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The Green Party of Canada is a Canadian Federal Political Party that advances a broad multi-issue political platform that reflect its core values of ecological wisdom, social justice, grassroots democracy and non-violence.
Updated: 1 hour 38 min ago

Leaders of the Green Party of Nova Scotia and Canada issue Joint Statement on the Northern Pulp Mill in Pictou County, Nova Scotia

4 hours 44 min ago

“We must work together with our Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal residents as we look for a long-term solution.” Nova Scotia Green Party Deputy Leader, Brynn Nheiley

“The argument that you have to choose between your health and a job is ridiculous…” Green Party of Canada Leader, Elizabeth May

(Ottawa) August 20th, 2014 – Nova Scotia Green Party Deputy Leader, Brynn Nheiley called on the Nova Scotia government to ensure compliance with all air quality and water quality standards at the Northern Pulp Mill in Pictou County and to take immediate steps to ensure the health and safety of residents living nearby. Federal Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May also called on the Federal Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose to conduct an independent epidemiological health study of the rates of cancer and other diseases in Pictou County.

“We are learning more and more that the health risks posed by the Northern Pulp mill are unacceptable,” stated Nova Scotia Green Party Deputy Leader, Brynn Nheiley. “This mill continues to operate under such conditions at the expense of all other industries and businesses in the region.  Immediate steps must be taken to bring this mill into compliance of established health and environmental regulations.”

“In collaboration with the Green Party of Canada, we call on this provincial government to enforce these regulations, designed to protect the health of its citizens, or impose significant penalties.”

“The notion that any community across Nova Scotia must choose between their jobs or their health and the health of their loved ones is false. We must work together with our Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal residents as we look for a long-term solution.”

Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada, supported the Nova Scotia Green Party’s call to ensure that the Northern mill be brought into compliance with existing environmental regulations, adding, “I am concerned about the ever-increasing health risks posed to those living near the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou County. Statements made by mill representatives, I believe, are designed to delay the need for action. This is unacceptable.”

“The argument that you have to choose between your health and a job is ridiculous. We know that other mills in Canada have successfully complied with environmental standards and are now economically viable operations.”

“We are working closely with the Nova Scotia Provincial Green Party and will assist in any way we can to help find a solution for the residents of Pictou County.”

For further information or to arrange interviews, contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications | Directeur des communications
t: 613.562.4916 (224) toll free | sans frais 1.866.868.3447
Green Party of Canada | Parti vert du Canada

 

Leaders of the Green Party of Nova Scotia and Canada issue Joint Statement on the Northern Pulp Mill in Pictou County, Nova Scotia

ELIZABETH MAY REACTS TO TRANSPORT CANADA’S FINAL REPORT ON LAC-MEGANTIC

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 19:43

"I call for a public inquiry to satisfy Canadians that everything is being done to protect them…” Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May.

(OTTAWA) - Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada issued the following statement regarding the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada release of its final report on the devastating train derailment in Lac-Megantic in 2013.  The tragic events lead to the loss of 47 lives and destroyed a significant portion of the downtown.  Over six million litres of crude oil were discharged into the area.

“I want to first begin by expressing my deepest sympathy to those who lost their loved ones to this terrible and senseless tragedy,” said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. “My heart goes out to you as you look for a way to cope with this terrible loss.  While nothing can bring them back, I hope we can learn from this to ensure that it never happens again.”

Since 2011, the Green Party has called for a Royal Commission into Railway Safety. 

“With the release of the TSB final report, action must be immediately taken to minimize the risk posed to Canadians as transportation by rail of dangerous goods through our cities and towns continues to grow rapidly,” added Deputy Green party Leader Bruce Hyer.  “The fact that very little has been done to improve rail safety following this tragedy, speaks to this Conservative Government’s belief that government should not play a significant role in safety - if it affects the bottom line of private sector companies.” 

“I call for a public inquiry to satisfy Canadians that everything is being done to protect them,” concluded Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May. “The recommendations brought forward today by the TSB are a first step. However, despite improvements brought in by Transport Minister Lisa Raitt in removing some of the DOT 111 rail cars, much more needs to be done.  We need to bring in a system that can stop or slow a train before certain accidents occur, such as positive train control technology, which is currently being implemented in the U.S.  

“A full public inquiry is needed to demonstrate the weak safety culture that exists in Canada today at the expense of Canadians.”  

(See attached backgrounder on findings from the Report)

For further information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
cell: (613) 614 4916
office: (613) 562 4916 (224)
julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

*****************************************

BACKGROUNDER:
Findings as to Causes and Contributing Factors:

MMA-002 was parked unattended on the main line, on a descending grade, with the securement of the train reliant on a locomotive that was not in proper operating condition.

· The 7 hand brakes that were applied to secure the train were insufficient to hold the train without the additional braking force provided by the locomotive’s independent brakes.

· No proper hand brake effectiveness test was conducted to confirm that there was sufficient retarding force to prevent movement, and no additional physical safety defences were in place to prevent the uncontrolled movement of the train.

· Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway did not provide effective training or oversight to ensure that crews understood and complied with rules governing train securement.

· Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway’s weak safety culture contributed to the continuation of unsafe conditions and unsafe practices, and compromised Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway’s ability to effectively manage safety.

· Despite being aware of significant operational changes at Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, Transport Canada did not provide adequate regulatory oversight to ensure the associated risks were addressed.

· Transport Canada Quebec Region did not follow up to ensure that recurring safety deficiencies at Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway were effectively analyzed and corrected, and consequently, unsafe practices persisted.

· The limited number and scope of safety management system audits that were conducted by Transport Canada Quebec Region, and the absence of a follow-up procedure to ensure Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway’s corrective action plans had been implemented, contributed to the systemic weaknesses in Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway’s safety management system remaining unaddressed.

Findings as to Risk:
· If there are no rules and regulations for single-person train operations, nor a requirement for Transport Canada to approve and monitor railways’ plans, then single-person trains may operate without all of the necessary defences in place.

· If systematic testing is not conducted on representative samples of petroleum crude oil at an appropriate frequency, there is an increased risk that these dangerous goods will be improperly classified.

· If not properly classified and documented, dangerous goods may be moved and handled incorrectly, increasing the risk of injury to people, and of damage to property and the environment.

· Without monitoring and effective enforcement of compliance with applicable classification provisions of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, there is a risk that improperly classified dangerous goods will enter the transportation system.

· If Class 111 tank cars that do not meet enhanced protection standards transport flammable liquids, there is an ongoing risk of product loss and significant damage to persons, property, and the environment when these cars are involved in accidents.

Other Findings:
· It could not be concluded whether single-person train operations contributed to the incorrect securement of the train or to the decision to leave the locomotive running at Nantes, Quebec, despite its abnormal condition.

· The petroleum crude oil being transported by the train was improperly classified; it was assigned packing group III (lowest hazard), despite meeting the criteria for packing group II.

ELIZABETH MAY REACTS TO TRANSPORT CANADA’S FINAL REPORT ON LAC-MEGANTIC

Green Party Voter Support holds Steady: Nanos Research Poll

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 14:40

(Ottawa) August 15, 2014 - In the latest poll released from Nanos Research, support for the Green Party of Canada continues to remain steady. The Nanos poll released on August 13, 2014 shows that 30% of Canadians would now consider voting for the Green Party.

 “I am very encouraged that 30% of Canadians are now considering voting for the Green Party of Canada,” stated Green Leader Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands.  “I am particularly satisfied that on average, over a twelve-month period, we have seen an increase in support and donations.”

The latest Nanos Party Power Index also shows that the Conservative Party has slid for fourth weeks in a row.  

The Nanos Party Power Index Tracking for Canada is based on the following public opinion measures: the national ballot, which party individuals would consider voting for, the top two choices for Prime Minister, and whether each party leader has good leadership qualities.  

“Canadians want to see MPs making decisions on behalf of their constituents in their riding, not on behalf of their party,” added Deputy Green Party Leader, Bruce Hyer, MP for Thunder Bay–Superior North. “I believe this is one of the reasons that voters are steadily turning to the Green Party because they know we are the only party that will put their interests first.”

Financial reports released by Elections Canada in August show that the Green Party raised $531,404 in the second quarter of 2014, representing a 67% increase over the same period in 2013.  Conversely, both the Liberals and Conservatives saw their revenues decline relative to the same period in 2013.

“Our fundraising success says to me that more and more Canadians in the next election will choose the Green Party’s politics of collaboration and cooperation instead of confrontation,” concluded Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May.


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For additional information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
cell: (613) 614 4916
office: (613) 562 4916 (224)
julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

Green Party Voter Support holds Steady: Nanos Research Poll

August 9 is International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

Sat, 08/09/2014 - 13:57

OTTAWA – On this the 21st annual UN International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, the Green Party of Canada joins with Greens from around the world in celebrating the diversity of Indigenous cultures and in calling for greater respect for Indigenous rights.

The theme for this year’s Indigenous Peoples Day is "Bridging the Gap: Implementing the Rights of Indigenous Peoples." 

“While we clearly have a long way to go on the road to reconciliation, this has definitely been a landmark year for the affirmation of the legal rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands.

Following more than 30 years of legal challenges, a groundbreaking Supreme Court of Canada decision on June 26th finally recognized the Tsilhqot’in First Nation’s legal title to more than 1,700 square kilometers of land in interior British Columbia.

The Court’s unanimous decision confirmed earlier case law and once again makes it clear that on land where First Nations have title, resource development cannot proceed without their consent. The decision has far-reaching implications for future resource development across Canada, and clarifies the nature of First Nations title. That title is “Collective” and “Intergenerational.”

Added May: “The Supreme Court of Canada’s recent ruling in favour of the Tsilhqot’in First Nation was a critical step in the right direction, and a victory for First Nations communities across this country. Now, all Canadians must move forward to even greater recognition and implementation of the legal rights of Indigenous peoples.”

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Contact: 

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

August 9 is International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples #IndigenousDay

Nanos Research Poll says 31% of Canadians are considering voting Green

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 18:50

OTTAWA – With the strongest second quarter fundraising growth of any federal political party and a new poll from Nanos Research indicating that 31% of Canadians would consider voting for the Greens, Party Leader Elizabeth May said today that the Green Party is poised to make significant gains in the coming election.

“The fact that more Canadians, over 31%, are now considering voting for the Green Party of Canada may be one reason that we have seen such a large increase in donations,” stated Green Leader Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands.

When potential voters were asked in the latest Nanos Poll whether they would consider or not consider voting for each of the federal political parties, 31 percent said that would consider voting for the Green Party.

Financial reports released by Elections Canada this past weekend show that the Green Party raised $531,404 in the second quarter of 2014, representing a 67% increase over the same period in 2013.  Conversely, both the Liberals and Conservatives saw their revenues decline relative to the same period in 2013.  

The party also saw significant growth in the number of donors contributing, with 7,546 donating to the party in second quarter of 2014 – an increase of 66% over the same period in 2013. 

“I believe this significant increase in donations, along with the increasing number of Canadians who are considering voting for the Green Party of Canada is a result of the growing frustration from voters who feel their MPs are no longer listening to them,” added Deputy Green Party Leader, Bruce Hyer, MP for Thunder Bay–Superior North. “Canadians are ready for change, and they will make that clear by voting Green in the next election.”

“The strength of our fundraising is another indicator that more and more Canadians are turning to the Green Party as a meaningful alternative to the other federal parties,” concluded Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May. “These quarterly results, coupled with the latest polling data show that our message is resonating with grassroots supporters, and that we are building momentum heading into 2015.” 

2014 fundraising numbers follow a very strong 2013 fundraising year, in which the Green Party of Canada saw revenue growth of 30%, and donor base growth of 52% compared to 2012. 

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Contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
julian.morelli@greenparty.ca 

New poll from @niknanos says 31% of Canadians are considering voting Green

Olympic Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed to run for Greens in West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 18:29

OTTAWA ­– Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands, is pleased to announce that Ken Melamed, former Mayor of Whistler, BC, has won the party nomination in West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country. Melamed has also been named the Green Party’s new Shadow Cabinet Critic for Finance.

An environmentalist, sustainability speaker and local small business owner, Melamed served on Whistler Municipal Council from 1996 to 2005, and as Mayor from 2005-2011. During his second term as Mayor, Melamed oversaw the community’s preparations for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Melamed also championed Whistler's Integrated Community Sustainability Plan, and First Nations Legacy Land Agreement. 

“With his strong leadership background and profound personal commitment to Green values, I know Ken will be a great representative for West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country,” said Ms. May. “I am also tremendously pleased that he will be joining our Shadow Cabinet team.”

“The Green Party shares my belief that an economy based on short-term exploitation of our natural resources cannot provide long-term prosperity,” said Melamed. “I look forward to working with other Green MPs to build a truly resilient economy that benefits all of us.”

May also extended thanks to Michael Maser for his spirited campaign in the West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country Green Party nomination contest.

"There's no question that Michael ran a great campaign, and I am so grateful for all his hard work and dedication," said Ms. May. "I know he will continue be an integral part of our team as we work to send more Greens to Ottawa in 2015."

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Contact:

Julian Morelli
Communications Coordinator
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

Olympic Mayor @KenMelamed to run for Greens in West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country

Why I am marching

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 00:32

This article was primarily written for an international audience, but I thought Canadian Greens might want to join me too!

On Sunday September 21 I will be with my daughter in New York, marching with tens of thousands of concerned citizens – demanding action on the climate crisis. The march is timed to build pressure on world leaders and in support of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Climate Solutions Summit on September 23.

In December 2013, I was in Warsaw at the 19th Conference of the Parties within the world’s legally binding climate treaty, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change when the Secretary General announced the summit. He wants to push governments to make real progress.

Negotiations for meaningful climate action – held every year since the early 1990s – are moving at a snail’s pace. One step forward, two-steps back. The so-called global “leaders,” the rich countries of the world, hope lip service will be enough to satisfy their citizens. The real laggards, such as the prime minister of my country, hope that action can be delayed to protect fossil fuel profits. Ban Ki-moon, knowing the deadline for the next treaty is only a bit more than a year away (December 2015 at COP21) called on leaders to come to the United Nations headquarters in New York this September to share solutions. He was clear in Warsaw. On current levels of effort, we will fail our children. We will miss all targets and run the risk of ever-accelerating, catastrophic global warming. We need real leadership. We need countries to step up.

Ever since the disastrous world gathering in 2009 in Copenhagen, I have felt as though the international climate movement has been in a state of post-traumatic stress disorder. The dashing of hopes. The cop-outs and sell-outs from around the world turned the climate movement back inward: Forget “global.” Let’s work at local levels for change.

But we cannot afford to forget the global. We must exert every effort to achieve the kind of meaningful treaty that protected the ozone layer (the 1987 Montreal Protocol). We need to re-engage.

People ask why as a federal member of the Canadian Parliament I feel I need to march. I attend the United Nations COP every year (the only MP to do so other than the Minister of Environment representing the Canadian government’s drive to sabotage climate action). I am leader of a federal political party – the Green Party. And I have a seat in the House of Commons on behalf of my constituents in Saanich-Gulf Islands, British Columbia.

I have a strong voice. I have other venues and actions I can take….so why march?

The world media will not take note, the governments of the world will not take note, other politicians will not take note of the climate crisis as long as they can find other issues and distractions. We must have a massive public mobilization that demands that governments everywhere plan and begin the transition off fossil fuels.

So why march?

Nothing wakes up a society like a public movement. Marches led by the Rev. Martin Luther King ended segregation. Marches led to the end of the War in Vietnam. Taking to the streets won women the vote and mobilized the pressure that led to Nelson Mandela being released from a South African prison and for the fall of the Berlin Wall. None of those things were viewed as possible – until they happened.

So my daughter and I will get on the train from Montreal to Manhattan. We will march in a mass of humanity, the human river of protest that has made its way for so many causes through the canyons of New York skyscrapers demanding change.

I will march because in the end, it’s not the politicians that make the change the world needs. As Gus Speth once said, “Politicians ride the waves. People’s movements make the waves.”

Come to New York. March for climate sanity. We need you.


Why I am marching

Greens' Q2 fundraising gains the largest of any federal party

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 22:14

Financial reports released by Elections Canada over the weekend show that the Green Party has the strongest fundraising growth of any Canadian political party.

The GPC raised $531,404 in the second quarter of 2014, representing a 67% increase over the same period in 2013. 

The party also saw significant growth in the number of donors contributing, with 7,546 donating to the party in second quarter of 2014 – an increase of 66% over the same period in 2013. 

The Green Party's robust fundraising gains come at the same time as both the Liberals and Conservatives saw their revenues decline relative to the second quarter of 2013.

“The strength of our fundraising is just another indicator that more and more Canadians are turning to the Green Party as a meaningful alternative to the other federal parties,” said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. “These quarterly results show that our message is resonating with grassroots supporters, and that we are building momentum heading into the coming election.” 

The 2014 fundraising numbers follow a very strong 2013 fundraising year, in which the Green Party of Canada saw revenue growth of 30%, and donor base growth of 52% compared to 2012. 

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Contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
julian.morelli@greenparty.ca 

Greens' Q2 fundraising gains the largest of any federal party

Mount Polley Mine disaster should be a wake-up call

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 21:01

OTTAWA – Following the catastrophic tailings pond spill that took place Monday at the Imperial Metals Mount Polley Copper Mine, the Green Party of Canada is calling for far more stringent safety requirements and a comprehensive review of tailings ponds across Canada.

"The disaster at Imperial is a stark reminder that inspections and enforcement procedures must be strengthened,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands.

“It is not good enough to know that Imperial was warned – A watchdog cannot be toothless. There are literally tens of thousands of square kilometres of tailings ponds across Canada – They require regular maintenance and inspections, and an adaptation plan to deal with the increased risk of deluge rain events due to climate change" 

An estimated 10 billion litres of highly toxic wastewater and 4.5 million cubic metres of contaminated sand were released into Polley Lake in the BC interior following a tailings pond breach at the nearby Imperial Metals Mount Polley Copper Mine. The breach has been described as the single largest environmental disaster in BC history.

“Mercifully, this was a relatively dry summer in the North Cariboo region – if water levels had been higher, this disaster could have been much worse,” added May. “As extreme weather events become the new normal, we must either ensure that Canada’s tailings ponds are prepared for higher levels of rainfall, or face the devastating consequences of inaction.”

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Contact: 

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

Mount Polley Mine disaster should be a wake-up call #mining #mtpolley

August 6th is Hiroshima Day

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 16:03

OTTAWA – On this the 69th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, the Green Party of Canada joins Green parties worldwide in calling for global nuclear disarmament. 

On this day in 1945, more than 100,000 civilians were instantly killed by the atomic bomb blast in Hiroshima. On August 9, 1945, a further 60,000 people were killed in the bombing of Nagasaki. Tens of thousands more died later from exposure to the radiation. 

“Each year on Hiroshima Day, we reflect on the unimaginable dangers of nuclear weapons, and we reaffirm our commitment to making nuclear disarmament a reality,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands.

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Contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
Julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

August 6th is Hiroshima Day

Statement from Paul Estrin, President of the Green Party of Canada

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 00:14

Today Paul Estrin issued the following statement regarding his resignation as President of the Green Party of Canada:
 

I am proud of all the successes and achievements made during my term as President of the Green Party of Canada.

I never intended to create confusion or have any of my actions negatively impact the Party. 

Therefore, I tender my resignation, effective immediately.

Sincerely,


Paul Estrin


Contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications,
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
Julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

Statement from Paul Estrin, President of the Green Party of Canada

Greens support medical treatment in Canada for 100 wounded Gazan children

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 17:05

OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada supports the humanitarian campaign led by Palestinian-Canadian Dr. Izzeldin Abeylaish to bring 100 seriously wounded Gaza children to Canada for medical treatment. 

“Dr. Abeylaish has demonstrated tremendous leadership. Can our elected leaders match it? This mission to save innocent children is both humbling and inspirational. I urge the federal government to support this most urgent campaign,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich­–Gulf Islands.

“Hatred strips us of our dignity and humanity, both for those who wield it and those afflicted by its wrath,” said Green Party of Canada Peace and Security Critic Ronnie Smith. “These children have names, faces, and families, just like you and I do. Canada is well situated to provide such humanitarian aid, but this government has painted us into a diplomatic corner in terms of the Israel Palestine conflict.” 

 

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Contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
Julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

 

Greens support medical treatment in Canada for 100 wounded Gazan children #Heal100kids #Gaza

Staking the moral high ground – why the Green Party exists

Sat, 08/02/2014 - 15:50

What follows is my original piece rebutting the National Post editorial. The NP editors requested cuts and changes which I accepted. Still, on reflection, the edits lost much content, particularly in explaining my vote against bombing Libya. I offer it here, unedited, for a fuller explanation.

In a catalogue of alleged failings of the Green Party of Canada, (editorial July 30, 2014) the most absurd claim is that of moral relativism. We are the only party left in Canada to have principles and stick to them.

The Conservatives were once thought of as a party of fiscal responsibility, yet Stephen Harper has added to the national debt and expanded the size of government. His promises of accountability are buried under scandals of the culture of entitlement he once decried.

The New Democrats once championed the poor and down-trodden, but now clamor to appeal to the middle class calling not for guaranteed annual income, but for lower banking fees.

The Liberals stand less condemned, if only because their approach to principle was always pretty flexible – big tent and all. Still, the support for the Keystone and Kinder Morgan pipelines while opposing Enbridge suggests polling as a basis for position.

The Green Party of Canada, along with Green parties around the world, stand on six global green values: participatory democracy, social justice, ecological wisdom, non-violence, sustainability, and respect for diversity.

In the context of conflicts around the world, we are anything but moral relativists. The reason I was the only Member of Parliament in June 2011 to vote against the continued aerial bombardment of Libya was that Green principles of non-violence and promotion of a culture of peace made voting for bombing impossible. There were peace talks rejected as we joined the side of those calling for Gadafi’s head. It was clear when Parliament voted to keep up the bombing that the side we supported included al-Qaida-linked extremists. It was clear that warehouses full of munitions would flood into other countries and lead to greater instability, loss of life and chaos. It was clear that shifting our mission statement from Responsibility to Protect (R2P) innocent civilians to regime change would cost us down the road and remove the possibility of relying on the R2P doctrine to intervene in Syria.

In the case of the current Israel-Gaza conflict, it is critical that positions be based on international law. Pursuing peace cannot be discarded as unrealistic. It should be possible for all Canadian political parties to condemn Hamas as a terrorist organization and to demand it cease its shelling of Israel. It should be possible for all other political leaders to continue to press for a two-state solution, one that defends the right of the State of Israel to exist, but equally calls for a secure Palestinian state. It is simply not credible to take the stance of all three other leaders (Messrs Harper, Mulcair and Trudeau) that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s siege of Gaza is legal and meets humanitarian standards. It does not. The death toll among Gaza’s civilians provokes the conscience of the world. Hamas is to blame for provocation, but to imagine that Israel is blameless is untenable.

We are the only party that bases our decisions on evidence. That is why we may take positions ahead of the “group-think” curve, calling for caution on newer technologies while others throw caution to the wind. We have been consistent about climate policies, while other parties treat the greatest threat to our children’s future as “flavour of the month.”

Our budgetary plans are based on a thorough examination of the sources of revenue, macro and micro-economic impact of policy. We are the only party to prepare election platforms that have been thoroughly costed over a three year horizon. We were the only party to submit our budget to the Parliamentary Budget Office to ask for verification that our numbers added up. (They did.)

We have been the most accountable in office of any MPs. I was the first MP to post all my expenses (original receipts) on line. Now Bruce Hyer, Green MP from Thunder Bay-Superior North does as well. We have pushed other parties to greater levels of accountability.

The biggest reason that Canada needs to Green Party is that we are the only party fighting to restore real democracy by reducing the power of political parties themselves. We need to tear down the bloated Prime Minister’s Office. We must reduce the unhealthy top-down control that turns good people, elected as MPs, into little more than ciphers. We are the only party that wants to eliminate the excessive hyper-partisanship of modern political debate and replace it with respectful dialogue to find common ground. We will make it a priority to replace the perverse first past the post voting system with fair proportional representation.

We will elect more Green MPs in the next federal election, forging consensus across party lines and working for the people who elected us. I appreciate that your editorialists would like it if all Canadian political parties kow-towed to “group think. We never will. And for that reason alone, more Canadians are turning to the Greens to give them reason to believe in the possibility of responsible government.

Elizabeth May, O.C., is the leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands. Her eighth book, “Who we are: Reflections on my life and Canada” (Greystone Books) will be released in October 2014.

Staking the moral high ground – why the Green Party exists

Statement from the President of the Green Party of Canada

Sat, 08/02/2014 - 00:30

Green Party President, Paul Estrin, today issued the following statement clarifying recent statements made on the Israel–Gaza conflict. (Backgrounder attached) 

Dear Green Party members and supporters, 

As many of you know, I recently posted a blog I titled “Why Gaza makes me sad” on the members' section of the Green Party of Canada website.

My intention was to give my personal viewpoint to our members in the spirit of dialogue.

Some have mistaken my personal views to be the perspective of the Party and our Leader. Neither is true.

I apologize for not including a disclaimer to make it clear that the views expressed are my own and not the official position of the Green Party of Canada.

Sincerely,

Paul Estrin
President
Green Party of Canada

Backgrounder

Official Green Party motion passed by the Green Party membership at the 2014 Convention on July 20, 2014 and forms official Green Party Policy on the Israel-Gaza conflict.  Excerpt on Israel-Gaza conflict from Elizabeth May's 2014 Convention Keynote Address.

G14-P58 Israel – Gaza Conflict

Be it resolved that the GPC urges the immediate cessation of hostilities between Israel and Palestine. The GPC will adopt a posture of engaged neutrality, opening all available diplomatic avenues in both Palestine and Israel to press for a peaceful resolution to the conflict consistent with the GPC’s commitment to justice and custom of speaking truth to power.

Excerpt: Elizabeth May, keynote address to GPC Convention, July 19, 2014

"I want to at least touch on what’s happening right now in Israel and Gaza, and the Palestinian people and the Israeli people and say, from the bottom of my heart, that Israeli children and Palestinian children have an equal right to be free of bombardment."

"And I condemn Hamas as a terrorist organization for sending missiles into Israel, but the Israeli retaliation and the invasion of Gaza violates international law and humanitarian norms, and any Prime Minister of Canada worth his or her salt would say that as a friend and ally of Israel, “you’ve gone too far - you must move to peace talks.”

Statement from the President of the Green Party of Canada

Excerpt on Israel-Gaza conflict from Elizabeth May's 2014 Convention Keynote Address

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 13:18

"I want to at least touch on what’s happening right now in Israel and Gaza, and the Palestinian people and the Israel people and say, from the bottom of my heart, that Israeli children and Palestinian children have an equal right to be free of bombardment."

"And I condemn Hamas as a terrorist organization for sending missiles into Israel, but the Israeli retaliation and the invasion of Gaza violates international law and humanitarian norms, and any Prime Minister of Canada worth his or her salt would say that as a friend and ally of Israel, “you’ve gone too far - you must move to peace talks.”

- Elizabeth May, July 19, 2014

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The following motion was passed by the Green Party membership at the 2014 Convention on July 20, 2014 and forms official Green Party Policy on the Israel-Gaza conflict.

G14-P58 Israel – Gaza Conflict
Be it resolved that the GPC urges the immediate cessation of hostilities between Israel and Palestine. The GPC will adopt a posture of engaged neutrality, opening all available diplomatic avenues in both Palestine and Israel to press for a peaceful resolution to the conflict consistent with the GPC’s commitment to justice and custom of speaking truth to power.

************************************************

Contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
Julian.morelli@greenparty.ca


Excerpt on Israel-Gaza conflict from Elizabeth May's 2014 Convention Keynote Address

Greens conclude successful 2014 Convention

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 14:22

FREDERICTON -- As the Green Party of Canada's 2014 Convention draws to a close, Greens from across Canada celebrate a productive weekend of rebuilding Canadian democracy.

Hundreds of Green delegates gathered in Fredericton from July 18 to 20 for policy debates, workshops, and speeches from special guests including former Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page and world-renowned climate scientist Tom Duck.

"This was a great weekend for grassroots democracy," said Green Leader Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands. "The ideas that we discussed and the policy resolutions that were passed will be crucial in guiding our party toward the next election."

Green delegates voted strongly in favour of policy proposals calling for responsible economic growth, expanding environmental protection, and strengthening Canadian democracy. Delegates rejected a motion to weaken the party’s anti-GMO stance, and reaffirmed the party’s support for dairy supply management. The party also formally adopted a prohibition of whipped votes for Green MPs.

"The energy at this Convention has been remarkable," said Green Deputy Leader Bruce Hyer, MP for Thunder Bay–Superior North. "Our party has never been stronger, and we draw our strength from the grassroots. As we look ahead to the coming federal election, we can be proud of everything that we have accomplished together."

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Contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
Julian.morelli@greenparty.ca


  Greens conclude successful 2014 Convention #GPC14

Greens call for federal intervention to save NB Morgentaler Clinic

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 15:11
Fredericton - Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich Gulf Islands, today urges federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose to intervene to defend women's rights in New Brunswick.

With the province's Morgentaler clinic closing tomorrow, New Brunswick women are on the verge of losing access to safe, legal abortion.

"It is completely unacceptable that women's health and safety should be put at risk in this way," said May. "I call on the federal and provincial governments to take immediate action to ensure that women's rights are protected."

May and Green Deputy Leader Bruce Hyer will join New Brunswick Green Party Leader David Coon at the Choix NB Choice Save the Clinic rally at the New Brunswick Legislature today at noon.

"This is a crisis for the women of New Brunswick," said Coon. "Premier Always has a responsibility to intervene and ensure that Horizon Health Network takes over the operation of this essential clinic."

 

Contact:

Nicholas Gall
Communications Coordinator
Green Party of Canada
(613) 294 3034
nicholas.gall@greenparty.ca 

Greens call for federal intervention to save NB Morgentaler Clinic #SaveTheClinic #NBProChoice

Greens to hold national Convention in Fredericton to chart course to 2015

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 16:04

(OTTAWA) July 16, 2014 – Hundreds of Green Party members from across Canada will come together in Fredericton New Brunswick this weekend, July 18-20 for the Green Party of Canada’s 2014 Convention.

From July 18 to 20, Convention delegates from coast to coast will vote on policy resolutions, participate in campaign workshops, and hear from guest speakers including former Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page, Samara Canada Chairman and co-founder Michael MacMillan, and world-renowned climate scientist Tom Duck. Policy debates will include the current situation in Gaza, the issue of physician-assisted suicide and how to structure the carbon tax.

“We have achieved so much since our 2012 Convention in Sidney, from passing the first-ever Green legislation in the House of Commons, dealing with the growing threat of Lyme disease, being the only opposition party to participate in global climate negotiations, to putting forward hundreds of amendments to help ensure that Canadians are well represented,” stated Green Party of Canada Leader, Elizabeth May and Member of Parliament (MP) for Saanich–Gulf Islands.  “This Convention is also an opportunity to celebrate all that we’ve accomplished together as we prepare for the next federal election.”

“Over the coming days, we will have a conversation about our shared vision for Canada’s future, and how we can work together to make that vision a reality,” said Green Deputy Leader Bruce Hyer, MP for Thunder Bay–Superior North. “There’s never been a more exciting time to be a Green.” 

"It is an enormous privilege to serve my constituents from Saanich-Gulf Islands in the House of Commons.  Bruce Hyer and I attempt to prove every day that MPs can effectively represent their constituents, without mindlessly toeing a party line.  Gathering with our members from across Canada is another way we show how the Greens differ from other parties.  Our grassroots is our highest level of authority. We have practical realistic goals to create a more dynamic, sustainable economy with greater employment for all Canadians. The Green Party principles are crystal clear – all governments must be accountable to its citizens and that is not what is happening today.” 

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To schedule an interview with Elizabeth May or Bruce Hyer, please contact:

Julian Morelli                  
Director of Communications             
Green Party of Canada                      
(613) 614 4916                                 
julian.morelli@greenparty.ca         

Greens to hold national Convention in Fredericton to chart course to 2015

How not to protect the lives of sex trade workers

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 23:35

The ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada was pretty clear in the Bedford case. The laws were preventing women (and men) in the business of selling sex from being unacceptably vulnerable to violence and murder.  We only need to remember the horrors of the Pickton hog farm to know that we were systematically failing the most marginal in our society.  The Supreme Court told Parliament to fix our laws to keep sex trade workers safe.

Instead, Bill C-36 makes their lives more precarious than before the Bedford decision. 

A few points need to be stressed:  The trade in human misery known as “human trafficking” is vile and must end.  We need to step up criminal resources, social programmes, and help for those who have, essentially, been enslaved.  That is why I am a donor to the Joy Smith Foundation.  The foundation, and my friend Joy Smith, do important work to rescue those who have been ensnared in this modern-day slave trade.

While it is true that there is some overlap between prostitution and human trafficking, the legal remedies are separate and distinct.  It is by conflating them that we end up with the idea that we can protect people from human trafficking by criminalizing prostitution. 

We do need greater investment in addiction counselling.  We need more robust funding for social services to help those driven to prostitution by economic deprivation.  The Green Party’s call for a Guaranteed Liveable Income would be a huge benefit and would ensure that extreme poverty did not rob children of good beginnings.

But C-36 sets out to end prostitution.  As pro C-36 witness Eric Jolliffe, the Chief of Police for the York Regional Police, testified at committee:

 "We appreciate the government's efforts to abolish prostitution."

As if such a thing were possible.  There is a reason it is referred to as the world’s oldest profession.  And it is by increasing the criminalization of the business of being in the sex trade that the bill fails to meet the challenge that was put before us by the Supreme Court: protect the lives of women by not driving the activity (no matter how much our moral compass might wish it eradicated) into increasingly dangerous shadows. 

On June 12th, my friend, and near seatmate in the House, Sean Casey of Charlottetown, gave a very clear analysis.  I am reproducing part of his speech from Hansard here:

“Sadly, Bill C-36 has as much, or more, in common with the prohibitionist approach in force in Albania, Croatia and Russia.

“In Russia, brothels are illegal. Under Bill C-36, they would also be illegal in Canada. In Russia, living on the avails of prostitution is illegal. Under Bill C-36, this would also be illegal in Canada. In Russia, buying sex is illegal. Under Bill C-36, this would also be illegal in Canada.

“In Russia, selling sex is illegal. Under Bill C-36, except for a few narrow exceptions, it will also be illegal in Canada. Selling sex will be illegal in public, it will be illegal near places where children may be, and it will be illegal with underage prostitutes. The differences between the Russian approach and this so-called made-in-Canada approach are relatively minor. I wonder if those present find it somewhat troubling that a country with Russia's human rights record has a regime governing this social issue that is so close to the legislation before the House today.”

I turned to him when he finished his speech and asked if we had now created, not a “Made in Canada” approach, but a “Made in Moscow” approach.  Not the Nordic model, not the New Zealand model, but the Putin approach, with the add-on of an inadequate fund of $20 million to help prostitutes leave the work of selling sex.  All the while flying directly in the face of evidence and of the clear Charter imperative to keep the bill constitutional.  Like many bills before it that have been forced through the House, C-36 will fail before the Supreme Court of Canada.  By then, I fear that the cynical political operatives who have crafted C-36 – not to meet the challenge of the court, but to create yet another divisive wedge issue – will have used the bill as an election tactic.  For the first time, I believe the Conservative political machine is prepared to take the chance on women dying so that they can drive more votes their way.

For shame.         

How not to protect the lives of sex trade workers - New blog post from @ElizabethMay #c36 #cdnpoli

Greens call on Israeli and Palestinian leadership to end hostilities and protect civilians

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 20:24

“We need to immediately put a stop to this terrible cycle of violence which is killing innocent Israeli and Palestinian children.” – Elizabeth May

(OTTAWA)  July 11, 2014 – Green Party of Canada Leader, Elizabeth May and Member of Parliament for Saanich–Gulf Islands calls on both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to put an immediate end to the escalating violence in the Gaza strip and Israel.

“We need to immediately put a stop to this terrible cycle of violence which is killing innocent Israeli and Palestinian children,” stated Elizabeth May.

The past few days have seen the deaths of approximately 100 Palestinians in the Gaza strip, the majority of whom have been civilians and have included entire families. The Green Party of Canada is deeply concerned about potential violations of international humanitarian law by both sides in the conflict, including the punitive demolitions of the homes of Hamas leaders, and the targeting of civilians in Israel by rockets fired from the Gaza strip.

“As an outside observer one cannot comprehend the emotional potency of the conflict between Israel and Palestine; however, policy derived from anger is misplaced and will lead to more violence,” said Ronnie Smith, Green Party Peace and Security Critic. “The mutual escalations and potential violations of international law must be condemned by the world with equal ferocity. My thoughts and prayers are with civilians in both Israel and Palestine who are caught in up in this violent retaliatory cycle and yearn for peace.”

“What history has repeatedly shown us is that the only way to end this violence and come to a long-term, peaceful and equitable solution is through meaningful dialogue," concluded Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. "Revenge is never a substitute or a solution to ending violence.  I call on both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to step back and immediately end any further escalation of military action before we witness the inevitable and horrific loss of many more lives.” 

With the people of Israel and Palestine still mourning the deaths of the senselessly murdered Palestinian and three Israeli teenagers, the last thing the region needs is to be engulfed in yet another war. The Green Party of Canada calls for the immediate cessation of hostilities and the return to negotiations for the establishment of a lasting peace under a two state solution.

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For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
(613) 614 4916
Julian.morelli@greenparty.ca

Greens call on Israeli and Palestinian leadership to end hostilities and protect civilians #Gaza

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