The Green Party is gaining momentum across the province. Leader Mike Schreiner has crossed the province meeting with enthusiastic people who want integrity, intelligence and honesty in their choice and Schreiner delivers. In fact, Mainstreet polls predicted Schreiner would win his seat in Guelph.
Across the region our candidates and their teams are out everyday talking with potential voters. Looking at lawn signs reveals that people are tired of the status quo and find the Green platform refreshing and clear in objectives.
Today, the Green Party candidates for Waterloo Region Green Party have released a made-in-Waterloo Region platform to let the people in this region know that their Green candidates will be strong advocates for the needs of this community. Because they understand the value of collaboration and cooperation, the candidates created the document as a team.
Hi everyone! Want to see Mike Schreiner participate in the Leaders Debate tomorrow night? Join the Waterloo Region Greens at the Campaign Office for a watching party!
Despite our best efforts, the unelected and unaccountable media consortium has continued with their decision to exclude the Greens from the televised Leaders Debates.
Even though we are silenced, we must stay strong. We will keep pushing to get our Green voices heard, in all the ways we can.
On Sunday, Mike Schreiner will ‘infiltrate the debate’ by hosting a viewing party and doing a live commentary of the televised Leaders Debate in his home riding of Guelph. The event will be livestreamed, so we hope you can all tune in to hear the real solutions Greens want to provide to the province.
Join us at the WR Greens campaign office, perhaps bring a snack to share, and we’ll watch the Facebook live stream.
One of the first events I attended as the Green Party of Ontario candidate for Kitchener–Conestoga was the InterCityRail Town Hall meeting on High Speed Rail, held Wednesday, 18 April 2018.
Kitchener–Conestoga rural residents are worried about the High Speed right-of-way cutting their farms in two, and since HSR cannot have at-grade crossings (because HSR is 200+ km/h speeds), farmers are concerned that they’ll have to detour tens of kilometres out of their way to access their farmlands — InterCityRail says only four grade-separated crossings are planned between Kitchener and London.
There would be only seven stops: Starting in Windsor, through Chatham, London, Kitchener, Guelph, Malton, and ending at Union Station in Toronto. None of the smaller communities such as St. Mary’s or Stratford would have service. Not even the large community of Brampton is slated for a High Speed Rail station. If the experience of expanding GO Train service around 2012 is anything to go by, VIA Rail will cut its service to those communities once High Speed Rail is established.
An alternative, High Performance Rail (HPR) has been proposed that would allow slightly slower trains (150-180 km/h) to run on the existing right-of-way and still have grade-level crossings, but the Minister of Transporation, Kathryn McGarry (Lib), has flat-out said the government will not consider anything in their EPA study except a new High Speed Rail corridor. And the Ontario Federation of Agriculture that represents the farmers directly affected by this have not been consulted, and do not have a voice in the decision making.
I was a fan of High Speed Rail until attending the Town Hall meeting, which was educational in informing me about High Performance Rail and the issues farmers face with HSR. The Green Party’s Vision Planet document says: “Prioritize low-cost high-performance rail in the short-term as the province plans long-term for higher-cost, high-speed rail projects.” But as the representative for Kitchener–Conestoga I will advocate that High Performance Rail should be the ultimate goal, the better to keep farms together, preserve farmland, protect wildlife, and provide better rail service to smaller communities.
Actually, it’s more than Kitchener–Conestoga residents who are concerned, also Oxford and Perth–Wellington residents are affected, and more. Hopefully we’ll have Green Party Members in those ridings soon!
The Liberals in previous years had a bad habit of having expensive dinners that cabinet ministers could attend. This is a problem as it means rich people have more access to the government then people with little or no disposable income. This can be a problem in a democracy.
Candidates, MPPs, cabinet ministers can no longer attend fundraising dinners. People do not have to pay to access Ontario politicians.
Elections Ontario has handy guidebooks for Political Parties, Candidates and their CFOs on their website. They are in easy to understand language, spell out clearly what are fundraising events and restrictions on who can attend these events. Donation limits are easily found out as well. The limit is $1222 for 2018. This amount can be donated to:
a Party, and
to a constituency association
and to a campaign.
You can donate $1222 in total to election campaigns. This can be donated to one campaign or spread out over several campaigns. The maximum you can donate in total is $3,666 in total.
Election Finance laws are mildly frustrating for someone in the position of CFO or as a fundraising director. Having to say, “Sorry, you can’t donate that much, as much as I would like to accept it” or “no we can’t charge admission to this event” is hard to do. That is why the recent Earth Day rally in Guelph with David Suzuki, Sarah Harmer, Elizabeth May and Mike Schreiner was free. Anyone could attend the event. We did ask for donations at the event, which is allowed, but a donation was not required for attendance.
However, the frustration is worth it to make democracy stronger. Everyone should have access to the people running for office and in office without having to pay for the privilege. The representatives elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario are there to represent us, the people in the province. Right now, we are having an election, essentially one big job interview for candidates. We all should have access to them, no matter how much money we have, because the candidates who are elected are supposed to represent us at Queen’s Park.
When people running for office break Election Finance laws, I wonder what they do they really think about democracy? What other laws will they break to get or retain power?
The laws governing election spending limits and ‘pay for access’ are there to help make our elections fair and democratic.
Large election events don’t just happen. They are never planned in isolation. Candidates (and especially leaders of parties) never just show up. Ignorance of the law is no excuse and is never an excuse.
Election laws are there to protect you, the people of Ontario.
The event was a series of round tables connecting people with candidates, interspersed with 3-5 minute talks by candidates and representatives from the local culture scene. The speaking order was determined by drawing names out of a bowl, and as it happened, our Green Candidates dominated the beginning of the evening.
Waterloo Candidate Zdravko Gunjevic started the evening off with a look at the importance of Public Libraries in our shared culture (if you listen closely you’ll hear an Ontario Cabinet Minister heckle him)
Next up, Kitchener-Conestoga Candidate Bob Jonkman considers the impact of culture on our most vulnerable citizens
And finally, Kitchener Centre Candidate Stacey Danckert spoke about the importance of public support for the creators who make our culture
WRGreens were honoured to be included in this valuable event.
Check out Greg Durocher’s Ontario Chamber of Commerce interview with Michele Braniff, the Green Party Candidate for Cambridge. This is part of the Chamber’s 2018 Ontario Election coverage of Cambridge and Kitchener South—Hespeler.
It is exciting to that 2/5ths of Waterloo Region’s Green Party Candidates are women. Stacey Danckert will represent Kitchener Centre and Michele Braniff Cambridge in the Election we are about to have here in Ontario.
The inspirational woman in the middle is Hannah Bell, the newest elected Green in Canada. In a recent PEI By-Election, Hannah won the second Green seat in the PEI Legislative Assembly. In PEI the Greens are the Third Party, and they are polling awfully well. Even though they are only a caucus of two, they have already demonstrated that politics can be done differently.
And oddly enough, citizens like that.
Ontario’s Green Party Candidates are looking for their chance to do the same thing here. It’s time.
REMINDER for TODAY:
Join the Waterloo Region Greens and Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner for our 2018 provincial election Campaign Launch at Fresh Ground, located at 256 King Street East, Kitchener, N2H 2V6
Come celebrate with us as we kick off the biggest campaign we’ve ever run in Green Party history! We’ll have lots of excitement as the writs are drawn up and the election is officially underway. Make sure to wear Green so we can show Ontario that the Green Wave is here.
WHO: Michele Braniff,
GPO Candidate for Cambridge
WHAT: The GPO Vision for the Local Community Art Scene
WHERE: Atlas Yoga Studios
18-B Ainslie Street South,
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada Map WHEN: Sunday, May 6th, 2018 2:00-3:30pm WHY: Art is an important part of our lives.