Tune in: Mike Schreiner at the 2017 GPO Convention

Can’t make it to this year’s GPO Convention? No problem – you can still catch a part of it by tuning in on Saturday, May 27 at 4.30pm to hear Mike Schreiner’s keynote address.

2017 Muskoka Convention | Mike Schreiner, Keynote | May 27

Tune in above or on Facebook to hear about the positive changes Ontario Greens want to bring to the province today.

GPO Leaders Tour Recap: Paris, Brant, Kitchener-Waterloo

We all know that Ontario needs real political change. The GPO Leader’s Tour is designed so we can listen to your thoughts and uncover the issues you are passionate about. This way Greens can drive the kind of political change in Ontario that truly matters to you.

See highlights from the latest leg of the GPO Leader’s Tour below.


Meeting in Paris, ON to discuss water security and how the local community can push back against the government and big business who seem complicit in water insecurity in the area

 


Meeting with the Brantford mayor and other local officials to discuss issues such as land use planning, the places to grow act and transportation

 


Brant Social/Strategy meeting – thank you to everyone who were determined to attend despite the rain! Discussions revolved around GPO local activities and how we can work together to elect Ontario’s first Green MPP.

 


Mike Schreiner at S2E Technologies to talk about how businesses can deliver net zero communities

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Learning about local beers and helping to encourage local business at TWB Co-operative Brewing with Culum Canally

 
 

GPO Leaders Tour Recap: Orillia, Oro-Medonte, Innisfil and Barrie

We all know that Ontario needs real political change. The GPO Leader’s Tour is designed so we can listen to your thoughts and uncover the issues you are passionate about. This way Greens can drive the kind of political change in Ontario that truly matters to you.

Mike Schreiner and team just completed stops for the GPO Leader’s Tour in Orillia, Oro-Medonte, Innisfil and Barrie. See highlights below.

April 7 – Orillia and Oro-Medonte

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Mike at Orillia’s Bird House Nature Company, chatting about conservation issues in the area.

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Visiting Charles Pachter’s home studio in Orillia with members of local community. Chatted about reclaiming spaces for community development and art projects and the transformative power of space as an area for social and artistic growth. Members of the community are seeking provincial support for the Huronia Cultural Campus.

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At the Orillia Farmers’ Market, chatting about honey production and how the use of neonicotinoids have disrupted bee populations.

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Buying treats for our dog from 12 year old entrepreneur Starla of Happy Tails at the Orillia Farmers’ Market

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Having a great time speaking about Ontario issues with members of Simcoe North Greens

Read more about Mike’s visit to Orillia here:

April 8 – Innisfil and Barrie

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Discussing local Green Party developments and engagement at Vidya’s Veggie Gourmet Restaurant

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Mike Schreiner and Bonnie North of the Local Barrie Greens with Kim Vidya, the restaurant owner

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Rob Meier and Mike chat about bike lanes, transportation accessibility, and road tolls

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Public meet and greet at the Grilled Cheese Social Eatery in Barrie 

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Ontario Greens in Barrie: Keenan Milton Thomas Alywin, Mike Schreiner and Bonnie North
 

International Day of Pink

Today is International Day of Pink, an observance that encourages us to celebrate diversity in our community and ensure that we continue taking steps toward a more tolerant society. Everyone in our province deserves respect. 

The GPO stands with those who do not tolerate bullying, homophobia and transphobia. 

We must be aware of the fact that bullying exists on a daily basis, and we must work together to stop it. This is particularly true in youth groups and schools. We owe it to our children to ensure that these are inclusive spaces to express themselves. 

The GPO encourages everyone to wear pink today in support of victims of bullying, and to continue to speak out against discrimination.

GPO Leaders Tour Recap: Peterborough and Cobourg

We all know that Ontario needs real political change. The GPO Leader’s Tour is designed so we can listen to your thoughts and uncover the issues you are passionate about. This way Greens can drive the kind of political change in Ontario that truly matters to you.

Mike Schreiner and team just completed the second leg of the GPO Spring Leader’s Tour, with stops in Peterborough and Cobourg.

The focus: talking to local business owners and residents about issues they were passionate about, such as developing our small businesses, fixing our energy systems, strengthening democracy, and reducing poverty. 

See highlights below.

April 1 – Peterborough

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Talking to local merchants at the Peterborough Farmers’ Market about about the importance of having affordable and fresh food options available and the positive impacts on health and the community.
 

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Mike buying local produce from vendors and engaging in thoughtful conversations with local business owners – aside from being an important supplier of fresh and seasonal food and produce, the Peterborough Farmers’ Market also provides a competitive outlet for numerous local vendors and acts an as economic and social hub for the community.

 

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Sampling delicious chocolate from Dan Ledandan Foods at Peterborough Farmer’s Market, while talking about how important it is for young people to have the tools/environment to pursue their desires to start their own business. Young entrepreneurs need support from the province for capital, education and training. Small business owners also talked about reducing regulatory barriers and lowering payroll taxes.

 

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Touring Harper Park with Peterborough Nature, led by Kim Zippel.

 

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Discussing the highly sensitive ecosystem of the area and the threat from develop of a casino the province is building next to this provincially significant wetland. This is one of the few urban rivers that provides brook trout habitat.

 

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The forest is used by nature lovers, kids play and school classes. It is also home to diverse wildlife including endangered species.

 

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Great conversations about electoral reform, energy policies, and poverty reduction with members of the community at Sadleir House.

 

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Local Greens get together for local food and drinks at The Lounge by Lignum to chat about election strategy and issues that matters to members in the community. Most common topics were energy prices and poverty reduction, as well as the issue of youth unemployment/underemployment.

Read more about Mike’s visit to Peterborough here:

April 2 – Cobourg

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Local Green supporters chat at local hotspot, The Buttermilk Cafe,  to discuss issues relevant to their community. Issues were the same as in Peterborough, though with slightly more emphasis on youth struggles and affordable housing.

 

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Chatting with Tom Lawson about affordable and sustainable housing development in Cobourg.
 

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Mike visits Balieboro residents Garry Lean and Margaret Dickson (not shown) who have a horse farm and a diverse woodlot. They chatted about providing local economies with the tools they need, such as rural broadband, to compete in a highly competitive and globalized world. They also reviewed logging practices in the conservation area adjacent to the farm.
 

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Touring the farm – the farm has ports dating back to early 1900’s, where local Amish assisted in rebuilding a large wall in need of repair.

Citizens, both urban and rural, want solutions to rising electricity and housing prices, youth unemployment and stronger protections for the places they love.

Read more about Mike’s visit to Cobourg here:

GPO Leaders Tour Recap: London, Sarnia, Windsor

Green Party leader Mike Schreiner just successfully wrapped up the first leg of the 2017 Spring Leader’s Tour, with stops in London, Sarnia and Windsor. 

People wanted to talk about a number of issues from rising electricity prices and school closures to investing in innovation, clean technology and local food. Mike’s listening tour is designed to engage people on issues so Greens can bring the kind of change to Queen’s Park that matters to you.  

See highlights from the first leg of the tour below.

March 27 – London

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Visiting Fire Roasted Coffee in London for hot chocolate and excellent coffee
 

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Talking to CTV London about hydro and affordable energy prices
 

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Had a great day visiting Fanshawe College, learning about innovation and education
 

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Mid-conversation with a local grocer at the London Food Incubator
 

Read more about Mike’s visit to London here:

March 28 – Sarnia

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Meet and Greet in Sarnia at Refined Fool Brewing
 

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Enjoying delicious organic food at Greens Organic Cafe in Sarnia
 

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At one of the roundtables, discussing important issues that matter to the city
 

Read more about Mike’s visit to Sarnia here:

March 29 – Windsor

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Mike on the air for CBC Windsor
 

Read more about Mike’s trip to Windsor here:

Why I couldn’t buy a ticket to the Hip concert

Andrew WestSubmitted by Andrew West

Last year, tickets went on sale for what may very well be the final concert tour for the Tragically Hip. I was one of the thousands unable to buy a ticket last year because 2/3 of their tickets were sold to scalpers in just a few milliseconds after they went on sale. Then within minutes, these scalpers went on websites like StubHub or TicketsNow to sell those tickets—including presale tickets—to fans for hundreds or thousands of dollars more than they paid for them.

In Ottawa, tickets that originally sold between $56-$136 were listed on StubHub for between $295-$1,127. In some cases, that’s an over 750% increase.

Many fans were upset. I listened to a lot of people complain on local talk radio. I’m certainly included in that upset group. I would have loved to see the Hip again, and in Ottawa which might end up being their second last show ever.
 
Scalpers are able to buy thousands of tickets in less than a second because they use automated software commonly called “bots”. Last week Yasir Naqvi, Ontario’s Attorney General, called this “a complex problem.” To their credit, the Liberal government is currently conducting a consultation on ticket buying and reselling. Yes this is a complicated situation but a resolution does not have to be put off.
 
Many Ontarians would benefit from anti-scalping bots legislation now. But enforcing any anti-scalping bot legislation is an issue since many of these scalpers aren’t in Ontario.
 
The problem is there’s a huge financial incentive for them to break the law if they can get away with it. But as it stands right now, there is no law to really stop them. There are some minor laws like how Ticketmaster can’t buy their own tickets and pretend to be a different company to sell them for more money, or how scalpers mustn’t sell fake tickets and have to give a money back guarantee. That’s about it.
 
At one point in time it was illegal for anyone to sell a ticket in Ontario for more than they paid for it. But in 2015 regulations came into force—for some reason—allowing anyone to scalp tickets at any price. Scalping tickets online in Ontario became a lot more rewarding. So around the same time in 2015 that Yasir Naqvi became the Attorney General, Hip tickets were being bought up and sold by scalpers.
 
The 2015 regulations benefit scalpers the most. Yes there are some people who legitimately buy tickets and may want to sell them for some reason (e.g., something comes up and they can’t go) and they may want to make a profit. But tickets are not property that you can buy and sell; they are licenses. When you buy a ticket you’re paying to be allowed into a venue to see an event. Basically you’d be trespassing if you ran into a Sens game without a ticket.
 
Licences have conditions and can be revoked, just like your driver’s license. I’ve bought many Blue Jays tickets through Ticketmaster. On the back of those tickets it says “This ticket is a revocable license”. It also says the ticket holder is not allowed to resell the ticket for an amount higher than the price printed on the ticket. So scalpers who buy tickets in Ontario and then resell them at higher costs are breaking the terms of their contract when they buy tickets. But now there’s no law in enforce this. In fact, the law specifically allows for this.

What we can do: anti-scalping bot legislation 

A Green Party of Ontario government would steadfastly work to create anti-scalping bot legislation, and repeal the exceptions under the Ticket Speculation Act allowing scalpers to sell tickets for more than a ticket’s face value.

What we should consider: limits on resale profits and other restrictions

Maybe one day in the future you may have some tickets to an event you can’t go to, so you sell them. Sure, it’d be nice to make a profit if possible. Now maybe at the time you might be mad if there was a law against that. (You may say “I bought this ticket and I should be able to sell it at any price I want.”) But weigh that against the feeling of having to pay an arm and a leg from a scalper to see a show, because they bought all the tickets in seconds.

Tell us what you think to help fix our ticket buying systems in Ontario

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Or, you can send me feedback directly at andrewwest@gpo.ca.

— Andrew