Stewards of Our Future: Protecting What We Love

Although this is not a Green Party event, it is sure to be of interest, not just to Greens, but every Ontarian interested in the health of our environment. It’s sure to be a lively discussion you won’t want to miss.

Poster: How can we reduce our personal carbon footprint, engage with elected officials about our concerns, and prepare for a world unlike the one we currently live in? Event Title: Stewards of Our Future: Protecting What We Love featuring Dianne Saxe, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario Tuesday January 15, 2019 7:00pm at Kitchener City Hall Rotunda Join Dr Saxe and local environmental leaders for a conversation about climate change and how each of us can play a role in creating a safer environment. Presented by Divest Waterloo http://divestwaterloo.ca/ The Centre for Public Ethics - Martin Luther University College https://luther.wlu.ca/centres/centre-for-public-ethics.html Grand River Environmental Network (GREN) http://gren.ca/ Faith & the Common Good https://www.faithcommongood.org/

Please REGISTER (admission is free)
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/stewards-of-our-future-protecting-what-we-love-tickets-54268453405

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1971464856263536/

Before or after the event, drop by the WRGreens information table ūüôā

*NOTE: There won’t be a Green Party info table at this event after all: we’ll be at Woolwich Township where Council will be voting on Bill 66.

More To Do in Waterloo Region #FridaysforFuture

There’s a lot more happening than municipal council meetings!

Friday January 11th, 2019

SCHOOL STRIKE FOR CLIMATE

Waterloo City Hall 12:30 – 2:00pm

This event is dedicated to building a youth voice to speak up for climate action in solidarity with inspired by Greta Thunberg and other young people across the world.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1163394617169359/

Join us on Friday, January 11th from 12.30 to 2pm outside of MP Bardish Chagger’s office / Waterloo City Hall at 100 Regina Street in Uptown Waterloo.The focus will be on youth, but all are welcome.

Kitchener-Waterloo Climate Save, RISE for Climate Waterloo, Divest Waterloo, and the local chapters of Citizens’ Climate Lobby and 350.org would like to facilitate and support youth climate strikes in our region … for their future.¬†We hope to have youth climate strikes on the 1st Friday of every month after this.

#FridaysforFuture
#climatestrike

DOUG FORD FUNDRAISER PROTEST AT BINGEMANS

Bingemans 5:30pm
425 Shirley Ave. Kitchener

Doug Ford is coming to town for a fundraising dinner tomorrow Friday, January 11th, with local Conservative MPP’s.  Join with others from across our community to protest and let them know your thoughts about Bill 66.  Bring a banner or a sign to explain that you value protecting our water, land and air and that public consultation is core to our democracy.

Bring some friends and join the fun.

We will meet at the main entrance to Bingemans at 425 Shirley Ave around 5:30pm for about an hour while they all arrive.  If you are driving please try to find a place to park at other businesses along Shirley Ave.  Grand River Transit Bus #34 runs every half hour out to Bingemans leaving the Charles Street terminal and returning every 30 minutes.

https://www.facebook.com/events/535908943571780/

Lets see if we can have some fun and send a direct message to the Premier on the need to kill Bill 66!

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

7:00pm – Stewards of our Future – ECO Dianne Saxe Event, Kitchener City Hall

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/stewards-of-our-future-protecting-what-we-love-tickets-54268453405

Although none of these events are officially Green Party Green, all are certainly of interest to Greens.

Just a reminder: this is why it’s important to be able to elect candidates who will actually represent us.¬†

Regards,
Laurel

Omnibus #Bill66 meets Municipal Councils

Bob Jonkman’s Bill 66 delegation to Woolwich Township’s Committee of The Whole. (Tuesday Jan. 8th, 2019)

Since Premier Ford wants to quickly push Omnibus Bill 66 though the Legislative Assembly of Ontario quickly, things are moving very fast.

On Tuesday morning Bob Jonkman was among the WRGreens attending the Region of Waterloo’s tabling of the staff report on Bill 66.¬† ¬†GREN’s Kevin Thomason made a presentation on behalf of the ad hoc coalition of Waterloo Region groups mobilizing against Bill 66 which was very well received, and two motions were adopted by the Region then and there.

On Tuesday night, Sam Nabi (Hold The Line WR) made a presentation to Wellesley Township, while a simultaneous delegation was made to Woolwich Township’s Committee of the Whole by Bob Jonkman, representing KWPeace.¬† Woolwich Council will be putting together a resolution to be tabled at next week’s Woolwich Township Council Meeting.

If you can come out to any of these Municipal Council Meetings (and bring your friends), it will send a string message to our local councils that this is very important to us.¬† With the Provincial Government¬† listening to the developers who elected them, the more seats we can fill, the better.¬†¬†We need to exercise our grass roots, because that’s the only power we’ve got.

Monday, January 14th, 2019

David Weber, Shannon Purves-Smith and Mo Markham

3:00pm City of Waterloo Council Presentation
4:00pm City of Kitchener Council Presentation
7:00pm – Wilmot Township Council Presentation

Tuesday, January  15th, 2019

7:00pm  City of Cambridge Council Presentation
7:00pm  Woolwich Township Council Presentation #2

Monday, Jan 21st, 2019

7:00pm – North Dumfries Township Presentation

Part of the urgency is the upcoming deadline for the Ontario Bill of Rights.

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.

Christmas Greetings from WRGreens

Spend time with family and friends.   Write a poem.  Share the love.  Have a glass of wine.  See a movie.  Get some rest.  Take a walk.  Listen to music.  Hug a friend.  Read a book.

Do whatever it is you need to do to relax and have a happy holiday!

Waterloo Region Free Christmas Dinners (2018)

Even if Mr Ford hadn’t decided to put a stop to the $15 dollar minimum wage, it wouldn’t have raised minimum wage earners above the Low Income Cutoff (LICO) for Waterloo Region. Although we’re told we ‘recovered’ from the recession of 2008, Canadians earning minimum wage nearly doubled (from 6% – 10%) between 2017 and 2018.¬† Minimum wage jobs don’t just have low pay, very often they are for precarious work.

Although Waterloo Region is a rich community, many members of our community are financially strained during the holiday season.  (And for the rest of the year, too.)

MYTH: Poverty is not an issue in Waterloo Region. More than 1 in 10 people in Waterloo Region live in poverty. REALITY: Although Waterloo Region is a great place to work, live and play, poverty is an issue in our community. In 2006, approximately 10.2 per cent of residents (48,000 people) in Waterloo Region were living with low income. Imagine - you could fill the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium seven times with this many people! Did you know... ‚ÄĘ 12.2% or 13,750 children 0 to 17 years in Waterloo Region are living in low income.2 ‚ÄĘ 451,411 meals were served in 2011 through meal programs throughout Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo.3 ‚ÄĘ In May 2013, there were 8,727 cases on the Ontario Works (OW) caseload. This is a 39% increase in the caseload from September 2008.
2013 Poverty Myth Busters for Waterloo Region (page 3)
Download the PDF

That’s why the Green Party supports raising the minimum wage to a living wage, and implementing a Guaranteed Livable Income (universal basic income set at 10% above LICO).¬† ¬† You can find out more about Basic Income from our friends at Basic Income Waterloo.

Unfortunately that’s not going to happen until we start electing more Greens.¬† In the meantime, people are living in poverty and Christmas is coming.


UPDATE: The KitCon Greens Blog has added the following to their Resources section:


The following is a list of free Waterloo Region Christmas Dinner options for people in need.¬† If you (or anyone you know) is in need of a good dinner over the holidays, please share.¬† (And if you’re able I imagine these organizations would welcome volunteers.)

I’m not sure who originated this list (I received as a paper handout), but most of the dinner locations listed here are for the City of Kitchener.¬† If you know of any others in the rest of the region– Cambridge, Waterloo or the Townships, please share and I’ll add them to the list.

Friday December 14th, 2018

Trinity United Church РChristmas Dinner Community Can Dine РElmira, Ontario
6:00pm-7:30pm
21 Arthur St. N., Elmira Ontario

Saturday, December 15th, 2018

Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church – Regular Saturday Supper
open 5:00pm-8:00pm – Supper served 5:30-7:30pm
57 Stirling Avenue North, Kitchener

Sunday, December 16th, 2018

KCI Christmas Dinner
10:45am – 1:30pm

787 King Street W., Kitchener (enter off King Street)
Tickets available at St. John’s Kitchen or St Mark’s Church
(Limited tickets available last week of November and first week of December)

Thursday December 20th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Festive Dinner
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Friday December 21st, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Regular Hours
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Saturday December 22nd, 2018

Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church – Regular Saturday Supper – open 5:00pm-8:00pm
Supper served 5:30-7:30pm
57 Stirling Avenue North, Kitchener

Sunday December 23rd, 2018

Caper’s Sports Bar – Christmas Dinner
Noon – 3:00pm
1 Queen Street North, Kitchener
*Toy and Clothing giveaway

Monday December 24th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Festive Dinner
11:30am to 1:00pm
Meal by St Vincent de Paul
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Ray of Hope – Festive Dinner
7:00pm-8:30pm
659 King Street East, (Back Door) Kitchener

Tuesday December 25th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Christmas Dinner by Friends of St John’s Kitchen
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Ray of Hope – Regular Dinner
7:00pm-8:30pm
659 King Street East, (Back Door) Kitchener

Wednesday, December 26th, 2018

First United Church Christmas Buffet
11:30am-1pm
16 William Street, Waterloo

Thursday, December 27th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Festive Dinner
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Friday, December 28th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Festive Dinner
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Saturday, December 29th, 2018

Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church – Regular Saturday Supper
open 5:00pm-8:00pm – Supper served 5:30-7:30pm
57 Stirling Avenue North, Kitchener

Sunday December 30th, 2018

Ray of Hope – Lunch
Noon-1:30pm
659 King Street East, (Back Door) Kitchener

Monday, December 31, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Regular Hours
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Tuesday, January 1st, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen CLOSED

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Regular Hours
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener


[republished from the KitConGreens Blog]

Ontario Government picks our pockets? #ClimateAction #ONpoli

Ontario’s new “Climate Policy” is passing the buck to us.¬† As with the previous government, ordinary people are encouraged to renovate our homes and buy more fuel efficient cars.¬† But now, the program subsidies that would help us do these things are gone.¬† Even worse, our tax dollars will go into a fund to reward industries who pollute now.

So.  People get no help to do our part.  Instead, our tax dollars will go to fuel big businesses.

Sounds like money out of our pocket.  Again.

You can read it yourself here:

https://prod-environmental-registry.s3.amazonaws.com/2018-11/EnvironmentPlan.pdf

Mike Schreiner on Ontario’s new “Climate” Plan

“We were promised a climate strategy, but were given a litter reduction plan.

If this is the government’s response to the dire warnings from the IPCC about the impending climate catastrophe, then they clearly were not listening.

Instead of showing leadership, the government is weakening Ontario’s previous targets and adopting an unproven carbon trust model that is unlikely to reduce emissions. The new Trudeau/Harper targets mean that we will fail to meet the goals set under Paris Climate Agreement.

More importantly we will not meet our obligations to leave a livable planet for our children and grandchildren.

Asking citizens to pay polluters and setting up burdensome new regulations will only cost more and delay action. These will do little to put Ontario on a pathway to being carbon neutral by 2050. Instead, they signal that Ontario is throwing in the towel.

And asking Ontarians to reduce litter in the face a climate crisis is like the US President asking Californians to rake leaves to prevent forest fires.

We should expect better. We must demand a real plan.

Pollution pricing is basic economics. But this government continues to ignore the consensus from scientists, experts and even conservative economists who agree on it. The Premier could embrace the $26 trillion clean economy and put money directly in people’s pockets by adopting the Green Party’s carbon fee and dividend solution.

At the end of the day, we will all pay the price for this irresponsible plan. But in the face of evidence and real solutions, this government has chosen to be on the wrong side of history.‚ÄĚ

Mike Schreiner, Leader
Green Party of Ontario
https://gpo.ca/2018/11/29/pc-government-releases-litter-reduction-plan-not-climate-plan/

Mike debates Bill 57 at Queen’s Park

Quote: Ontario should be leading the electric vehicle revolution, not losing jobs to it." Mike Schreiner addresses the Legislative Assembly of Ontario

I don’t think it’s just me.¬† ¬†Or even partisanship.¬† Every time Mike Schreiner speaks in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, he makes a lot of sense.

Yesterday Mike rose to debate Bill 57, speaking against:

  • the elimination of independent legislative officers,
  • dismantling checks and balances,
  • a resurgence of big money dominance of Ontario politics,
  • further erosion of transparency, and
  • more centralization of power.

Watch the 6 minute video and see who is representing us at Queen’s Park:

A made-in-Ontario Climate Change Plan

Liberal MPs Marwan Tabbara, Bardish Chagger, Raj Saini, Bryan May and Conservative MP Harold Albrecht
Liberal MPs Marwan Tabbara, Bardish Chagger, Raj Saini, Bryan May and Conservative MP Harold Albrecht  Waterloo Region Climate Change Consultation, Kitchener, 2016

When I attended the Kitchener Climate Change Consultation in 2016 it was incredible to see all 5 Waterloo Region MPs in attendance, not just the 4 new Liberal MPs, but my own Conservative MP Harold Albrecht was there too.

Facilitator David Weber

Unsurprisingly 3 of our WRGreen candidates were there helping facilitate the discussions.

I believe our Kitchener Climate Consultation was the biggest one held across Canada.  It had more than a full slate of MPs, there were hundreds of engaged citizens there to participate.

There was a lot of great discussion and valuable input as citizens brainstormed ways we could come together and bring Climate Change to heel.

Facilitator Stacey Danckert

It was a heady time.  Critical thinking and creativity came together as citizens from across the political spectrum contributed different pieces of the solution to Climate Change, the existential global crisis of our time.

But Waterloo Region was up for it. We were ready.

Each round table discussion yielded up a blueprint of action.¬† And at the end of the day, each table’s facilitators presented a verbal report of the high points to the entire assembly.

Although all 5 Waterloo Region MPs were there, its pretty clear none of them actually listened.

Former Progressive Conservative Party Leader Patrick Brown had had a fully costed moderate election platform complete with carbon tax.¬† But it seems the PC Party backroom boys weren’t ready for a carbon tax, so Mr Brown and his platform were replaced with Mr Ford and a series of off-the-cuff promises masquerading as a platform.

One of the huge costs associated with winner-take-all politics is the policy lurch that happens when a centrist party is replaced by a right wing party.¬† Which is exactly what we’re seeing here in Ontario.

But even before winning the leadership or the election, one thing Doug Ford was *always* clear about was his intention to get rid of the Liberal’s Cap & Trade carbon mitigation system.

CARBON PRICING

With Climate Change breathing down our necks, carbon pricing is intended to disincentivise Green House Gas emissions.  It does this by forcing polluters to take financial responsibility for the pollution they generate.

Cap and Trade revenue flowing into Government coffers is supposed to help government finance our necessary transition to a sustainable economy.

While it is clear that carbon pricing is imperative, personally, I am not at all unhappy to see the dismantling of the McGuinty-Wynne Cap and Trade system, although a more orderly change would have been nice.

One big problem with Ontario’s Cap and Trade was that its carbon targets simply weren’t anywhere close to being high enough.

Another was that as many as 100 of the worst corporate polluters were exempted.

From my perspective, the worst thing about Cap and Trade is that it creates a government revenue stream.   Governments get very attached to revenue streams.   And the Ontario Liberals had made good use of the Cap and Trade funds that flowed into government coffers.

What do schools have to do with Carbon Pricing?

Ontario schools have been struggling since the 1990’s when the Mike Harris Sr government diverted education tax funds from community school boards into the general government coffers.¬† Now, instead of dispensing all the funds collected for Ontario elementary and high school education through property tax directly to the schools, in the name of “efficiency” education funding was suddenly dependent on a “funding formula” that was more about redistributing education tax than educating our kids.

Government works in mysterious ways… instead of fixing this elementary school, they built a new one.

Suddenly there wasn’t enough money in the Education budget for elementary school music class and librarians.¬† In the rich province of Ontario, school budgets were reduced the bare minimum to function.¬† Chronic underfunding begun by the Mike Harris Sr PC government and carried on by the McGuinty-Wynne Liberals¬† over decades naturally meant there was never enough funding to properly maintain the infrastructure.

But when school buildings began to crumble across the province, the Liberals had to do something: and so some of the Cap and Trade revenue was earmarked to fix our schools.   (Although spun in the media as needed repairs, in truth these funds were supposed to be used to retrofit schools to make them more energy efficient.)     Sadly even that is gone now, and the folks at http://fixourschools.ca/ will tell you that Ontario schools still need a whole lot of fixing.

Federal Backstop Carbon Pricing

Canadians for Carbon Dividends Ontario Chart

But Ontario’s carbon pricing void will presently be filled with a different kind of carbon pricing, as the Federal Government implements a Carbon Fee and Dividend regime.

This is the carbon pricing policy advocated by both federal and Provincial Green Parties in Canada because it is a much more equitable system.

The fees collected from industry polluters don’t go to line government coffers, but are instead payed out directly to citizens to help us weather the transition.

The dividends counter the price increases industry will pass on to consumers.  The way it works out is that consumers with the smallest carbon footprint actually come out ahead.

Even so, it still is not enough.

The IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made it clear that we aren’t doing nearly enough to address Climate Change.¬† They’ve given us a timeline of 12 years, and time is running out.

While we need to get the new federal Carbon Pricing system up and running, it is only the start.

So it is a very good thing Ontario’s Doug Ford PC Government has stepped up and is conducting its own

Consultation: A made-in-Ontario climate change plan

We never know if our winner-take-all governments will listen, but when they ask us for input on important issues, it is well worth responding.  Even if they ignore what we have to say, at least we will be on the record.  And the record will be there for the next government.

It is very important for us to respond, to make sure our new PC Government understands Ontario expects serious climate change policy.

This consultation tells us they want our opinions, but they don’t want our names. The only way to participate is to do so anonymously on a web form.

Tips

Your submission does not need to be a scholarly work; you can write as much or as little as you’re comfortable with.¬† When filling in any kind of web form, it’s easiest to prepare your answer offline.¬† That way you won’t accidentally send it before you’re finished, and you can keep a copy of the submission you wrote.¬† It is always an excellent idea to make as much noise as we can publicly online.¬† If you have a blog, share it there and/or sharing on twitter or Facebook or whatever other social media you use.¬† ¬†Sharing online can inspire others to participate, and the greater the response the consultation gets, the better.¬† If you don’t have a place to share online, feel free to share your submission with us, and we’ll publish it here on the blog.

You might find inspiration in the  Rise For Climate Waterloo Region submission or suggestions made at the Federal Climate Change Consultation.  

About this consultation

Our quality of life depends on clean air to breathe, safe water to drink, and well-protected lands and parks.

Later this fall, Ontario will release a plan that will identify specific areas of focus to help us tackle and be more resilient to climate change.

This will be the first part of a broader approach that will protect clean air and water, encourage conservation and do more to address urban litter and waste.

This made-in-Ontario solution will strike the right balance between protecting our environment and responsibly supporting a prosperous economy.

Areas of focus

The plan will include several areas of focus, such as:

  • Creating an understanding of the effects that climate change is having on our households, businesses, communities and public infrastructure to better prepare and strengthen our resiliency.
  • Ensuring polluters are held accountable and creating dedicated measures that will efficiently reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Improving Ontario‚Äôs business climate by unlocking the power of the private sector to finance and drive innovative climate solutions. This will include an emissions-reduction fund to invest in technology-based and other solutions to reduce emissions in Ontario.
  • Finding a balanced solution that puts people first, makes life more affordable for families, and takes Ontario‚Äôs role in fighting climate change seriously.

These areas will help ensure our investments in climate action effectively balance greenhouse gas reductions while supporting economic prosperity and Ontario families.

https://www.ontario.ca/form/tell-us-your-ideas-climate-change?

‚áí Ontario Climate Consultation webform