The Green Party of Ontario is independent yet is philosophically aligned with other green parties in Canada and around the world. The GPO is fiscally responsible, socially progressive and environmentally focused, and begins with the basic premise that all life on the planet is interconnected and that humans have a responsibility to protect and preserve the natural world.
The Green Party of Ontario (GPO) became an officially registered political party in 1983, and has been developing in size and sophistication since that time, expanding its membership and rising in the polls. We have increased the number of candidates in successive provincial elections. In the 1999 provincial election, we fielded 58 candidates, and became the fourth largest party in the province. In 2003, we fielded our first nearly-full slate, 102 out of 103 candidates, and received 2.8% of the vote. The 2007 election saw Ontario voters support Green Party values with unprecedented enthusiasm. The GPO, for the first time in history, had a full slate of candidates and garnered over 8% of the vote. We ran a full slate of candidates in both the 2011 and 2014 elections. At present, the GPO is averaging about 9% in the polls.
The GPO and current leader Mike Schreiner have played an important role in many important issues in Ontario, including:
- Putting a price on carbon
- Speaking out against the Mega-Quarry in Melancthon
- Protecting pollinators with the successful ban on neonics
- Changing political finance rules in Ontario
- Free-ing local craft beer
We also have active campaigns you can join:
- Lower payroll taxes for small businesses
- Call for a one-school system in Ontario (& FAQ)
- Protect our water in Guelph
- Call for a strong Cap and Trade program
- Independent review on costs and safety of nuclear energy in Ontario
The GPO Archival Collection began to be catalogued in 2007. In anticipation of the 25th Anniversary of the GPO in 2008, the GPO Historical Society was organized in July 2007. Shaun Merritt served as GPO Archivist and Historian from 2008-2011. The Green Movement Although writers like Henry David Thoreau and Aldo Leopold had long written on the importance of nature, the modern green movement started in Canada and around the world with the hippies in the 1960s. The counterculture movement was the first mass rejection of consumer culture, and its rallying cries for peace, love and flower power eventually evolved into the Green Party values of non-violence, social justice and ecological thinking. The hippy phenomena ended quickly because it had no structure or economic base. The movement’s life-affirming values, however, didn’t go away as much as underground. In the 1970s, the green movement re-emerged in isolated, small-scale enterprises and organizations such as health food stores, women’s and environmental groups, renewable energy stores, organic farms. Though disparate, these groups gave the green movement structure and an economic life, and became integral to communities rather than transient. In the 1980s, dissatisfied with the impotence of isolated activities, actions and opinions, Canadians decided to further organize the green movement into coalitions, including the Ontario Environment Network, the Canadian Organic Growers, Canadian Peace Alliance, the Voice of Women, Solar Energy Society of Canada and many others. The scale and organizational level of these coalitions brought the green movement to the next threshold: building national and provincial political parties. The Green Party Internationally The first green party in the world, called the Values Party, was started in the early 1970s in New Zealand. The tiny, short-lived Small Party, named after E.F. Schumacher’s book Small is Beautiful, formed in the Maritimes in the mid- to late 1970s, was the first in the Western Hemisphere. In Britain, the green party was called the Ecology party, before the name “Green” became common. It wasn’t until The Greens (Die Grünen) crossed the vote threshold of 5% and entered the West German legislature in the late 1970s that the green political movement started in earnest. It has since spread all over the world. There are now more than 100 Green Parties worldwide, in all levels of government, and Green members have been elected in dozens of countries. The Green Party is currently participating in governing coalitions in Mexico, New Zealand, Italy, France, Germany and Finland.
In Canada, in addition to the federal Green Party of Canada there are Green Parties in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, PEI, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Green Party of Ontario Election History
1985: 9/130 candidates – 5,345 votes (0.1%)
1987: 7/130 candidates – 3,398 votes – (0.09%)
1990: 40/130 candidates – 30,097 votes (0.7%)
1995: 36/130 candidates – 14,108 votes (0.4%)
1999: 58/103 candidates – 30,749 votes (0.7%)
2003: 102/103 candidates – 126,651 votes (2.8%)
2007: 107/107 candidates – 355,041 votes (8.03%)
2011: 107/107 candidates – 126,021 votes (2.92%)
2014: 107/107 candidates – 233,269 votes (4.84%)