Green Party of Ontario leader and Guelph MPP, Mike Schreiner, released the following statement on the recall of the legislature:
2018 will go down in history as the year the green wave came to Ontario.
That’s because of you.
Words cannot possibly describe how grateful I am to have you alongside me. Your support has resulted in electing Ontario’s first Green MPP.
Reflecting on our historic spring campaign, often times I felt like we were the little party that could.
The status quo parties had their giant tour buses. We had our community car share.
They held their events at expensive venues, surrounded by paid volunteers. We held ours in public spaces surrounded by people who care.
They could afford round-the-clock TV and radio ads. We had hundreds of volunteers phone and foot canvassing.
They had their high priced pundits and strategists. We had people power.
We elected Ontario’s first Green MPP with people powered change.
It was a community effort. A collective effort. It was an effort we all should take pride in accomplishing.
Everywhere I go in Ontario and even at Queen’s Park, I’ve had other MPPs from other parties come up to me and say, “Mike, you and Guelph were the bright light on a dark night.”
Those comments are a testimony to your efforts.
Because of you, we proved the pundits wrong. We showed them that you can be honest with the people of Ontario. Honest about what you will do instead of focusing on the fear of what your opponent might do.
We proved that you can run a campaign based on honesty and integrity.
We ran a campaign on bold ideas and honest conversations.
We showed Ontarians how you can create jobs that put people and planet first.
Where we are
With all the craziness and chaos that has taken place this summer and past few months, June 7th feels like it was a year or two ago. It’s hard to believe it’s just a few months.
We have a Premier who places ideology and personal vendettas ahead of evidence and good public policy. He’s essentially declared war on the modern world.
He’s trampling on local democracy and climate actions. He’s putting forward a sex ed curriculum that takes us back to the last century. He’s ripping up renewable energy contracts. He’s cancelling the basic income guarantee pilot project.
I’ve never seen a Premier behave the way he does on the floor of the Legislature. When you disrespect the Legislature and our democratic traditions, you disrespect the people of Ontario.
People deserve better.
We need a Premier that’s focused on creating jobs that put people and planet first. We recently had the largest one-month loss of jobs in this province in a decade.
This, after a summer of ripping up Green energy contracts. Cancelling programs. Putting clauses in legislation basically saying that the signature of the provincial government on pieces of paper is worthless.
It is little wonder that we’re seeing job losses. When you have the Business Council of Canada and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce writing letters to a Conservative Premier, saying you are destroying the economy and the reputation of this province, we need to stand up and say no.
We have a hallway medicine crisis. We have a mental health crisis. We have a housing affordability crisis.
We have people living on the streets and in poverty. We have an addictions crisis with the opioid crisis.
And the Premier, instead of talking about the critical issues that the people of Ontario are facing right now, instead engaged in a petty political battle about the number of city councillors in the City of Toronto.
My top priority is being the best MPP for the people of Guelph. However, it is also being a voice for the 265,000 people across this province who voted for the Green Party and who want to see our values, our vision and our policies implemented at Queen’s Park.
I will work for you. I will fight for you. And I am here, most of all, to serve you.
When I go to Queen’s Park and I talk to MPPs from other parties they pull me aside and quietly say, “Mike. So and so ran against me. That Green candidate was really smart. Where do you find these really good candidates?!”
You know, it’s easy when you ask people to run for what they believe in.
Being elected as a Green is not choosing the easy road. I can guarantee you that. But it’s choosing the right road and that’s what we’re doing at Queen’s Park.
This election is the beginning. Not the end. I need friends at Queen’s Park. I need Green MPPs at Queen’s Park.
So, what do we need to do? What do we need to do today, tomorrow and over the next four years?
This is my challenge to the members and supporters of our party: We need to organize, organize and organize.
We need to engage and empower and mobilize members of our communities.
We need to build our teams in all 124 ridings. We must be ready for the next by-election, and ready for 2022.
If we organize, organize, organize, we will elect more Greens and form Ontario’s first Green caucus after the next election.
People Powered Change worked in Guelph.
It’s going to work in Parry Sound-Muskoka.
It’s going to work in Dufferin-Caledon.
It’s going to work in Toronto. London. Kiiwetinoog. Kitchener-Waterloo. Thunder Bay. Ottawa.
It’s going to work in communities all across this province. In the by-elections we will have in the next few years. And in 2022.