Green Party’s Energy Policy

Press Release                                           

For Immediate Release

WHAT ARE THE REAL COSTS OF BIPOLE III 

TO MANITOBAN TAXPAYERS?

(Winnipeg, Oct. 2, 2011)  The “debate” over Bipole III is a hot issue in this election.  So far, the argument has centered around where to build the 832-mile hydro line.   The Green Party is the only party that is willing to consider the broader picture of $20 billion and counting in planned hydro-electric mega-projects.

“We cannot consider Bipole III, without also looking at the planned Keeyask and Conawapa dams,” said Green Party Leader James Beddome.

A Green government would not move forward with new hydro-electric development, including Bipole III, until a full Manitoba energy assessment is performed.  Continue reading

Many Uses For a Green Party Sign – Get Yours Today…

So –  supporters of the Green Party in the Scotia area have their sign up again, but this time it’s become a community billboard.  On it, from left to right, are:

– a kid’s lost change purse

-an ‘idle free zone’ sign

-a lost kittie notice.

I had gone there thinking that as I had a better location and was out of large signs, I would perform a triage operation and move their sign.  Once I saw it was serving a social purpose, however, I no longer had the heart to move the sign.

Greens – by my campaign at least but more broadly those running for MLA in our party – are all about local organizing and getting citizens to use their voices and find common spaces to communicate on.  This sign has become one small locus of community attention, attracting passersby’s eyes, and as a Green MLA I’d create as much public space for democracy as possible, from sign boards to regular public town hall forums and citizens’ committees meeting regularly.

Oh, and if you would still like a sign for your yard, let me know ASAP.  They’re smaller, reusable, biodegradable plastic signs, and I have a few left.  St. Johns is slowly but steadily going Green. 19 new signs went up today alone.

Explaining the Universal Basic Income

So sometimes Greens introduce new ideas into the social and political discourse that people have never heard of, and as such can’t decide if it’s crazy talk or sound policy, at first. These ideas need to get more discussion between elections as they are more than quick sound bites. Since some of us are paying attention now, I thought it a good time to discuss the Green platform piece in favour of a universal basic income.

Our platforrm contains this piece due to extensive research of Manitoban Greens going back to ~2005, and it has been picked up by the federal party due to the Manitoban members’ focus on it.   Also, basic income, also called sometimes a guaranteed annual income – with variations particular perhaps to economists’ interests – has a history, albeit brief, in Manitoba.

In the late 1970s, a pilot project called ‘The Mincome’ was launched in partnership between the federal and provincial governments in Dauphin, Manitoba.  Only now, 30 years later, are the statistics being investigated to see if the guaranteeing of each citizen a basic minimum income – a replacement for the expensive to maintain and perhaps psychologically and financially hard-to-escape welfare poverty cycle – was a worthwhile investment. Continue reading

Beddome “was the best performer of the night.”

Recent inclusion of the Green leader James Beddome in the short, 50 minute televised and radio-broadcast leaders’ debate has highlighted how necessary it is for Greens to be part of the public debate in Manitoba and in Canada.  Let us not forget that GPC leader Elizabeth May, now a Member of Parliament, was excluded from the televised leader’s debates in the last federal election, in collusion with the other parties’ leaders.

<missed the debate? watch here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2011/09/23/mb-election-leaders-debate-winnipeg.html >

Dan Lett highlighted this in his post-debate column.  He said: “There have been forums — many, many forums — but none allowed for head-on debate. And almost none of them invited the Green party to join the NDP, the Liberal party and the Progressive Conservatives. A shame to be sure.”  He furthermore described our leader Beddome’s performance in favourable terms: “Beddome was earnest and remarkably articulate for a politician who does not have the experience of the other three. He should have been included in all the debates. This one forum is not likely enough to help his party.”  Continue reading

Green Party of Manitoba to Release Election Platform Wednesday at 11AM

GREEN PARTY UNVEILS PLATFORM

(Sept 19 2011) The Green Party releases its platform for the 2011 Manitoba Provincial Election.  11 AM, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21ST at MEMORIAL PARK, WINNIPEG.

The Green Party is the game changer and the surprise news story in this election.  With 32 candidates, double the number from the previous election, the Greens, for the first time in Manitoba, have enough representation to form government.  The party is participating at the televised Provincial Leaders’ Debate on September 23rd. This is a first for the party.  The Greens are unquestionably out of the ‘fringe’ and are increasingly being seen as a viable mainstream party at the doors of voters.

“We have arrived as a legitimate viable political alternative in our Province,” says party leader James Beddome.  “We need now to make a real effort to elect members of the team to the Legislature and, realistically, we can do this.”

CONTACT:
Claire Marchand – Green Party of Manitoba 2011 Election Publicist
(204) 391-0093 email:  media@greenparty.mb.ca

The Green Party of Manitoba Office: 488-2831   toll-free within Manitoba: 1-866-742-4292
For contact information on Green Party Candidates, call the Green Party Office 204 488 2831 or visit our website www.greenparty.mb.ca

Can We Move Beyond Our Daily Challenges to Care About Extinction of Coral Reef?

I just read that a new book written by a top UN scientist is predicting the extinction of coral reefs by the end of this century, the first entire ecosystem to be destroyed by anthropogenic, or human-caused activity.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/09/11-1

So while “the environment” waxes and wanes on pollsters’ lists of things we do and don’t care about, nature herself, Earth’s living systems, continue to be destroyed at an alarming rate. Climate change is not easy to solve, and don’t believe that only individual action is enough for us to deal with the bigger redesign we need of our systems away from fossil fuels.

This is why I am involved in politics. Because it is time people started to coordinate and organize a response on a society-wide scale to the amount of carbon we are emitting into our atmosphere, which means a civilizational-scale retooling. Not just in Manitoba, of course, but globally.   Continue reading

What Do You Mean Vote Splitting?

Naturally we all know progressives who vacillate between NDP and Green votes, based on strategy.  People who would mark Greens 1 and NDP 2 if they had a proper ranked ballot.  People who assume all conservatives are operatives of the multinationals, though these days this may be more true given our federal oil-baron Conservative government that’s gotten away from its small c roots.  So a fellow candidate heard some of this anxiety and asked me for a bit of a response, and I drafted this response.  Feel free to read, share, consider, use.
Dear ———-,
I sometimes struggle with this too, however, there are some flaws in your friend’s logic worth pointing out, and some constructive ideas we can make, not to mention the NDP has not been true to its values, and its claims to be ‘green’ have been superficial and often the opposite.
1) With a rural Manitoban-born leader with an emphasis on being efficient and fiscally-conservative and supporting small businesses, our party is increasingly attractive to small ‘c’ conservatives, some of whom would otherwise vote PC.

Greens’ Gimli Candidate Glenda Whiteman Speaks up for the Water

Greens’ Gimli Candidate Whiteman, party leader Beddome, to speak up for the health of Lake Winnipeg and its watershed at candidates’ forum in Gimli tonight.

_____________________________________________________________________

Green Party of Manitoba Leader James Beddome, buoyed by his party’s inclusion in the televised leader’s debates, will be joining Gimli candidate Glenda Whiteman tonight at an all-candidates forum in Gimli.  Foremost, no doubt, in the minds of constituents are the ongoing efforts to save Lake Winnipeg from nutrient-overloading and the disastrous eutrophication that is killing the lake.

“In my lifetime, water has gone from something we all took for granted, to something that people in other parts of the world are literally dying to protect,” says Whiteman, active on environmental issues, including air and water pollution, and human health for the last ten years. “Let’s recognize now the need to prevent water privatization, the need to clean up the damage we’ve already done, and the need to stop polluting further. Every industry, every inhabitant, every municipality, every crown corporation in Manitoba should be part of the solution—because if not they are part of the problem.” Continue reading

Why I Am Running for MLA

I just moved into St. Johns recently with my partner Brittany, and we are expecting our first child in January.  I always imagined I wouldn’t have a child until things started to improve in the world or until I lived in a community I could feel comfortable raising a child in.  St. Johns is such a community but I still am greatly concerned about the world I will be sharing with this new life.  I have been observing politics on all levels for many years and believe I have some ideas to share here.  How the votes land is secondary.  This is not sport nor war, but life in all its sweetness and disappointments…and we are trying to live in a good way and believe all Manitobans want our systems to reflect this wish we all share.

There are many reasons people might choose to run for MLA.  Personal ambition.  A comfortable job with a pension.  A vision for society they think is correct.  Personal issues they need to project onto the society. To bring ‘hope and change.’ To use the election as a platform for their pet issues.  Some of these are the basest and most negative reasons, some noble, but to the members of our society it increasingly doesn’t matter.

The election turnout in the last Manitoban general election was just shy of 57%, meaning 43% of citizens couldn’t bring themselves to do that most minimal act of democratic participation, marking an X on a ballot after going to a neighbourhood poll.  Consider all the children and teenagers of our society along with landed immigrants, permanent residents, and  refugees who can not vote, and it’s clear the majority of people are not electing the MLAs. Some people of these groups are quite informed and active in their communities, but have not yet been granted the right so many take for granted and do not use.

Consider our first past the post system, where only the largest block of votes elects the MLA, regardless of whether this number is 50% of the voters who did vote or not, and we see that actually a small minority of the population elects the MLA.  The second or third place finisher’s votes count for nothing.  A far cry from Elections Manitoba’s bus ad boast that ‘we all count.’  In effect we have a two-party political system in Manitoba like American politics at large.  And as we’ve seen in the US, the issues quickly get lost, the partisan bickering and vitriol is brutal, and very little progress is made.

How can the MLA actually represent all the constituents when only a small block elect him or her?  They cannot.

I am running to bring a few new ideas to the table on how we practice democracy in our society. Something really worth discussing considering much of the world is taking direct action to enact this virtuous word democracy.

i) The first past the post (FPP) system must go.  People who might vote Green or Liberal or for a strong independent are voting NDP still to keep the Conservatives out or vice versa, even if they are already tired of the party they’re voting for’s policies. Continue reading