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:



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Make it easy to be green

Michael Polowin, Ottawa Citizen Special

Too often, the city goes after the easy mark when trying to be green. No
science is done, other than a web search, or as I call it, Google science. By
and large, the city’s environmental efforts are pathetic.

Do we see solar collectors on city hall, or wind turbines on city properties?
The light-rail project, proposed by those who seek a green solution, won’t go
where it would be most green. Put it on the Transitway, where it would be least
expensive. No. Instead, most want to run the train where we would have to use up
more land and build new stations. The Transitway was built for light rail.
Preserve the land and put it where we already paid to put it.

Read the full article online at the Ottawa Citizen.


Government caught in middle of electricity rate battle

Nov 05, 2007 04:30 AM
Ian Urquhart

Electricity rates have long been a
political football in Ontario, tossed about by governments of all stripes in
search of votes.

The result, after years of freezes and caps, was an
artificially low price for electricity in the province, which acted as a disincentive for homeowners and businesses to invest in energy efficiency
and conservation projects.

When the current Liberal regime came to
office in 2003, however, one of its first actions was to lift the freeze
imposed by the previous Conservative government on electricity rates for
homeowners and small businesses. The Liberals took some heat for this
move, not least because it represented another one of their broken

Read Ian Urquhart’s full column on the Toronto Star.

Greens in Guelph Closing in on Winning Seat

Another riding closing in on a Green seat!!

Internal polling is showing 38% committed support for Ben Polley in Guelph’s greenest polls – areas the Greens have enjoyed averages of 15% since 2003. That is more than double the support and the best part is that a further 21% are “leaning Green” with only 16% committed to another party.

This is great news especially when we have learned that 25% of those polled are undecided giving the Greens an excellent chance. Feedback comes into the campaign office daily from people who say they’re voting green for the first time in this election, our hard work over the years is showing its rewards.

The local daily endorsed Ben in the article “Polley would shake things up” see below and http://news.guelphmercury.com/article/245901 is powerful

And the message is being reinforced with two full page ads and an endorsement from world-renowned author & futurist Thomas Homer-Dixon who recent book is titled The Upside of Down.

Polley would help shake things up

October 03, 2007


. . . the urge to turn things upside down and go Green is strong, especially following last week’s televised debate co-sponsored by the Mercury.

All of the candidates performed well that night at the Guelph Place Banquet Hall — . . . but the person who made the greatest impression was Ben Polley.

The Green party candidate is thoughtful and truly believes what he is selling. He has a confidence about him and demands you take him seriously. He went from being a guy with nice ideas who will never win, to one deserving serious consideration.

Voting for Polley would not be a wasted vote, and sending him to Queen’s Park would not be giving up our voice.

You can easily imagine a “fringe party” representative sitting quietly in the back row of the legislature, blending in with the wallpaper and not being heard from again until re-election time. With Polley, it is clear this would not be the case.

As potentially the first Green MPP, he would be sought out by the Toronto and provincial media for his perspective on all kinds of issues — and they’d keep going back to him for more, too, because he’d offer great quotes.

He’s on topic and effective, makes for great sound bites — someone alert the media.

And when political watchers in other centres get a feel for him through his regular appearances on the evening news and in the big-market newspapers, they’ll realize that the Green guy isn’t the whacko they feared from the former fringe party. A lot of his ideas make perfect sense and, come to think of it, their local Green candidate had made compelling points during the election, too.

They just didn’t vote for that person because they figured there was no way they’d win, but maybe next time they’ll give Green a chance.

And when it happens that electing a few Green MPPs around the province doesn’t cause the roof of the legislature to cave in — and their presence is no longer a novelty act — the good folks of Guelph will be able to say with pride that we were first.

Our reputation as a green community, once strong because we knew how to deal with our garbage, will again be intact. This time it will be because we had the guts to put party politics aside and send someone to Queen’s Park who will not only question the way things are done — anyone can do that — but offer thoughtful alternatives worth consideration.

Like Polley said at the debate: “I’m not asking you to overthrow the government, just shake it up a little.”

. . . Polley demands consideration.

Congrats to Ben and best of luck to the team in Guelph on this final push!


A better plan for public schools

Over the past 12 years, Ontario Progressive Conservatives under the leadership of Mike Harris, Ernie Eves and John Tory have proven to be no huge fans of public education in this province.

Under former premier Harris, and to a lesser extent under Eves, the Conservatives fought endless battles with public schools by shortchanging them of money, waging war on teachers, imposing disruptive new academic programs and encouraging private schools.

Now, John Tory, in his first election as Conservative leader, has plunged Ontario into a divisive debate over public education by promising to extend government funding to all faith-based schools in the province, not just Roman Catholic schools.

Read the full article at the Toronto Star

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.”

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Media Contacts

Anouk Hoedeman, Media Relations
Green Party of Ontario