News

Eid Mubarak

As-salamu alaykum,
 
Today, Muslims around the world mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan with Eid al-Fitr, signaling a break from a month-long fast. This fast engages Muslims in the tenets of their faith, including charity, compassion, worship, and spiritual renewal.
 
As the Muslim community in Ontario, Canada, and across the world join friends and family in feast and celebration, it is important for all of us to honour the values that the Islamic religion holds dear and to build bridges among people of all faiths. 
 
We must also use this moment to consider the millions of Muslims around the world who may not be able to enjoy a safe and comfortable celebration in their homes and countries at this time. Keeping them in mind, we extend our wishes of peace and good health to them and their loved ones.
 
Standing in solidarity with Muslim communities at home and abroad, we can all take this opportunity to practice our shared values of compassion, service, generosity and community. 
 
On behalf of the Green Party of Ontario, Eid Mubarak to all!

Countdown is on!

I joined the GPO team in February. In fact, I am employee number four. 🙂

Let that sink in for a moment. That means before me, there was only three staff working alongside all of our members, volunteers and supporters.

Despite modest resources, the GPO has been able to get things done. We helped make history by ending corporate donations in Ontario politics last December, for example.

When people think ‘real action on climate change’, they think about us. When Ontarians express concern about their drinking water, they look to us as their champions.

That is simply amazing.

Since coming on board four months ago, we have made great strides in building our party: 

  • We now have six employees to serve you better.
  • There are Constituency Associations all across the province.
  • Our leader Mike Schreiner had a robust spring leader’s tour, reaching many Ontarians along the way.
  • Membership is up nearly 23% since January 1st.
  • And we had one of our most productive Annual Conventions ever just a month ago.

That brings us to today. We are less than twelve months from the next provincial election.

Will you support our movement by making a pre-election donation?

There is a tremendous amount of work before us over the next 349 days. But, from what I’ve seen since February, I’m absolutely excited by the possibilities!

Your financial support will keep our momentum going. Please make a contribution today.

Thanks.

Craig Cantin
Director of Development
Green Party of Ontario

Green Party of Ontario says it’s time to ban fracking in Ontario

For immediate release
June 23, 2017

(Toronto, ON) – A recently-passed amendment to the provincial Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act may open the door to fracking in Ontario.

Jurisdictions like New York, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have already passed bills to ban hydraulic fracturing due to health and environmental concerns. Although no hydraulic fracking for shale gas currently exists in Ontario, the Liberal government has in the past provided mapping data to assist in exploration for the fracking industry.

Plus, the Ontario Liberals have so far refused to ban the practice.

In Canada and the US, fracking is linked to increased earthquake frequency, high methane emissions and risks to drinking water. These not only risk our health and environment, they undermine our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. 

Ontario should ban fracking before these threats become real.

Quick Facts

Additional Information

Quotes

“No fracking way will Greens stay quiet while the Liberals open the possibility of allowing fracking in our beautiful province. Fracking could pollute our drinking water, cause earthquakes and undermine the province’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.”  

— GPO leader Mike Schreiner 

“Fracking poses a threat to our water and has no place in Ontario. If the Liberals are serious about protecting our water and reducing climate disrupting pollution, they would support a ban on fracking.”

— GPO leader Mike Schreiner

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National Aboriginal Day

GPO Leader Mike Schreiner issued the following statement on National Aboriginal Day:

First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people each have their own unique heritage, language, and culture. Today, on National Aboriginal Day, we celebrate the important contributions that these communities have made to Turtle Island and this place we call Canada.

Now more than ever we need to apply an indigenous worldview to the challenges we face. We can learn from the wisdom of indigenous elders on how to defend the land and water that sustains us. And we must make decisions today that ensure a sustainable future for the next seven generations.

Each year on this day, governments pledge to work closely with indigenous communities to reconcile issues of the past and commit to promises for a better future. However, in this province, Indigenous people continue to lack access to basic human rights like clean water, decent housing, and affordable electricity.

This is unacceptable in a province as prosperous as Ontairo.

The crises witnessed in Attawapiskat, Grassy Narrows and other indigenous communities across our province cannot be ignored. We must act now to address issues facing Indigenous communities.

The government has an obligation to work with indigenous communities – with full partnership, participation, and respect – to make sure everyone in Ontario has access to high quality health care, education, and economic opportunities.

The Green Party of Ontario has and will continue to work with First Nations leaders to protect the land and drinking water both within indigenous communities and across the province. We have so much to learn about sustainability from our indigenous sisters and brothers. And we must act on their wisdom.

 

Pride month: flag raising ceremony at Queen’s Park

GPO Deputy Leader Mark Daye made the following statement today:

“The annual flag raising ceremony at Queen’s Park today is a joyous occasion. I am reminded that Pride month’s festivities are a celebration of the diversity of our province as we continue to strive for equality for all Ontarians.

Pride offers us an opportunity to remember those who have come before us, and pay tribute to those who fought tirelessly for the rights and freedoms we enjoy today.

We should be proud of how far we have come on our path toward acceptance and inclusivity, but we are not there yet. While members of our community continue to feel oppression we must continue the march toward inclusivity so that all members of our society may feel safe and accepted.

We must ensure that all families are treated with respect and equality under the law. We must ensure that all parents have equal rights and all of our citizens have equal job opportunities under the law of the land.

It is especially important that our children grow up in a society that respects everyone equally. And this is just one of the many reasons why the GPO continues to speak out for human rights, for students, teachers and parents in our school system.

It remains an unacceptable truth in 2017 that some schools funded by Ontario taxpayers discriminate against the LGBTQ community through hiring practices.

We must continue to push for political change that promotes inclusivity and human rights for all Ontarians.

The Green Party hopes you will join with us as we celebrate Pride across Ontario, and Canada. I sincerely hope during the celebrations that we will all take a moment to reflect, give thanks, and stand up for our fellow people.”

March with us at the 2017 Toronto Pride Parade – RSVP here for details

Open letter: More change needed to protect our water

Hon. Minister Glen Murray
Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
11th Floor, Ferguson Block
77 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2T5
gmurray.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

June 15, 2017

Open letter: More change needed to protect our water

Dear Hon. Minister Glen Murray,
 
Our water must be protected.
 
Thousands delivered this message at Waterstock to demand stronger protections for water—water is for life. Everyone should have a right to clean drinking water. 
 
Your government’s proposed new water taking regulations fail to put water for people first. You’ve let down the thousands of people who wrote your government asking for stronger protections for public drinking water. 
 
The people of Ontario deserve better.
 
I urge you to manage our water as a public trust in the public interest. Public drinking water for communities should have priority access to water over commercial and industrial users.
 
Your Ministry recently made some changes that amount to a small step in the right direction. But more must be done.
 
To start, Permit To Take Water (PTTW) rules should establish public drinking water for communities as the top priority. 
 
Your own Ministry, as well as the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO), has acknowledged that climate change will likely lead to more droughts that cause water shortages. Restrictions on water taking will likely be necessary under these conditions.
 
Restricting public access to municipal water should not happen without first restricting private access for commercial and industrial users. Even the possibility that people would be forced to buy water from a private company because public drinking water is not available is unacceptable. 
 
Quarries and bottled water companies should face mandatory restrictions on water taking during droughts. Their water taking permits should be restricted, revoked or denied if science reveals water shortages.
 
Minister, I ask you to make it explicitly clear in law that water for public drinking and growing food has priority over all other users when issuing a PTTW. Now is the time for the province to establish clear guidelines for priority access to water taking permits. It is irresponsible for your Ministry to wait until there is a crisis.
 
I am also deeply concerned about the new water taking fees for water bottlers. I have strongly advocated for an increase in water taking fees, but believe such an increase should be based on science, data and best practices. The Ministry should set the fee based on a cost recovery rate. The fee should not be too high to avoid treating water as a commodity for a government cash grab. Nor should the fee be too low so that taxpayers continue to subsidize commercial water taking.
 
Your Ministry has not shared any data on why the new rate is set at $503.71 per million litres.
 
This is still a drop in the bucket for bottlers who retail a 500 ml bottle at convenience stores for $2 but only have to pay $0.0005 for a litre of public water–water that is taken out of our watershed and shipped elsewhere to be sold for profit.
 
It is critical that the water taking fee is set at a level that properly funds water management programs. The ECO has for years raised concerns that water management programs are underfunded. 
 
As well, a portion of the water taking fee should also help fund sustainable water management for municipalities. Once proper funding is in place to manage water sustainably, you should establish water taking fees at a rate that covers these costs.
 
Finally, your Ministry must take action to reduce plastic pollution and the cost associated with disposing/recycling plastic bottles. I understand that plastic pollution is outside the scope of revising water taking rules, but it is short-sighted to have any discussion of revising the rules for bottled water without also reviewing ways to eliminate plastic pollution.
 
Minister, now is the time to do the right thing for the people of Ontario. Put people and public water first. We want our water protected. And we deserve stronger rules than the ones you have proposed.
 
Sincerely,

Mike Schreiner
Leader, GPO

Support stronger protections on our water by sending a letter to the Minister here.

 

Here we go!

We are exactly one year away from the next general election. One year to earn the trust of Ontarians at the ballot box.

Could you imagine the media connecting “Green” with “Stunning election”, “Historic breakthrough”, or “Greens in centre of power”? Well, that’s what happened when the BC Greens made their historic breakthrough last month.

BC Greens doubled their popular vote and tripled their seat count. With three elected MLAs, they have the first elected Green caucus in Canada holding the balance of power and are now a true political force. 

This is a game-changer. For British Columbia and for our country.

I can’t tell you how many times people have said to me, “You guys have the best vision, the best values, the best policies. I want to vote for that, but I can’t vote for it because I’m afraid of this party over here and I have to vote for this party to stop that party, and I don’t think you can get elected.”

The BC Greens have proven that Greens can get elected, even with our out-dated first-past-the-post voting system. 

These results are the fruit of years of hard work by our members, donors and supporters across the country. The work of people just like you.

There is a tremendous opportunity for the BC Greens. It makes me even more excited about our opportunities here in Ontario as we face a general election next year.

That’s why we need you. Can you help keep up the momentum with a special pre-election donation?

By making a special investment into the GPO today with your generous donation, we can continue our work in preparing for the election.

Could you support our movement with a donation today?

Thank you for your support.

Mike Schreiner
Leader
Green Party of Ontario

Greens support a fair economy for workers and small business

Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner issued the following statement in response to the Liberal’s announcement on the Changing Workplaces Review:Greens support a fair economy for workers and the businesses who employ them.
 
I urge the government to lower payroll taxes on small businesses by doubling the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption when implementing an increase in the minimum wage. This is good for workers and small businesses.
 
Small businesses are the job creators in Ontario. We want government to help small businesses create jobs, not cut jobs or reduce workers’ hours. 
 
Being able to double their payroll before paying the EHT is good for job creation and fair for small businesses. Small businesses understand the benefits of a living wage, and government can help them deliver on those benefits. 
 
Greens also want lower income workers to take home more of their earnings as part of a living wage strategy.
 
We are calling on the government to raise the personal income tax exemption for low-income earners.
 
A living wage and fairer taxes will put more money into the pockets of lower income workers. This will benefit workers and our local economies.

 
– 30 –
 

Building for breakthrough in election 2018

The Green Party of Ontario gathered for their Annual General Meeting this weekend to celebrate the election of Greens in BC and to build momentum for 2018.
 
Hundreds of enthusiastic GPO members agreed to stand with leader Mike Schreiner’s call for a new way of doing politics in Ontario. 
 
“Stand with me to support small businesses to create good jobs,” said Schreiner, to cheers from delegates. “Stand with me to lower electricity prices with a more efficient energy system. Stand with me to address climate and community concerns in ways that put people first.”
 
The GPO passed many policy resolutions focused on reducing inequality, for example calling for a universal dental care program in Ontario. Other policies included ending the police practice of carding, free tuition for university and college students and enhanced support for farmers.
 
Schreiner told delegates, “We have not chosen the easy path to election, but we have chosen the right one—a path that puts honesty, integrity and people before our political self-interest.”
 
Newly elected BC MLA Adam Olson kicked off the convention with a speech on the BC Greens historic election victory. Delegates also heard a keynote from activist and journalist Desmond Cole, and from Jay Stoyan, founder of the Disability Channel,.
 
“Ontario Greens are energized by the success of the BC Greens and by the inspiring speech Mike Schreiner gave this weekend,” said Bonnie North, the party’s deputy leader. “We are poised for a breakthrough in 2018 that will change Ontario politics forever and for the better.”

View Mike’s full speech here.

Tune in: Mike Schreiner at the 2017 GPO Convention

Can’t make it to this year’s GPO Convention? No problem – you can still catch a part of it by tuning in on Saturday, May 27 at 4.30pm to hear Mike Schreiner’s keynote address.

2017 Muskoka Convention | Mike Schreiner, Keynote | May 27

Tune in above or on Facebook to hear about the positive changes Ontario Greens want to bring to the province today.

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