Schreiner will be a champion for Guelph on affordable housing

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GUELPH, ON — Everyone deserves an affordable place to call home, and today the Green Party of Ontario announced its four-point plan for unlocking affordable housing to put seniors, families and first-time buyers, as well as our precious green space first.

“The housing situation is getting out of hand for people in southwestern Ontario, who are being locked out of the market. Here in Guelph, we are seeing rising housing prices, a shortage of small housing units and a vacancy rate of just 0.6%,” said Green Party Leader, Mike Schreiner.

The Green Party leader would require one in five new housing units to be below market rate. He made the announcement at the edge of one of Guelph’s last greenfield spaces, currently being planned.

“I will fight for Guelph and I will fight at Queen’s Park so that any new developments like this – whether it’s rental or subdivision – have a minimum of 20% affordable homes,” said Schreiner.

He will also work with municipalities to remove barriers that stand in the way of making better use of our built environment with creative solutions that don’t worsen urban sprawl.

“I talk to so many young people who want access to tiny homes, laneway houses, secondary suites – affordable options so we don’t always have to build out or up. We can solve the housing crisis and protect the Greenbelt, unlike what the Conservatives have said,” said Schreiner.

Greens would extend the non-resident Housing Speculation Tax to include domestic buyers who simply purchase a home to leave it vacant, and would invest an additional $200 million over the Liberals’ budget towards supportive housing, social housing, co-op housing and shelters.

“Homes are for people, not speculators. That’s why we’re acting and that’s why I’ll be a champion for Guelph to ensure everyone has an affordable place to call home,” said Schreiner.

 

Greens pledge to tackle poverty with a BIG idea

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GUELPH, ON — On the steps of the West Willow Village Neighbourhood Group, Green Party of Ontario Leader, Mike Schreiner, outlined a vision for a giant leap forward to tackle poverty in the province.

“Our world is changing and our social safety net programs need to adjust to new realities, where upwards of 32% of Ontarians are in situations of precarious labour. I am here to announce our plan for a Basic Income Guarantee – the most effective and efficient way to eliminate poverty,” said Schreiner.

The governing Liberals introduced a BIG pilot last year for 4,000 Ontarians, but left everyone else on inadequate social assistance programs that see them living well below the poverty line. We need action now. The Green Party would immediately increase social assistance rates to 75% of the low-income measure in the first year, and 100% within four years.

“In the last 15 years, we’ve seen a 26% increase in the number of Ontarians living on a low income. That tells me we need to do better. But research shows an assured income like our Basic Income Guarantee also saves money in healthcare and decreases the burden on our criminal justice system. It’s part of our preventative approach towards building healthy, inclusive communities” said Schreiner.

The program gives economic security to young people, entrepreneurs, and the middle class who are starting a business or upgrading their skills. It also eliminates the onerous bureaucracy that disadvantaged people are faced with to qualify for benefits. It’s time to cut red tape for those who need real support, not more paperwork, just to get by.

“The people in society drowning in the most red tape are those in poverty. This is about respecting their self-worth with a guaranteed income so they can participate with dignity in our economy,” said Schreiner.

Ford’s ‘plan’ is a blueprint for dismantling progress

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QUEEN’S PARK — Ontarians won’t be surprised when they read Doug Ford’s regressive platform, which promises to take the province back doing significant damage to our economy, environment and public services.

“This is a complete rush job, a toxic collection of back-of-the-napkin ideas cobbled together to look like a platform. From Bay Street to Hudson’s Bay, Ford is abandoning the people of Ontario,” said Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner.

“This plan denies that we are facing a climate crisis,” added Schreiner. “This platform confirms that Ford intends to ignore the clean economy, costing us jobs and prosperity. It is a direct threat to our air and water.”

Ford’s plan is reckless, leaving Ontarians to fend for themselves in the face of dramatic increases in fires, storms and floods. His dogged commitment to killing a price on carbon pollution ignores the urgency of climate change, which cost Canada $5 billion in insured losses in 2016.

It’s also irresponsible, with no fiscal plan, just numbers attached to programs and cuts.

“It would seem the PC party under Ford is trying to jettison its image of fiscal responsibility judging by the leader’s continuous refusal to share a coherent plan with real numbers or answers,” said Schreiner.

The PCs are tossing pennies at social crises like mental health and housing, promising a paltry $380 million combined per year on those massive issues. The plan also brings back the racialized guns and gangs police unit and the old sex-ed curriculum that is silent on consent and gender diversity.

Don’t blame renewable energy; blame the Liberals

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QUEEN’S PARK — Today’s comments from Jim MacDougall, former lead engineer with the now defunct Ontario Power Authority and the person responsible for implementation of the FIT and Micro-FIT programs, confirm the Liberals totally bungled the Green Energy Act, putting corporate interests ahead of community benefits.

“I was the first politician to come out against how the Liberals were implementing renewable energy legislation because I could see that they were stacking the deck in favour of giant corporations. They created the conditions for people to vilify green energy and it’s incredibly unfortunate,” said Green Party leader, Mike Schreiner.

In their flawed roll-out of the Green Energy Act, the Liberals gave nearly all contracts to multinational corporations without consulting with local communities or exploring ways to benefit them. This was yet another example of the Liberals taking a good idea and completely messing it up. Had the province looked to lessons from other countries, they would have seen a smarter and more democratic path to community power.

“If the Liberals had followed best practices from jurisdictions like Denmark, which requires 20% local ownership, or Germany, where almost half of the renewable energy projects are owned by citizens, they could have created jobs, local economic development and community support for renewables,” said Schreiner.

“Instead, they pushed through a plan to line the pockets of giant companies and sowed the seeds of resentment towards clean energy. This has given rise to uninformed politicians like Doug Ford, promising to rip out wind turbines. People should not blame the technology. They should blame the Liberals,” added Schreiner.

Schreiner: Seize the $6 trillion global clean jobs opportunity

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KITCHENER, ON — Today in Canada’s tech hub, Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner announced his plan to leap into the future by embracing jobs in clean innovation, advanced manufacturing, and low-carbon goods that the other parties are ignoring.

“I’m deeply concerned just how little talk there has been from the status quo parties about how to replace the 300,000 lost manufacturing jobs across southwestern Ontario. We need to skate to where the puck is going and not where it’s been, and Greens will support this region to be a world leader in cleantech innovation,” said Schreiner.

Already in Canada, 274,000 people work in the clean energy sector. In Ontario alone, there are already 5,000 cleantech companies employing 130,000 people and contributing $19.8 billion to Ontario’s economy. And yet none of the other parties are talking about what will drive future prosperity to fund good public services in this province.

“If you listen to Ford, he is denying the clean economy even exists or that we need to innovate to tackle climate change. One hundred years ago, it would be like supporting the horse-and-buggy industry over the auto sector. And we’re hearing nothing from the NDP about the environment or the economy because they are so loyal to old industries,” said Schreiner.

Greens would redirect the $3.1 billion in business support programs that currently have no criteria towards clean economy jobs, helping companies to lead and scale up. And a new $4.1 billion green building initiative would provide grants and interest free loans for homeowners, renters and businesses to save money by saving energy.

“For every dollar invested in the clean economy you can create seven times more jobs than the same dollar invested in the old economy. If you want good jobs, then vote for the party that is supporting the jobs that will be the engines of prosperity for our communities,” said Schreiner.

 

Greens would get people moving with $2.18 billion for cycling and walking

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GUELPH, ON — On Bike To Work Day in Guelph, Mike Schreiner announced the Green plan to make a real investment in safe streets for active transportation by dedicating 5% of the transportation budget to cycling and walking infrastructure, a total of $2.18 billion over four years.

“I think Ontarians would be surprised to learn that 0% of our transportation budget goes towards people-powered ways of getting around. If our goal is to make it easier for people to choose healthier, lower carbon options for their commutes, we need to dedicate permanent, long-term funding for this,” said the Green Party Leader. Schreiner, a regular cyclist, joined a group biking from Franchetto Park to City Hall today as part of Bike to Work Day in Guelph.

More and more people are choosing to walk or cycle. The problem is that infrastructure was built around the car culture to the exclusion of other options. The Green plan will provide municipalities with infrastructure funds to make streets safer for all users, including wheeled mobility devices and other accessibility needs.

Greens will also require all new and resurfaced highways to have paved shoulders for safe cycling and establish commuter cycling networks across Ontario. We would also look at improvements to GO stations to provide more convenient pedestrian access and cycling facilities.

“We need a transportation strategy focused on moving people, not just cars and trains. I talk to so many people who want to bike to work, but are concerned about safety. If we can start fixing this, we’ll have a healthier population, connected communities, more affordable transportation options, and cleaner air,” said Schreiner.

Photo: Mike Schreiner, with the Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation on Bike to Work Day, May 28 2018

Mike Schreiner infiltrates the debate

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With close to one hundred people in attendance in his home riding of Guelph and hundreds more watching online, the Green Party Leader showed why a new voice is needed at Queen’s Park to bring honesty and real solutions over partisan bickering.

In his opening comments, Schreiner said:

“I want to thank the hundreds of people out there protesting in Toronto to stand up for fair debates. It’s a slap in the face to the people of Ontario to exclude one of the four publicly funded parties. Tonight, will those parties talk about leaping into the future with clean economy jobs? Will they talk about supporting small businesses? Will they talk about a basic income guarantee to eliminate poverty? Will they talk about preventative healthcare?”

Throughout the debate, Schreiner provided his answers to the questions, sharing how the Green Party would support small businesses to pay living wages; introduce fair carbon pricing that applies to the largest polluters; tackle the real cause of high electricity prices by saying no to expensive nuclear; and get at the root of overcrowded hospitals.

Schreiner also fact-checked the status quo party leaders on their mistruths, including Doug Ford’s fear-mongering about climate pricing; Andrea Horwath’s dishonesty about small businesses; and Kathleen Wynne’s untruth about the need to privatize Hydro One. While the other parties were combative over each other’s endless spending promises and tax cuts without any plan for generating revenue, Schreiner shared the Green Party’s honest plan for fiscal responsibility through measures like road pricing and choosing cheaper water power.

In his closing statement, Schreiner said:

“If you want to change the political status quo in this province, the only way to do it is to vote for a party with a new vision and a new way of doing politics. When people see Green politicians in action, they see that politics can be done differently. Even having a few Green MPPs can change the political culture and make people’s lives better.”

Highlights from the livestream are here:

You can view the whole livestream on Facebook Live here.

Mike Schreiner on The Agenda

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Last night, Mike Schreiner appeared on The Agenda with Steve Paikin to talk about what this election means to him, why it’s so significant to have a Green voice at Queen’s Park, and the Green Party’s platform for the upcoming election.

Some highlights:

“Elected Greens around the world and in Canada are showing that you can do politics differently. I feel like I can work and collaborate with parties, while the three establishment parties’ politics as usual is “let’s bash each other and tear each other down.” I’m more interested in building Ontario up. If that means working with other parties, we will do that.”

I know you are fighting for a seat in Guelph. Given the low expectations for the Party, why do it at all?

I got into politics because I thought the three establishment parties were failing us on three major issues. One is the climate crisis. Two is rising levels of inequality Three is just the toxic way in which politics is done in Ontario. I want to change all three. Elected Greens across Canada are doing that, and that’s the people powered change that I want to bring to Queen’s Park.

Make the case for why, in a Parliament with 124 members, why would one Green make a difference?

I’ve already made a difference. I led the charge to get big money out of politics in 2016. I worked with the Premier in helping write the Legislation to ban corporate and union donations to political parties, lower donation limits, and then worked with the two opposition leaders to get that done. That’s what doing politics differently is about.

When people see elected Greens in action, they then vote for more Greens because they like what they are seeing. That’s why PEI has doubled their caucus, that’s why BC has tripled their caucus, and now Andrew Weaver is showing that you can hold what he calls the “balance of responsibility” in a minority government.  In this case, the BC Greens hold them to their principles.  That’s the role I can play in a minority government in Ontario as well.

The  response has generally been positive for Mike’s appearance on The Agenda, see comments from Twitter below:

Following Mike Schreiner’s interview with Steve Paikin, a panel of energy and economics experts analyzed the Green Party of Ontario’s platform. Here are some excerpts from their discussion.

On the potential impact of Greens at Queen’s Park

“The history of small parties is a history of big ideas. The Green surge in 2007 sent a strong message to the governing Liberals that there was a real constituency for green ideas,” Toby A.A. Heaps, Corporate Knights Magazine

On replacing nuclear with water power from Quebec

“The opportunity to import from other provinces is absolutely a practical way of replacing the 10,000 MW from nuclear power,” Celine Bak, Analytica Advisors

“Some provinces are able to produce electricity better than others. We should think less about sovereignty and self-sufficiency and think more about generating electricity from the least cost producers,” Trevor Tombe, Department of Economics, University of Calgary

On the clean economy

“We should be confident in the opportunities described by the Green Party’s plan for the clean economy and jobs,” Celine Bak, Analytica Advisors

On a fully costed platform

“The Greens are the only party to put forward their ideas with full costing of how they’re going to pay for them. If you’re fiscally responsible, there’s only one choice this election,” Toby A.A. Heaps, Corporate Knights Magazine.

Infiltrate the Debate

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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. Join us:

Infiltrate the Debate Event

When: Sunday, May 27, Doors open: 5:45pm, Debate begins: 6:30

Where: C.I.G. School of The Performing Arts, 930 Woodlawn Road West, Guelph

RSVP HERE.

The event will be also livestreamed, so we hope you can all tune in to hear the real solutions Greens want to provide to the province.

When: Sunday, May 27, 6.30-8.00PM

Where: See below or on Facebook Live

Green Leader Mike Schreiner poised to make history

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GUELPH, ON — The latest Mainstreet Research polls released show Mike Schreiner in first place in Guelph, currently sitting at 31% of the vote*. On Thursday, the CEO of Mainstreet Research predicted that Schreiner would become the first elected Green MPP on June 7 by winning the seat in Guelph.

“We’re feeling it on the ground. People in Guelph want someone who will be a champion of local issues. They’re tired of status-quo politics and they’re ready for an honest collaborator who will work for the people of Guelph and be a powerful voice for change at Queen’s Park,” said Mike Schreiner.

The poll results are available to subscribers here: https://www.mainstreetresearch.ca/ontario-daily-tracker/ontario-2018-daily-tracker-home

*This poll was produced by Mainstreet Research as part of its public opinion research for the 2018 Ontario Election. The poll details can be found on the Mainstreet Ontario Daily Tracker.