2018 Convention
February 2 – 4
Delta Hotels, 50 Stone Rd. W., Guelph


GPO Convention

Guelph, February 2-4, 2018

In the last twelve months, we…

  1. Set records in fundraising
  2. Signed up more members than ever
  3. Welcomed more elected Greens across Canada

Now it’s time for Ontario Greens to come together and get ready for the June 7 2018 election!

Over three days we will…

  • Offer expert campaign training to bring back to your local teams
  • Gather to hear from inspired speakers
  • Attend workshops on policy and platform
  • Connect with like-minded, passionate Greens ready to make history in Ontario

Where: Delta Hotel and Conference Centre, 50 Stone Rd W, Guelph
When: 4 pm Friday, February 2 – 3 pm Sunday, February 4

Weekend passes: $150 Regular | $100 Youth/Retiree/Unwaged | $250 Observer / Non-Member
Day passes: $70 Friday | $100 – Saturday (includes Gala dinner) | $70 – Sunday
Event passes: $75- Saturday Evening Gala Event

Your weekend or day pass includes some meals (not breakfast) as well as entry into convention activities. What a deal!

Please note that accommodation is NOT included in the ticket price. A block of rooms will be available for GPO delegates to book on site at the Delta Hotel for $129.99 per night or $65.00 to share a room with another delegate. You can book your room directly through Delta here.

Please contact samanthabird@gpo.ca with any questions.

Convention 2018 Agenda

Below you’ll find the draft agenda for the GPO 2018 Convention in Guelph. Times & activities are subject to change.
Note that this convention is a special general meeting. As such, constitutional matters and Provincial Executive elections will be take place in the fall when we will hold an Annual General Meeting.


Time Event Presenter(s)
3:00 PM Registration Opens
4:00 PM Tour of the Biodiversity Department at University of Guelph
6:00 PM Welcome, intros and what to expect over the weekend Ralph Benmergui
7:00 PM Dinner
7:45 PM Speaker: Making our democracy stronger Dave Meslin
8:30 PM Table talks: A Global Cafe of topics you can learn more about Host: Brian Mathers
10:00 PM Evening Social


Time Event Presenter(s)
7:30 AM Registration Opens
9:00 AM Official Welcome
Indigenous greeting
Welcome from City of Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie
GPO President’s address, Ard Van Leeuwen
9:30 AM Presentation: Diversity in 2018: hearing all voices Kevin Sutton
10:30 AM Break
10:45 AM Policy Roundtable Discussions
12:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM GPO Leader, Keynote Address Mike Schreiner
1:30 PM Break
1:45 PM Workshops:
A. Training: Campaign 101: what to expect Matt Richter & team
B. Discussion: Journey to 100% renewable – how can we get there? Evan Ferrari
C. Training: How to increase votes (ID/GOTV) Dave Bagler and Candice Lepage
3:00 PM Break
3:15 PM Workshops:
A. Panel: Poverty + mental health Glenna Banda – Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington
Gillian Cornell – Lakeside HOPE House
Adrienne Crowder – Wellington Guelph Drug Strategy
Gail Hoekstra – Executive Director Guelph Drop-in Centre
B. Workshop: Young Greens
C. Training: Keep the shoebox! GVote/Data 101 (Members Only) Randi Ramdeen
4:30 PM Guest Speaker Seher Shafiq
5:15 PM Break for day
6:00 PM Reception with music from Joni NehRita
7:00 PM Gala Dinner and Volunteer Awards MC: Valerie Powell
8:30 PM Keynote: The Green wave in PEI Peter Bevan Baker and Hannah Bell
9:45 PM Hospitality Suite


Time Event Presenter(s)
8:00 AM Registration Opens
8:30 AM Plenary
Consideration of and voting on member submitted resolutions
10:30 AM Break
10:45 AM Workshops:
A. Training: Keep the shoebox! GVote/data 201 (Members Only)
B. Training: Winning in Guelph and what it means your riding (Members Only) Amy Watson & Sean Yo
C. Training: Social Media Carolyn Weatherson and Joanna Pleta
12:00 PM Lunch
12:30 PM Speaker Sonia Fursteneau, BC MLA for Cowichan Valley (via skype)
1:15 PM Panel: Women in Politics
2:00 PM Workshops:
A. Panel – How do small businesses thrive in Ontario? Stefan Wiesen – Intrigue Media
April Burrows – Flow Office
Jackie Prince -Sweet Temptations Cupcakery
Culum Canally – Together we’re bitter
Moderator: Steve Dyck
B. Training: Finance Reform/CFO training Elections Ontario
C. Training: BIG Organizing: how to turn 1 person into 10 Jim O’Reilly & Tim Grant
3:00 PM Closing
3:15 PM Canvassing: Protect Our Water campaign


The Delta Hotels by Marriott Guelph Conference Centre is located at 50 Stone Rd W, Guelph. Parking is $14 per day or free if you are staying on site at the hotel.


Train & Bus

VIA, GO, and Greyhound options are available to downtown Guelph.


Please contact samanthabird@gpo.ca with questions


The deadline has now passed for submitting resolutions for the 2018 Convention in Guelph.

You can find the resolutions that will be debated at the Convention here. Please note that these are not yet GPO policies. They will be debated on by our membership and either pass or fail at the Convention in February.

Attending the convention? You can look forward to discussing the resolutions at 10:45 am on Saturday and voting on resolutions during plenary at 8:30 am on Sunday.

Proxy forms

Each delegate from a riding with a registered Constituency Association (CA) can bring up to 9 proxy votes from members in their CA. This will help us achieve quorum and will count when voting on policy, constitutional, & directive resolutions.

To have proxy votes assigned to you from other members in your riding, you will need to complete this form and return it to proxy18@gpo.ca or bring it with you to the convention.

The President of your CA will need to validate your form, and each member must authorize their proxy assignment. Original or electronic signatures will be accepted for the President validation and member authorization. For email authorizations, you must bring a printed copy of the email to the convention.

Remember to hand in your proxy form and any printed emails when you sign in at the registration desk at the convention, and we’ll get your proxy card to you early Saturday AM.

Policy process: questions and answers

How do I submit a policy?
Where do I find current GPO policy?
What are the required components of a policy submission?
Do I need to gather sponsors and develop policy myself?
What are the deadlines?
What if I miss a deadline?
Is the policy approved as long as I submit it?
How can I help ensure my policy is passed?

1.    How do I submit a policy?

The GPO has an established process where any current member can submit resolutions. You must submit your resolution using our webform or by emailing policy@gpo.ca. We strongly suggest you use our webform to ensure your policies are being submitted correctly. You may contact policy@gpo.ca if you have any further questions.

2.    Where do I find current GPO policy?

The current policy book is available on the GPO website.

3.    What are the required components of a policy submission?

All required fields need to be populated using the webform on the GPO website. Members are strongly encouraged to connect with the policy coordinator prior to submission. If you require assistance, you can email policy@gpo.ca.

4.    Do I need to gather sponsors and develop policy myself?

You can seek help and feedback by contacting our policy coordinator. This person is responsible for leading the review of policy resolutions prior to submission. This includes direct access to Shadow Cabinet and members who have expressed interest in reviewing policy. Members are encouraged to take advantage of these resources and increases the likelihood that your policy will receive enough sponsors and pass at the convention.

5.    What are the deadlines?

The submission period is now open. The draft deadline for policy submissions is Friday, December, 1 at 5 pm. This deadline allows time for the Policy coordinator to help you with your submissions and to gather support by the final deadline. Final resolutions must be received by Saturday, December 16th, 2017 at 5 pm. It is advised that you start the development process early to ensure that you have enough time to make revisions and gather sponsors.

6.    What if I miss a deadline?

Deadlines are mandated by our bylaws and constitution. They exist to ensure the party has enough time to process resolutions and the membership has sufficient notice prior to the convention. However, emergency resolutions can be submitted at the 2018 convention if the following requirements are met:

  1. It is considered an emergency by the Chair or Party President;
  2. It receives sponsors from 10 delegates at convention;
  3. It receives the support of 75% of the convention plenary.

7.    Is the policy approved as long as I submit it?

Submission of your resolution on time, with sufficient sponsors, and with Party approval, will ensure that the resolution is on the agenda at the Convention. Although it likely that your resolution will be considered, this is not guaranteed due to time restraints, there is not a guarantee.

8.    How can I help ensure my policy is passed?

A policy resolution that is highly relevant, well researched, and salient with our values, will likely receive enough sponsors and rank highly on the resolution ranked ballot. Socializing your policy among members in advance and attending the convention will also be helpful. The submitter, or a sponsor, should be prepared to answer questions about the resolution at the convention. A compelling introduction to the floor, and due diligence in advance of the convention, increase your chances of success considerably.

Volunteers are the heart of the GPO. Our success as a party is due to the energy, hard-work and dedication of a team of volunteers across the province.

Each year at our Convention Gala, we recognize three volunteers who have gone above and beyond in moving the values of the Green Party forward.

Nominations are open until Friday January 12, 2018 so read on to find out more about the awards and how to nominate a great volunteer that you know!

The Awards

The Frank de Jong Legacy Award recognizes volunteers who have demonstrated exceptional service and commitment building the Green Party of Ontario (GPO). Frank de Jong served as the Leader of the Green Party of Ontario from 1993 – 2009 and oversaw a growth in voter support for the GPO in every election during his time as Leader.

The Community Involvement Award recognizes volunteers with a proven track record of engaging citizens in the promotion of Green values such as building strong communities, fostering local economies and promoting health & well-being in Ontario.

The Rising Star Award will recognize a new comer (3 years or less) to the GPO who has shown enthusiasm and ability in volunteering for their Constituency Association (CA), a campus group, or the GPO office and have demonstrated a positive, motivating spirit.

Past recipients:

  • Frank de Jong Legacy Award: Pauline Thornham (2017), Caren Crawford (2016), Jaymini Bhikha (2015), Kathy Acheson (2014), Chris Frere (2013) Kevin O’Donnell (2012), Rich Tyssen (2011), Julie Barker (2010),
  • Community Involvement Award: Peter Ormond (2017), Linda Fraser (2016), Pat Rogerson (2015), Suzanne Crellin (2014), Jenn and Ekk Pfenning (2013), Kailey Richter (2012) Bettilyn Berglund (2011), Darcy Higgins (2010)
  • Rising Star Award: Sheilagh McLean (2017), Steve Cox (2016), Peggy Moulder (2015), The Danckert Family (2014), Temara Brown (2013) Yiwen Sim, Christina Zha, Joe Ward (2012), Stephen Ahad (2011)


Send your submissions by to awards@gpo.ca.
Nominations must include background information (approximately 200 words) including the reasons for the nomination, how the nominee has been involved with the GPO and how the nominee reflects the characteristics of the award. The awards committee may contact you if they require more information.


The winner of the awards will be announced at the 2018 Guelph Convention Gala Dinner – February 3, 2018.

Meet Our Speakers


Mike Schreiner
Leader of the Green Party of Ontario
Keynote Speaker Saturday Afternoon

Mike Schreiner is the leader of the Green Party of Ontario and the local candidate for Guelph in the 2018 provincial election.

Mike Schreiner was elected leader of the Green Party of Ontario on November 14, 2009. Under Mike’s leadership, the GPO has experienced substantial growth in its voters, fundraising, staff, volunteers and media exposure.

Since 2009, Mike has regularly attended Queen’s Park providing leadership on issues such as campaign finance reform, as well as advocating for the Guelph community on matters such as protecting Guelph’s drinking water from local quarries. He has led successful policy campaigns to push the provincial government to fund the Experimental Lakes Area, protect local food supplies by restricting the use of neo-nicotinoid pesticides, support small business by increasing market access for local craft breweries and fight climate change by putting a price on carbon pollution.

Sonia Furstenau
MLA for Cowichan Valley – BC Greens Deputy Leader
Guest Speaker Sunday Afternoon

Sonia was elected as MLA for Cowichan Valley in 2017. Prior to her election, she served as Area B Director for the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD), having been elected to the CVRD in 2014.

Sonia has long been involved in grassroots advocacy. She was National Administrator for Results Canada, a non-profit that works to end extreme poverty, and she served on the Board of Directors for Oikocredit, an international microcredit organization. Sonia was also a volunteer with Citizens Climate Lobby, which is committed to finding solutions to the challenge of climate change. Sonia has worked as a teacher in the Victoria School District and in Shawnigan, where she taught History, English, and Theory of Knowledge. Sonia has a BA and an MA in History from the University of Victoria.

Peter Bevan Baker
MLA for Kellys Cross-Cumberland –  PEI Greens Leader
Keynote Speaker Saturday Evening

Peter arrived at the Prince Edward Island Legislative Assembly in May 2015 after following a long and winding road. That road began in Aberdeen, Scotland, moving through Newfoundland and Ontario before arriving in Hampton Prince Edward Island in 2002.

On the way he studied music, became a dentist, married “the kindest person I’ve ever met,” had 4 children, wrote 6 plays and a musical, and ran as a Green Party candidate in 10 elections before finally succeeding in May 2015 when he became the proud MLA for Kellys Cross – Cumberland. In doing so, Peter became the first Green Party member of the Provincial Legislature.


Hannah Bell
MLA Charlottetown-Parkdale – PEI Greens
Keynote Speaker Saturday Evening
Women in Politics Panel

Hannah Bell was elected as the MLA for District 11: Charlottetown-Parkdale in a by-election on November 27, 2017. She also serves as the Green Party Finance Critic.

Hannah Bell holds an MBA in Innovative Management from UPEI, and has 30 years of varied experience in the public, private, and non-profit sectors in Canada and the UK. Prior to being elected, she served as Executive Director of the PEI Business Women’s Association for 5 years. Hannah Bell is the owner of consultancy firm ‘The Solution Agency’, a partner in the training firm ‘Business Learning Solutions’, and co-owner of ‘The SPOT Charlottetown’ – a creative co-workspace and business incubator. Her work has focussed on building capacity and influencing change through the power of storytelling, practical training and skills development, strategic planning and partnerships, and sustainable project design.

Glenna Banda
Executive Director of the Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington
Poverty & Mental Health Panel

Glenna Banda is the Executive Director of the Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington (CFGW) and has led the organization to be recognized as one of Canada’s top children’s charities by Financial Post Magazine. Recognized as one of Guelph’s Top 40 under 40, Glenna has a true passion for the non-profit sector’s role in community building. Since 2010 Glenna has worked closely with donors, volunteers and community partners to provide best in class services for families living in poverty, in a way that treats families with respect and empowers children and youth to break their current cycle of hardship. Proud to be a resident of Guelph, Glenna is passionate about finding new ways for individuals and businesses to invest in our community that are both impactful and meaningful to both the individual and the children in our community who need our support.


Gillian Cornell
Immediate Relief Program Manager at Lakeside HOPE House
Poverty & Mental Health Panel

Gillian Cornell describes herself as a motivator, connector, and capacity builder. With 17 years working in poverty alleviation on international, Regional and local scales in the areas of development (fundraising) and meaningful activity (volunteering and back to work) her experience has come from knowing thousands of individuals and families who have struggled with homelessness. Her passion is bringing people together to work toward creating communities where everyone belongs and has the opportunity to be their best self.


Evan Ferrari
Executive Director of eMERGE Guelph Sustainability
Poverty & Mental Health Panel

Environmental stewardship and community development have been prominent themes throughout Evan’s life: from founding a water-pumping windmill project in Tanzania, to paddling from the Great Lakes to the Arctic Ocean and now as the Executive Director of eMERGE Guelph Sustainability.

He translated his business skills from management positions for an international photographic film manufacturer into leadership and advocacy roles in the fields of wilderness protection, waste management, energy conservation and renewables. As manager of Guelph 2000, he delivered conservation and demand management programs for Guelph Hydro, Union Gas, and the City of Guelph water and waste management departments. As President of the WindShare Cooperative – he oversaw the operation North America’s first urban windmill at Toronto’s waterfront. He has helped community renewable energy projects get started around the province and right here as chair of the Guelph Renewable Energy Co-op or GRECo. For his work on environmental initiatives Evan received the Governor General’s Canada 125 award.

Janelle Hinds
Founder of Helping Hands
Women in Politics Panel

Janelle is the founder of Helping Hands, a platform to youth volunteer and get civically engaged while building skills for their future careers. She is the Program Coordinator with a youth-led initiative that delivers workshops to newcomer and racialized youth to build leadership skills and more to ensure all youth are active citizens.

While working on her Bachelors of Engineering with majors in both Biomedical and Electrical Engineering, Janelle realized her passion for STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) education, entrepreneurship and diversity issues. She founded HackItMac, a collaborative community to learn about technology and organized deltaHacks, the first student-run hackathon in North America with a focus on enabling positive social change. She has worked on integrating efforts to increase diversity in many of her endeavours and always looking for more opportunities to help others in their efforts. Janelle is an advocate for social innovation and encouraging others to pursue entrepreneurial endeavours.


Dave Meslin
Political Entrepreneur & Engagement Specialist
Guest Speaker on Friday Evening.

Using non-traditional methods and creative tactics, Dave Meslin spent twenty years as a social and political entrepreneur leaving a trail of non-profit start-ups, campaign victories, viral videos, new magazines, and public space interventions in his path.  The Toronto Star has described him as “mad scientist”, “a start-up genius” and “a peripatetic public convener”. The Globe and Mail simply calls him a “persuasive rabble rouser”. Dancing between the worlds of mainstream politics and grassroots activism, Meslin has found positive ways to bring them both together and turn energy into action. His 2010 TED talk “The Antidote to Apathy” has been viewed over 1.5 million times and translated into 37 languages. A CBC appearance about proportional representation, involving towers of colourful LEGO, has been watched 2.5 million times on Facebook. Meslin’s resume of non-profit start-ups include the Toronto Public Space Committee, the Ranked Ballot Initiative of Toronto, City Idol, Spacing Magazine, Unlock Democracy Canada, the Downtown De-Fence Project, Dazzling Notice Awards, and DandyHorse Magazine.  Meslin is currently writing a book about democratic reform, to be published by Penguin Canada 2018.

Jakki Prince
Owner of Sweet Temptations Cupcakery
Small Business Panel

Jakki Prince, entrepreneur and owner of Sweet Temptations Cupcakery. A UoG graduate, Jakki moved to Guelph in 2003 for school and fell in love with the city. As her bakery expanded to their storefront location on Gordon St in the south end in 2013, and out and about in food truck ‘Sprinkle’ Jakki has been involved in community events and working to grow her business. Sweet Temptations Cupcakery is proudly B Corporation certified, and Jakki shares her passion for sustainability, environment, and community with her team. In her free time you’ll find Jakki enjoying active pursuits and traveling.


Seher Shafiq
Program Manager of DiverseCity Fellows at CivicAction
Guest Speaker Saturday Afternoon

Seher is extremely passionate about civic engagement and was heavily involved in get-out-the-vote efforts during the 2015 federal election. Since 2015, Seher has been part of the leadership team at The Canadian-Muslim Vote, which seeks to educate community members about the ins and outs of Canadian democracy, as well as the importance of being involved in the political process.

Passionate about diversity and inclusion, Seher currently works at CivicAction Leadership Foundation, where she manages the DiverseCity Fellows program. Prior to joining CivicAction, Seher Shafiq was the Partnerships & Community Engagement Manager at Lifeline Syria, where she managed the volunteer program, media/communications, and government relations of the organization. Seher’s other experiences include working at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, as well as project management for a youth resiliency and mental health project in Ontario.

Born in Edmonton to Pakistani parents, Seher grew up in the Greater Toronto Area and currently lives in downtown Toronto. Seher completed both her degrees at the University of Toronto – a Masters in Global Affairs from the Munk School of Global Affairs and a BA with a double major in International Relations and Ethics, Society & Law.

Stefan Wiesen
Co-owner of Intrigue Media Solutions Inc
Small Business Panel

Stefan is a later-in-life entrepreneur. After graduating from business school, he worked in sales and marketing management for several private and public companies in his native Germany and in the USA. Emigrating to Canada in 1993 did not only put him into the New World geographically, but also finally into a creative, and sometimes destructive, role of entrepreneur. At Intrigue Media, he went back to his roots of marketing and enjoys helping great organisations to get noticed and found.

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