Welcome to the July Saanich-Gulf Islands Electoral District Association (SGI-EDA) Newsletter.
This issue features a message from Elizabeth, AGM news, leadership contest details, gardening information…..
SGI Annual General Meeting
Your SGI EDA has always held the AGM in the summertime, often in June so that we can celebrate Elizabeth’s birthday at the same time. This year, due to Covid-19 we have decided to hold a virtual AGM on September 27th at 3pm . Please save the date, and we will provide specific details closer to the time. Nominations for the executive will close 45 days prior to the AGM. Please consider joining us as a member of the executive, and if you wish more information, contact Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes from Elizabeth
Home for awhile!
This strange pandemic time continues to involve an unprecedented amount of work — and a weird non-rhythm of travel punctuated by lock-down. I am now nearly finished my fourth 14 day self-isolation after returning from various trips to Ottawa.
We three Green MPs are taking travel to Ottawa in turns. I did a shift from June 1-18 and then again July 6-9th. We just got notice on Saturday July 18th that parliament will sit on Monday July 20. We were expecting parliament to sit on Wednesday July 22, so now we are scrambling to cover. As Green MPs, we have the best attendance record in pandemic- the Globe and Mail checked. I have a 91% attendance record… which sounds like something off a pre-school report card!
To make parliament work in pandemic, Greens are pushing hard for distance voting to be allowed. https://www.greenparty.ca/en/media-release/2020-07-16/its-time-make-parliament-work-and-vote-remotely-say-greens
The BC legislature is already voting on zoom. Since voting in parliament is a public event – no secret ballot – it is very easy to do virtually. So far, only the Conservatives oppose allowing us to vote from our ridings. Of course, parliament at its best is parliament in person. So the rule changes should only be for extraordinary conditions, such as pandemic.
We really must get parliament fully functional. All sorts of critical legislation is blocked, as without voting at a distance, we are only able to pass bills by unanimous consent. The amendments to medical assistance in dying, changes to police reform are already tabled but stuck. Meanwhile, we urgently need promised legislation for climate accountability and a just transition.
So, for those keen Greens that help with media, this is a message I need help boosting!
Thanks to all that you do for the SGI Greens.
I look forward to seeing everyone virtually when we next gather!
Civic Engagement Student Scholarship
Every year at school graduation time, Elizabeth May and the SGI-EDA recognize students for their civic engagement from the seven secondary schools within our riding. Recipients are chosen who the schools believe have shown exemplary commitment to effective citizenship and who have improved our world through their volunteer activities. The value of the scholarship is $500.00.
With the Covid-19 Pandemic, none of the schools were able to host an awards ceremony this year.
We did receive a photo of Natalya Wilson, the recipient of the scholarship at Stelly’s Secondary School. The other recipients are listed below.
Sarah Evans, Claremont Secondary School
Claerwen Sladen-Dew, Gulf Islands Secondary School
Olivia Gribbon, Lambrick Park Secondary School
Ola Przydatek, Mount Douglas Secondary School
Kaylee McCullough, Parkland Secondary School
Liv Dunsdon, Reynolds Secondary School
Congratulations to all the winners this year and we hope that next year we may actually have awards ceremonies again. And thank you to all our SGI EDA contributors who make it possible to run this program.
MEET YOUR FEDERAL COUNCIL
The GPC has a new Federal Council and we would like to introduce you to the people in the council. This issue, we bring you an introduction to Kate Storey from Manitoba.
If you want to hear some hard truths, ask a farmer. Kate Storey is an organic beef and grain farmer with thirty-three years experience in the Dauphin-Swan Lake-Neepawa riding in western Manitoba. She and her husband, both biologists, understand that treating your land and animals well creates repercussions that go beyond the farmer and consumer, affecting us all.
Kate is not only planting seeds on her land but is also growing the Green Party in her large rural riding. She has run six times federally and three times provincially for the Greens because she understands that the Green Party is the only party that truly understands that a healthy environment is fundamental to our societal wellbeing.
When asked what she considers of importance to Canadian farmers, Kate would like to see the Federal government assist sustainable agriculture by increasing funding for research in sustainable best management practices (like regenerative and organic methods), increase funding for non-GMO seed research and by supporting cooperative marketing organizations to combine the production of the many local farmers, thereby making local food more easily available.
In her role as the Fund Representative (Treasurer), she has to participate in the business of the Council Executive and to then report to the board of directors of the GPC Fund, the actual official financial agent of the Party. Her council experience goes back to 2006 when she was the Manitoba representative.
For upcoming election campaigns, Kate understands that consistent and inspiring messaging from the national office will motivate those key people; a team of capable and motivated volunteers. She relies on those energized locals to carry out the multiple election tasks including that all-important voter engagement task, canvassing neighbourhoods.
In regard to the difficult COVID-19 pandemic we are undergoing, Kate declared “The day the Chinese population looked up and saw blue sky changed the world.”
All the people of our world saw that clear blue sky and realized that there can be a cleaner and better future within our grasp. It is up to each of us to embrace this unprecedented opportunity and convince our leaders to leave the old status quo behind and “bounce forward,” as Elizabeth May likes to say.
Organic farmers like Kate Storey know that an unpolluted environment paired with social justice will move us toward a flourishing agricultural sector and a strong economy. The natural outcome of this work would be healthy food and active farms (and workers) leading to robust communities for generations to come. If we are successful in this time of opportunity, an exquisite blue sky will be in all our futures.
Federal Greens leadership contest
Warm up your computer, grab a mug of your favourite beverage and join the leadership candidates for a session on the web. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed just about everything, including the way to run a campaign. There are presently nine candidates vying for your vote and there is a very interesting mix of extremely talented people. Please go to this page for further information on the candidates, previous (recordings) and future all candidates debates and presentations, and to donate to their campaigns for this super important position as the next leader of our party in the House of Commons.
NOTE: In order to vote for your candidate(s) of choice you must be a member of the GPC by September 3rd, 2020. Click here to buy or renew your membership.
Did you know that the Green Party of Canada website hosts an events page? Check it out – there are many interesting opportunities to learn and to participate.
BC Greens leadership contest
It’s a busy summer on the West Coast – the BC Greens also have a leadership contest underway. You can learn more here. Just a reminder – you must either be a member of the BC Greens OR register to vote in the upcoming election. Details are provided on the webpage. Please note that being a donor does not automatically provide membership, so it’s good to check if you are not certain of your status.
Greens Around the World
Greens everywhere are celebrating recent significant wins by France’s Green Party in local elections, where party candidates won in several key cities, including Lyon, Bordeaux, Montpellier, and Strasbourg as well as Paris. This, along with recent wins in the European Parliament and Ireland, show that notable advances are possible, and in fact predictable as people everywhere take more note of the current and anticipated impacts of climate change. The future could be bright for Greens in many parts of the world as they change from a “peripheral or minor partner” into a party that “brings together a full spectrum of politics”.
Read more about the Global Greens here.
Green Meditation Circle, by Shelagh Levey
Our first meeting was held on a perfect day, in a peaceful garden, where towering trees filtered sun to the lawn and our socially spaced seats below. Breathing exercises, followed by a short guided meditation, and then silent time is suitable for both new and experienced meditators.
If you would like to join us please contact Shelagh at email@example.com . This group is not restricted to Green members. We welcome everyone, so feel free to bring family and friends.
Following Gary and Nancy Searing’s fantastic article in our June newsletter, I asked Gary for an update:
“With all the rain and cool weather, while it is not happy weather for humans, the veggies are loving it. The garlic is in, the tomatoes are starting to ripen in abundance and we just had our first and bountiful mushroom crop. Depressing to think about fall and winter in the middle of July, but we have been planting and starting fall and winter crops. We welcomed Pam and Judy to our garden and had a wonderful time talking fruit and veggies with an experienced gardener and a small farmer. We look forward to seeing you in our garden as well. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in seeing our garden.”
Beginner Backyard & Balcony Gardening/ Supporting Farmers
You are invited to an online zoom panel discussion on Tuesday, July 21st at 5pm (PDT) that is being organized and hosted by Tara Howse and the EDA for South Okanagan-West Kootenay. The topic will be, ‘Beginner Backyard & Balcony Gardening’ and there are two amazing confirmed speakers, Naomi Hunter and Jesse Winkiewicz! Please register here.
As well you can view the last food security discussion on, ‘How to support farmers all year-round’ by visiting the Organizers Toolbox here.
Naomi Hunter is the newly elected Leader of the Saskatchewan Green Party. She farms on the family haskap fruit orchard with her father during the summer. Naomi and her children were also the first people living year round off-grid at the Craik EcoVillage, where the community practices sustainable permaculture and self-sufficiency on each homestead location. Ms. Hunter has also been included in a book put out by the Regina Permaculture Society, she wrote a chapter on composting. She is a frequent speaker in the media, schools, and other public locations on the subjects of sustainable gardening, agriculture and food security.
Jesse Winkiewicz is a professional photographer and ski guide that enjoys gardening in the offseason. Gardening has quickly grown from a hobby for Jesse to a full-blown food production for his home.
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