Meet our 2018 #KitCon Candidate Nominees!

As the 2018 Ontario Election draws near, the Kitchener—Conestoga Constituency Association is preparing to select our candidate.

Patrick McDonald

Patrick McDonald, candidate nominee

Patrick has been a resident of the Region of Waterloo (Breslau) for 28 years. He has been an active member of the Breslau Recreation Association (serving several of those years as president), has been a very active Kids Chess events organizer, has been for many years a Foster parent and also served for several years on the Safety Kleen Public Liaison Committee. He has been working for many years in the IT industry and currently manages an Implementation and Support Services group.

Patrick started out in the Photographic Arts industry, moving into digital imaging in the early years of this technology and now works with many aspects of commercial Information Technology.

This is Patrick’s first venture into politics.

Bob Jonkman

Bob Jonkman, candidate nominee

Bob first got involved in politics during the 2007 Ontario referendum on Electoral Reform. He has served on the Executive Board of Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter since 2009, and was a founding member of the Pirate Party of Canada, and its Executive Director in 2009-2010.

Professionally, Bob is a computer consultant, providing technical support and training to large and small corporations. Several clients are social justice organizations, in which Bob also takes an active role. He’s an advocate in the Free Software community, encouraging the use of software that respects computer users’ freedom. Bob has spoken at conferences on copyright reform, Free Software, and freely available Open Data from government and business.

Bob has lived in Elmira with his wife Laurel and son Willem for 18 years.

The Kitchener—Contestoga Green Party of Ontario Candidate nomination meeting will take place at 7pm on April 5th, 2018.  GPO members eligible to vote will receive details by email.  If you’re a lapsed member, you still have time to renew your membership so you can vote for your preferred candidate nominee.  If you haven’t received an email, contact for information.

Candidate Nominees Patrick McDonald and Bob Jonkman flank awesome #Kitcon entertainer Sandy MacDonald who performed at Kennedys during our AGM.
2011 KitCon candidate David Weber (pictured here with Sandy MacDonald) will be supervising the candidate election process.



Introducing the 2018 KitCon Executive

Bryan Izzard, Elisabeth Daub, Patrick McDonald, Bob Jonkman, David Weber
2018 Kitchener—Conestoga Executive

Meet the 2018 Kitchener—Conestoga Greens executive!

Kitchener—Conestoga Green Party of Ontario Constituency Association
President: Elisabeth Daub
Chief Financial Officer: Bryan Izzard
Principal Officers – Executive At Large:
David Weber
Laurel Russwurm

Kitchener—Conestoga Green Party of Canada Association
Chief Executive Officer:  Bob Jonkman
Financial Agent: Bryan Izzard
Principal Officers – Executive At Large:
Elisabeth Daub
Patrick McDonald
David Weber
Laurel Russwurm

Contact the KitCon executive at


apres canvassing (2015)

During the 2015 election, Bob & I stopped by Kennedy’s in St. Agatha after a day of canvassing.  The atmosphere was great and the food was very good too.

We thought then it would make a great event location, and so Kennedy’s was our first choice for the annual combined meeting of The Kitchener–Conestoga Greens AGM.  Join us for a pre-AGM dinner at 6:00pm ~ check out Kennedy’s menu!

The AGM is scheduled to begin at 7:00pm and go until 8:00pm.

As it turns out, our event coincides with Kennedy’s pre-St Patricks Day programming.  Although we may be obliged to shoehorn the meeting portion of the evening between performances, the bonus is that SandyMacDonald (formerly of the Beardo Brothers) and the Doyle Irish Dancers are scheduled to perform.

AGM for Kitchener–Conestoga Green Party CA and EDA
Thursday, March 15th, 2018
7:00pm to 8:00pm
Kennedy’s Restaurant
1750 Erb’s Road, St. Agatha, Ontario Map

Everyone is welcome to attend the AGM, but only paid-up members can vote or run for the Executive. Lapsed members can renew their membership that night, but new members would have had to renew their membership on or before March1st, 2018.

The main business is to elect a new executive for the upcoming year.  Positions to be filled are:

  • EDA Chief Executive Officer (currently Bob Jonkman)
  • EDA Financial Agent (currently Laurel Russwurm)
  • CA President (currently Bob Jonkman)
  • CA Chief Financial Officer (currently Laurel Russwurm)
  • Up to three Principal Officers (currently Marie Bridel, David Weber, Wiyanna Green)

The AGM also marks the closing day for candidate nominations for the Provincial Election, so you’ll get a chance to meet the #KitCon candidate nominee(s).    If you’d like to run, you have until tomorrow to contact Maureen Balsillie, Organizer for the Green Party of Ontario at or +1–519–400–1437

The Kitchener–Conestoga Nomination Contest will be held in April to select a candidate for the June provincial election.

After the meeting we plan to chat about politics over a beverage and enjoy the entertainment ~ maybe even until closing.  We hope to see you there!

Laurel Russwurm
Kitchener–Conestoga Greens

Joint letter to Prime Minister Trudeau on finance minister Bill Morneau’s comment on pharmacare

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

Re: Minister Morneau should recuse himself from the pharmacare file given his perceived conflict of interest

We write to express our dismay at comments made today by Finance Minister Bill Morneau before the Economic Club of Canada regarding pharmacare. In the absence of any terms of reference for the newlyannounced Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare (ACINP), Minister Morneau has already presupposed the outcome. His comments today suggest a sharp turn away from the evidence-based pharmacare recommendations that every commission ever convened on the topic has made, as well as the commitments of Morneau’s own Liberal Party at their most recent convention.

In his comments before the Economic Club of Canada regarding the ACINP, Minister Morneau differentiated between a “national pharmacare strategy” and a “national pharmacare plan,” calling them “two very different things.” He went on to say, “we recognize that we need a strategy to deal with the fact that not everyone has access and we need to do it in a way that’s responsive – that deals with the gaps and that doesn’t throw out the system we currently have.”

Minister Morneau’s comments are incorrect: Canadians have witnessed decades of research, consultations, Royal Commissions and parliamentary studies which have overwhelmingly recommended a national pharmacare plan, not piecemeal coverage. Moreover, after receiving testimony from 99 expert witnesses, the Commons health committee is on the verge of unveiling a landmark report to Parliament which is expected to recommend the same: a universal pharmacare plan.

Minister Morneau’s comments contradict the overwhelming evidence and threaten to undermine the work of the ACINP before it even begins. We request that he retract these statements and recuse himself from involvement with the ACINP. This is a vital step to eliminate any perceived conflict of interest. To ensure its legitimacy, the ACINP must be guided exclusively by evidence and public interest. In his speech, the Minister also stated “my firm [Morneau Shepell] was the largest provider of benefits consultancy services in Canada.” With these deep ties to the private firm Morneau Shepell, we are concerned that the Finance Minister may not be approaching the issue of fundamental change in national drug insurance policies with an exclusive focus on evidence in the public interest.

As health professionals and labour leaders, we are committed to the wellbeing of patients and the effectiveness of our health care services, it is our hope that insurance industry and pharmaceutical industry interests will not play a role in the implementation of universal public pharmacare. Canada must join the rest of the industrialized world and establish what the evidence shows works best – a universal, public pharmacare system similar to our universal health care system.

We remain optimistic about the appointment of Dr. Eric Hoskins to chair the ACINP. With his track record in Ontario, as a public official committed to the wellbeing of patients, he is the right person for the job. We look forward to working collaboratively with Dr. Hoskins and the ACINP to assemble a blueprint for the implementation of a national pharmacare plan by early 2019. Thank you for your consideration of this letter.


Linda Silas, RN, BScN
President, Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions

Dr. Danyaal Raza, MD MPH CCFP
Chair, Canadian Doctors for Medicare

Hassan Yussuff
President, Canadian Labour Congress

Source: Joint letter to Prime Minister Trudeau on finance minister Bill Morneau’s comment on pharmacare

Canadians are rightly proud of our Universal Healthcare, but it is high time we incorporated pharmacare to ensure the best health outcomes for all Canadians.

The Green Party of Canada unveiled a proper National Pharmacare Plan in 2015.  The Kitchener Conestoga Greens applaud the Trudeau Government’s commitment to a national pharmacare plan, but agree with all the experts that such a plan be universal, public and comprehensive, because all Canadians deserve to be able to treat our ailments with the medicine our doctors prescribe.

We support the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, Canadian Doctors for Medicare and the Canadian Labour Congress call for Mr Morneau to recuse himself from this process, to ensure the integrity  of the process and avoid even the appearance of impropriety.