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Could market bust spell green boom?

Peter Gorrie
ENVIRONMENT REPORTER

This week, stock markets thrashed wildly, the Bank of Canada warned
of tough economic times, and the United States languished on recession
watch. Environmentalists aren’t sure whether to grin or groan at this
avalanche of gloomy news.

Common wisdom is that the environment
is a good-times issue, a luxury. When the economy tanks, so do thoughts
of turning green. That happened in the early 1980s and again a decade
later when economic booms turned to busts.

But it’s not that cut
and dried. With little hard evidence to go on, good arguments can be
made that a recession is either good or bad for the environment.

While
some argue that households or companies that want to prosper should go
green, in a recession individuals can’t spend on energy-saving
appliances or major home retrofits.

Shoppers are more likely to
choose cheap factory-farmed foods over more expensive organic products
and donations to environment groups tumble.

The tendency is to think of short-term economic survival rather than longer-range benefits.

Read the full article online at the Toronto Star.

Where cancer-causing agents lurk

By Nancy White
TORONTO STAR

First off, Devra Davis won’t do the interview on her cellphone.

Call me back on the land line, she instructs. It’s not the money she’s concerned about. It’s the microwaves.

She’s also concerned about drinking diet pop, wearing a lot of cosmetics and eating non-organic red meat.

But
make no mistake: she’s not some trendy health-scare type. She’s a
blue-chip cancer epidemiologist, director of the Center for
Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
with a Grade A scientific pedigree: a PhD from the University of
Chicago, a decade at the National Academy of Sciences, an author of
more than 170 published articles.

And she’s worried about her environmental exposure to cancer.

“Everyone
has to start where they’re comfortable, taking control of their own
homes,” says Davis, who will be the keynote speaker at Women’s College
Hospital’s health forum Friday. “Then they have to make sure they vote
for politicians who understand the importance of this issue.”

This issue is how we’ve let modern life, from the air we breathe to the products we use, poison our bodies.

Read the full article online at the Toronto Star.

Panel pushes debate on carbon tax

BILL CURRY
Globe and Mail

OTTAWA — The Canadian
economy can transform itself into a clean-running green machine by 2050,
slashing its emissions by more than half with very little economic pain, say the
authors of a new report from the National Round Table on the Environment.

The federally-funded advisory panel is urging government
leaders to quickly put a “strong” price on industrial emissions of greenhouse
gases and air pollutants and says the sooner the better for both the economy and
the environment.

The report urges Canadian politicians to focus the
debate on either a carbon tax, a cap and trade system, or both.

A carbon tax would force industry to pay a fee for every
tonne of harmful emissions released into the atmosphere. A cap and trade system
would allow companies to emit up to a specific cap. Permits to emit above the
cap would have to purchased from companies that have lowered their emissions
below their cap.

“Our findings suggest that in the long-run, the overall
effect on Canada’s gross domestic product will not be significant, amounting to
the equivalent of approximately one to two years of ‘lost growth’ of GDP between
now and 2050,” said David McLaughlin, the President and CEO of the panel.

Read the full article online at the Globe&Mail.

Read the report >

Green Party of Ontario announces new Interim Female Deputy Leader

For Immediate Release

Toronto – December 20, 2007 – Frank de
Jong, Leader of the Green Party of Ontario, today announced the appointment of
Melanie Mullen as Interim Female Deputy Leader for the provincial party. She
replaces outgoing Deputy Leader Victoria Serda.

“On the heels of our greatest election
success to date, the Green Party is naturally undergoing a bit of reorganizing.
Some of the people who worked so hard on the campaign understandably need a
break from the day-to-day activities of running the Party,” Leader Frank de
Jong said. “We’re
very happy to welcome Melanie on board as the Party builds towards an even
stronger campaign for 2011.”

Mullen, from Niagara Falls, comes to the
Green Party as an experienced environmental engineer. She is looking forward to
contributing to the GPO Provincial Executive for the next few months, filling a
key role as one of two Deputy Leaders. The Male Deputy Leader is Dr. Sanjeev
Goel, of Brampton West. The GPO will hold a formal contest for a full-term
Female Deputy Leader at its Annual General Meeting this spring.

“I want to thank Victoria for her efforts to help
build the Party, to develop her local Constituency Association, and the great
amount of time and effort she put in during our 2007 campaign, both as Deputy
Leader and as the GPO candidate in Huron-Bruce,” de Jong said. “As both GPO
Deputy Leader and a municipal councilor in Saugeen Shores, she had been
balancing a busy schedule that made it difficult to fulfill all of her
objectives, so I understand her decision to step down.”

Serda had been the GPO Female Deputy
Leader since September 2006. She was
instrumental in overseeing the most recent election campaign, which resulted in
the Party tripling its membership and its share of the popular vote, an
unprecedented achievement for the party. Serda is also a certified Climate
Change Messenger on behalf of Al Gore and The Climate Project. She has
presented Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth
presentation to more than 19,000 people across Canada, more than any other
presenter in this country.

Mullen is a graduate of the
Environmental Engineering program at the University of Guelph and has an
extensive background in environmental activism. Most recently, she represented
the Green Party of Canada at the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in
Bali and helped to organize the
International Greens meeting in Bali and the release of the Global Greens’ statement
on the Bali negotiations.

In 2006, Mullen received the Canadian
Engineering Memorial Foundation Award for Ontario which honours excellence and
dedication to education, women in engineering and the environment. Mullen
returned home to run as the Green Party candidate for Niagara Falls in the 2007
Ontario provincial election where she received 11.4% of the popular vote – the
second highest percentage garnered by any female Green Party candidate.

Mullen is fluent in both English and
French.

– 30 –

Media enquiries contact:
Anouk Hoedeman, Media Relations
613-236-7772
ahoedeman@gpo.ca

—————————————————————————————————————–

Le Parti Vert de l’Ontario
annonce une nouvelle Chef adjointe intérimaire féminine

Pour diffusion immédiate

Toronto – 20 décembre 2007 – Le Chef du Parti Vert de l’Ontario,
Frank de Jong, a annoncé aujourd’hui que Melanie Mullen avait été nommée Chef adjointe
féminine intérimaire. Elle remplace la Chef adjointe Victoria Serda.

“Le
Parti Vert est en train de se réorganiser après la meilleure élection que nous
n’ayons jamais eue. Certaines des personnes qui ont travaillé très fort se
retirent des affaires opérationnelles du parti en ce moment, vu qu’ils ou elles
ont besoin d’un peu de repos,” a commenté le chef Frank de Jong. “Nous sommes
contents d’accueillir Melanie à bord alors que le parti commence à se préparer
pour une campagne encore plus solide, en 2011.”

Melanie
vient de Niagara Falls et elle a de l’expérience comme ingénieure
environnementale. Elle est heureuse de pouvoir contribuer au Conseil provincial
du PVO lors des prochains mois, en remplissant le rôle d’un des deux chefs
adjoints. Le Chef adjoint masculin est le docteur Sanjeev Goel, de
Brampton-Ouest. Le PVO organisera des élections pour une Chef adjointe féminine
lors de son Assemblée biennale ce printemps 2008.

“Je veux remercier Victoria pour les efforts qu’elle a fournis en
aidant à bâtir le parti et en développant son association politique locale.
Elle a également donné beaucoup pendant la campagne électorale de 2007, tant
comme Chef adjointe que comme candidate dans le comté de Huron-Bruce,” a dit de
Jong. “Comme Chef adjointe et conseillère municipale de Saugeen Shores, elle a
jonglé un horaire chargé qui ne lui permettait pas de se concentrer sur tous
ses objectifs, ainsi je peux comprendre sa décision de remettre sa démission.”

Serda était Chef adjointe féminine du PVO depuis septembre 2006.
Elle a joué un rôle décisif de supervision de la campagne électorale récente,
campagne grâce à laquelle le nombres de membres du parti et le nombre de votes
a triplé: un exploit sans précédent pour le parti. Serda est aussi une Agente
de changements climatiques certifiée au nom de Al Gore et de son Projet
climatique. Elle a présenté le film Une
vérité qui dérange à plus de 19 000 personnes à travers le Canada, et a
ainsi été la présentatrice la plus active à ce chapitre.

Mullen est diplomée du programme de Génie environnemental de
l’Université de Guelph et elle a des antécédents considérables en activisme
environnemental. Très récemment, elle a représenté le Parti Vert du Canada à la
Convention-Cadre des Nations Unies sur les changements climatiques de Bali.
Elle a également participé à l’élaboration du document des Verts Mondiaux au
sujet des négotiations de Bali.

En 2006, Mullen a reçu le prix de la Fondation commémorative du
génie canadien. Ce prix vise à récompenser l’excellence et le dévouement
éducatif de femmes impliquées dans les domaines du génie et de l’environnement.
Mullen est rentrée chez elle pour se porter candidate pour le Parti Vert à
Niagara Falls lors de l’élection ontarienne de 2007. Elle a reçu 11.4% du vote,
et s’est ainsi placée en deuxième position parmi les femmes candidates du Parti
Vert.

Mullen est parfaitement bilingue (anglais et français).

– 30 –

Contact médiatique:

Anouk Hoedeman

613-236-7772

ahoedeman@gpo.ca

 

Development trumping environmental policy, report says

Peter Gorrie
TORONTO STAR

The
province is letting development run roughshod over protection of
invaluable natural resources, Ontario’s green watchdog says.

The
region around Toronto is being decimated by expanding suburbs, highways
and gravel pits, despite creation of the GTA Greenbelt and regulations
to control urban sprawl, Environmental Commissioner Gordon Miller says
in his annual report, to be released today.

In the North, lack of
planning and reliance on policies that give mining companies virtually
unfettered access to the fragile wilderness threaten to destroy what
Miller calls an “ecological treasure.”

In both regions, the report says, the Liberal government must step back and rethink its strategy.

Read the full article online at the TorontoStar.com.

Climate change critics fear Canada’s influence

Peter Gorrie
ENVIRONMENT REPORTER

“What we will do in the next two, three years will determine our future. This is the defining challenge.”

This
call to action came last month from Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, after that group of global
scientists warned “humanity’s very survival” is at stake if we don’t
apply a cold compress to Earth’s increasingly sweaty brow.

Tomorrow
is the first day of that brief time to get our act together. In Bali,
Indonesia, delegates from Canada and about 180 other countries, or
parties, will launch the 13th annual United Nations conference on
climate change.

Judging by the most optimistic predictions of the
outcome, it’s safe to say the gulf between doomsday rhetoric and
diplomatic dithering couldn’t be wider.

Read the full article online at the TorontoStar.com

Farm readies biogas plant

By HANK DANISZEWSKI, SUN MEDIA

ILDERTON — A green revolution in agriculture and power production is taking shape at the Stanton Bros. dairy farm.

It’s called biogas, a technology that transforms livestock manure and food waste into clean, renewable energy.

The Stanton Bros. biogas plant is only the third in Ontario and by far
the largest. The farm has the capacity to handle 2,000 head of dairy
cattle producing enough manure to generate 300 kilowatts of power.

Read the full article online at the London Free Press.

Province pressed to cut logging

Peter Gorrie
TORONTO STAR

Just three weeks into the job, Natural Resources Minister Donna Cansfield
has angered environmentalists over whether to curb, or even ban,
logging in Algonquin Provincial Park.

She’ll probably come under
more pressure next week, when provincial environmental commissioner
Gord Miller releases his annual report.

Although it’s not
usually evident to the million or so people who camp, canoe or hike
each year in Ontario’s oldest park, trees can be cut down and hauled
out of more than three-quarters of the popular “wilderness” preserve.

Green Party of Ontario welcomes new executive

For Immediate
Release – Smith’s Falls– November 26, 2007 – Fresh off the best election results
ever, the Green Party of Ontario voted on its future direction during its Annual General Meeting and Policy
Conference in Smith’s Falls, which began Friday and ended Sunday. It is its
largest AGM in GPO history.

GPO members reaffirmed
their confidence in Frank de Jong as Party Leader. “The future of Ontario politics is
Green,” says Frank de Jong. “We’re a
burgeoning political force en route to electing MPPs in 2011.” The GPO tripled its
popular share of the vote as well as its membership during the last provincial
election.

Members also
celebrated their recent court victory obtaining a change in electoral law which
required candidates who did not obtain 10% of the vote to lose their deposit
fee with Elections Ontario. “Every candidate
who ran in the last election will get their deposit fee returned, regardless of
how many votes they received and what their political affiliation,” says de
Jong. “We are continuing to improve
democracy in Ontario.”

The GPO welcomes
new President LAWSON HUNTER, a former Director of Communications for the GPO. Former Progressive Conservative Party of
Canada Director DAVID SCRYMGEOUR is now Chief Financial Officer.

Other newly-elected
members of the Executive include:

Eastern Region
Female JEANIE WARNOCK

Eastern Region
Male MARK MacKENZIE

Toronto Region Female CAROLINE LAW

Toronto Region Male SHAUN MERRITT

Northern Region
Male RON YURICK

Central Region
Male BILL HEWITT

Southwestern
Region Male ANDREW C. McAVOY

A by-election
will be called for the Southwestern Region Female, which was tied between LEIGH
GREAVES and ANITA PAYNE.

For more
information, visit www.gpo.ca.

LE PARTI
VERT DE L’ONTARIO ACCUEILLE UN NOUVEAU CONSEIL ÉXÉCUTIF

Pour
diffusion immédiate – Smith’s Falls- 26 novembre 2007 – Peu après les meilleurs résultats électoraux qu’il n’ait jamais
obtenu, le Parti Vert de l’Ontario s’est donné un nouvel élan lors de son
Congrès annuel à Smith’s Falls. Celui-ci a débuté vendredi et s’est terminé dimanche.
Ce fut le congrès le plus important du parti, en nombre de participants.

Les membres du PVO ont réitéré leur
confiance en Frank de Jong comme Chef du parti.

“L’avenir de la politique ontarienne est
vert,” a affirmé Frank de Jong. “Nous sommes une force politique en plein essor
et nous élirons des députés provinciaux en 2011.”

Le PVO a triplé sa part du vote ainsi que
son nombre de membres pendant la dernière élection provinciale.

Lors du congrès, les membres ont également
applaudi la victoire judiciaire récente qui change la loi électorale
provinciale: les candidats qui obtiennent moins de 10% du vote ne perdront plus
leurs frais électoraux de $200.

“Élections Ontario sera maintenant obligé de rendre ces
frais à tous les candidats et candidates, quels que soient leur affiliation
politique et nombre de voix,” d’après de Jong. “Le Parti Vert améliore ainsi le
système démocratique de l’Ontario.”

Le PVO s’est donné un nouveau président, LAWSON HUNTER, qui avait dans le passé
occupé le poste de Directeur des Communications. Un ancien directeur du Parti Progressiste
Conservateur, DAVID SCRYMGEOUR, est
maintenant l’Agent financier du parti.

Voici les autres membres du Conseil éxécutif
élus lors de ce congrès:

Représentante de la région de l’Est: JEANIE WARNOCK

Représentant de la région de l’Est: MARK MacKENZIE

Représentante de la région de Toronto: CAROLINE LAW

Représentant de la région de Toronto: SHAUN MERRITT

Représentant de la région du Nord: RON YURICK

Représentant de la région de Toronto: BILL HEWITT

Représentant de la région du Sud-ouest: ANDREW C. McAVOY

Le Parti organisera une élection partielle
pour élire la représentante du Sud-ouest, vu que LEIGH GREAVES et ANITA PAYNE
ont obtenu le même nombre de voix.

Veuillez consulter www.gpo.ca pour obtenir plus d’information.

Green Party of Ontario’s gala awards ceremony highlights candidates’ campaign achievements during AGM

Gala Awards Dinner – Saturday, November 24, 2007 – 6 PM

Annual General Meeting – Friday, November 23 – Sunday, November 25, 2007 Camp Merrywood, Perth, ON

For Immediate Release – Ottawa – November 22, 2007 – Green Party members will be shaking, rattling and rolling at the Green Party of Ontario’s ‘Campaign Wrap-Up’ Gala Awards Ceremony that is taking place this Saturday, November 24th at Camp Merrywood, located just outside Perth Ontario. Kicking off at 6 pm, the evening promises much laughter and frivolity as GPO candidates from across the province are recognized with tongue-in-cheek awards, similar to those on shows like the MuchMusic Video Awards.

“The GPO has come of age, and we have a lot to celebrate,” says Leader Frank de Jong. “Through our combined effort, we tripled our vote, tripled our membership and earned our stripes in every riding. For this one night, we can relax and enjoy each other’s company. In the morning, we’ll continue to map out a strategy to lay the groundwork for electing Green MPPs in 2011.”

“This is a great way of bringing everyone in the party together under one roof,” says Victoria Serda, Female Deputy Leader. “The GPO includes people from all walks of life, and events like the Gala allow our members to network and really get to know each other in an informal, fun environment. Understanding each other is a key component of a strong political organization.”

The Gala will be taking place in conjunction with the Green Party’s Annual General Meeting and Policy Conference. “We’re looking forward to introducing the rest of the party to Eastern Ontario,” says John Ogilvie, a provincial candidate who is organizing the event.

The Gala and the AGM are open to Green Party of Ontario members and the media. The event is hosted by the Green Party’s Carleton-Mississippi Mills Constituency Association. Tax receipts will be issued.

Full event information can be found at:
www.vote-green.ca/AGM

or

www.gpo.ca/agm_07/home

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