Mike Schreiner Tours Wind Simplicity, Calls On Province To Support Local Green Jobs

Green Party of Ontario (GPO) Leader Mike Schreiner toured Wind Simplicity, a wind turbine manufacturing facility in Elmira today and called on the McGuinty Liberals to support local green manufacturers. Schreiner reinforced the GPO’s commitment to building a prosperous green economy by calling for a Green Building Program that would provide an investment fund for home owners, businesses and municipalities to make buildings more efficient, create jobs and reduce our dependence on coal, oil and nuclear energy.

Schreiner also recommitted the GPO to supporting community power projects that make it possible for all Ontarians to become green energy entrepreneurs, earning income by putting clean, green power onto the grid.

“Wind Simplicity is the perfect example of the type of local manufacturers that are going to foster a Green economy and build long term prosperity in this province by creating the jobs of the 21st century today.”
– Mike Schreiner, Leader, GPO

“Wind Simplicity’s multi-award winning wind turbine, the Windancer, is a locally manufactured product that will help Ontario businesses and homeowners save money. The GPO supports community power projects that make it possible for these investors to earn income by putting generated energy into the grid. Unlike the current Liberal government, the Green Party will not cut backroom deals with large multinational corporations that limit Ontarian’s access to the grid.”
– Mike Schreiner, Leader, GPO

“Most other wind turbines are based on 30-year-old technology and it was very clear to us that it was time for a change – that’s what inspired us to create the Windancer. The Windancer is a national and international multi-award winner, and we believe that this technology will facilitate the revival of Ontario’s manufacturing sector.” – Sharolyn Vettesse, CEO and Inventor, Wind Simplicity Inc.

• The Windancer generates electricity from a renewable source, the wind, improving the quality of our air, land and water.
• Lightweight, portable, vibration-free, safe, low maintenance/easily installed and durable, the Windancer is also visible birds or bats and works fearlessly in Canadian winter conditions.
• The high-efficiency, compact, noise-free Windancer is more efficient than other wind turbines and able to meet more electricity needs.

Mariana Di Rezze

Voters should think Green

OTTAWA — Life seems a tiny bit unfair for voters in Eastern Ontario’s two provincial byelections. Like kids with a detention, they have been assigned to pay attention to provincial politics while the rest of us get to focus on the Olympics.

People in Ottawa West-Nepean and Leeds-Grenville have the dreary assignment of weighing the merits of the political parties. That can be depressing. There are the Liberals, with their scandals and broken promises; the PCs, still trying to figure out who they are; and the NDP, for those who think we don’t have enough socialism and big government.

Fortunately, for voters who are sick of all of this, there is one other alternative, although it’s probably not top of mind. Yes, Ontario does have a Green party and it has fielded solid candidates in both ridings. Better, it has a leader who comes across as a normal person, not a politician. Better yet, the Greens have policies that are much more in sync with real life than those of their competitors.

The Greens’ new leader, Mike Schreiner, has released a platform aimed at Eastern Ontario. Imagine some political party thinking of us. Schreiner and the Greens are talking about the kinds of things that are actually on people’s minds like the food we eat and where it comes from, doing more for the environment, the energy efficiency of our homes and our right to make decisions for our own communities. It’s an attractive blend of populism and environmentalism.

The Greens naturally advocate more green jobs and a green building program, but their focus is on small Ontario manufacturers with new technologies and homeowners or builders who want to increase energy conservation. It’s about what you can do, not what a South Korean multinational corporation like Samsung can do.

The whole focus of the Ontario Green party is on local, community-based decision making. It’s a sharp contrast to the top-down management favoured by the Liberals and the PCs before them. The underlying idea is that people are smart enough to figure out what’s best for their communities without a lot of paternalistic advice from government.

Not every detail of the Green platform is entirely convincing. For example, the Greens want to lower taxes on work and increase taxes on behaviour. Government might make up the lost income taxes by taking in more in new taxes on fuel-consuming vehicles or over-packaged products. It sounds attractive, but if people actually respond to the incentive it would quickly erode the government’s tax base.

In Ottawa West-Nepean, the Green candidate is Mark MacKenzie. He’s the sort of grey-haired, well-dressed business guy the PCs would have loved to get as a candidate. MacKenzie, who runs an organic-lawn-care company, is articulate and passionate about the Greens and the possibility of change.

Neil Kudrinko is the Green candidate in Leeds-Grenville. A former Eastern Ontario president of the federal Liberal party, Kudrinko switched to the Greens because the other parties don’t have a good grasp of what rural ridings like his really need. As the operator of a family-run grocery store, Kudrinko sees firsthand how difficult it is for Ontario farmers to get their products into the marketplace. Agricultural innovation and sustainable rural communities are his interests.

For the conventional parties, it’s all about gaining and holding power. Platforms are tailored to boost election prospects. In other words, it’s about them, not us. The Greens actually believe in the ideas they present. It’s closer to a social movement than a political party, but the Greens are professionalizing their approach. Schreiner is their first full-time leader and he has been spending time at Queen’s Park, making himself available to the media. He is campaigning actively with his candidates in Eastern Ontario.

The Greens would seem to have stiff competition from the Ontario Liberals, who use the word “green” every chance they get. The problem is that Premier Dalton McGuinty acts like doing anything green is some kind of social cod-liver oil that he is going to make us swallow because only he understands that it’s good for us. McGuinty’s policies aren’t tapping into people’s innate desire to be better environmental stewards.

The outcome of Eastern Ontario’s two byelections is regarded by most as a foregone conclusion. The Liberals will retain their Ottawa West-Nepean seat and the PCs will maintain their hold on Leeds-Grenville. Voters, ask yourself what they have done to deserve your endorsement. Maybe it’s time to send a message to both parties by voting Green.

Contact Randall Denley at 613-596-3756 or by e-mail, rdenley@thecitizen.canwest.com

Winter 2010 Newsletter

GPO Winter 2010 NewsletterInside this issue:

* A few words from Bill Hewitt, GPO President
* Message from Mike Schreiner, GPO Leader
* Volunteer Opportunities in the GPO
* Upcoming Events – Office Open House, Friday, February 19th; Economic Town Hall and Dinner Fundraiser with Judy Smith-Torrie and Mike Schreiner on February 20th
* Message from Barbora Grochalova, Youth Coordinator


Alethea Spiridon
Newsletter Editor

Greens ready to show leadership in protecting Ontario’s farmland, farmers and greenspace

Markham town councilors have put forth a bold plan to protect their remaining farmland with a permanent Markham Foodbelt. Tonight, residents will have an opportunity to speak at a public planning meeting, where the Foodbelt proposal is expected to be presented to significant support.

The people of Markham are like many across the GTA, worried about development closing in on remaining farmland. During the creation of the Greenbelt, the McGuinty Liberals left open wide tracks of sensitive farmland now known as the “whitebelt”. In Markham, whitebelt land contains most of the remaining farmland. This has led to municipal politicians stepping in to fill the void in provincial leadership.

The people of Markham, like others across Ontario, understand the problems and costs associated with sprawl: traffic congestion, increased pollution, groundwater degradation, and risks to endangered species and food security. The Green Party of Ontario is ready to show leadership in protecting Ontario’s farmland, farmers and greenspace.

The Green Party has a plan to support farmers to earn a decent living in farming. With the need for more young farmers, Greens support transition programs to assist new farmers, pariculary with near urban food production. We also support local food purchasing rules for public institutions, marketing support and infrastrucure investments. The Green Party will fight for smart regulations that support family farms and independent processors, as well as paying farmers for producing enviromental services.

Greens would grow the Greenbelt to include areas of the “whitebelt” that have not yet been developed, while working to expand the Greenbelt, a position advocated by dozens of Ontario organizations and community groups.

And our Party would empower municipalities who show leadership, so they are not left alone in supporting farmers and protecting farmland. Local decision-making is critical to a vibrant democracy. Municipal governments have a friend in the Green Party.

Keeping food sources near our cities is critical to growing a supply of healthy, local food. The GTA has some of the best farmland in Canada. Protecting it and supporting farmers means healthier Ontarians and stronger, more prosperous communities.

Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner Releases By-Election Platform for Eastern Ontario


Green Party of Ontario (GPO) Leader Mike Schreiner, along with Leeds-Grenville Candidate Neil Kudrinko and Ottawa West-Nepean Candidate Mark MacKenzie, have officially kicked off their by-election campaigns by releasing a platform for Eastern Ontario that clearly outlines their vision and commitment for:

• Building a prosperous green economy
• Fostering strong, sustainable communities
• Promoting health and well-being for all

Mike Schreiner also announced that this platform reflects the GPO’s priorities for the Spring Session at Queen’s Park. Schreiner assured voters that by sending one of these candidates to Queen’s Park, we secure a strong Green voice to tackle these priorities and finally hold the government to account.


“The Green Party of Ontario is pleased to be represented by two local business and community leaders. You have my commitment that electing a Green MPP will mean electing an advocate for a prosperous green economy, vibrant local communities and a healthier Ontario.”
– Mike Schreiner, Leader, GPO

“I believe that this platform represents the needs of small and medium businesses, family farms, the amazing people they employ and the communities they reside in. We don’t need top down regulations to achieve the goals we seek, we need a government that will partner with us to create jobs, strengthen our communities, and improve our environment”
– Neil Kudrinko, Candidate, Leeds-Grenville

“By releasing this platform, we are showing the people of Eastern Ontario that the Green Party is the only political party with a clear and comprehensive plan to take on the challenges of our time, things like climate change, food security and the need for healthy people and strong communities.”
-Mark MacKenzie, Candidate, Ottawa West-Nepean

The full platform can be viewed here.

Green jobs and efficiency leave no room for costly nuclear

New money for nuclear power is financially irresponsible. While Dalton McGuinty and Tim Hudak have been trading barbs over who supports nuclear more, the Green Party of Ontario is focused on more cost effective solutions to our energy needs.

The best bang for the buck in energy planning is to reduce demand by increasing energy efficiency. Conservation measures cost three cents per kWh. By comparison, a conservative cost of new nuclear generation to Ontarians would be 17 cents per kWh. Ontario has significant room to improve energy efficiency, as the province uses 50% more electricity per person than neighbouring New York State.

The GPO supports investment in a Green Building Program that would create jobs today while saving money by reducing our dependence on expensive nuclear and polluting gas power. This is a financially responsible investment that will help increase our productivity while proving good for Ontario jobs and beneficial to public health.

The most financially responsible next step in electrical supply is investment in combined heat and power projects (CHP). These small-scale projects can be done at schools, hospitals, malls and apartment buildings and cost just six cents per kWh to generate electricity. At the same time they can provide backup power in case of power outages.

At the same time the Green Party would support the building of smart grid technology for Ontario which allow for more community-based renewable power to hook into the grid, and allow for energy distribution throughout the province without disruption. By establishing a transition fund, Greens would assist local manufacturers as they develop renewable products such as wind turbines, allowing our homegrown green energy sector to flourish.

There are plenty of alternatives to costly nuclear power. The Green Party wants to seize those opportunities to allow tomorrow’s economy to start today.