Good Sunday Morning!
It is hard to believe only seven days have elapsed since I wrote you with the almost certain knowledge the writ would drop that day. Even with scaled back campaigning due to COVID, it has been a very busy week.
First, I want to thank everyone who stopped what they had planned last Sunday and showed up to help me launch with cheery waving at Sunday drivers. That went so well. As did Paul Manly’s super rally in the park that evening. David Suzuki was the surprise guest who showed up by zoom to endorse Paul and give a barn-storming speech.
Thanks especially to everyone who made it to my press conference launch in Beacon Park on Monday! Here is my favourite TV clip of the event, featuring my friend Wendy’s dog Sushi! Imagine a story about me featuring a dog and it’s not my dog Xo!
It is all so weird. After 17 months of COVID isolation, I find myself suddenly catapulted into social settings , public gatherings and campaigning. There is real joy in seeing so many old friends – the green SGI volunteer team! Yesterday, on Mayne Island at the farmer’s market and fall fair, I realized I had not seen so many people in one place since late 2019! We followed COVID protocols – with hand sanitizer available at our literature table, wearing masks and social distancing. But it is hard when no one is quite sure what is allowed and what is not. The Elections Canada website gives extremely restrictive advice.
Has Justin Trudeau read this??
“Elections Canada strongly encourages candidates and their representatives to respect the following guidelines while canvassing:
- Keep a distance of at least 2 metres from others
- Avoid handshakes or other forms of physical contact when meeting the public and other canvassers
- Wear a non-medical mask or face covering when interacting with the public and other canvassers, especially in situations where physical distancing can’t be maintained
- Stay home if you feel sick or if you’ve been in contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19
- Avoid touching surfaces such as doorbells, doorknobs and handles
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly whenever possible, and use hand sanitizer frequently if access to hand-washing facilities is limited
- Avoid sharing or distributing pamphlets, buttons and other materials
- Regularly disinfect shared surfaces and areas, such as tables, chairs and meeting rooms regularly
- Avoid carpooling to canvassing areas, or adopt measures to reduce the risk of infection while carpooling, such as wearing a mask and opening car windows to create airflow
- Campaigns are strongly encouraged to maintain records of canvassing activities (canvasser name and contact information, canvassing locations and times, etc.) to assist local public health authorities with contact tracing efforts
- Consider downloading and activating the Government of Canada’s COVID Alert exposure notification app, especially if your province is participating
“These guidelines were developed in collaboration with Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada. As the situation is fluid, they are subject to change. All candidates and canvassers are expected to follow local public health measures and should contact their local public health authorities for the most up-to-date information and instructions for their area.”
So, we are doing our best to keep the campaign from worsening an already worsening Fourth Wave of COVID. But it makes my blood boil.
So too does the reality that this province is on fire and we are in an unnecessary election. Not surprisingly, the other parties are all but ignoring climate. One reason they can get away with it is the irresponsibly sloppy level of coverage of climate science, particularly the IPCC report, in our mainstream media. Sean Holman published the disturbing statistics of how much worse Canadian coverage has been than that in the US. https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2021/08/19/Dire-Climate-News-Canada-Front-Pages-Crumbled/
Trudeau’s idea of a climate announcement for BC this week was $500 million for next year’s wildfire season – while BC communities remain ringed by fire. Meanwhile, construction of the $17 billion TMX pipeline continues with a COVID outbreak at the TMX man camp. Tying those two threads together is this important piece from Andrew Nikiforuk. Wildfire smoke worsens COVID outcomes. https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2021/08/18/Wildfire-Smoke-Supercharges-COVID/
On a happier note – all the scientific news coverage this week was not bad. Having worked on the negotiations for the Montreal Protocol, culminating in September 1987, I was rivetted by a new report on its impact. This new modelling was a reminder that when humanity gets it right, we really can save the world. Recent modeling shows what would have happened if we had failed. Titled: “The Avoided World: How the Montreal Protocol Saved us from a Scorched Earth,” it reports, “The models paint a picture of a world avoided – a scorched Earth scenario even more fiery than the climate crisis we currently face.”
If we had failed, the ozone layer would have collapsed by the 2040’s. As it is, thanks to the Montreal Protocol, the ozone layer is repairing itself. What’s more, since so many ozone depleting substances are also Greenhouse Gases, thanks to the Montreal Protocol, we have avoided a significant level of additional warming.
We must hang on to hope and reject despair and cynicism. We can and must mobilize at the grassroots – supporting non-violent civil disobedience, clearly communicating that this is a Climate Emergency, and the very easiest thing – convincing everyone you know to vote for the climate champion in your area. Every single time, the strongest vote for climate is a Green vote. We still have time, but a four year Liberal majority would likely shut the door on meaningful climate action. Only holding them to a minority, with more Greens in parliament gives us a good chance. Luckily, the Conservative Party is a losing its base rapidly. There is no reason to be lured by the siren call of strategic voting. The strategic vote is Green.
Even a handful of seats could give us the balance of power in a minority. With the balance of power, we could do what the NDP failed to do, make climate action a condition of support to keep the Liberals from failing a confidence vote. The stakes could not be higher. All that matters is that we arrest the threat of blowing past 1.5 degrees C. Our campaign and local efforts must stay focused on the climate challenge of saving the future for our children.
Here endeth the rant. Until next Sunday!!
Love and socially distanced hugs,
What I am doing this week. This is not a complete list of activities, but these are the ones where we need more volunteers to join me.
PLEASE come if you can!! If you are planning to come to a sign wave or mainstreeting event, please hit reply to this email so we will know. Things move fast and sometimes we have to cancel or adjust the timing. If we know you are coming, we can get in touch!
For those of you reading Good Sunday Morning from outside SGI, let me know if you have questions about your local candidate and why you should vote Green where you are!
1 pm Important Fairy Creek event. Downtown Victoria.
3 to 4:30pm – Broadmead Village – engaging with passersby, known as “mainstreeting” – Volunteers needed!
5 to 6 pm – West Saanich and Quadra – Sign waving! Volunteers needed!
Tuesday: 8 to 9 am – Pat Bay and Beacon – Sign waving! Volunteers needed!
8 – 9 am – Hillside and Shelbourne – Sign waving! Volunteers needed!
3:30 to 4:30pm – McKenzie and Quadra- Sign waving! (joint wave with ESS and candidate Harley Gordon)
Thursday: 8 to 9am – Shelbourne and McKenzie – Sign waving!
Friday: 8 to 9am – West Saanich and Keating – Sign waving!