Happy February 2021, and welcome to the newsletter from the SGI EDA. We wish you good health and happiness as we all manage through this pandemic year, hopefully to a resolution of the pandemic and the beginning of recovery.
This issue features notes from Elizabeth and the EDA, three exciting upcoming events, and more.
Notes from Elizabeth
We are gearing up for what might be – hope not – a spring election. Personally, I think with the glitches in vaccine distribution and the arrival of more transmissible variants of COVID, a spring election is increasingly unlikely. But it is not impossible, so we are gearing up. I cannot share the name of the national campaign manager publicly yet, but a good person has been approved in the role with the leader’s strong support. And our leader Annamie Paul has made the big decision to run again in Toronto Centre. In 2019, the first time she ran there, she took the Green vote from 2.6% to 7%. But when she ran again last October (in the by-election caused by Bill Morneau leaving parliament) she surged from 4th place to second with 33% of the vote.
I am confident she will win next time, despite the riding’s history as a “safe” Liberal riding. After all, Saanich-Gulf Islands had been Conservative or Reform for nearly two decades when I was elected in 2011. And I am hopeful that with the leader being Ontario-based, we will pick up seats in other ridings with strong Green growth – like Kitchener Centre and Guelph. We are polling very well in Quebec and Atlantic Canada as well. Our strongest growth will likely be here on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. So I am feeling positive about our next election results. I am just hoping we are in a post-COVID world before going to the polls. Certainly, the debacle in Newfoundland and Labrador will be a cautionary tale for the Liberals itching to turn their minority into a false majority. If only 2015 really had been the last election under First Past the Post!
So, let me close with a shout out to the more than 15 wonderful SGI Green volunteers who have been making phone calls to thank our donors and to ask people who took lawn signs last year if they will take them again if we are in a snap election. THANKS to the best team ever!
SGI team: Social media & accounting support needed
As we inch towards spring with hope of relief from the pandemic, we are reminded that there is fairly consistent speculation in the media about a possible election sometime in 2021. In addition, the EDA is looking for new members to join the executive, or to provide support in other ways.
As previously written, we will be looking for a new financial agent this year. Our long standing FA, Sharon Forrester has provided us with stellar support for many years. It’s time for her to have a well-earned break, and our constitution also mandates a new person take over after six years on the board. If you have an accounting background, we would love to discuss this further. Please contact Sharon if you have questions or just want to explore what the job entails. We are a highly motivated and friendly group, and we would love to have you join us!
We are in a digital world, and realize more and more that we need more people to help with digital communications. Many hands make lighter work, and we would appreciate your help, either on or off the board. We have several people who help us with tasks but do not sit as regular board members.
Please reach out to Dan if you like working with digital communications and would like to support getting the word out about SGI Greens activities, whether by taking the lead on one aspect or monitoring and supporting social media posts. We will need to enhance our team, particularly with the potential of an upcoming election.
SGI – We are calling about lawn signs
If you supported the SGI Greens in the 2019 election with a lawn sign on your property you may have heard from us by phone recently, or will in the coming weeks. We are actively reaching out to people who took lawn signs, and asking if they will do so again should an election be called this year. We have a lot of calls to make, and need to be ready in the event of a snap election.
Feel free to reach out to us by email if you would like a lawn sign – thank you in advance. You can also use this link, with our gratitude, if you wish to help make calls or would like to learn about other volunteer opportunities.
Green News & Events:
“My Years on the Wild Side”, with Briony Penn and Kate O’Connor
Join the Saanich North and the Islands Riding Association as it continues its Voices of Saanich and the Islands speaker series with a special online event, featuring Briony Penn in conversation with Kate O’Connor.
Tuesday February 23, 2021 @ 7:00pm
To RSVP and read more about this exciting event, click here.
Site C Town Hall:
On Thursday Feb 18th @ 6pm, the BC Greens are hosting a special town hall “Site C: What is the NDP hiding?” featuring
- Harry Swain, former chair of the Joint Review Panel on Site C and a former deputy minister of Industry Canada
- Roland Willson, Chief of the West Moberly First Nation
- Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the BC Green Party
- Moderated by Earl Einarson of Ktunaxa First Nation, Indigenous Tech Director/ Entrepreneur
For more information, and to register click here.
One other event of interest:
Watershed Sentinel is hosting an online seminar “Site C, LNG and me” on Wednesday February 24th from 1-2pm.
Fracking BC: Report from the People: In this series of webinars, a panel of activists, experts, and voices on-the-ground discuss the current fracking industry in BC – subsidies, impacts on the water, land, and human health, and much more – which will have to be exponentially ramped up if BC continues its pursuit of an LNG export industry.
The Green Scene
Photo credit: Pixabay Sumanley xulx 4730500
The SGI Newsletter is our way of communicating with our Green members, providing an opportunity to pass on information in the Green world you may not know about. This feature, the Green Scene, is meant to enlighten you in regard to those Green views from elsewhere in our country and our world. Please let us know what you would like to see about GP’s elsewhere, whether that is in Victoria or maybe around the world in Burundi. We sincerely hope that you enjoy knowing more about those people, everywhere, that hold similar beliefs as us.
Saanich Gulf Islands is blessed to have a strong Green Party presence. We have both a multiple term MP and also a multiple term MLA. Our socially progressive parties have our back in this beautiful corner of Canada.
If we go right to the other side of the map, the Green Party of PEI has earned the role of Official Opposition with a total of 8 seats. Our country has these wonderful Green bookends. As we go back towards the west, there is a scattering of Greens in municipal, provincial and federal positions.
There is another level of Greens that is not well known to many people and that is the Global Greens. The parliamentary system in Europe accommodates multiple parties well and there are many European Greens taking on Important roles in their own countries, as well as working with the Global Greens, which is an affiliation comprised of: Africa (22 members), Asia-Pacific (19 members) and The Americas (North & South) (13 members). Europe has 36 member states.
Like Green Parties everywhere, the growth in numbers has been slow and steady and some countries will even lose their domestic Green Party for a few years, only to get it back again when the political climate supports it.
A progressively important part of the Global Greens, just as in BC and Canada, is the Young Greens. We saw in our recent BC election, the passion and capabilities of our engaged youth, and how their voice is becoming increasingly necessary to help our politics assert the rights of the planet and people everywhere. As our climate crisis deepens, expect to hear many more strong and compelling voices from our world’s youth as they move into positions of influence.
I wish to leave you with some words from Keli Yen of the Green Party of Thailand, who just stepped down in October 2020 from the post of Co-convenor of the Global Greens and released a parting statement, which includes these selections:
Fortunately Green political views are increasingly mainstream – climate change and sustainability are recognized as the ultimate issues of our time, while democracy and social justice are being advanced by people everywhere. Therefore, winning elections is less about convincing people to agree with our values, and more about convincing people that we are an organization capable of managing the issues.
A genuine heart connection with others is the powerful bridge between someone intellectually agreeing with our politics and actively advancing it. A heart connection means compassion, taking care of one another and embracing our diversity; both within the Greens movement and across society. In practice that means learning with and building up one another, forming alliances and even dialoguing with opponents.
Because GG is the global organization of the Greens community our capacity is derived entirely from our collaboration.Working together is sometimes not easy, but the quality of our relationships, both internally and externally, is the essential resource needed to achieve our goals.
SGI Good Sunday Morning
Do you realize that Elizabeth May publishes a newsletter every Sunday with her incisive thoughts and opinions on the week’s events. If you would like to be one of the 4000+ subscribers, please send an email to this link.