Happy Lunar New Year!

Today marks the beginning of Lunar New Year – a celebration of light and sound, where communities come together to mark the beginning of the year of the dog.

The most important date in the Lunar calendar, this holiday is beautiful. Celebrated with parades, dragon dances, the exchange of gifts, and spending time with family and loved ones.

New Year’s celebrations are important for all of us, as they offer the opportunity for renewal and to find peace moving forward in to the year ahead.

The Leader, Mike Schreiner, and the Green Party of Ontario would like to wish all who are celebrating a happy and prosperous New Year!

My Vision

Mike with Green MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, Adam Olsen.On May 9th, the British Columbia Greens made history. Three Green Party candidates were elected to the Legislature, holding the balance of power in a minority government.

I can tell you – it was a nail biter.

I was in B.C., waiting anxiously for the election results with passionate, caring Greens from across Canada. It was a crowning moment to an intense week.
I knocked on doors. Installed lawn signs. Waved signs before the crack of dawn. I did whatever I could to help. It was a privilege to volunteer my time alongside thousands of other Greens. In the end, we were all part of history.

Back home, our provincial election is around the corner. I want every Green in Ontario to share the same historic experience that I had in British Columbia.

There are many ways to be part of our movement. Right now, the number one way you can support our efforts is by chipping into our final end of year campaign before the election
We are already making a difference. We’re champions on pricing carbon pollution. We were key in ensuring big money is finally out of politics. We hold the Wynne Liberals to account on water. We support small businesses and local sustainable economies.

People trust our work on issues such as nuclear, fracking, water, and climate change. I can’t tell you how many times people have said to me, “You Greens have the best vision, the best values, the best policies.”

Now is the time to give Ontarians the opportunity to vote for the real change they want.

We have made strides in getting our party election-ready. Since January 1st, our membership is up by 49% and our contact list by 38%. The media is paying attention more than ever. And we are halfway towards recruiting an amazing team of candidates.

You have the opportunity to make a crucial strategic impact today. By making a financial gift, we can keep our momentum going.

With only five months remaining before the election, your support is imperative.
Our goal is to elect our first Green MPPs to Queen’s Park, following the footsteps of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and British Columbia.

There are so many pressing issues in Ontario. Advocating for better education. Protecting the gains we’ve made with renewable energy. Pushing for improved transit. Ensuring every community has safe drinking water.

Imagine the impact Green MPPs will make, introducing legislation such as:

  • Ban on fracking
  • Mandating every new housing development include 20% affordable units
  • Opposing the extension of Pickering Nuclear plant, already the oldest nuclear plant in North America and past it’s best before date
  • Supporting regulated and licensed small businesses to sell cannabis in a safe and controlled way

Former Liberal MPP John Gerretsen has said, “I firmly believe that the Green Party has an awful lot to offer in Ontario as well, and they probably should have two or three members in our legislature.”

We are ready to provide the leadership your community needs at Queen’s Park. But we need your help.

Could you join me in supporting the Green movement with a year-end donation?

Together, we can make progress on the issues we care about. Your support helps us make the change Ontario wants and needs.

Thank you so much for your support.

Mike Schreiner
Mike Schreiner
Green Party of Ontario

P.S. Greens in British Columbia woke up on May 10th to headlines such as, “Greens double popular vote and triple seat count,” “Greens make historic breakthrough,” and “Greens hold balance of power in stunning B.C. election.”

My desire is for Greens in Ontario to see these headlines when we wake up on June 8th. Please join me in this historic opportunity with your end-of-year contribution today.

More needed to help small business grow and create jobs

TORONTO – Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner says the Liberal government’s corporate tax cut isn’t enough to help small businesses cope with the rapidly rising cost of paying workers a living wage, and will do nothing to help them grow and create jobs.

“Cutting the corporate tax rate helps businesses maximize their profits, even if they do that by cutting jobs,” said Schreiner. “It’s obvious that neither Finance Minister Charles Sousa nor Premier Kathleen Wynne have ever operated a small business or a non-profit given their approach on this issue.”

The GPO plan to raise the exemption level for the Employer Health Tax from $450,000 to $1,000,000 in payroll would automatically and immediately benefit small businesses and non-profits to lower their labour costs. They wouldn’t have to fill out paperwork to apply or wait until they file their taxes. The GPO plan would not create a disincentive for small businesses to grow. It would create an incentive for them to create more jobs that pay better.

“Payroll tax reductions help small businesses by immediately lowering labour costs, improving their monthly cash flow and creating incentives to create jobs, ” said Schreiner. “Lower labour costs help businesses create more jobs and better-paying jobs.”

The GPO supports the planned increases in the minimum wage, but would also like to see increases in social assistance rates to help the most vulnerable in Ontario.

“Both policies would inject more money into local economies, benefitting local businesses and communities,” said Schreiner. “We are the only party advocating for a balanced approach, supporting a decent living wage for workers and lower payroll taxes for their employers.”

Real People, Real Solutions – Peter Ormond, Eco5

In this episode, Mike talks to Peter Ormond, a community leader in terms of helping people save energy about how they can make small changes in their own homes and businesses to really engage in the Green economy, enabling them to save money while saving the planet at the same time.

About Eco5 and Peter Ormond
eco5 is the acronym for Environmentally Conscious Organization, and the “5” represents the 5 R’s of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rethink and Revitalize.

Peter has engineering degrees and an MBA that helps him recognize the glaring disconnect between our formal educational / theoretical world and the practical solutions that will benefit the Earth. He has run in several elections as a Green Party candidate and attended several United Nations Climate Change Conferences.

​Schreiner urges the Liberal government to offer real help to small businesses

Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner is urging the Liberal government to offer real help to small businesses in Tuesday’s fall economic statement by lowering payroll taxes on employees.

“The most efficient and effective way to help small businesses to create more jobs is to raise the exemption level for the Employer Health Tax, which has increased only slightly since the late 1990s,” said Schreiner.

“I call on the Ontario government to announce that it will raise the exemption level for the Employer Health Tax from $450,000 to $1,000,000 in payroll. This will allow locally-owned companies to double the number of jobs they create before paying taxes on those jobs, helping them grow their business.”

Businesses with payroll of less than $5 million would not be charged the EHT on the first $1,000,000 of payroll, helping them save up to $20,000 a year and injecting over $800 million into local economies.

The governing Liberals do little to help small businesses, preferring instead to hand out billions of dollars to huge corporations and to cut taxes for Bay Street instead of Main Street.

“The Liberals focus on big corporations and mostly ignore the real job creators — small businesses whose individual job numbers add up to millions of good jobs,” said Schreiner.

“As a former small business owner, I know this tax change will make a real difference for both mom-and-pop shops, as well as for start ups looking to grow their business.”

The Greens’ tax cut plan would also help small businesses adjust to a rapidly rising minimum wage.

“The GPO is the only party with a balanced plan to support small businesses and living wages for workers,” said Schreiner, who is also the Green Party candidate in Guelph in next June’s election.

Schreiner said the small business entrepreneurs who are essential to building diversified, resilient local economies that generate sustainable jobs and prosperity are not being properly supported by the Ontario government.

“There are two parties of big business and one party of no business at Queen’s Park,” he said. “Greens are the only party standing up for small business.”

The GPO is on a mission to bring honesty, integrity and policies that work for people to Queen’s Park.

Real People, Real Solutions – Southbrook Vineyards

Real People, Real Solutions is a series of interviews with people who are making a difference in communities across Ontario. Hosted by GPO leader Mike Schreiner.

As Canada’s first biodynamic winery, Southbrook Vineyards is a prime example that you can do the right thing and still be profitable. Their organic wines earn recognition, from critics and consumers alike, year after year. Their site is LEED® certified, with initiatives that ensure efficient use of water, reduced energy consumption, responsible use of materials and resources, as well as improved quality of the indoor environment. In this episode, Mike talks to Bill Redelmeier, proprietor of Southbrook Vineyards, and how going Green can drive success for your business.

About Southbrook Vineyards
Southbrook Vineyards is the epitome and evolution of Marilyn and Bill Redelmeier’s love story with wine, the land, and all things “local.” The winery is situated on a 150-acre vineyard in the heart of the Niagara Peninsula wine region of Ontario, Canada. They produce organic and biodynamic wines that earn recognition, from critics and consumers alike, year after year.

From their purchase of the Niagara-on-the-Lake vineyard in 2005, the Redelmeiers committed their energies to sustainable viticulture. By 2008, they had created the first wine estate in Canada to earn both organic and biodynamic certification for its vineyard and winery. Southbrook also takes a leadership role in the wine community by mentoring, educating and sharing in an effort to encourage a growing understanding of organic and biodynamic methods.

About Bill Redelmeier
A passionate entrepreneur and connoisseur of food and fine wine, Bill Redelmeier, together with his partner Marilyn, evolved Bill’s family business from a cattle farm on a 19th century property in Richmond Hill, through to a roadside vegetable stand in the 1980s, to a thriving garden market, and now an award-winning winery.

Bill and Marilyn have pursued certifications for both the vineyard and the winery – including LEED, biodynamic and organic certification – clearly demonstrating leadership and commitment to environmental concerns, quality winemaking, and outstanding customer experience.

Real People, Real Solutions – Life Co-op

Meet Shane Mulligan, whose renewable energy co-operative seeks out new opportunities for community-owned renewable energy.