AGM Report to the Membership from the CEO

AGM Report to the Membership from the CEO

Good afternoon everyone.  Thank you for taking time out of your Saturday to join us. The Green Party Movement is an international movement that is growing as people all over the world realize that the current global trajectory is unsustainable The Green Party wants be the change the world desires and we believe The Green Party is the change the world needs.

I am sure it has not escaped your view that COVID 19 has certainly changed everything about how we live in the last year. The local Green Party of Canada started the year with grand plans and extraordinary dreams only to be forced to change, not the plans and dreams, but how we would accomplish them in a COVID world. I would like to highlight but a few of those plans and dreams that came to fruition.

As many of you know, 2020 was the year the Green Party of Canada choose a new leader. During the Leadership Contest, our riding hosted each leadership contestant at least once including 2 face to face meetings and 14 Zoom meetings. 

We created and published 2 local newsletters, one “end of year” video and learned how to use lots of new computer programs so we could continue to meet and communicate with you.

We established a Petitions and Advocacy Committee under Katrina’s Behr leadership and developed a Membership 101 PowerPoint online resource with Gianne Broughton’s knowledgeable guidance.  Both of these projects have been shared and used across Canada by other federal Electoral District Associations, also known as EDAs and provincial Constituency Associations known as CAs.  

We worked with other area federal and provincial Green groups to establish “The Lakes” regional cooperative with a goal to maximize EDA and CA effectiveness by sharing resources and ideas.  

While fundraising and friendraising was particularly challenging during the year, we did participate in some local volunteer events promoting a positive image for the Greens and spent much of our time behind the scenes ensuring that our database of members and friends is accurate and usable for the next elections.

However, beyond the plans and dreams, I think more than anything, what we all experienced was an immense satisfaction as a volunteer in the Green movement.  We had fun, we worked hard, we learned new things and I know that we took lots of steps forward in our quest to make the planet healthier and our society kinder and fairer under the banner of the Green Party of Canada.   Would like to thank the remarkable and dedicated team of “Green Believers” that I had the pleasure of working with over the past year Justin McKeiver, Peggy Scott, Gianne Broughton, Gabriel Stamou, Katrina Behr, Ashley Bonner, and Guy Hanchet.

And finally, if we are to be a political force, we need to find more people to help us.  Volunteers are crucial to our success.  So I encourage you to volunteer and donate your time and your skills. And are needed and wanted.

And secondly, we need to raise funds to mount a successful election campaign. Today, I am asking you to donate.  A one-time donation is great, however, I would like to encourage you to set up a monthly donation to the Peterborough-Kawartha Green Party of Canada.  This will help us to plan and grow more effectively.  Membership and donation links are found in the Chat area of this Zoom call.  And if you are joining us via Facebook, my email is and I would be more than happy to send you the forms or talk to you about the difference you can make in our community.

We are looking for good people, for volunteers, for supporters and for leaders.  Our Candidate Nominating Committee is working hard to develop a roster of committed and enthusiastic people who will help us win the next federal election.  So…is it your Time to Run?  

Green Party Federal Agriculture Policy

Rural people are at the forefront of climate change. But often they are isolated from the decision-making that impacts their environment and their options for adapting. The Green Party aims to bring the adaptation process into the power of rural people by strengthening their participation in research, innovation, and implementation. There are ways to reduce Green House Gas emissions while strengthening the real incomes and quality of life of rural people.

Because of the multiple benefits of ecologically sound farming methods, including a big reduction in GHG emissions, Green Party MPs will work to assist farmers who wish to transition to more ecologically sound practices to make the switch. Local food production will be encouraged in order to reduce emissions from transport.

Livestock production is currently a major contributor to non-carbon dioxide GHG emissions. Of the GHG emissions generated from agriculture, 43% comes from dairy and beef herds emitting methane; 40% from poor soil fertilization practices releasing N2O; 15% from poor manure management from penned livestock herds; and 2% from other sources.

Green Party MPs will promote the use of manure and farm waste to build soil nutrition and organic content. We will pay farmers for carbon sequestration in soils within a domestic carbon market. This will promote no-till agriculture practices which will in turn slow and reverse the process of soil depletion. We will plan for transition to 100% ecologically sound farming.

Urban agriculture will be encouraged to provide more local food, including more green roofs, reducing air conditioning demand and run-off in deluge rains.

Mission Possible and the Tar Sands

Mission Possible and the Tar Sands

1) Elizabeth May’s statement to CBC Radio’s As it Happens in reply criticisms of the proposal about the Tar Sands in Mission Possible (May 2019)

We do not call for building new refineries. We do not suggest oil sands oil be used in Quebec. We do call for Canadian oil to be used in Canada. We call for an end to foreign imports from Saudi Arabia, the US, Nigeria and a handful of other sources. 

For Quebec, it would mean stopping the importation of North Dakotan Bakken shale, the source of much of what Quebec currently refines. It is not only the most dangerous oil to move by rail, as we witnessed in the horrors of Lac Megantic, but it is also among the very worst in the world in terms of its GHG impact. Bakken shale is fracked oil. It releases GHG, far more than conventional oil as it typically involves flaring, releases Black Carbon, a gas called ethane in large amounts reducing air quality, as well as increases in fugitive emissions of methane. It may not be well-known in Quebec that Bakken shale’s carbon footprint is far worse than most oil, but it would reduce lifecycle GHG for Quebec to cancel imports so that while Quebec phases out fossil fuels it look east to Hibernia oil instead.

The Green Party’s bold plan –  “Mission: Possible” – aims to hold global average temperature to no more than 1.5 degrees C above that before the industrial revolution.  Our survival depends on it.

Mission: Possible calls for a steep cut of greenhouse gases to 60% below 2005 levels by 2030 moving to zero by 2050. This plan inevitably involves a rapid move to 100% renewable electricity, a modernized and enhanced east-west electricity grid, a shift to EV’s, a ramping down of all fossil fuel production, including reducing oil sands production, no fracking, no new exploration or drilling.

The full 20-point plan must be viewed in its entirety. Misstatements and exaggerations have not helped.  And I certainly apologize to Alex for giving him cause for concern. 

2) Detailed explanation by Jeff Wheeldon, Green Party of Canada Candidate for Northumberland-Peterborough South, and Green Party International Affairs Critic (member of Shadow Cabinet) (May 2019)

We released Mission: Possible with a few different goals:

-To lay out a brief and actionable list of steps that must be taken to address climate change, with timelines;

-To emphasize that this is, in fact, possible;

-To set a high bar for the other parties to meet, and put out some ideas for the Pact for a Green New Deal movement.

In the beginning of the document we stated that we commit to matching or surpassing the ambition of the Pact for a Green New Deal and whatever recommendations it sets out; this is to both affirm that we want to set a high bar, but also that the bar has room to go higher – that this isn’t a full platform of fixed policies, but rather a statement of our goals and some paths to get there. In 2030 we may look back and find that we didn’t do many of the things in Mission: Possible, but so long as we meet the goals in emissions reduction, energy transition, and improved economic health, we don’t mind! We’re open to working with other parties, both by challenging them to meet our ambitious standards and by direct cooperation to ensure that these standards are met or exceeded.

Any plan to get us from where we are to where we want to be must take into account where we are, and the reality is that we are an oil-producing nation and that our capacity to produce oil and gas is currently increasing. There have long been general pushes to “leave it in the ground,” but those need to be qualified: does that mean “turning off the tap” tomorrow, as the people in Alberta assume/fear, or does it mean getting every last drop of oil to market as the Conservatives want, or somewhere in between? We have enough oil and gas to last for hundreds of years even at an increasing pace of production, but the IPCC says that we must be decarbonized by 2050. We uphold that timeline. No other measures are as concrete or important. 

We uphold the timeline of being decarbonized by 2050, but that doesn’t mean that we support expanding the oilsands before then, as if we can race to that finish line. Rather, that establishes the point at which we absolutely must be decarbonized, and therefore the end point of an orderly winding-down process – i.e., we support taking action to immediately and progressively reduce oil production and consumption in Canada.

On one hand, we would ban fracking outright, cancelling the LNG project in BC; and we would cancel the completion of the Trans-Mountain pipeline, ensuring that we don’t support an expansion of bitumen exports. This means fewer tankers on the BC coast, too, but it doesn’t shut down the oilsands overnight.

Even with our strategy of major investments into electrifying transportation, including scheduled end dates for the production of internal combustion engines and a date for a complete phase-out of internal combustion engines on our roads, and providing electrified and rail links between municipalities (to complement municipal transit programs), we will still be using oil and gas on a declining basis. That oil and gas will have to come from somewhere, and being an oil and gas producing nation, it makes sense that we should use our own product domestically rather than exporting it as a raw product. This gives us the opportunity to create/sustain jobs in our own industry on a declining basis, as well as adding value to our product – getting the most value from our declining industry without supporting its expansion, and at the same time reducing our dependence on imports.

There are existing pipelines east/west in Canada, and we would not be looking to add to them. We’ve suggested building upgraders in Alberta (and from what I’ve heard there are some private upgraders already underway there) in order to transport oil as light crude rather than diluted bitumen; or to transport it in solid bitumen form by rail. Either way we avoid the worst scenario of diluted bitumen leaking from a pipeline into waterways, which effectively can’t be cleaned up.

In Eastern Canada, which is our chief importer of foreign oil, our plan to reduce demand for oil and gas by electrifying our transport and home heating presents the opportunity to wean off of foreign oil and rely instead on oil produced at the Hibernia oil platform, again on a declining basis as we get nearer to 2050. In all of this, if we are able to reduce demand for oil and gas faster than our proposed timeline then we will absolutely do so!

If there is a more practical and efficient way of winding down the oil and gas industry in Canada, I’d love to hear it. Like Mr Tyrrell, I’d love to leave every last drop in the ground, but while his criticism of our plan has received a lot of attention, his suggestions for alternatives have not. Likewise, NDP critics of our plan have been saying that we support oilsands expansion and that their own plan does not, but the reality is that our plan seems to be the only one that actually addresses how to get off of oil and gas at all. The NDP plan doesn’t mention a ban on fracking, doesn’t give a timeline for decarbonization, and doesn’t seem to address the oilsands much at all; the Liberals have criticized the NDP plan for “killing jobs” in fracking, and they want to build the Trans-Mountain pipeline to increase exports of raw bitumen; and the Conservatives want to increase pipeline capacity in all directions to increase exports and domestic use at the same time. None of those options respect the timeline provided to us by the IPCC and others for getting off of fossil fuels; none of those options plan for an orderly transition from our current oil economy to the new clean energy economy; and none of those options actually envision that new economy, amounting to steps (albeit largely in the right direction) without a clear destination.

We have a vision for the Canada we want to live in. The steps to get us there aren’t set in stone, but the outcomes must be – and whatever the steps look like, it will take actual steps. We can’t jump from the infrastructure and economy that we have to the one that we want. We WILL get to the future, one way or another; we want to ensure that the journey is planned in a way that will actually get us to the more equitable and secure future we need as soon as possible, rather than with a series of costly detours along the way.

I hope that helps explain this part of our policy. I’m happy to talk more and answer any questions others may have; feel free to give out this address for anyone who wants to engage more.


International Affairs Critic| Affaires Internationales
Green Party of Canada | Parti Vert du Canada

Join a Canvassing Team

All the Greens who have won elections in Canada have used the Get Out the Vote strategy. It means canvassing on foot and by phone. Canvassing starts long before the official Election Period opens. Paul Manly who recently won Nanaimo-Ladysmith started canvasing in early January for an election on May 6. We started on May 4. Election day is October 21.

If you want to make a difference, joining a Canvassing Team has the biggest impact. Teams are based on a time slot, like “The Monday Evenings Team”. Currently, we have 4 time slots: Monday Evenings and Tuesday Evenings, and Wednesday afternoons and Saturday Afternoons. More will be added as people come forward to say when they are available. Join as many timeslots as you like, and come out as often as you can, and don’t worry if you have to miss some.

We always pair new canvassers with experienced ones, and we give them a detailed orientation. Most outings are one to two hours in length.

To get started, just send e-mail to saying you would like to canvas. Also, on, you can click “volunteer” and fill out a form we’ll get it.

Here’s a great strategy: talk it over with your friends and set up to canvas together with people you already love to spend time with!

Meet your PK Federal Green Party Executive Committee

Meet your PK Federal Green Party Executive Committee

Gianne, Sheldon, Sandra, Chantelle and Rayf, November 27, 2018

On November 27, the membership elected new executive officers to lead us through 2019. What a great crew!

These talented people have been contributing to the local association’s efforts for some time, and recently found that they were ready to take a leadership role. Making an association run is about cool and creative ideas, and it is about slogging through the details. A big thank-you and a wish that you may enjoy seeing your ideas realized goes out to each of them.

Gianne Broughton  (President, GPC)

Gianne is a pro-active globally-minded person who champions local community innovation and responsible development. She has a master’s degree in Rural Planning and Development and attended Trent University for Native Studies. 

She was coordinator for the Quaker Peace and Sustainable Communities program of Canadian Friends Service Committee for 17 years.  During that time, she provided administrative and planning support to community-based peacebuilding groups in some of the most difficult places in the world: D. R. Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda; Cambodia; Palestine/Israel.  In 2005, she went to Burundi for a year to establish the first Quaker Peacebuilding Office in Central Africa when the war was still going on. 

In 2008, in response to an in-depth study of ocean acidification, an effect of pollution and global warming that will lead to the extinction of oxygen-breathing life if unchecked, she began volunteering for the Green Party.  Since then she has served local constituency associations as Chief Financial Officer in Ottawa and in Peterborough. She was the local Green Party candidate for the provincial election of June 2018.

She moved to Peterborough in 2015 to help support aging parents living in Toronto.  She started a tutoring business teaching English and French and Overcoming Dyslexia in either language which has blossomed.  Being self-employed allows her to devote significant time to developing the local Green Party team. Her son manages a high-end restaurant in the Caribbean.

Chantelle Gray-Wheeler  (Secretary, GPC)

Chantelle is an Environmental Science graduate of Trent University who is now working for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Previously she worked as a researcher on water issues for a local Indigenous Peoples organization. She has been serving as Secretary on the GPO and GPC executive since February 2018.

Sheldon Rooney (Communications Chair)

Sheldon is in his second year of undergrad studies at Trent University in Environmental Science. He is the president of the Trent Green Party and the communications director for the Trent Outdoors club. He also plays hockey for the Trent extramural team and works at the on-campus pub. He grew up in a small rural town and was gifted with the opportunity to grow a relationship with nature. He has a deep passion for the environment and “helping people smile when I can,” as he says,  “Everyone can make a difference, everyone is worth something.”

Rief Greens 2019

Rayf (Ralph) Shiell (Financial Agent, GPC)

Rayf Shiell is a physics professor at Trent University who brings experience from the universities of Oxford, Newcastle and Sussex in the UK, Waterloo in Canada, UC Berkeley in the States, and the Vrije Universiteit in the Netherlands. As a parent and an educator he advocates for lasting and comprehensive sustainability, where society and the environment are together viewed with long-term health and vibrancy in mind. He believes that future generations, wherever they may live, deserve dialogue today that embraces empathic and rational thinking, a commitment to fairness, and a long-term vision for the future. As a science instructor he conveys the importance of considering all consequences – intended and unintended – before proposing a particular plan of action for each matter at hand. He thus welcomes open dialogue and discussion towards the ultimate goal of achieving lasting human and environmental wellness.

Sandra Greens 2019

Sandra Hay (Organization Chair, GPC)

Sandra values the Green Party’s commitment to sound and well-researched policy initiatives, good governance, fiscal responsibility, and environmental protection.

Sandra grew up working on her family’s large fruit farm and market garden operation in Brighton, Ontario. Curiosity and a love of learning has directed her involvement in a number of diverse industries over the years. After high school she graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor in Agricultural Science (more than a few moons ago) and worked with Agriculture Canada researching integrated pest management to reduce pesticide use in fruit orchards.

Following that Sandra started a pick-your-own berry operation from scratch, and was a provincial director with Farmers’ Markets Ontario. Over the years she has also worked for an environmental consulting company, been involved in rural economic development in Eastern Ontario and for a little while owned and operated her own retail kitchen garden shop. She recently moved to Peterborough from Barrie, Ontario. In Barrie she was involved in the real estate and mortgage industries and served on the executive of the Barrie Greens. Some of her interests are food sustainability and self-sufficiency, balanced land use planning, and researching natural health products.

Living in Peterborough allows Sandra closer access to aging parents. Her eldest son graduated from teacher’s college in 2006 and taught in the fly-in only community of Wapekeka First Nation before he settled in Sioux Lookout, as the non-clinical instructor at the local hospital. Her second son completed a Masters degree at Wilfrid Laurier University and is employed as an institutional research analyst at Conestoga College.