Good Sunday Morning – February 18

Good Sunday Morning!

The National Leaders’ tour is now underway with great kick off events in Guelph on Friday and Saturday and more planned for Toronto and Kitchener this coming week. Today I am headed to church in Bowmanville, Ontario. Bowmanville is in the federal riding of Durham, a Conservative stronghold once represented by Bev Oda and then by Erin O’Toole. O’Toole’s departure from parliament last year led to Trudeau’s calling of a by-election for Durham to be held March 4. We are not getting excited about a possible win here, but Green candidate Kevin Mackenzie is doing his best against tough odds!

Friday night in Guelph was the first time we have had a shared town hall with JP and me and elected Ontario Greens on stage – GPO Leader and MPP for Guelph, Mike Schreiner, and our dynamic duo from Kitchener Centre, Mike Morrice MP and Aislinn Clancy MPP! Guelph was an intentional place to launch a 2024 tour, leading to a 2025 election. We have every reason to be optimistic about winning the federal seat for Guelph next time with the retirement of its current Liberal MP. Mike Schreiner and Mike Morrice tell me there are a number of strong candidates ready to throw their hats in the ring for the Green nomination. I am excited to have a realistic chance of a much larger federal caucus, with at least two Ontario Green MPs joining more from BC, Atlantic Canada and Quebec.

We also have encouraging details of the PEI win that I only realized this week. The last provincial election was held less than a year ago- April 3, 2023. The Green popular vote was higher than the second place Liberals, no NDP candidates won, and the Conservatives under Premier Danny King won a majority government. With Matt MacFarlane’s by-election win this month, there is one less Conservative MLA and the Greens are now tied with the Liberals in seat count 3 to 3.  Given that the Greens had more votes in 2023 than the Liberals, with a lot of districts with Greens in strong second place finishes, the cry has gone up on PEI that it should be the Greens and not the Liberals with Official Opposition status. Fingers crossed!

On Friday we learned the devastating news of the death in prison of Alexei Navalny. His bravery has always been astonishing. In 2020 Putin’s regime poisoned him, causing him to be hospitalized. Fearing for his life, the German government sent a plane to bring him to a German hospital where the poison agent was identified, a cholinesterase inhibitor – Novichok. This particular poison has been established in other cases to be a killer of choice of Russian agents. Having been brought to a German hospital, Navalny could have lived out his days in safety abroad, Instead, at the age of 47, he has died under mysterious circumstances in a remote northern penal colony.

Canada’s former ambassador to Russia, now retired and living in the Victoria-area, Jeremy Kinsman, wrote this for Policy magazine on February 16, 2024.

“Alexei Navalny’s murder — because that is what it is — will make of his example a precious national legend of bravery. The open secret of the personalized autocracy’s venality has now become a public truth.”

In the 2022 documentary, “Navalny,” he had a message for what his death would mean if it ever happened.

“If they decide to kill me, we are incredibly strong,” he said, addressing Russian citizens. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good people to do nothing. So don’t be inactive.”

“You’re not allowed to give up,” Navalny said in the Daniel Rohr film, adding that “we need to utilize this power to not give up, to remember we are a huge power that is being oppressed …”

These are words to live by. No matter who we are and no matter where we are, we are not allowed to give up in the fights against tyranny, oppression, and corporate power.

Meanwhile, in Question Period on Thursday, I pressed once again for Canada to right the wrong of decades of the WTO continually undermining environmental and climate goals. I remain hopeful the WTO 13th Ministerial, opening on February 26th may correct for the assumption of trade supremacy over climate goals.

Lastly, here is a great article on our work on trains written by one of my favourite journalists, Joan Baxter. She has been key to exposing the abuses of indigenous peoples and the environment at the pulp mill in Pictou Nova Scotia.  Hope you like this article summarizing some of my parliamentary work to expand VIA service.

Trying to give VIA Rail a chance – Halifax Examiner – February 12

Take time to really enjoy tomorrow’s Family Day statutory holiday. It is real progress for me to take advantage of a slower day. It is not quite a day off, but I will be meeting with Greens in Toronto and looking forward to a slow(er) day!

If you are a Green Party member please vote and respond to messages about the policy motions! The co-leadership proposal needs support!

G23-C002 Amending our Constitution: Instituting Co-Leadership

Love and thanks!!


Saanich-Gulf Islands Greens