ABOUT MY GREEN BACKGROUND

This blog will provide my perspective on the governance and operation of the Green Party of Canada and occasionally about Provincial and Global Greens as well. 

I joined the Green Party in 2005. My first candidate experience was running for the Green Party of Ontario in my home riding of Renfew-Nipissing-Pembroke in 2007. I became hooked and ran for the Provincial Executive where I became Eastern Ontario Male Rep which also meant that you are the organizer for the region along with the Female Rep. My colleague Jeanie Warnock and I managed to get functioning Constituency Associations in all ridings.


My high water mark as a candidate came in the 2010 Ontario by-election in Ottawa West-Nepean where I ran against former mayor Bob Chiarelli and still managed to get over 8%. Greens from all over the region came to help and it showed me first hand how good by-elections can be for Greens. Ten years later, we can make many more of them winnable as we have won by-election at both the federal and provincial levels. 


I became a bit of a political tourist as I attended the Global Greens Congress in Brazil in 2008, followed by a trip to Stuttgaart Germany in 2009 with James O'Grady for a convention of local Councillors of the European Greens. I travelled to England to work on Caroline Lucas campaign in Brighton Hove in 2010 where she was became the first Green elected in a First Past the Post electoral system. I also made my way to Australia later that summer to work on Adam Bandt's successful campaign in Melbourne and was pleased to give a congratulatory speech on behalf of Canadian Greens.


In 2011, I ran for the first time federally, again in Ottawa West-Nepean, and this time against John Baird. I was inspired by a fantastic group of candidates in the Ottawa region. I decided to put my governance skills forward and became President of the GPC in the summer of 2012 just before the Victoria Biannual General Meeting. Much of my concern about the party stems from that year. There was not enough support and interest given to members who wanted to be active locally and eight years later, the situation is probably worse. Certainly the party has become even more secretive. 

After all of that time and energy spent, I took the road that many former active members of the Greens took. I became disillusioned with the party and let my party memberships lapse.


Focusing locally, I ran successfully for Township Councillor in McNab/Braeside in 2014 after leading a very successful petition on recreation. The previous Council ignored that petition and all 5 incumbents lost. Petitions can be very powerful for Greens as well.  I did not seek re-election in 2018 as I knew that I would be travelling extensively for business. I rejoined the party when Elizabeth May stepped down as leader since the party was overdue for a new beginning and I felt that I could contribute. 

The Green Party of Canada can govern this country in several election cycles, I believe, if it makes some key changes. I have met so many fantastic people along the way whose talents fell by the wayside as the party became just another Canadian party that is all about its leader and central control.  I supported the leader-centric strategy until about the time that I was President in 2012 but the party failed to move away from that step. I will propose some ideas for stability and growth for the party and I hope that my blog helps towards that goal. 

Once we get through this Covid 19 phase of history, we will be faced again with the daunting prospects of the planet burning up. Where I differ from most climate change activists is that I believe that climate change can actually be averted and reversed. All of the excess carbon in the atmosphere that Canada has ever generated can be removed from the air and put into soils. If you are interested in how that can happen, please contact me.

 

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White Lake, Ontario

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