Good Sunday Morning!!
Yesterday morning was a very good one as I woke up on Mayne Island to the fantastic results in Australia’s election. Greens had their best results ever!
It is great news for the world that the climate regressive government of Conservative Scott Morrison was defeated, with what looks to be a Labour minority government. The amazing surge in Green votes should give us all hope. Green leader Adam Bandt is a friend and a totally great guy. I am so happy for him as the national vote surged from under 2% to over 12%!
Aussie Greens have a lot in common with Canadians. We suffer from perverse voting systems. The only more progressive voting system in Australia is that their Senate is elected using STV. That’s why historically Australian Green leaders from founder Bob Brown to Christine Milne ro Richard di Natale were all Senators. But ranked ballots in lower house have meant that Adam was the first and remaining only MP there since he was elected in 2010. That one seat gave Greens the balance of power to put Labour leader Julia Gillard in as Prime Minister. Adam took over as leader a few years ago and has done an amazing job. It really made a difference to have the Greens leader also be an MP. He hammered home the message, particularly in the parts of the country most devastated by extreme climate disasters, that Australia needed to take the climate emergency seriously.
Labour leader Anthony Albanese is the new PM of Australia. Adam Bandt has already signaled that Greens with however many additional seats they have (as I write this it is not clear if they will have 2 or 3 more seats) are open to discussions with Labour. Greens could end up in Cabinet.
More good news for Greens, and closer to home, is the terrific work Mike Schreiner is doing in the Ontario election. If you missed it, all the mainstream media proclaimed Mike the winner in May 16th’s leaders’ debate! “Mr. Ford categorically lost the debate to Mike Schreiner,” wrote Globe and Mail’s veteran journalist John Ibbitson. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-with-the-debates-now-finished-and-no-games-changed-only-two-factors/
Mike has led the Green Party of Ontario since 2009, but this week was the first time most Ontario voters got to see him in action. Until he won his seat in Guelph in 2018, he was shut out of the leaders’ debate. His first time up at bat, Mike really knocked it out of the park. He also got a positive COVID test within days of the debate as did the NDP leader. But fortunately, Mike is not suffering symptoms that have kept him down. On the contrary, he has been doing lots of media interviews and on-line campaigning from his home in Guelph. He will be out of isolation and back at a vigorous pace soon. https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-greens-seek-to-build-on-schreiner-s-debate-performance-eye-two-ridings-1.5906608
On Thursday, I’ll be heading to Ontario to spend Friday in Parry Sound-Muskoka knocking on doors with Matt Richter and to University Rosedale to boost Dianne Saxe’s campaign. Momentum is building for Greens in Ontario with the vote looming on June 2nd.
It is hard to call this next update “good news” as it is harrowing. You may remember how Greens have railed against the many Indigenous deaths in police “wellness” checks. One really horrific example was the killing of Chantal Moore on June 4, 2020. Chantal was Nuu-chah-Nuulth, Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, so from Vancouver Island, but killed in New Brunswick where she had moved to live near her mom. Chantal was beautiful, young woman, a bit over 5 feet, shot by a police officer over 6 feet tall who claimed that he had no choice but to shoot her five times as she had a knife in her hand. There had been previous reports from the Quebec Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI) (the body that reviews complaints against New Brunswick police), plus the Public Prosecutions Service of New Brunswick. I read all the reports as they came out and was so deeply angry at the holes in the evidence, the prejudicial and racist ways in which those reports, white-washing the action of the Edmundston police officer who shot her multiple times, referred to Chantal.
So while not happy-making news, it was a big step towards justice that the jury in the inquest into her death ruled on Friday that it was a case of homicide. https://globalnews.ca/news/8848043/policing-expert-coroners-inquest-chantel-moore/
Wishing you all a lovely rest of this long weekend. Here in Saanich-Gulf Islands we have sun. I know in Guelph, Mike reports yesterday had high winds and there were multiple severe thunderstorm warnings for the Ottawa area and some snow forecasts for the Prairies. Speaking of which, I had planned to write an analysis of the Alberta court of appeal decision on impact assessment this week- and the political storms of Alberta as well. But the Australian election results has bumped my thoughts of Alberta to next week!
Happy Platinum Jubilee to her Majesty on this weekend of the official birthday celebration of Queen Victoria. Please see the Postscript for details of two zoom events coming up. Tuesday is a non-partisan event for Saanich-Gulf Islands and Wednesday is a Green Party Caucus event. Please sign up!!
Love and thanks,
Virtual Saanich-Gulf Islands Community Meeting
When: Tuesday, May 24, 2022 06:30 PM Vancouver
Register in advance for this meeting:
Caucus Town Hall
Wednesday, May 25, 2022 – 20:00 to 21:00 EDT
It’s been a momentous few months in the House of Commons where MPs have been busy debating the war in Ukraine, the occupation of Ottawa, the federal budget and the government’s emissions reduction plan, among numerous other important issues
And our small but mighty Green caucus – parliamentary leader Elizabeth May and Mike Morrice – have been in the thick of it.
Come and hear all about it from Elizabeth and Mike. Register now for the first virtual Caucus Town Hall of 2022 to be held Wednesday, May 25 starting at 8:00 p.m. ET (5:00 PT)
Saanich-Gulf Islands Greens