Good Sunday Morning – January 8

With New Year’s Resolutions still in the air, I really loved this article about Finland.  For five years in a row, Finland has been ranked the happiest country in the world. Of course, I am tempted to say that is because of the fact the Finnish Green Party is in the coalition government… but this Finnish philosopher and psychology researcher points to three things Finns never do.  They do not compare themselves to others, never ignore the benefits of nature and do not break the “community of trust.”  Good stuff for our own resolutions!

Although this week, comparing ourselves to others could make a Canadian Member of Parliament feel a bit superior.  Watching the U.S. House of Representatives elect a new Speaker tended to lead to a certain amount of feeling smug – if not exactly happy. On November 22, 2021, the election of our Speaker took about two hours. The spectacle of fifteen ballots over four days to elect the unremarkable Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House held an element of schadenfreude.  So occasionally, comparing ourselves to others may not be entirely bad for our emotional well-being.

Climate news continued to be top of mind. The first week of January brought more record-smashing climatic events.

Across Europe an unprecedented winter heat wave replaced winter’s chill with balmy temperatures. In Spain, temperatures typical for July occurred in January.  Unlike summer heat waves, these temperatures were no threat to human health. Strangely the unnatural warmth through Europe was a Godsend to the beleaguered people of Ukraine. Energy prices tumbled as demand dropped.  Russia’s attempts to freeze out the people of Ukraine were blunted, while Moscow experienced its more typical minus 20 degrees C.  And I hasten to add I do not think any higher power or atmospheric chemistry is taking sides in this horrific conflict.  But our world of polycrises does link geopolitics and climate in new and unusual ways.

Extreme weather events are a bad sign, even when, as now, I am relieved for Ukraine. Across North America the threats of extreme climate events are growing. California was severely hit this week.  The flooding and high winds were ferocious.

While no one knows when and where the next extreme climate event will occur, there are some reliable climate predictions. This article from the Guardian provides a great look-ahead to the upcoming climate lawsuits to be resolved this year – including the Ontario teenagers who are suing the Doug Ford government in the case of Mathur v. Ontario.

As Greens, we are planning ahead for the largest Earth Day in our history. We are returning to the origins of the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, when events were organized as “teach-ins.” We will hold more teach-ins on climate action than ever before. April 22nd being a Saturday, Greens are getting organized for full-day events, smaller afternoon sessions, in venues big and small across Canada. Please help us spread the word.

In other good news for Greens, we raised more than a half a million dollars in December alone!  I am pretty happy about it, and very grateful to everyone who made a donation!  (Small reminder that the provincial Green parties are totally separate from the Green Party of Canada, so please give to both!)

The Green Party of Canada now has money in the bank and we are debt free. We are not yet where we need to be. We need to be able to re-hire key staff.  For example, without anyone helping with media and press releases, it is very hard to get the word out.   We have a lot of work to do to rebuild in preparation for the next election as well as in upcoming by-elections this year. Please forgive us if you feel we are asking for donations too frequently. We do need more monthly donors and a lot of those loyal donors dropped away over the last few years. We all need to pull together.  Less than two months after winning the leadership, I am so encouraged by how Jonathan and I are being received. We are both optimistic.

I am looking forward to a full week of non-partisan Community Meetings in Saanich-Gulf Islands.  Starting today on Pender, I will be meeting with eight communities in seven days.  Masks are encouraged, and we will be careful about ventilation, so keep your coat handy!  (full schedule below)

Looking forward to seeing you soon – wherever in Canada you may be!

Community Events in Saanich-Gulf Islands:

    • DATE: Sunday, January 8, 2023
    • TIME: 6:00 pm PST to 7:30 pm PST
    • VENUE: Pender Islands Community Hall—4418 Bedwell Harbour Road Pender Island
    • DATE: Tuesday, January 10, 2023
    • TIME: 6:00 pm PST to 7:30 pm PST
    • VENUE: Mayne Island Community Centre—493 Felix Jack Road Mayne Island
    • DATE: Wednesday, January 11, 2023
    • TIME: 5:30 pm PST to 7:00 pm PST
    • VENUE: Galiano Island Community Hall—141 Sturdies Bay Road Galiano Island
    • DATE: Thursday, January 12, 2023
    • TIME: 7:00 pm PST to 8:30 pm PST
    • VENUE: Reynolds Theatre at Reynolds Secondary School—3963 Borden Street Victoria
    • DATE: Friday, January 13, 2023
    • TIME: 5:30 pm PST to 7:00 pm PST
    • VENUE: Fulford Community Hall—2591 Fulford-Ganges Road Salt Spring Island
    • DATE: Saturday, January 14, 2023
    • TIME: 2:00 pm PST to 3:30 pm PST
    • VENUE: CB55+ Association—5238 Cordova Bay Road Victoria
    • DATE: Saturday, January 14, 2023
    • TIME: 7:00 pm PST to 8:30 pm PST
    • VENUE: Mary Winspear Centre— 2243 Beacon Avenue Sidney
    • DATE: Sunday, January 15, 2023
    • TIME: 6:30 pm PST to 8:00 pm PST
    • VENUE: Saturna Recreation Centre—104 Harris Road Saturna Island