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


Newfoundland offers religious school lessons

Andrew Chung, Staff Reporter

The intense animosity between people of different faiths was bound to spill on to the ice. Parents, fans, they all encouraged it among the hockey players at school.

It was a grim fact of life in that province under its historically sectarian education system in which the churches ran the schools with money from the public purse. Besides the rivalries, students and neighbours were divided along religious lines, often driven on half-empty buses across town to schools that were homogenous but under serviced.

Read the full story at the Toronto Star >

The Road to Victory

Dear Green Party Supporter:

Over the course of the last two years, the we have consistently referred to the 2011 provincial election as what will be our most strategic and significant effort to date.  Every political activity we have undertaken in partnership with you has been with this fundamental goal in mind.  Now, with the election finally underway, the time has come for a final push.  Your support over the next 27 days – both financially and by volunteering – is unequivocally essential.

2011 Membership GrowthWe have proved that we can stand as a political force in Ontario.  Through the causes we have championed, such as opposing the construction of a gas powered peaker plant on pristine environmental wetlands, the proposed mega-quarry on prime farmland (a giant hole in the ground roughly the size of 1/3 of Toronto), unfairly changing the microFIT rules, or the unaffordable expansion of the Darlington nuclear power plants, thousands of Ontarians have become engaged in the political process and supported our efforts.

On a political level, our efforts are paying off.  We placed third in two of the last five by-elections and within 30 votes in a third contest.  Since the beginning of the year, our membership has grown by nearly 100%, and will reach a historic high before the campaign is over.  Most significantly, we made history on May 2nd with the election of Elizabeth May as our first Green MP.

The progress we have made to date is due to your unwavering financial and volunteer support.  For this, we are most grateful.  With that said, to make a lasting impact and secure our vision for our children and grandchildren, we need to elect our first Green MPPs to Queen’s Park on October 6th.

Since becoming Canada’s first Green MP, Elizabeth May has stood up for Canadians in Parliament on issues the other parties won’t discuss.  If we want our voice to be heard at Queen’s Park, the only way is by electing Green MPPs on October 6th.  Never has the Green Party message been more relevant to Ontarians than it is today, and we need our politicians at Queen’s Park to catch up.  We need Green MPPs in the Legislature!

GPO Annual BudgetsThroughout the campaign, Ontarians will continue to have opportunities to hear and see our message for the first time.  A series of radio ads have been produced and are being strategically released between now and Election Day.  Additionally, our first-ever television commercials are almost ready!  These initiatives will greatly increase our reach to the nine million voters in our great province.

Our most ambitious campaign to date is the result of a significant investment of our collective time, energy and money.  2011 is our most vigorous year ever, with a budget of $400,000.  Fortunately, we have been very good stewards of the financial contributions we receive, and our consistent savings since 2007 mean that we have started this year with a small campaign fund.  Additionally, because of your support, we have met our fundraising targets to date in 2011.  We’re doing well, but to put us over the top in the coming weeks, we need everyone to do their part.

You are a key building block on our path to Election Day.  Together, we can elect the first Green MPPs to Queen’s Park.  Please give whatever you can to ensure the success of both our provincial campaign and our 107 candidates. You can also donate over the phone at 888-647-3366. 
Once again, thank you for your support of our party during this critical election.

Yours sincerely,
Craig Cantin, Deputy Executive Director
Craig Cantin
Deputy Executive Director
Green Party of Ontario