Good Sunday Morning – June 30

Good Sunday Morning!

Sorry to all that we decided to postpone the planned party for last night. We hope to have a date picked to enjoy that lovely home and generous offer before too long. (Will keep you posted!)

This week will be fun and eventful! First today is the official kick-off for Canada Day in Sidney—opening ceremonies in Beacon Park at 7:15pm and then an evening of fireworks. If not for the opening ceremonies today, I would be in Toronto for Toronto’s Pride parade. In fact, this is the first year since 2006 that I am missing Toronto Pride. Fortunately, my political partner Green Deputy Leader Jonathan Pedneault will be there to march with Ontario Green leader Mike Schreiner and throngs of volunteers. It is always a highlight. On Canada Day I start early flipping pancakes at Mary Winspear Centre with the Lions Club Pancake Breakfast, raising money for the local Food Bank. By 11:30am I look forward to seeing local friends and supporters in our non-partisan participation in the Canada Day parade down Beacon Avenue. Then happily we head to our water taxi and a Tour Des Îles, stopping at local Canada Day events on Salt Spring Island and Saturna’s famous Canada Day lamb BBQ. Our next big Green gathering will be on July 7th for Victoria’s Pride parade as federal and BC Greens march together. I am so thrilled that Jonathan Pedneault will be coming to BC to join us.

Meanwhile around the world. In different corners and different nations, leaders are being urged “step aside for the good of the party, for the good of the country!” How odd that the Toronto—St. Paul’s by-election has increased this chorus to Justin Trudeau at precisely the same time that the disastrous presidential debate has led to the same message to Joe Biden south of the border. Meanwhile, challenges to leaders in Europe are nerve-wracking. France’s Emmanual Macron has taken one hell of a gamble in calling a snap election in response to the worrying rise of the right in the EU elections. There will be two rounds of voting in France, the first today and the second on July 7th. As of today, the far right are in the lead.

Fingers crossed for the Greens of England and Wales for their July 4th election. At the moment, they could win multiple seats after having only one from 2010 until now. “‘Relentless, almost ruthless focus’: Green party co-leaders grow into their double act”
“Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay can be in two places at once on campaign trail as party hopes to win four seats.”

I am just back from a campaign swing through New Brunswick where one could not find a stronger, more diligent, ethical or better leader than NB Green MLA David Coon. With NB Greens campaign manager Jo-Ann Roberts (whom we can also claim as our own!), we toured fourteen ridings in three days. I did our classic Dutch auction in two ridings, netting over $15,000. Currently the NB Green caucus of Coon, Megan Mitton and Kevin Arsenault make a huge impact in the NB Legislature. The October elections are set for major growth in that caucus. My sense on the ground was of a real surge.

And that brings me home. Right home to the surprising announcement from my MLA, Adam Olsen that he will not run in the next election. I struggle with the same questions, how much of my life can I give the Green Party? Especially now as my dear girl is expecting her first child in late October. Strangely enough, yesterday was the anniversary of the day I nearly died with a hemorrhagic stroke. But I didn’t die. In fact, I did not have any long-term impacts on my mind, mobility or energy levels. I have no idea how that can be, and yet it is. When people suggest that the stroke was a sign that maybe I should do less, all I can think of is my many blessings, my amazing life partner John Kidder, my family and the planet I leave to my precious unborn grandchild. To me, surviving that stroke delivered a clear message: my work here is not done. The last week is one that many people half my age could not have done. Saturday the 22nd was a packed day of SGI community events and then an overnight to get to Montreal for the 20-hour train ride to New Brunswick. After three days of campaigning in NB, I was in Ottawa for work Thursday. Friday was a 22-hour day, waking up in Ottawa at 2am BC time, flying across the country and arriving late into YVR, running through the airport to catch the last leg of the flight to Victoria and heading into Victoria Beacon Hill to campaign with David Coon’s equal on the west coast. BC Green Leader Sonia Furstenau is an inspiration. Her voice is consistent, calm and crystal clear. Ethical and principled. We hit the streets of Victoria-Beacon Hill where she is running, as leader where she will continue as their MLA. Just like canvassing in NB, we had door after door open as voters said, “I am voting Green! I love Sonia. Yes, I want a lawn sign.” And then we went straight into a fundraiser where generous donors gave another $10,000. As Sonia explained, Adam’s decision is a boost to the party as he takes over as BC Green campaign chair. Strong community leaders are already contacting the BC Greens prepared to run in Saanich North and the Islands. I am determined that I will continue to be SGI’s MP and I will have a Green MLA. Still, one year later, I feel the sense of living on borrowed time. I promise you all, I will not push my luck.

Leadership matters. Character and principle matter. In all of the world-wide turmoil, clear and calm voices matter to hold democracies together and lead the charge for a re-imagined world; one where justice rises above self-interest, a world secure from the harms of fascism and endless corporate greed. A long time ago, the former prime minister of Norway, chair of the World Commission on Environment and Development, Gro Harlem Brundtland said, “the Earth is one, but the world is not.” Our hope lies in a radical change to One World-One Love.

One clear voice. One that quells the noise. That is why we need Greens. We will never give up on that call to lead.

Please be well, enjoy the week and I look forward to seeing you soon!


Saanich-Gulf Islands Greens

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