Mobilize resistance to Bill 66

This is not a WR Greens event, but may be of interest to environmentally conscientious members.

Laura Hamilton from Divest WaterlooDivest Waterloo writes:

I’m writing with some urgency today as we have very little time to mobilize resistance to Bill 66, known as Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act. I have included more information about this Bill below.

Grand River Environmental Network | Grand River Environmental Network | www.gren.caGREN is planning a preliminary meeting

TONIGHT
Tuesday December 18th
7pm
at CIGI
67 Erb Street West, Waterloo, Ontario in room A-142

to discuss the environmental implications of this legislation and to plan next steps for January.

Please extend this invitation to others whom you feel would be interested and able to support our efforts.

I apologize for the short notice and appreciate the difficulty of this request coming so close to the holidays. Our next meeting in January will be on Thursday the 3rd. Consultation closes on January 28th, so we really cannot delay.

Background on Bill 66

Last week, the Doug Ford government introduced Bill 66, known as “Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act.” Among its targets is the Greenbelt Act. Bill 66 would allow municipalities to circumvent Greenbelt protections by enacting “Open for Business” bylaws under which they could approve factories and business parks within the Greenbelt. Smaller municipalities (under 250,000) would simply need to show the Ford government that their Greenbelt development would create 50 jobs. For larger cities the requirement would be 100 jobs.

Related measures in Bill 66 would empower municipalities to exempt developers rules designed to protect wildlife and municipal water supplies, including the Clean Water Act, which was enacted following the Walkerton water tragedy in 2000 when seven people died after drinking the town’s contaminated water.

Geoffrey Stevens, The Record Dec 10/18:
Doug Ford’s hypocrisy on the Greenbelt

[editorial Cartoon]

Other Acts targeted by the Ford government in the astonishing broad scope of Bill 66 include

and * numerous other protections that help to ensure the safety and quality of life for millions of Ontarians.

If approved, Bill 66 could destroy our environmental regulations, contaminate our drinking water and circumvent good planning by haphazardly opening up farmland and natural areas for development with no requirement for public meetings or communications and no opportunity for appeal to any decisions.

It is a reckless bill to enhance the profits of only a few large businesses and corporations who would bypass important rules and safely regulations at a huge cost to every Ontarian.

We have just 42 days to stop this major threat to public safety, our environment, and natural resources we all depend on before the Ford government will attempt to approve this Bill. It is been called the biggest and most significant environmental rollback in a generation and we need to act now to mobilize as a community and kill Bill 66.

Further reading:

* Other Laws impacted by Bill 66

  • Agricultural Employees Protection Act, 2002
  • Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014
  • Education Act
  • Employment Standards Act, 2000
  • Farm Registration and Farm Organizations Funding Act, 1993
  • Highway Traffic Act
  • Labour Relations Act, 1995
  • Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act
  • Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998
  • Pawnbrokers Act
  • Pension Benefits Act
  • Personal Property Security Act
  • Planning Act
  • Private Career Colleges Act, 2005
  • Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000
  • Wireless Services Agreements Act, 2013

 

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Christmas Dinner Plans

Even if Mr Ford hadn’t decided to put a stop to the $15 dollar minimum wage, it wouldn’t have raised minimum wage earners above the Low Income Cutoff (LICO) for Waterloo Region. Although we’re told we ‘recovered’ from the recession of 2008, Canadians earning minimum wage nearly doubled (from 6% – 10%) between 2017 and 2018.  Minimum wage jobs don’t just have low pay, very often they are for precarious work.

Although Waterloo Region is a rich community, many members of our community are financially strained during the holiday season.  (And for the rest of the year, too.)

MYTH: Poverty is not an issue in Waterloo Region. More than 1 in 10 people in Waterloo Region live in poverty. REALITY: Although Waterloo Region is a great place to work, live and play, poverty is an issue in our community. In 2006, approximately 10.2 per cent of residents (48,000 people) in Waterloo Region were living with low income. Imagine - you could fill the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium seven times with this many people! Did you know... • 12.2% or 13,750 children 0 to 17 years in Waterloo Region are living in low income.2 • 451,411 meals were served in 2011 through meal programs throughout Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo.3 • In May 2013, there were 8,727 cases on the Ontario Works (OW) caseload. This is a 39% increase in the caseload from September 2008.
2013 Poverty Myth Busters for Waterloo Region (page 3)
Download the PDF

That’s why the Green Party supports raising the minimum wage to a living wage, and implementing a Guaranteed Livable Income (universal basic income set at 10% above LICO).    You can find out more about Basic Income from our friends at Basic Income Waterloo.

Unfortunately that’s not going to happen until we start electing more Greens.  In the meantime, people are living in poverty and Christmas is coming.


UPDATE: We’ve added new pages (in the Resources section of the top menu):


The following is a list of free Waterloo Region Christmas Dinner options for people in need.  If you (or anyone you know) is in need of a good dinner over the holidays, please share.  (And if you’re able I imagine these organizations would welcome volunteers.)

I’m not sure who originated this list (I received as a paper handout), but most of the dinner locations listed here are for the City of Kitchener.  If you know of any others in the rest of the region– Cambridge, Waterloo or the Townships, please share and I’ll add them to the list.

Friday December 14th, 2018

Trinity United Church – Christmas Dinner Community Can Dine – Elmira, Ontario
6:00pm-7:30pm
21 Arthur St. N., Elmira Ontario

Saturday, December 15th, 2018

Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church – Regular Saturday Supper
open 5:00pm-8:00pm – Supper served 5:30-7:30pm
57 Stirling Avenue North, Kitchener

Sunday, December 16th, 2018

KCI Christmas Dinner
10:45am – 1:30pm

787 King Street W., Kitchener (enter off King Street)
Tickets available at St. John’s Kitchen or St Mark’s Church
(Limited tickets available last week of November and first week of December)

Thursday December 20th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Festive Dinner
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Friday December 21st, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Regular Hours
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Saturday December 22nd, 2018

Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church – Regular Saturday Supper – open 5:00pm-8:00pm
Supper served 5:30-7:30pm
57 Stirling Avenue North, Kitchener

Sunday December 23rd, 2018

Caper’s Sports Bar – Christmas Dinner
Noon – 3:00pm
1 Queen Street North, Kitchener
*Toy and Clothing giveaway

Monday December 24th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Festive Dinner
11:30am to 1:00pm
Meal by St Vincent de Paul
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Ray of Hope – Festive Dinner
7:00pm-8:30pm
659 King Street East, (Back Door) Kitchener

Tuesday December 25th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Christmas Dinner by Friends of St John’s Kitchen
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Ray of Hope – Regular Dinner
7:00pm-8:30pm
659 King Street East, (Back Door) Kitchener

Wednesday, December 26th, 2018

First United Church Christmas Buffet
11:30am-1pm
16 William Street, Waterloo

Thursday, December 27th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Festive Dinner
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Friday, December 28th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Festive Dinner
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Saturday, December 29th, 2018

Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church – Regular Saturday Supper
open 5:00pm-8:00pm – Supper served 5:30-7:30pm
57 Stirling Avenue North, Kitchener

Sunday December 30th, 2018

Ray of Hope – Lunch
Noon-1:30pm
659 King Street East, (Back Door) Kitchener

Monday, December 31, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Regular Hours
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Tuesday, January 1st, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen CLOSED

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Regular Hours
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

The Ford Government passes the buck on #ClimateAction #ONpoli

Ontario’s new “Climate Policy” is passing the buck to us.  As with the previous government, ordinary people are encouraged to renovate our homes and buy more fuel efficient cars.  But now, the program subsidies that would help us do these things are gone.  Even worse, our tax dollars will go into a fund to reward industries who pollute now.

So.  People get no help to do our part.  Instead, our tax dollars will go to fuel big businesses.

Sounds like money out of our pocket.  Again.

You can read it yourself here:

https://prod-environmental-registry.s3.amazonaws.com/2018-11/EnvironmentPlan.pdf

Mike Schreiner on Ontario’s new “Climate” Plan

“We were promised a climate strategy, but were given a litter reduction plan.

If this is the government’s response to the dire warnings from the IPCC about the impending climate catastrophe, then they clearly were not listening.

Instead of showing leadership, the government is weakening Ontario’s previous targets and adopting an unproven carbon trust model that is unlikely to reduce emissions. The new Trudeau/Harper targets mean that we will fail to meet the goals set under Paris Climate Agreement.

More importantly we will not meet our obligations to leave a livable planet for our children and grandchildren.

Asking citizens to pay polluters and setting up burdensome new regulations will only cost more and delay action. These will do little to put Ontario on a pathway to being carbon neutral by 2050. Instead, they signal that Ontario is throwing in the towel.

And asking Ontarians to reduce litter in the face a climate crisis is like the US President asking Californians to rake leaves to prevent forest fires.

We should expect better. We must demand a real plan.

Pollution pricing is basic economics. But this government continues to ignore the consensus from scientists, experts and even conservative economists who agree on it. The Premier could embrace the $26 trillion clean economy and put money directly in people’s pockets by adopting the Green Party’s carbon fee and dividend solution.

At the end of the day, we will all pay the price for this irresponsible plan. But in the face of evidence and real solutions, this government has chosen to be on the wrong side of history.”

Mike Schreiner, Leader
Green Party of Ontario
https://gpo.ca/2018/11/29/pc-government-releases-litter-reduction-plan-not-climate-plan/

 

 

 

Mike Schreiner on Bill 57 #ONpoli

Quote: Ontario should be leading the electric vehicle revolution, not losing jobs to it." Mike Schreiner addresses the Legislative Assembly of Ontario

I don’t think it’s just me.   Or even partisanship.  Every time Mike Schreiner speaks in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, he makes a lot of sense.

Yesterday Mike rose to debate Bill 57, speaking against:

  • the elimination of independent legislative officers,
  • dismantling checks and balances,
  • a resurgence of big money dominance of Ontario politics,
  • further erosion of transparency, and
  • more centralization of power.

Watch the 6 minute video and see who is representing us at Queen’s Park:

Should Fracking and Tarsands Expansion be *EXEMPT* from environmental review?

We don’t.

If the Trudeau Government goes ahead and does *this* it will make it even harder to stop such projects even when it’s clear they aren’t in the public interest thanks because of all the ISDS clauses in all the so called “free trade” agreements our governments keep signing.   I don’t think this is what voters envisioned when candidate Justin Trudeau’s campaign promises about fixing the regulatory framework.

Here’s what Environmental Defence has to say:

Canada’s government is proposing to exempt two of the highest-carbon types of projects in the country—fracking and in situ tar sands projects – from the federal environmental review process.

As part of the federal government’s reform of the environmental laws that guide the review process for energy and industrial projects, it has proposed a new approach to the list of projects that are legally required to undergo a federal impact assessment.

The list currently includes everything from coal mines to pipelines to refineries to airports to offshore wind farms. Fracking and in situ tar sands developments are notably absent from the list.

In addition to questions about chemicals, earthquakes and groundwater contamination, the carbon pollution from fracked gas can be as high as coal. Meanwhile, the oil industry is planning to massively expand in situ tar sands projects, which by 2030 are projected to emit as much carbon as all of the personal vehicles in the country. Yet the federal government wants to give fracking and in situ a free pass on environmental impact assessments.

In addition to questions about chemicals, earthquakes and groundwater contamination, the carbon pollution from fracked gas can be as high as coal. Meanwhile, the oil industry is planning to massively expand in situ tar sands projects, which by 2030 are projected to emit as much carbon as all of the personal vehicles in the country. Yet the federal government wants to give fracking and in situ a free pass on environmental impact assessments.

Tell the federal government to frack off. ALL high-carbon projects must get a federal impact assessment.

If you agree with us that this is a very bad idea indeed, use the handy Environmental Defence tool to send a letter to Catherine McKenna (Environment and Climate Change Minister), Amarjeet Sohi, (Natural Resources Minister, and your local MP.

Tell the Government what you think

Public Forum: Adapting to Climate Change in Waterloo Region

In 2013 the Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival blew away.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018
5:45 PM – 8:00 PM EST

The Region of Waterloo is consulting with a wide variety of local organizations and residents to develop a Community-wide Climate Adaptation Plan. This plan aims to help reduce the potential impacts of extreme weather and climate change to the community. Impacts could affect human health and safety, cause damages to properties and infrastructure, and negatively affect the natural environment.

By participating in this Public Forum, you will have an opportunity to:

  • Discover how climate change may affect Waterloo Region, and how these impacts can be addressed through the Region’s Community-wide Climate Adaptation Plan
  • Help shape the Plan by participating in an interactive activity, where you will have an opportunity to provide input and ideas on potential actions that the community can take to better prepare for climate change and extreme weather.

A light meal and refreshments will be served.

PRELIMINARY AGENDA

5:45 – 6:00 – Doors open, food and beverages available

6:00 – 6:30 – Introductory presentation, including an overview of the Community Climate Adaptation Plan and priority risks for Waterloo Region

6:30 – 8:00 – Interactive brainstorming activity

ADDITIONAL VENUE INFORMATION

The event will be held in Room 1-42 at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, located in the CIGI Campus at 67 Erb Street West, Waterloo.
Parking in the CIGI parking lot behind the building will be free for attendees of this event.

Space is limited, so please register if you would like to attend.
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/public-forum-adapting-to-climate-change-in-waterloo-region-tickets-51476361182

*Note: This is not a WRGreens Event