Doug Ford promises Greenbelt firesale

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QUEEN’S PARK — Today’s revelation that Doug Ford is planning to open up the globally recognized Greenbelt is wrong-headed. This is not the answer to affordable housing, but this move does show Ontarians that the PC leader will put his wealthy friends and donors before the people of Ontario.

“Doug Ford’s plan to pave over the Greenbelt puts his wealthy developer friends and donors before the people of Ontario,” said Green Party of Ontario Leader, Mike Schreiner. “His comments make no sense, and Ford is clearly a threat to Ontario’s drinking water and farmland.”

The PC leader is mistaken in assuming we need to open up our environmentally sensitive areas. The Greenbelt is not driving up housing prices. Only 20% of already available lands for development have been used.

Ford’s reckless plan to destroy farmland and greenspace shows a gross misunderstanding of the immense environmental and economic value of the Greenbelt for growing food, ensuring clean water and providing habitat for wildlife – ecological services that amount to an estimated $2.6 billion per year, according to a recent study.

“Ford’s plan for Ontario is clearly designed to benefit big corporations and giant lobby groups who meet with him in the back rooms – the very people who will profit the most from paving over the places we love,” said Schreiner.

Ford has avoided media questions since taking leadership, but what he says when he doesn’t know the camera is rolling is disturbing. In the leaked video, Ford gives credit to “some of the biggest developers in the country” for coming up with the idea to pave over the Greenbelt.

“The Green Party will fight to protect the people and places we love. We will fight for a real affordable housing plan that puts people first by requiring new developments to have 20 percent affordable homes,” said Schreiner.

Learn more at www.gpo.ca/vision.

New Democrats absent without leave on environment and climate

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TORONTO, ON – The uninspiring platform released today by the Ontario NDP confirms that protecting the environment is not on the radar of the province’s third party.

“This platform confirms that the New Democrats cannot be trusted on climate action,” said Green Party of Ontario Leader, Mike Schreiner. “Nor does the platform provide a bold vision for how Ontario can leap into the future now to be a leader in cleantech innovation, advanced manufacturing or energy efficiency.”

The platform makes no mention of climate change or the environment in its five changes for the better and buries the few actions it would take in one of thirteen platform sub-categories.

The New Democrats are not shy about emptying the vault for important social issues, but the party is content to starve environmental programs. Absent are any targets for reducing greenhouse gases or increasing renewable energy. The section on jobs makes no mention of seizing opportunities in the low-carbon economy for advanced manufacturing, cleantech, green retrofits and renewable energy. And when it comes to issues like sustainable public transportation, there is nothing bold or visionary.

“Instead of leaping into the future with jobs that put people and the planet first, the NDP platform desperately holds onto an old economic vision that no longer works in the twenty-first century,” said Schreiner.

We need voices at Queen’s Park to take strong positions on the environmental challenges we face. We need MPPs who will stand up to the nuclear lobby, call out Premier Wynne’s free pollution permits to the large companies, and offer a hopeful vision for a clean economy.

“The ideas coming from the NDP barely move the needle, let alone tackle the climate crisis. Tinkering on the margins is just not going to cut it,” added Schreiner.

Mike Schreiner at Ryerson Democracy Forum

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Yesterday, Ontario’s four most powerful political party leaders took the stage to discuss the need for increased democratic engagement among youth and minority groups at Ryerson University, in a forum moderated by Toronto Star’s Martin Regg Cohn.

Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party of Ontario, joined Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne, Progressive Conservative interim leader Vic Fedeli, and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, to share ideas on how to better engage young people.

In terms of addressing voter disengagement, Schreiner says, “I think all of us need to start a dialogue where we talk to people as citizens, instead of just taxpayers and voters. And as citizens, we have rights and responsibilities, such as the right to vote. But we also have responsibilities be more active participants in the political process.”

To do this, Schreiner proposes solutions such as increased education from Elections Ontario on campuses on how and where to vote and reducing the voting age to 16 to build a lifelong habit of voting.

Following the Leaders’ forum, Taylor Howarth, GPO Chair of Engagement and Outreach, joined a panel of political party strategists on how to further mobilize the youth to vote. “I think the question for young people in choosing who will form our next government, is ‘Are you investing in our future? What solutions does each party have going forward in invest in the youth’s future?’”, Howarth says.

Watch the full video below:


(Video: Ryerson University)

Or read more coverage about the event:

 

Welcoming Sly Castaldi to the race for Guelph

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“Congratulations to Sly Castaldi on her nomination as the Liberal candidate in Guelph,” said Green Party Leader, Mike Schreiner.

“I have great respect for Ms. Castaldi and her efforts in the community, particularly her strong voice in the fight to end violence against women,” added Schreiner.

Big party politics comes with its own challenges, including the need to toe the big party line.

“As a Liberal candidate, I wonder if Ms. Castaldi will be able to put people in Guelph first over toeing the party line? For example, will she be able to stand up for affordable housing units for new developments, like the proposed new condo at Wellington and Wyndham St?”

The Liberals have proposed weak and ineffective fixes to the housing affordability crisis. Housing advocates have called the Liberals’ affordable housing plan “a monstrous failure,” one that amounts to “picking municipal pockets to line the pockets of developers,” according to one city Councilor.

The proposed changes are merely paying lip service, placing an unusually low cap on the voluntary allocation of affordable units in a new development at 5% or 10% in high density locations, and requiring municipal governments to use property taxes to pay an unprecedented 40 percent of the cost.

Meanwhile, some families are being pushed out of this great city because of housing costs.

“I challenge Ms. Castaldi and the Liberal Party to put the needs of people in Guelph first,” said Schreiner. “The Green Party is calling for new developments to include 1 new unit of affordable housing for every 5 new houses or condos. Will the big Liberal machine follow the Green Party’s lead to create real change in making homes affordable?”

The Green Party of Ontario is working to make history in the June 7, 2018 provincial election. The party intends to run a full, gender balanced slate of candidates for the upcoming campaign.

My Vision

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Mike with Green MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, Adam Olsen.On May 9th, the British Columbia Greens made history. Three Green Party candidates were elected to the Legislature, holding the balance of power in a minority government.

I can tell you – it was a nail biter.

I was in B.C., waiting anxiously for the election results with passionate, caring Greens from across Canada. It was a crowning moment to an intense week.
I knocked on doors. Installed lawn signs. Waved signs before the crack of dawn. I did whatever I could to help. It was a privilege to volunteer my time alongside thousands of other Greens. In the end, we were all part of history.

Back home, our provincial election is around the corner. I want every Green in Ontario to share the same historic experience that I had in British Columbia.

There are many ways to be part of our movement. Right now, the number one way you can support our efforts is by chipping into our final end of year campaign before the election
.
We are already making a difference. We’re champions on pricing carbon pollution. We were key in ensuring big money is finally out of politics. We hold the Wynne Liberals to account on water. We support small businesses and local sustainable economies.

People trust our work on issues such as nuclear, fracking, water, and climate change. I can’t tell you how many times people have said to me, “You Greens have the best vision, the best values, the best policies.”

Now is the time to give Ontarians the opportunity to vote for the real change they want.

We have made strides in getting our party election-ready. Since January 1st, our membership is up by 49% and our contact list by 38%. The media is paying attention more than ever. And we are halfway towards recruiting an amazing team of candidates.

You have the opportunity to make a crucial strategic impact today. By making a financial gift, we can keep our momentum going.

With only five months remaining before the election, your support is imperative.
Our goal is to elect our first Green MPPs to Queen’s Park, following the footsteps of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and British Columbia.

There are so many pressing issues in Ontario. Advocating for better education. Protecting the gains we’ve made with renewable energy. Pushing for improved transit. Ensuring every community has safe drinking water.

Imagine the impact Green MPPs will make, introducing legislation such as:

  • Ban on fracking
  • Mandating every new housing development include 20% affordable units
  • Opposing the extension of Pickering Nuclear plant, already the oldest nuclear plant in North America and past it’s best before date
  • Supporting regulated and licensed small businesses to sell cannabis in a safe and controlled way

Former Liberal MPP John Gerretsen has said, “I firmly believe that the Green Party has an awful lot to offer in Ontario as well, and they probably should have two or three members in our legislature.”

We are ready to provide the leadership your community needs at Queen’s Park. But we need your help.

Could you join me in supporting the Green movement with a year-end donation?

Together, we can make progress on the issues we care about. Your support helps us make the change Ontario wants and needs.

Thank you so much for your support.

Mike Schreiner
Mike Schreiner
Leader
Green Party of Ontario

P.S. Greens in British Columbia woke up on May 10th to headlines such as, “Greens double popular vote and triple seat count,” “Greens make historic breakthrough,” and “Greens hold balance of power in stunning B.C. election.”

My desire is for Greens in Ontario to see these headlines when we wake up on June 8th. Please join me in this historic opportunity with your end-of-year contribution today.

Mike Schreiner promises real change at packed nomination party

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Hundreds of people came out to support GPO Leader and entrepreneur Mike Schreiner’s official launch of his campaign to be Guelph’s voice at Queen’s Park.

“I want to change politics so that it puts people first, ahead of lobbyist and political insiders,” said Schreiner. “My commitment to Guelph and the province is to bring a new voice to the Ontario legislature, one that will stand up for honesty, integrity, and decisions that work for people.”

BC MLA Adam Olsen told the crowd how only three Green MLAs have changed BC politics forever. Prominent Guelph Liberal Carolyn Weatherson told the crowd why she felt Guelph and Ontario needed Mike’s voice at Queen’s Park.

“People desperately want politicians who they can trust, who are driven by honesty and integrity. That’s what Mike and the Ontario Greens offer. That is why the Greens now hold the balance of responsibility in BC,” said Adam Olsen. “I came out to Ontario for Mike’s nomination because he is a refreshing change from business-as-usual politicians. He will be a hard-working MPP for Guelph, I look forward to watching his campaign from Victoria, and helping in whatever way I can.”

Schreiner received nearly 20% of the vote in the last provincial election. He is poised to become Ontario’s first Green MPP by defeating long-time Liberal MPP Liz Sandals, a veteran member of the scandal-plagued McGuinty-Wynne governments.

“People tell me that they want change. The only way to get real change is to vote for a new voice, a new party–the Green Party,” said Schreiner. “The change starts by pushing the Liberal government to stop issuing water taking permits that threaten our drinking water.”

Mike Schreiner was elected leader of the Green Party of Ontario on November 14, 2009. Mike is a leading advocate for independent businesses, local food and sustainable communities. This will be his second time running in Guelph.

Born in Victoria, Adam was raised on Tsartlip First Nation in Brentwood Bay, BC. He was recently elected as BC Green MLA in Saanich North and the Islands.

See photos from the event below.

GPO will ‘pack the park’ for leader Mike Schreiner’s official nomination

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Guelph, Ontario – Excitement is building ‎in Guelph and throughout the province as Mike Schreiner launches his bid in Guelph to become the first Green Party member of the Ontario legislature.

A strong turnout is expected for GPO’s Party in the Park: the party’s nomination meeting in Guelph on July 30. The event will feature live music, food and a keynote speech from BC MLA Adam Olsen on bringing the Green wave to Ontario.

When: Sunday July 30, 2017 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Mike Schreiner will speak at approximately 3 pm.

Where: Riverside Park, 209 Woolwich St. Guelph

What: Guelph Green Party of Ontario nomination meeting

Speakers: Mike Schreiner, Green Party of Ontario leader
Adam Olsen, Green Party Member of the Legislative Assembly for Saanich North and the Islands

Live Music: Andrew Craig Soul Trio; and Joni NehRita

Food: provided by Schmuck Truck and ice cream from Bluewater Creamery

RSVP for our Party in the Park!