What was John Tory thinking?

October 2, 2007

Joey Slinger

…thanks to John Tory, even the Canadian Civil Liberties Association has gotten into the act. There is fair, it proclaimed, and there is fair. Instead of extending funding to other faiths, simply cut off the Catholics. Making everybody equal this way is not only the fairest way, it is the cheapest way.

Read the full article at The Toronto Star.

Greens vow equity, transparency in choosing candidates under MMP

– Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007 – Green Party of Ontario Leader Frank de Jong held a press conference at Queen’s
Park today to reveal the democratic process his party would use to choose candidates
under the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) voting system.

“Some people are trying to mislead Ontarians by suggesting
that MMP would allow parties to subvert the democratic process,” Frank de Jong. “They clearly underestimate the
voting public.

“The truth is that well-informed Ontarians recognize that
MMP is a valuable opportunity to introduce real democracy to Ontario, and that democracy extends to
choosing candidates in a transparent and equitable manner. Voters want Ontario and Canada to join the vast majority of
democratic countries in adopting an electoral system where every vote counts
and everyone has a voice.”

De Jong was joined at the press conference by Jeanette
Fitzsimons, co-leader
of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand and
an elected MP, as well as Steve Withers of the organization Vote for MMP. Together, they
highlighted the advantages of MMP, which is the subject of a referendum being
held concurrently with the Oct. 10 provincial election.

currently used with great success in New Zealand
and Germany,
among other nations, gives citizens two votes on their ballot: one to elect a
local candidate, and another for the political party of their choice. The “local
candidate vote” determines who represents each riding, just like in the
current system. The “party vote” determines what share of seats each
party will receive.

Ontario’s Legislature will
have 90 riding and 39 at-large MPPs. If, after the riding seats are filled, a
party has fewer seats than its portion of the party vote, it is allotted the
appropriate number of at-large seats to ensure fair representation at Queen’s
Park. These at-large representatives are elected from ordered lists of
candidates nominated and made public by each party before the election,
ensuring that voters can judge the candidates and vote accordingly.

The Greens’ list, de Jong said, will feature alternating
male and female candidates, beginning with the party’s Leader and its Deputy
Leaders, who are elected democratically in party-wide ballots. The current
Deputy Leaders are Victoria Serda, the candidate in Huron-Bruce, and Dr.
Sanjeev Goel, who’s running in Brampton West.

Next on the list are the top female and male vote-getters,
by percentage, from the previous election, in order to reflect the will of
party supporters. The balance of list candidates will be chosen through a
democratic election among members at the Green Party’s annual general meeting.

“Under MMP, voters will expect each party to select its list
candidates in an open and democratic fashion,” de Jong said. “We’re committed
to using a transparent and equitable process to produce a slate of qualified
Green candidates who accurately reflect Ontario’s
diverse population.”

– 30 –


Media Contacts

Anouk Hoedeman, Media Relations
Green Party of Ontario

PM’s climate plan ‘misleading’

Sep 22, 2007 04:30 AMPeter Gorrie
Environment Reporter
The federal government’s latest climate change plan is badly flawed and won’t help Canada to hit its international climate change targets, its own advisory group says.

All nine programs in the plan, unveiled last month after Parliament passed a law that ordered the government to comply with the Kyoto Protocol, won’t do the job, the National Roundtable on the Environment and Economy said yesterday.

“With respect to the realization of Canada’s Kyoto commitments, we conclude that the plan … will likely not allow Canada to meet those commitments,” the report states.

Read the rest of the article at the Toronto Star.


Greens holding their own Leaders’ Debate

Toronto, September 18, 2007 — Green Party of Ontario (GPO) leader Frank de Jong may be excluded from standing alongside the other party leaders at the televised debate on Sept. 20, but that’s not stopping him from taking part and having his say.

De Jong will be the centre of attention at a Green Party party at the Pantages Hotel and Spa in Toronto. And unlike the official debate, everyone’s invited! The public and the media will be able to watch and listen to de Jong answer the debate questions as they are posed on television. The event will be broadcast on the Internet as part of the Greens’ effort to get their message heard.

“Ontarians have again been denied their right to see the Green Party in action during the televised debate, so we decided to give them the opportunity on the Internet,” de Jong says. “The televised leaders’ debate plays an important role in our democracy because it gives voters a chance to compare their choices and evaluate the leaders. But it’s only fair and effective if it includes all the parties.

“Every Ontario citizen has the opportunity to cast a vote for a Green Party candidate on Oct. 10. We have a comprehensive platform, a pragmatic approach and a vision for Ontario’s future that people want to learn more about. This debate-night party is our way of making sure they get to hear what we have to say.”

The public and the media are welcome to come to the party, watch and get involved. And for those who can’t attend, de Jong’s responses will be posted online at www.gpo.ca.

The party kicks off at 6 p.m., half an hour before the debate begins. Admission is free. There will be hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. The Pantages Hotel and Spa is at 200 Victoria St. in Toronto, on the corner of Shuter St., across from Massey Hall.

For more information, the public can call the Green Party of Ontario at 416-977-7476 or email Phil Marlatt at pmarlatt@gpo.ca.

– 30 –

Media Contacts:

Anouk Hoedeman