Schreiner: Greens would end carding, increase funding for mental health, help small businesses to thrive

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TORONTO, ON — Mike Schreiner was one of three party leaders to participate in the Black Community Provincial Leaders’ Debate Wednesday night, hosted by Operation Black Vote Canada and other groups at the Jamaican Canadian Association. During the passionate two-hour debate, the leader of the Green Party of Ontario outlined steps his party would take to address systemic racism in the province and remove barriers facing black communities.

On justice reform, Schreiner was unequivocal that the Green Party would put an immediate end to carding and destroy all of the data that has been unjustly collected through the discriminatory practice. He talked about other changes for accelerating the cultural shift in our justice system.

“Our police services should have mandatory training on anti-racism and de-escalation. We need more diverse hiring in our police force. We need changes to the way juries are selected to ensure better representation,” said Schreiner to cheers of support from the audience.

As the debate moved to health care, Schreiner was the only party leader to acknowledge that what we have is a ‘sick-care system’ that ignores the deeper causes of illness. Schreiner pointed to British Columbia, which spends three times more on preventing illness than Ontario, and sought agreement from the other leaders that our mindset needs a radical reset.

“We need to start looking at the social determinants of health, such as poverty. We need to take a more preventative view of healthcare, instead of just treating illness,” said Schreiner to loud applause.

As the debate turned to education, Schreiner called it unacceptable that 12,000 children are currently awaiting access to mental health services and said that we need to end streaming once and for all in schools so that black children are given every chance to succeed. The Green Party leader also talked about ways to reduce duplication in our school system so that more resources are directed to support all students, teachers and support staff.

Schreiner was the only party leader to put forward real ideas for economic development in Black communities. He cited examples in the US of community energy projects that have created jobs in the renewables sector and brought prosperity to black-owned businesses. He also suggested a small business fund to support local shops who are struggling with the impacts of transit construction, such as the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project.

On the issue of cannabis, Schreiner lamented the economic potential the Liberals have denied to small businesses. “40 government outlets are not enough. We should be allowing private dispensaries to sell cannabis legally and safely and make this a local economic development opportunity,” said the Green Party of Ontario leader.

In his closing remarks, Schreiner invited those in the audience to visit www.gpo.ca/vision to learn more about the ways the Green Party is doing politics differently.

If you missed last night’s debate, catch the full livestream here.

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Green Vision Tour, Day Nine: Orangeville

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The Green Vision Tour is a 20-city tour of the province to share the Green Party’s Green Vision for Ontario, the party’s blueprint for People Powered Change, focusing on Jobs, People, and Planet.

On Day Nine, the Green Vision Tour heads to Orangeville where Mike Schreiner and team attend a Meet and Greet at Pia’s On Broadway, a local restaurant owned by Green candidate Laura Campbell, who is running for MPP in Dufferin Caledon. Laura Campbell is a mother of two, a small business owner, and a PhD student at the University of Toronto. She currently serves on the Green Party of Ontario’s shadow cabinet as Natural Resources & Forestry critic. Her approach to politics is community-based, which is why she believes so strongly in the Green Party of Ontario’s message: honesty, integrity and putting people first – not corporations.

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Green Vision Tour, Day Eight: Huntsville and Barrie

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The Green Vision Tour is a 20-city tour of the province to share the Green Party’s Green Vision for Ontario, the party’s blueprint for People Powered Change, focusing on Jobs, People, and Planet.

Day Eight started with a Meet and Green in Huntsville with Mike Schreiner and local Parry Sound-Muskoka candidate, Matt Richter, talking about the Green Vision for Ontario and discussing local issues focused on healthcare. The Green Vision team then went on to Barrie, for the last Town Hall of the Green Vision tour, where Mike was joined by local candidates Keenan Aylwin and Bonnie North, to talk about Jobs, People and Planet, and the great difference Green MPPs can make in this election.

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Green Vision Tour, Day Seven: North Bay and Sudbury

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The Green Vision Tour is a 20-city tour of the province to share the Green Party’s Green Vision for Ontario, the party’s blueprint for People Powered Change, focusing on Jobs, People, and Planet.

Day Seven started in North Bay, with a number of interviews with local media to spread the word about our Green Vision for Ontario and meeting with the newly announced local candidate, Kristopher Rivard. The team then went on to Sudbury, where they toured the McEwen School of Architecture at Laurentian University, whose program draws heavily upon the study of northern community needs coupled with an integrated approach to building systems for northern climates. There, the team learned more about sustainable design, wood product innovation and how Sudbury can become a hub for jobs in the new green economy. The day ended with a Meet and Greet with Greens at a local pub.

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Green Vision Tour, Day Five: Brighton and Kingston

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The Green Vision Tour is a 20-city tour of the province to share the Green Party’s Green Vision for Ontario, the party’s blueprint for People Powered Change, focusing on Jobs, People, and Planet.

Day Five started out in Brighton, where Mike Schreiner and the GPO team did a meet and greet in the morning at a local coffee shop, Lola’s. The team then moved on to Kingston, which started with a Community Lunch where they chatted about important issues like the basic income guarantee, a living wage, pharmacare, dental care, and affordable housing with local members of the community. The day ended with a Town Hall featuring Mike Schreiner and local GPO candidate, Robert Kiley, on topics such as the environment, electoral reform and the youth vote.

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Green Vision Tour, Day Four: Peterborough

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The Green Vision Tour is a 20-city tour of the province to share the Green Party’s Green Vision for Ontario, the party’s blueprint for People Powered Change, focusing on Jobs, People, and Planet.

Day Four takes us to Peterborough, as Mike Schreiner and team visits local businesses, talks to local media, holds a roundtable discussion with Peterborough Greens and local community members. The day ends with a nature walk at Earth hour.

Highlights below: