Schreiner presents plan to support local businesses


GUELPH, ON — Today, from his home riding of Guelph, Mike Schreiner outlined a plan for supporting small businesses and Ontario’s workers through fair tax reform. This plan will result in an additional $1 billion remaining in communities each year to help businesses pay a living wage.

“Liberals and Conservatives have been playing wedge politics with people’s lives by pitting workers against small business owners in a bid to harvest votes. But it does not have to be a choice between people and business. We have real solutions for fair tax reform that benefit everyone,” said Mike Schreiner, Leader of the Green Party of Ontario.

The Greens are committed to following through with the Liberals’ plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 because it is simply the right thing to do. But Greens will not leave small businesses in the lurch.

The Green Party would increase the exemption level for the Employer Health Tax from $450,000 to $1 million in payroll for businesses and organizations with payrolls under $5 million. This would be paid for by reversing the Liberal’s corporate tax cut for big businesses by 1%.

“Ours is a plan to support the small businesses with immediate cash flow relief that will help local, family independent businesses to continue thriving in this transition to better wages,” added Schreiner.

Asked how his plan compares to Doug Ford’s corporate tax cut, Schreiner said: “I’ve spoken with nearly all of the small business owners in Guelph and heard their concerns. They need cash flow support right now. They cannot wait a year or a year-and a-half like they would with a corporate tax cut.”

Schreiner’s home riding of Guelph is a small business heartland in Ontario, with creative entrepreneurs turning clever ideas into reality, from corner stores to high tech start-ups, local organic farms to advanced manufacturing, retailers to home builders.

“When we talk about about why Guelph is such a livable community, it’s because we have such a vibrant small business community. Statistics show we’re the fourth best community in all of Canada to start a business.”

“I am so proud to call this place home,” said Schreiner.

Learn more about our platform at

Greens oppose Liberals’ disjointed plan for cannabis monopoly


QUEEN’S PARK, ON — The Liberal government has it all wrong in their plan to monopolize the sale of cannabis when recreational use of the drug is legalized. Restricting the sale of cannabis products to only government owned subsidiaries shuts out small businesses and local farmers. The Liberal plan does nothing to stop the unsafe, illegal underground market.

“The Liberals have missed a big missed opportunity to help build local businesses and create jobs. We should be following the craft brewery model – regulating small businesses and dispensaries to sell cannabis in a safe and controlled way,” said Green Party Leader, Mike Schreiner.

The Greens point to the large body of evidence showing that monopolizing cannabis sales will do nothing to stop the underground market, a view that is supported by many local businesses, who are also concerned that their livelihoods will be eroded by the government monopoly.

“Businesses like ours that sell cannabis accessories are worried about our future when the government enters this market. Not only will their monopoly approach fail to eliminate the black market, but the independent small businesses who started this industry in the first place will have trouble competing with the buying power of the government,” said Robin Ellins, Owner of Friendly Stranger Cannabis Culture Shop.

By opting for a government monopoly, the Liberals are bucking the trend. Other provinces are choosing either a mixed public-private model or a fully private model. Greens are advocating for a public-private model to unleash the potential of this budding industry.

“We would license local businesses, farmers, and Indigenous entrepreneurial groups to open retail stores, thus creating jobs and contributing tax dollars to our communities,” said Schreiner.

Greens would also dedicate a portion of the tax revenue to municipalities, as well as to programs and services for mental health and addictions.

More needed to help small business grow and create jobs


TORONTO – Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner says the Liberal government’s corporate tax cut isn’t enough to help small businesses cope with the rapidly rising cost of paying workers a living wage, and will do nothing to help them grow and create jobs.

“Cutting the corporate tax rate helps businesses maximize their profits, even if they do that by cutting jobs,” said Schreiner. “It’s obvious that neither Finance Minister Charles Sousa nor Premier Kathleen Wynne have ever operated a small business or a non-profit given their approach on this issue.”

The GPO plan to raise the exemption level for the Employer Health Tax from $450,000 to $1,000,000 in payroll would automatically and immediately benefit small businesses and non-profits to lower their labour costs. They wouldn’t have to fill out paperwork to apply or wait until they file their taxes. The GPO plan would not create a disincentive for small businesses to grow. It would create an incentive for them to create more jobs that pay better.

“Payroll tax reductions help small businesses by immediately lowering labour costs, improving their monthly cash flow and creating incentives to create jobs, ” said Schreiner. “Lower labour costs help businesses create more jobs and better-paying jobs.”

The GPO supports the planned increases in the minimum wage, but would also like to see increases in social assistance rates to help the most vulnerable in Ontario.

“Both policies would inject more money into local economies, benefitting local businesses and communities,” said Schreiner. “We are the only party advocating for a balanced approach, supporting a decent living wage for workers and lower payroll taxes for their employers.”

Real People, Real Solutions – Peter Ormond, Eco5


In this episode, Mike talks to Peter Ormond, a community leader in terms of helping people save energy about how they can make small changes in their own homes and businesses to really engage in the Green economy, enabling them to save money while saving the planet at the same time.

About Eco5 and Peter Ormond
eco5 is the acronym for Environmentally Conscious Organization, and the “5” represents the 5 R’s of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rethink and Revitalize.

Peter has engineering degrees and an MBA that helps him recognize the glaring disconnect between our formal educational / theoretical world and the practical solutions that will benefit the Earth. He has run in several elections as a Green Party candidate and attended several United Nations Climate Change Conferences.

​Schreiner urges the Liberal government to offer real help to small businesses


Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner is urging the Liberal government to offer real help to small businesses in Tuesday’s fall economic statement by lowering payroll taxes on employees.

“The most efficient and effective way to help small businesses to create more jobs is to raise the exemption level for the Employer Health Tax, which has increased only slightly since the late 1990s,” said Schreiner.

“I call on the Ontario government to announce that it will raise the exemption level for the Employer Health Tax from $450,000 to $1,000,000 in payroll. This will allow locally-owned companies to double the number of jobs they create before paying taxes on those jobs, helping them grow their business.”

Businesses with payroll of less than $5 million would not be charged the EHT on the first $1,000,000 of payroll, helping them save up to $20,000 a year and injecting over $800 million into local economies.

The governing Liberals do little to help small businesses, preferring instead to hand out billions of dollars to huge corporations and to cut taxes for Bay Street instead of Main Street.

“The Liberals focus on big corporations and mostly ignore the real job creators — small businesses whose individual job numbers add up to millions of good jobs,” said Schreiner.

“As a former small business owner, I know this tax change will make a real difference for both mom-and-pop shops, as well as for start ups looking to grow their business.”

The Greens’ tax cut plan would also help small businesses adjust to a rapidly rising minimum wage.

“The GPO is the only party with a balanced plan to support small businesses and living wages for workers,” said Schreiner, who is also the Green Party candidate in Guelph in next June’s election.

Schreiner said the small business entrepreneurs who are essential to building diversified, resilient local economies that generate sustainable jobs and prosperity are not being properly supported by the Ontario government.

“There are two parties of big business and one party of no business at Queen’s Park,” he said. “Greens are the only party standing up for small business.”

The GPO is on a mission to bring honesty, integrity and policies that work for people to Queen’s Park.

Real People, Real Solutions – Southbrook Vineyards


Real People, Real Solutions is a series of interviews with people who are making a difference in communities across Ontario. Hosted by GPO leader Mike Schreiner.

As Canada’s first biodynamic winery, Southbrook Vineyards is a prime example that you can do the right thing and still be profitable. Their organic wines earn recognition, from critics and consumers alike, year after year. Their site is LEED® certified, with initiatives that ensure efficient use of water, reduced energy consumption, responsible use of materials and resources, as well as improved quality of the indoor environment. In this episode, Mike talks to Bill Redelmeier, proprietor of Southbrook Vineyards, and how going Green can drive success for your business.

About Southbrook Vineyards
Southbrook Vineyards is the epitome and evolution of Marilyn and Bill Redelmeier’s love story with wine, the land, and all things “local.” The winery is situated on a 150-acre vineyard in the heart of the Niagara Peninsula wine region of Ontario, Canada. They produce organic and biodynamic wines that earn recognition, from critics and consumers alike, year after year.

From their purchase of the Niagara-on-the-Lake vineyard in 2005, the Redelmeiers committed their energies to sustainable viticulture. By 2008, they had created the first wine estate in Canada to earn both organic and biodynamic certification for its vineyard and winery. Southbrook also takes a leadership role in the wine community by mentoring, educating and sharing in an effort to encourage a growing understanding of organic and biodynamic methods.

About Bill Redelmeier
A passionate entrepreneur and connoisseur of food and fine wine, Bill Redelmeier, together with his partner Marilyn, evolved Bill’s family business from a cattle farm on a 19th century property in Richmond Hill, through to a roadside vegetable stand in the 1980s, to a thriving garden market, and now an award-winning winery.

Bill and Marilyn have pursued certifications for both the vineyard and the winery – including LEED, biodynamic and organic certification – clearly demonstrating leadership and commitment to environmental concerns, quality winemaking, and outstanding customer experience.

Cannabis monopoly will ramp up criminalization of pot


Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner supports efforts to keep cannabis retailers away from schools. But he is calling on the Liberals to stop the government-monopolization of marijuana, which will do nothing to stop the underground market for cannabis.

The Liberals sent letters today to all Ontario municipalities saying the government-owned LCBO will try to reduce the number of existing dispensaries as it helps identify which towns and cities will get government-run cannabis stores.

“The Liberals’ approach seems to ramp up criminalization of pot outside the government monopoly, which undermines the reasons for legalizing it in the first place.” said Schreiner.

“There is a better way – highly regulated and licensed local businesses to allow local farmers, small businesses and Indigenous groups to participate in the market, creating local jobs and contributing tax dollars to local communities across the province.”

The Liberals current plan to open only 40 stores next year with a maximum of 150 across the province will not be enough to meet demand or combat the underground market.

“The government’s plan is likely to result in unsafe, unregulated cannabis to still be available on the underground market,” warned Schreiner.

The GPO is calling for a system that:

1. Regulates and licenses small businesses and dispensaries to sell cannabis in a safe and controlled way;
2. Ensures tax revenues from cannabis sales are used to fund education, mental health and addiction programs;
3. Creates more local jobs and prosperity by supporting small businesses, local farmers, and indigenous communities.

Read Schreiner’s open letter to Ontario cabinet ministers at
Sign our petition to stop the monopolization of cannabis.


Real People, Real Solutions – Guelph Clothing Swap


Meet Karyn Bosco, who helps Guelph reduce clothing waste by encouraging re-use in an Annual Spring Clothing Swap

Real People, Real Solutions – Stack Brewing


Real People, Real Solutions is a series of interviews with people who are making a difference in communities across Ontario. Hosted by GPO leader Mike Schreiner.

In recent years, the GPO has lead the fight to liberate local beer in Ontario. Liberating local beer helps create more local jobs and gives consumers easier access to the unique and tasty products from our craft brewers. In this episode, Mike talks to Michael Guillemette, Head Brewer at Stack Brewery, about how they have grown their business, and what the government can help do to further support Ontario’s craft brewers and their products.

Ontario’s craft brewers deserve fair access to the marketplace. We strongly believe allowing local brewers to open their own stores will create a fair playing field, foster local jobs in the craft brewing industry, and offer more choice to consumers. The government has taken some steps to do this, but more action is needed. We also strongly urge the government to adopt a model that supports local businesses for other regulated products such as Cannabis, as well.

About Stack Brewing
Stack Brewing officially opened its doors to the Sudbury community in June of 2013. Since then, Stack has won several provincial and national awards from the Ontario Brewing Awards and the Canadian Brewing Awards. Our brewery has gone through many expansions to meet the high demand for quality craft beer in Northern Ontario and has recently started to distribute product throughout Ontario.

With beers like Shatter Cone, La Cloche, Nickel City, Saturday Night, Panache and Valley Girl, it’s clear to see the branding represents everything that makes Northern Ontario cool, quirky, and unique. Check out Stack Brewery’s products on tap at your favourite pub, on the shelf at your local LCBO, Beer Store, and grocery store or visit the brewery at 1350 Kelly Lake Road in Sudbury.