Message from the NIPR Greens
It’s hard to believe it’s November. We’ve been dealing with COVID-19 for what feels like a very long time, and we’re all weary of it. One of the main effects for groups like ours is the inability to have in-person meetings and events. I think it’s safe to say many of us now know more about Zoom than we ever thought possible.
And speaking of Zoom, it’s time for our …
This year the AGM has to be virtual. The good news is that this means people can join us electronically who wouldn’t be able to make the journey to attend in person. Our meeting will be in two parts. Well, it will be two Zoom meetings, actually.
The first part will be the business portion of the AGM, which will be open only to voting members of the Green Party of Canada. A voting member is one who has been a member in good standing for 30 days. So, you must have gotten your membership by October 15 in order to attend. Normally our AGMs are open to anyone interested with only members allowed to vote. In an in-person AGM, members have to sign in, so that we can verify they are members, and voting members get voting cards. Because we have to do this on Zoom, we have no way of verifying the people who vote are actually voting members, so we are having to restrict attendance to verified members.
WHEN: Saturday, November 14, 2-3 pm. (We are going to open the meeting at 1:30 if anyone wants to join us just to chat and reconnect, but the business portion begins at 2 o’clock.)
Once you have registered, you will automatically receive a link to attend the meeting. Your membership status will be verified after you’ve registered. If you are, in fact, not a member, your registration will be cancelled.
The second meeting will be open to the public, and will feature special guest Annamie Paul, who became the new leader of the Green Party of Canada (GPC) in September. Annamie is GPC’s first new leader in 13 years, and NIPR is thrilled to have her as our guest. As an added bonus, Annamie is going to be joined by the women who ran provincially in the three ridings that are part of the federal North Island-Powell River (NIPR) riding): Gillian Anderson (Courtenay-Comox), Alexandra Morton (North Island) (not yet confirmed), and Kim Darwin (Powell River-Sunshine Coast).
WHEN: Saturday, November 14, 3-4 pm. (You will have to leave the first meeting and join the second meeting.)
New Volunteers Needed
This may be the last newsletter for a while. Megan Ardyche, who has been the Communications Director since 2017, is stepping down. If you’d like to keep the connection with our supporters and subscribers going, get in touch with the EDA. Better yet, attend the AGM (and sign up there).
Toronto Centre By-Election
Annamie Paul, the new Green Party of Canada (GPC) leader, ran in this by-election immediately after winning the GPC leadership race. She had run in the same riding last time but her vote count increased by a staggering amount this time around.
“On Monday, [Marci] Ien took 42 per cent of the Toronto Centre vote — a precipitous 15-point drop from the result garnered last fall by former finance minister Bill Morneau, who resigned abruptly in August amid reports of tensions with Trudeau over massive spending on pandemic relief measures and the fallout from the WE Charity affair. Paul, meanwhile, soared to a close second with almost 33 per cent of the vote — more than quadrupling the meagre seven per cent she won in Toronto Centre during the general election.” Read more.
Paul had called on Justin Trudeau to postpone this by-election because of the rampant COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, and the merits of that call would seem to be supported by the abysmally low voter turnout - just 30.96% of registered voters. But Paul and her team ran a strong campaign. A CP24 article quotes Paul as saying, ““Everyone that wants to know what is the independent progressive option, you know in politics today, it is the Green Party who is going to show up, even in the middle of a pandemic, and make sure that there is a real option for real representation that is going to put people first.”
Paul’s close second in Toronto Centre supports the idea that Greens can impact the direction of public policy even when they’re not in power. Given the similarities between Paul and Ien - both Black women, both children of immigrants - one could speculate that the Liberal Party chose a candidate specifically to run opposite Paul. And when you consider the comments Ien chose to make publicly, it is proof that Annamie Paul’s strong campaign and strong positions on poverty, homelessness, housing crisis, opioid crisis etc. will drive Ien’s policies. At least we hope she will make good on her promises. Ien said that, “her first priority for the riding will be housing, with winter fast approaching and many people displaced because of the pandemic. We know that people need help. We’re going to continue to do that. And we also know that winter’s coming. We know that too and we know that we’ve got people that are in the streets right now.”
Have a listen to Annamie Paul in an interview the morning after the election. “The Green Party is the most progressive party in Canadian politics. The Greens were the only party to see an increase in votes in this election.”
It feels odd to be profiling Annamie Paul as leader of the Green Party of Canada (GPC), after spending so long profiling Elizabeth May. But change is good. There are many interviews with Annamie to choose from. She was recently on a webinar with The Pearson Centre, talking about multilateralism and the future of Canada. She was again on The Agenda with Steve Palkin. She was recently in conversation with Perry Bellegarde, National Chief, Assembly of First Nations. Bellegarde’s post says, “Almost the first words in new Green Party leader Annamie Paul’s victory speech, spoke of solidarity with Canada’s First Nations: “As the descendant of the black diaspora who has suffered its own history of oppression and colonialism, I will always stand with indigenous peoples and their calls to action, and their calls to justice and their fight for self-determination and sovereignty.””
Those of us who live in BC may not be aware that she sponsored a petition to end open-ocean fish farms. Those of us who are queer may not know she sponsored a petition to end the Canadian Blood Services homophobic blood ban.
On November 4, Annamie will be in conversation with Paul Wells of Macleans Magazine. The conversations will be broadcast on the Maclean’s Facebook page as well as at macleans.ca/live on Nov. 4 at 4 p.m. PT.
And coming Sunday, November 8, 4 pm Pacific, Annamie Paul and Elizabeth May will be joining Fair Vote Canada for a discussion on Making Democracy Work. REGISTER HERE
We are still getting to know Annamie Paul. That’s why the Greens of North Island-Powell River (NIPR) are so excited that she is joining us for our AGM on November 14, 3-4 pm Pacific time. Register here to join us. You don’t need to be a member of the Green Party to attend.
Some stats*: The BC Greens…
Here’s the source I’m using.
* These numbers will be different once the 600,000+ mail-in ballots are counted early in November.
In the three ridings that are part of the NIPR federal riding (Courtenay-Comox, North Island and Powell River-Sunshine Coast), with mail-in ballots still to be counted the results are:
Darwin 34% (second place)
This newsletter requested a short report from all three ‘local’ campaigns.
The recent snap election broke the Confidence and Supply agreement which had provided BC with stable governance for 3 years. No apology was forthcoming from the NDP. The writ was dropped just one week after Sonia Furstenau was elected as leader of the BC Greens. Despite these disadvantages, the BC Greens Courtenay-Comox campaign was considered successful.
Gillian Anderson stepped up at short notice to be our candidate and did an excellent job. As she has said, “In the face of the increasing threat of climate change, and the massive loss of biodiversity and
habitat in BC, the BC Greens will continue to hold the government accountable to ensure they improve their record of environmental protection, and create healthy and safe communities”.
Around 80 volunteers worked diligently to campaign safely and effectively. Their work was much appreciated. As one person wrote, “I was on the fence about which party I was going to vote for this
election. I have to applaud your approach to campaigning in the Comox Valley. While other parties littered the streets with ridiculous amounts of signs and giant billboards you lined the streets with
enthusiastic people wearing green shirts and smiles. I saw so many groups of Green Party supporters cheering on street corners over this last few weeks. Their enthusiasm made me smile each time I drove past. Seeing them so consistently made me want to learn more about the Green Party and led to me to vote for you in this election.”
In the absence of door to door canvassing, the Waves that supporter refers to above were important. New signs appeared, such as “Bonnie not Johnny” and “Green is the New Orange.” Volunteers and drivers seemed to enjoy the effort. Spontaneous dancing was difficult to control. More seriously, current results show the BC Green vote increasing in the riding, from 18.36% in 2017 to 21.38% at the time of writing. Admittedly there are likely around 10,000 more votes yet to be counted, indicating what an extraordinary campaign this was.
Anyone who is interested in being part of the Courtenay–Comox Riding Association’s continuing expansion and fun should get in contact at https://www.bcgreens.ca/crc.
Powell River-Sunshine Coast
Kim Darwin’s campaign was readied by the active, Powell River/Sunshine Coast Riding Association that has been in existence since late 2017. In 2013, the previous candidate received 12% of the vote. In 2017, Kim received 24%, and in 2020 she received 34% of the vote.
The 2020 campaign was driven by 83 volunteers and many generous donors. We are curious to see what inroads she made in the Powell River area of the riding this time as a result of a concerted effort to have a presence for at least 2 days a week during the whole 2020 campaign. Huge thanks go out to Susan Short and others who suited up and showed up in all the ways that matter when Kim was “in town”, and to Tom Read for the event he organized on Texada Island. Elena Martin graciously hosted Kim for each visit in her separate suite, so precious donations were not wasted on a motel.
Sadly it was hard to do a listening canvass during a snap, month-long, pandemic campaign, but Kim took the BC Green tent with her on each trip to PR, and had a “pop-up office” in varying locations that were advertised on FB ahead of time so people could pick up signs, bumper stickers, chat with Kim, etc.
We are of course pleased with the increase in votes, but it is just not fast enough. A full campaign debrief will happen in the next couple of weeks and we would really welcome input from Powell River Greens as to how to engage more volunteers there for next time to increase the Green votes and send a Green MLA to Victoria from our provincial riding.
Alexandra Morton’s campaign didn’t have a chance to get us a report by the time this newsletter went out. Alexandra got strong support from some of the First Nations community, which was great to see. There were a number of people working hard on her campaign, despite the daunting challenge of the vast reach of the riding. Two members of the NIPR Executive, Mark de Bruijn and Carol Thatcher, worked on Alex’s team and they said the energy among the volunteers was amazing. They seemed energized at the end of the campaign, rather than exhausted!
One of NIPR’s strategic objectives was to work with the provincial Greens to ensure a BC Greens MLA. Of course, that was when we expected the next provincial election would be in October 2021! No one was expecting Premier Horgan to break his own commitment to maintain government until that time, or to violate the legislation he himself brought in, which mandated fixed election dates. But, like the BC Greens, we rallied to the task at hand. We are so happy to report that all of your NIPR Executive members were very active in ALL THREE of the provincial campaigns mentioned above!
Here is Sonia Furstenau’s statement on the BC election results. Then she immediately got back to work and released a statement on BC’s new COVID-19 numbers and the orders coming from Bonnie Henry.
This is from Elizabeth May’s Good Sunday Morning:
The dreaded TMX pipeline had a very bad week indeed. Poor engineering has stalled construction near Kamloops. The company – our tax dollars at work – was trying to directionally drill under the Secwepemcetkwe ( as it is known to the Secwepemc people on whose territory the construction is taking place) or Thompson River when something went wrong. HTTPS://CFJCTODAY.COM/
In a press release from the Secwepemc Land Defence, former TMX engineer Romilly Cavanaugh explained: “Horizontal directional drilling is a very costly process requiring numerous pieces of heavy equipment and a large number of personnel. TMX’s failure this week to install a new pipe beneath the Thompson River will result in significant additional costs, and likely a delay in the project completion date. Redoing the crossing will easily double or even triple the costs at this work site, and a second attempt may go the same way as the first.”
But, the pipeline is in the national interest, of course, and all of us pesky opponents should just accept the inevitable— not actually. Energy expert David Hughes wrote a blistering report for Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives- chock full of those things that TMX supporters loathe – facts.
The report Reassessment of Need for the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project makes it abundantly clear that the previously non-existent case for the pipeline is now even worse. Andrew Nikiforuk did a great job in The Tyee laying out the bad news for all of us unhappy pipeline owners: Pipe Dream: Taxpayer-Owned TMX Is a Bust, Concludes Analyst.
As ever, Andrew Nikiforuk does a great job, but check out the report for one major conclusion that the Tyee article does not mention. The Canada Energy Regulator’s (formerly NEB) forecast of oil and gas production in Canada means the oil and gas sector alone will exceed an 80% emissions reduction target in 2050 by 81%. Net zero by 2050 as the government has promised is impossible on current information. Transitioning off oil and cancelling the lunatic TMX pipeline project is urgent and necessary.
John Horgan Slow on Up-Take When It Comes to Opioid Crisis
Pat Carl did research on a number of issues during the recent BC election campaign. Here is something she put together for us on the opioid crisis.
Want to know what Bonnie Henry, our Provincial Health Officer, suggests be done about BC’s opioid crisis? Want to know what Horgan and the NDP have done to follow her advice? Read on.
Persons Day Lunch, COVID-Style
October 18 is Persons Day in Canada; it commemorates the case of Edwards v. Canada (Attorney General), more commonly known as The Persons Case – a famous Canadian constitutional case decided on October 18, 1929, by the Judicial Committee of the Imperial Privy Council, which at that time was the court of last resort for Canada. Betty Donaldson, of Daughters of the Vote, has organized a luncheon for the last several years, to which notable women from our community are invited. This year the lunch was virtual, due to COVID-19. Pat Carl attended, and you can read her article here.
Canada’s Galapagos - Mitlenatch Island
Some local Greens have gone to Mitlenatch Island yearly to act as stewards during tourist season. As they’ve done before, Betty Donaldson, Mark de Bruijn and Carol Thatcher were there again this year (though not at the same time). For our newsletter, they collaborated on a piece that gives you some of the history of how this sanctuary came to be, and why it is such a special place. You can read the story of three Greens on Canada’s Galapagos here.
Coming events that might be of interest:
November 8: FairVote Canada webinar: Join the new Green Party leader, Annamie Paul, and Green Parliamentary Leader Elizabeth May for a discussion with Fair Vote about electoral reform and democracy! Register at https://us02web.zoom.us/
November 19: Webinar on the push to get Canada to sign on to the UN treaty to ban nuclear weapons: Register at https://www.
November 20: Join us for an important ZOOM conversation with Seth Klein, Elizabeth May and Anjali Appadurai, three prominent Canadian activists who will offer their perspectives on the climate crisis and the role we can play to mitigate its impacts and create a bold new vision based on justice and right relationship with our Earth. https://fb.me/e/
Greens are defined by a personal responsibility to the community, the quality of decisions we make, and our ability to defend those decisions. We are not responsible for the success or failure of other political entities, and Greens are committed to earning the respect of voters.
Official NIPR email:
Your NPR Executive:
Megan Ardyche, Comox
Doug Cowell, Courtenay
Elizabeth Crum, Campbell River
Blair Cusack, Courtenay
Mark de Bruijn, Courtenay
Susan Holvenstot, Courtenay
Heather Jones, Port Hardy
Susan Short, Powell River
Carol Thatcher, Courtenay
Chris Tithecott, Campbell River
Jay Van Oostdam, Comox
© 2020 Greens of North Island - Powell River Approved by the official agent.