the section you want to see the segment at full size.)

 

All five of our Waterloo Region Greens candidates did very well overall.

Kitchener South—Hespeler candidate David Weber‘s 7.53 riding vote percentage was the 6th highest in Ontario (up from 7th in 2014).  Kitchener Centre‘s candidate Stacey Danckert ranked 9th with 6.84%, Kitchener—Conestoga candidate Bob Jonkman ranked 11th with 6.51%, Cambridge candidate Michele Braniff ranked 14th with 6.27%, and first time candidate Zdravko Gunjevic ranked 24th with 4.83% in Waterloo.

And while I know from personal experience how lucky Waterloo Region has been to have such an excellent roster of WRGreens candidates, I have met enough other Green Party Candidates to know this isn’t really unusual.  Frankly, I am continually stunned by the calibre of Green Party Candidates in general.  Although the Green Party has far and away the best policy of any of the top four parties, putting your hat in the ring requires a great deal of time, money and effort for any candidate.  It’s a big personal investment no matter which party a candidate is running for, and Greens are faced with additional handicaps:

  • an electoral system that discriminates egregiously against the Greens,
  • unrelenting propaganda that insists majority government is a good thing,
  • the exclusion of the Green Party Leader in televised Leaders Debates
  • the MSM agenda to keep us perpetually cycling between red and blue parties,
  • the never ending push for strategic voting,
  • the catch 22 perception that no seats in the legislature means Greens are unelectable, and
  • the low probability of winning, even when you are the best candidate in your riding.

Green Candidates are well aware of how little chance they have of being elected, but in spite of everything, excellent Green Party Candidates keep stepping up.

Working together is the WRGreens superpower.

Stacey Danckert brought us all together under the unofficial WRGreens umbrella during the 2015 federal election, and our regional cooperation is paying off.  Cooperating, sharing our experience and resources has been incredibly helpful for us here in Waterloo Region.

And not just during elections.  We’ve been actively working to raise the Green profile between elections, by hosting information tables at local summer festivals where we can, hosting our own events and participating in others as appropriate, and building our online presence on the WRGreens blog.   We’re always learning, and we’ll do it even better next time.  Especially now that Mike Schreiner has won that so important first seat.

Strategic Voting is a only a good strategy for the candidate who gets the vote we would rather cast elsewhere.

I know how hard it can be to stay positive, and to keep focus on the campaign.  But after media suppression, I think our worst threat is falling prey to propaganda.

The strategic voting narrative continues to be powerful, and it is always the worst when it strikes from within.

In many ways I think this is especially difficult for Greens, because Greens are the unparty party, the party that applauds other parties when they appropriate our ideas, even when implemented badly, because it’s a start.

The stakes are so high that sometimes a candidate falls victim to strategic voting propaganda, and suggests their supporters vote instead for a competitor who might win against a greater evil. This really isn’t surprising in a party that understands the importance of working together for the common good.  Green Candidates aren’t professional politicians, they’re people from all walks of life who get involved because they understand our future is at stake and change is no longer optional. They’re in this because serious issues that need to be addressed, not for the greater glory of the party.

One of the reasons strategic voting is wrong is that it is always built on the faulty premise that old statistics— whether gleaned from past elections or recent opinion polls— can accurately predict who might win.  If this were true, there would be no need for the trouble and expense of elections.

In this campaign, I was particularly unhappy to see a terrible strategic voting meme initiated by Meanwhile In Canada.  The post in question actually told voters to vote NDP except in 5 cases, where it said voters should vote Green because Green candidates could win in those 5 ridings. Some Green folk helped spread this meme thinking it might help change the perception that Green candidates couldn’t win.

I don’t know what exactly that prediction was based on, but two of the candidates who went on to rank in the top 5 percentages in their ridings were excluded from the 5 supposedly winnable ridings.  We will never know how many more votes those candidates (or all the Green candidates MiC strategically dismissed) might have won if that social media maven hadn’t been telling voters to vote against Greens in the last week of the campaign.

Although there are no scientific studies of which I am aware, I think Strategic Voting is the most powerful vote suppression tool going.  When people are convinced their vote won’t have any effect, or worse, that it will help elect the boogeyman provided by our FPTP system, many feel the only responsible choice is not voting.

We only get one vote.  That’s not a vote for a party.  It’s not a vote for a party leader.  It’s a vote for our local representative. I have to wonder how much better Greens would do in elections if they didn’t have to spend half the election explaining what’s wrong with Strategic Voting.

Since I’m sharing rankings, here are the GPO Top 5:

Green Party of Ontario Leader, and Guelph MPP candidate Mike Schreiner‘s 45.04% riding vote percentage was the highest in Ontario. This resulted in the first seat in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario won by an Ontario Green Party Candidate.  Parry Sound—Muskoka‘s candidate Matt Richter ranks 2nd with 20.02%.  Laura Campbell ‘s 12.53% of the vote won in Dufferin—Caledon placed her in 3rd position; Barrie—Springwater—Oro—Medonte candidate Keenan Aylwin’s 11.72% of the vote ranks him 4th, and Dave Rodgers 8.64% in Wellington—Halton Hills makes him the 5th highest ranking Ontario Green candidate by percentage.

The Green Party of Ontario is making history, and these five candidates are leading the way forward. Onward!

[Republished from the KitCon Blog’s “Statistics”]

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.

GPO EARLYBIRD Special Ends Oct 31st!

GPO 2018 Convention
The 2018 GPO Convention offers some excellent practical advice and workshops to help us get ready for the 2018 Ontario Election!

At the convention, you will have the opportunity to Connect with like-minded, passionate Greens from across the province.

Participate in practical campaign training to bring back to your local teams
Hear from inspiring speakers
Engage in policy and platform discussions

Check out the draft agenda here

Where: Delta Hotel and Conference Centre, 50 Stone Rd W, Guelph
When: Friday, February 2nd, to Sunday, February 4th, 2018

Get your tickets today!

Early Bird Special Ends October 31st, 2017