Even so, the Canadian science community breathed a collective sigh of relief when the 2015 election replaced the Harper Government’s 39% “majority” with a Justin Trudeau 39% “majority” that promised “evidence based policy.”
But it seems that Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Government— like Stephen Harper’s before it, intends to close Pearl. There was no press release or discussion, PEARL was simply ignored in the budget. No funds are forthcoming. The important program is finished without funding, if it shuts down science will no longer be done there.
Why would this ostensibly pro-science government chosen to shut down the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL)? This is a serious problem.
The Green Party of Canada released the following statement regarding the planned closure to Canada’s high Arctic research station:
The last time this vital research station on Ellesmere Island was threatened with closure was in 2012, during the infamous anti-science Harper years, which also featured the muzzling of scientists on the government payroll,” said Richard Zurawski, GPC Climate Change Critic.
“I am not surprised PEARL is on the chopping block again. The Liberals say a lot of nice things – mouthing all the proper words at the right time, projecting a pro-science and research campaign – while simultaneously choking off funding and giving vested fossil fuel interests a free hand,” Mr. Zurawksi said.
Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands), said: “The Arctic recorded its eighth lowest summer ice extent, along with the lowest winter extent this year, and ocean levels are rising at their fastest levels on record, which threatens low-lying coastal cities.
“Why would a government, supposedly so committed to science, climate change and international collaboration, allow this research station to be closed? I wish I had an answer. Without research, we will not discover answers. And without answers, we cannot take educated, informed action on climate change,” Ms. May said.
But it’s not too late to save PEARL … and Canadian atmospheric climate science!
Invest $1.5 million per year to make PEARL a national laboratory
Provide a well supported and stable funding environment for climate research in Canada by reinstating a funding model for climate science similar to the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences (CFCAS) that was cut by the Harper government.
Prohibition focused on the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages; however, exceptions were made for medicinal and religious uses. Alcohol consumption was never illegal under federal law. Nationwide Prohibition did not begin in the United States until January 1920, when the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect. The 18th amendment was ratified in 1919, and was repealed in December, 1933, with the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment.
Not only did it not stop otherwise law abiding people from consuming alcohol, the costs — to the economy, the justice system and society — were staggering.
Although the American Prohibition against alcohol never made drinking it illegal, the same was not true of cannabis prohibition in Canada, where users could be fined and imprisoned. As the 20th century wore on, the punishments became more severe, especially as Canada (again) followed the American lead.
The war on drugs is rooted in racist policies, and it’s failure has been as obvious as Prohibition.
During the 2015 election, the NDP talked about decriminalizing cannabis, but the Liberals said that wasn’t good enough; they would take a step further and legalize it.
Sadly voters again gave too much First Past The Post power to one of the same old parties promising “real change”. For real change, you have to vote smart– and different.
Although the Justin Trudeau Government says it will legalize cannabis, its about half way through its term and they keep arresting people.
The Green Party has better policy:
4.9 Ending the war on drugs
Between 2008 and 2011, according to the Department of Justice, Canada spent $311 million targeting illicit drugs, with a majority of that money going to law enforcement. Most of that was for the ‘war’ against cannabis (marijuana). Marijuana prohibition is also prohibitively costly in other ways, including criminalizing youth and fostering organized crime. Cannabis prohibition, which has gone on for decades, has utterly failed and has not led to reduced drug use in Canada.After analyzing the recommendation of the Canadian Senate’s 2002 Special Committee on Drugs and the examples of strategies used by some European countries, the Green Party of Canada has come to the conclusion that it is time to legalize the adult use of marijuana. Furthermore, the Greens believe that drug addictions should be treated as a health problem, not as criminal offences.
Green Party MPs will:
Legalize marijuana by removing marijuana from the drug schedule;
Create a regulatory framework for the safe production of marijuana by small, independent growers;
Develop a taxation rate for marijuana similar to that of tobacco;
Establish the sale of marijuana to adults for medicinal or personal use through licensed distribution outlets;
Educate the public about the health threats of marijuana, tobacco, and other drug use;
Launch a public consultation on the decriminalization of illicit drugs, considering the current high costs of the law enforcement effort;
Provide increased funding to safe injection sites, treatment facilities, and addict rehabilitation.
On September 8 of this year, Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party of Ontario, made the following comment regarding the proposed regulations for marijuana sales:
“This looks like another Liberal plan to say a lot and do very little, supporting big corporations and political insiders over local small businesses.
Having limited retail outlets across Ontario for legal marijuana will do virtually nothing to combat the huge illegal market.
The Green Party does not support the monopolization of marijuana. The marijuana industry should be like the craft brewery industry – helping build local businesses, creating local jobs and contributing tax dollars to local communities across the province.
The GPO supports strict regulations and controls for marijuana sales. The government can license retails outlets with strict rules focused on safety and health for small businesses.
This announcement at this time is a cynical ploy by the Liberals to divert attention from their ongoing legal scandals.”
It looks to be a fabulous jam packed weekend of events. If you haven’t registered, I believe it is still possible to attend the Convention although the Regular registration rate has ended. If you go, remember to save your receipts as a portion of convention fees are eligible for federal political contribution tax-receipts.
Although I’d love to be there for the keynote speeches and the Proportional Representation workshop, perhaps the thing I will regret missing most will be the debate and the opportunity to vote on the two policy resolutions put forward by our new Shadow Cabinet Justice Critic, Dimitri Lascaris, who wrote the:
Green Party policy requires a leadership review following every election.
In spite of disappointing results in the most strategically voted election in Canadian history, the federal Green Party membership rallied in support of Ms. May, who has infused the party with her inspiring leadership. The month long review returned a stunning 93.6% approval!
“I’m humbled to receive a strong mandate from our engaged membership to continue in my role as leader,” May said in a statement to reporters Monday.
“I will continue to pursue critical issues that are so important to our members, from climate action to restoring legitimacy in the environmental review process, from ending subsidies for fossil fuels to becoming a world leader in the 21st century renewable energy economy.”
As the 2015 election fades into memory, I am continually astounded to see how much Green Party Policy is being discussed… Apparently people were trying to convince Tom Mulcair to embrace the Green Party education policy as a means of retaining leadership of the NDP Party — although not as Green Party Policy. I tried sharing the link to the Green Party of Canada press release but there’s something wrong with the link, so in the interest of reminding people about this awesome GPC policy, I’ve chosen to reproduce it here.
September 16, 2015
(OTTAWA) – Green Leader Elizabeth May (Saanich – Gulf Islands), unveiled the Green Party’s Youth and Education Strategy that includes a plan to abolish tuition fees for students and their families. The strategy would also implement a debt-forgiveness program for student debt above $10,000.
“We must invest in Canadian youth and the skills, training, and education that is necessary to create jobs,” said May. “Young people are faced with the challenge of finding a job after they finish school, in a tough economy, while battling student debt. The Green Party is committed to investing in youth and removing barriers, like student debt, so young Canadians can find stable, sustainable jobs.”
The Green Party’s National Student and Education Strategy will:
● Immediately cut tuition fees for students and their families without adequate financial means, and remove the inadequate 2% cap on tuition for all First Nations and Inuit students.
● Abolish tuition fees for post-secondary education and skills training for Canadians by 2020 through constructing a system of federal grants collaboratively with the universities and colleges.
● Eliminate any existing or future student federal debt above $10,000.
● Abolish interest on new student loans and increase available funding for bursaries.
● Create a national Community and Environment Service Corps, which will provide $1 billion/year to municipalities to hire Canadian youth.
● Help students and their families through the Guaranteed Liveable Income (GLI), to ensure no person’s income falls below what is necessary for health, life, and dignity.
“In these times of high youth unemployment, heavy student debt is a burden that keeps young Canadians from being able to start their post-academic lives on an even footing,” said Gord Miller, former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario and Green Party candidate (Guelph). “The debt forgiveness program and our plan to eliminate tuition fees by 2020 represents positive change for students and their families.”
“I am pleased to be here with Elizabeth today in Guelph to make this announcement,” continued Miller. “Our plan will make education more accessible for students. These critical investments in trades, apprenticeships, and education will ensure that all young Canadians have the skills to build a successful future.”
“It is a bold idea, but we can and must afford it. We can implement this investment in our youth through common sense measures like eliminating subsidies to fossil fuels and restoring the corporate tax rate to what it was in 2009,” concluded May. “We don’t need to continue with the status quo; we can do better.”
The Green Party was the first party to release a fully costed platform, available here.
For additional information or to arrange an interview, contact:
You’re invited to join us for the Kitchener—Conestoga & Kitchener South Hespeler Annual General Meeting
Date: May 1, 2016
Time: 7 pm
Place: Huether Hotel
Barley Works, upper “Operations Room”
59 King Street North, Waterloo, ON, N2J 2X2
Please join other area supporters for our Annual General Meeting at 7 pm on Sunday May 1st, where we will elect our local Green Party executive for the upcoming year and discuss direction and plans for the future.
It is important that we strengthen our membership, engage our fellow citizens, and promote electing Green candidates. For these reasons, we encourage you to consider running for one of the positions on the Executive Board. The positions are not overly demanding of your time. The goal is to meet occasionally, organize info tables at local events staffed by volunteers, and ensure a Green presence in our community all year round.
The following positions on the Executive Board are open, with the first three being the most essential:
Chief Executive Officer (GPC) or President (GPO)
Chief Financial Officer
You must be a member of the Green Party of Canada or the Green Party of Ontario in order to vote or stand for a position on the corresponding executive at the AGM. Don’t miss out on the fun!
Any person whose membership has lapsed within the last year may renew their membership at the meeting to acquire voting privileges. It’s preferable to do this online at the Green Party of Ontario website at gpo.ca or at the Green Party of Canada website greenparty.ca.
Contact David Weber (AGM organizer) for more information at 519-591-5773 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to see you there!