An excellent way for small parties to break through the disproportional elections barrier is by making a splash in a by-election. During a general federal election, everyone has their own riding to think about. But when there are By-elections, a grass root party like the Greens can build itself a major advantage by strengthening our network by beefing up our numbers with cross border cooperation.
Here’s the thing: if you can help get a neighbouring Green candidate elected during a by-election, it will be that much easier to get more Greens elected in 2019 ~ perhaps even the candidate in your own riding!.
For those living close by, volunteering your time, whether to:
help out at events,
hand out flyers,
knock on doors (canvass),
put up signs,
to answer phones
or whatever …
…even just a few hours here and there could make all the difference.
Attend events & debates to cheer them on!
No matter where you live, donations will help any of these candidates.
The one thing Greens are not using to the fullest is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal: social media.
Many of us are frugal about sharing things to our social media feeds because we are concerned about annoying our friends. What people don’t realize is that Facebook, Twitter etc. don’t show everything we post to all of our friends and followers.
Even if you live on the other side of the country and don’t know a soul in the candidate’s riding, liking, retweeting and sharing will help them … because the more people engage, the more the candidate’s Social Media platform will spread their posts to more of their own followers!
Do you want to see Green videos go viral? Share them!
Do you want to build a meme? Share it!
Twitter tip: a ❤ isn't as good as a Retweet.
Remember: EVERY time you share anything on Twitter or Facebook etc. you will be helping help increase the candidate’s social media reach ~ and increasing her odds of being elected! .
Do you want to elect Green candidates? Help make NOISE!
One of the most important Green Party of Canada campaign issues was the Guaranteed Livable Income. The idea was piloted in Canada under the name “Mincome” under the first Prime Minister Trudeau. What happened then is what happens all to often… the government fell and its successors had no interest in implementing policy based on their predecessor’s pilot project. Here in Waterloo Region, we have our own Basic Income Waterloo Region advocacy group that’s part of a Canada-wide grassroots movement to make a basic income guarantee the next great innovation in social policy.
The Ontario Liberal Government is considering running its own pilot program, and it would be enormously helpful to fill out their
While on the surface it may seem that such a program would be prohibitively expensive, ironically research shows the effect of a properly managed basic income guarantee is actually a savings to government, as well as a boost to small business and innovation. Check out Basic Income Waterloo Region’s Frequently Asked Questions page.
The Wellington Water Watchers say the permit for Nestlé Waters in Aberfoyle, Ontario expired on July 31, but an automatic extension was granted without consulting local residents, and so continues to extract water from a local well even in the midst of a severe drought.
“Although our permit expired on July 31, 2016, we have received confirmation from the MOECC that during this application phase, under the Ontario Waters Resources Act, Section 34.1 (6), the existing Permit to Take Water remains intact until the MOECC moves forward on a decision. We will continue to operate as usual….
“Our factory in Aberfoyle has operated for the last 15 years sustainably and Nestlé Waters is not asking to increase the permitted water taking limit – Nestlé Waters is applying to maintain the current permit level over a 10 year period. “
Nestlé’s permits allow the company to take millions of litres each day.
How much does water cost?
There was a sale on Nestlé water at my local grocery store a few weeks back. 6 litres of water packaged in 12 plastic bottles for 99 cents. Twelve 500 ml bottles, that’s 6 litres of water. It works out to 16.5 cents per litre. That’s a pretty good deal, right?
Until you consider what your water bill would look like if you had to pay 16.5 cents per litre. In Guelph the rate is $1.59 for a cubic metre of water.Footnote That’s works out to $0.00159 per litre for tap water at home. If it cost 16.5 cents a litre, a cubic metre of water would cost us $165.00. So, okay, it stands to reason, we’re paying a lot more for a bottle of water because companies are in business to make money. We’re paying extra for the convenience of getting that water in a bottle. Everything is relative.
If Nestlé paid $1.59 for 1000 litres of tap water (like we do), then charged us 99 cents for it, the company would make a handsome profit. But it doesn’t.
The reality is that citizens bear the cost of building and operating the infrastructure that supplies and treats water that Nestlé so profitably puts in bottles.
“For every million litres of water, Ontario charges companies $3.71 after paying a permit fee of $750 for low or medium-risk water takings, or $3,000 for those considered high risk.
“The amount these companies pay for taking out water represents 1.2 per cent of the government’s total water-quantity management costs. A number of people, including former environmental commissioner Ellen Schwartzel, have criticized the ministry for not raising the amount to take such large quantities of water.”
“If residents and businesses weren’t using water wisely, rate increases would be higher than they are today. For example, from 2006 to 2014 the City’s $8.6 million investment in water conservation and efficiency programs has reclaimed over 7.1 million litres of water and wastewater servicing capacity per day. The cost to build and operate infrastructure to supply and treat this much water would be approximately $35.6 million in capital costs, and $460,000 in annual operating costs.”
Maybe there is a time to subsidize a rich corporation’s pursuit of profit. If money were all that was at stake, maybe such an arrangement could be considered a good deal.
It gets worse
Wellington Water Watchers also has serious concerns about Nestlés proposed expansion of its Ontario Water Taking operations.
“Nestlé has issued a letter of intent to purchase a third well in Wellington County – the Middlebrook well, for an additional 1.6 million litres per day (300 gallons per minute). If Nestlé’s permit is approved for 1.6 million litres of water per day, the corporation will pay $3.71 per million litres (or $5.93 per day).
“100% of the water captured under this permit would be removed at the source and also be trucked 24/7 to Aberfoyle. A 100% consumptive permit is a permit where every drop of water that is pumped, or in this case captured as this is upwelling artesian water, is removed from the local watershed and never returned. The Middlebrook well will be similar to Nestle’s Hillsburgh well, where the water is transported by bulk tanker truck to the Aberfoyle packaging facility.”
We can get an idea of the scope of the problem by looking at the province’s interactive Map: Permits to take water. Seeing the water-taking locations linked to active permits across Ontario is an eye-opener. Ontario may be water-rich just now, but water is a finite resource. Every bottle of water shipped out of Ontario is another bottle of water that won’t make it back to our aquifers.
“We will be requesting no more than a two year permit in Aberfoyle in order to assist a phase out of this permit and will also will be requesting no new well at Middlebrook.
“Our technical advisor, Dr. Hugh Whiteley has observed that the most recent Annual Report showed that the average water level in the Middle Gasport aquifer that supplies the Nestlé production well has declined about 1.5 m from 2011 to 2015 while Nestlé’s water taking increased 33 % over the same period. This decline in water level is suggestive of a disturbance of the equilibrium between aquifer recharge and water discharge from the aquifer.”
Guelph City Councillor James Gordon will be bringing a motion to get city to advise the province not to renew Nestlé’s expired water taking permit in Aberfoyle. If you support Councillor James Gordon’s proposed motion regarding Nestlé’s permit to take water, you can come out to the Council meeting at 6:30 at Guelph City Hall (map) on September 26th, 2016.
“The motion comes before a meeting of City Council’s planning meeting but won’t be debated until council’s regular meeting on Sept. 26.
“Gordon’s motion reads:
“That Council, with support from Intergovernmental Relations, Policy and Open Government staff, submit comments through the Ontario Environmental Registry process in relation to the recent Nestlé Water permit to take water and express Council’s concern that the permit to take water is not in the best interest of the City of Guelph and the watershed shared by the City of Guelph.”
“It asks that council send a letter by the Sept. 30 deadline.”
To add punctuation to the proceeding, a community gathering is being organized for Monday, Sept 26, around 5 – 6 pm, outside City Hall in support of to support James Gordon’s motion to honour and protect our watershed.
Green Party of Ontario
Better stewardship of Ontario’s resources, including Water Taking has long been of concern for the Green Party of Ontario. That’s why the GPO has set up it’s own email writing tool to help Ontario residents make our feelings known to the Hon. Glen Murray, Ontario’s Environment Minister. You can use the letter provided edit it to better reflect your thoughts on the issue. Either way, it has been a long, hot summer filled with drought and water restrictions. Even if we can’t get to Guelph, we can speak up about our water supply.
Footnote: I pay a $1.71 per cubic metre of water in Woolwich. The ground water is unsafe to drink here since pollution from a local chemical company rendered the water in our local aquifer undrinkable, so we pay a premium to pipe in water from Waterloo.Ref
Chelsea Hotel Churchill Ballroom
33 Gerrard St W,
Toronto, ON → map ←
1:30—4:15 pm Witness Panel(s)
13 h 30—16 h 15 Panel(s) de témoins
4:15—5:00 pm Open mic
16 h 15—17 h 00* séance micro ouvert
6:30—9:30 pm Open mic
18 h 30—21 h 30* séance micro ouvert
*Please note that the end time for the open mic sessions are approximate
This month is just flying by! Before this event, don’t forget The Honourable Maryam Monself will be consulting with Waterloo Region at the Liberal Town Hall on Wednesday Sept. 14th, and and our own Community Dialogue will be the following Saturday. It would be tremendous if you could print a poster or two to hang on local bulletin boards or hydro poles.
And remember, you can keep up with Waterloo Greens events in our Calendar, or by subscribing to this blog!
Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner has been sharing GPO’s ideas for restoring trust in the integrity of our system by reforming political party funding rules.
Some of these Green ideas have been incorporated in Bill 201, currently being considered by the House. Clearly our message is gaining traction, since the Liberal Government took the unprecedented step of inviting Mike to participate in the drafting new legislation by speaking to the Standing Committee on General Government today.
“The Liberal bill reflects many GPO priorities, including eliminating corporate and union donations, limiting third-party advertising, and introducing a per-vote allowance to finance political parties.
However, there are still some glaring omissions that need to be addressed, and Mike’s presentation is making sure these are still on the table before the bill gets past..
—Becky Smit, Executive Director, GPO
This afternoon Mike told the Standing Committee on General Government what the Ontario Green Party likes about Bill 201:
It eliminates corporate and union donations
A more democratic way to fund political parties: per-vote funding
It restricts third-party advertising during writ and pre-writ periods
Establishes donation limits for nomination contestants and leadership races
Eliminates general and by-election contribution periods to a party
Then he outlined the significant revisions the GPO would like to see in Bill 201:
Lower contribution limits and eliminate loopholes
Lower spending limits for political parties
Eliminate the partial reimbursement of campaign expenses