SGM16 Newsletter

Happy New Year Young Greens of Canada! 

Without a doubt, 2016 was a mixed bag of surprises for the world, and Canada was no exception. We are now over a year into our Liberal majority government, the 42nd Parliament of Canada, and a great deal has transpired in this short time. Pipelines were approved, the Special Electoral Reform Committee visited Canadi-ans from coast to coast to coast, land temperatures reached record highs, awareness was raised nationally about Truth and Reconciliation… Our party even convened twice in a single year, a rather unprecedented occurrence! 

It’s been several months since our last message to you, and this first newsletter of 2017 hopes to in-form you of some of the most recent events the Young Greens of Canada have been up to. 

Cherie Wong, Ian Soutar, Jesse Langelier, William Gagnon: the 2016/17 YGC Councillors at the Calgary SGM 

Cherie Wong, Ian Soutar, Jesse Langelier, William Gagnon: the 2016/17 YGC Councillors at the Calgary SGM 

Calgary Special General Meeting

It was with the first days of a snowy, Alberta winter that the Green Party of Canada convened in Calgary in the first weekend of December. There was a lot of business that was covered, and while it’s almost impossible to get to all the resolutions put forward for plenary, monumental progress was made on several important issues. 

Consensus was the underlying theme of plenary, and to the delight of the YGC, we reached it on nearly all the resolutions presented to the convention. We now have an incredibly progressive stance on the conflict in Israel and 

Palestine, we are the first federal party to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery, we agreed that while many forms of Proportional Representation have their own, unique benefits, for the sake of simplicity we decided to back Mixed Member Proportional as our favourite choice for PR, though without limiting ourselves to exclusively that. We agreed that a referendum regarding PR could be a good thing; if it were to happen before the next election the choices in said referendum should only include PR options, or we could have it after having at least two elections using a proportional system and Canadians are familiar with its effectiveness. 

Adrian Carr, Green councillor for the city of Vancouver, presented her resolution on the Kinder Morgan pipe-line, which the party agreed wholeheartedly on (of course!), and we dedicated our future time, effort and resources to engaging and educating Canadians across the country on the urgency of runaway climate change. 

It was a difficult event for youth to access, unfortunately, due to travel costs and conflicting times with mid-terms for students, but we still managed to bring out several Young Greens, including Muna Sonia, Thana Boonlert, Marco Antonio, Eric Glimore, Sky Losier, and of course your YGC councillors William Gagnon, Ian Soutar, Cherie Wong and Jesse Langelier. Thanks to everyone for making the mighty trek out and representing our group and our values as Canadian youth! 

CURRENT AFFAIRS

The Dakota Access Pipeline Our fellow activists in Standing Rock, North Dakota, celebrated a massive victory for their fight against big oil, as a key permit to its construction was denied. The news reached our Greens mere hours after our moment of solidarity at the SGM in Calgary, which resulted in a massive outburst of cheers and celebrations within our ranks.  The battle, of course, is still far from over, especially with the recently elected, oil-eager president on his way, but with the appearance of veteran forces on site, the US and the world’s attention has been drawn to the conflict there, and the chances of a permanent victory are much more realistic. Way to go guys! Keep up the good work! 

The Dakota Access Pipeline

Our fellow activists in Standing Rock, North Dakota, celebrated a massive victory for their fight against big oil, as a key permit to its construction was denied. The news reached our Greens mere hours after our moment of solidarity at the SGM in Calgary, which resulted in a massive outburst of cheers and celebrations within our ranks. 

The battle, of course, is still far from over, especially with the recently elected, oil-eager president on his way, but with the appearance of veteran forces on site, the US and the world’s attention has been drawn to the conflict there, and the chances of a permanent victory are much more realistic. Way to go guys! Keep up the good work! 

The Kinder Morgan Pipeline Of course we’ve got our own fair share of pipeline mad-ness going on at home. While our new PM eagerly ap-proved more than one pipeline, Kinder Morgan was eas-ily the most controversial. As if Canadians had forgotten about our First Nations, the Paris Agreement and honest science in general, Mr Trudeau also tried to convince us that the decision was not political (though pipelines are inherently so). Protests and community activist groups have ignited, and it’s clear that the battle has only just begun. Good luck trying to get this one built! 

The Kinder Morgan Pipeline

Of course we’ve got our own fair share of pipeline mad-ness going on at home. While our new PM eagerly ap-proved more than one pipeline, Kinder Morgan was eas-ily the most controversial. As if Canadians had forgotten about our First Nations, the Paris Agreement and honest science in general, Mr Trudeau also tried to convince us that the decision was not political (though pipelines are inherently so). Protests and community activist groups have ignited, and it’s clear that the battle has only just begun. Good luck trying to get this one built! 

Special Electoral Reform Committee On the PR front, the ERRE committee submitted its extensive research to parliament which showed Canadians overwhelm-ingly prefer proportionality to our current system. Since then, the Liberals have been flip-flopping on their promise, trying to spin the idea that we’re either not interested anymore, or too indecisive on what system should replace FPTP. Though the committee also found a desire for a referendum, it also found that there is no historical precedent that requires it. Did you see the survey from MyDemocracy.ca? No mention of PR to be found… Many thanks to our leader, Elizabeth May, for her hard work representing us and Canadians on the committee! 

Special Electoral Reform Committee

On the PR front, the ERRE committee submitted its extensive research to parliament which showed Canadians overwhelm-ingly prefer proportionality to our current system. Since then, the Liberals have been flip-flopping on their promise, trying to spin the idea that we’re either not interested anymore, or too indecisive on what system should replace FPTP. Though the committee also found a desire for a referendum, it also found that there is no historical precedent that requires it. Did you see the survey from MyDemocracy.ca? No mention of PR to be found… Many thanks to our leader, Elizabeth May, for her hard work representing us and Canadians on the committee! 

  Finally, it is with deep regret that we inform you that our co-chair, Émilianne Lépine, has had to step down from her position within YGC. Due to unfortunate circumstances, she has had to resign from the political sphere, but she will remain a strong force to be reckoned with in her world in Laval, Quebec.  Émilianne has written up a formal resignation letter, which we have posted on our website. Here is the link to it.  Thank you, Émilianne, for your tireless efforts for the Young Green cause. You were inspirational to all of us on council, and a role model for how youth ought to be engaged in politics both locally and more broadly across the massive country we call Canada. We’ll keep an eye out for you in your future endeavours in life, where you undoubtedly will be taking the world by storm! 

 

Finally, it is with deep regret that we inform you that our co-chair, Émilianne Lépine, has had to step down from her position within YGC. Due to unfortunate circumstances, she has had to resign from the political sphere, but she will remain a strong force to be reckoned with in her world in Laval, Quebec. 

Émilianne has written up a formal resignation letter, which we have posted on our website. Here is the link to it. 

Thank you, Émilianne, for your tireless efforts for the Young Green cause. You were inspirational to all of us on council, and a role model for how youth ought to be engaged in politics both locally and more broadly across the massive country we call Canada. We’ll keep an eye out for you in your future endeavours in life, where you undoubtedly will be taking the world by storm! 

 

Have you or your friends not received emails from YGC? Contact support@greenparty.ca and let them know that you want to be included on our mailing lists, and of course, tell your friends! For other help, contact youth@greenparty.ca . 

Ottawa Convention 2016

With Convention only just over a week away, Greens across the country are gearing up for the largest convergence of members of 2016. Thanks to the donations of various members of the party, the Young Greens of Canada will be making a huge splash at the event! With many scheduled appearances, there will be many opportunities for the voices of Canadian youth to be heard by the entirety of the party. 

As transportation to the event is quite difficult for many, given the massive size of our great country, we are preparing to broadcast all of our events across social media. Our newly formed council has many options for how to participate, and we'd love to get as much input from you as possible! While all of us will be posting on our own media accounts (see Council 2016-2017 photos on our Facebook page), all of our content will be shared on our national accounts. If you aren't already, you can follow us on facebook at "Young Greens of Canada - Jeunes Verts du Canada," on Twitter at @younggreenscan or @jeunesvertscnd , on Instagram at @younggreenscan , and on Snapchat at YoungGreensCan . (Notice a pattern?) We will be posting as much as humanly possible and introducing you to as many delegates as we can. There is word that our leader may even be making an appearance! Stay tuned for more.

If you do find yourself in Ottawa during the Convention weekend (August 5-7), we will be meeting at New Generation Sushi on the Friday between 5 and 7pm. This is located on 150 Laurier Ave W; this is an open event to all Young Greens, whether you are attending Convention or not. We'd love to see you there! 

As always, if you have any questions or suggestions for us, please don't hesitate to give us a buzz on social media, or via our email at youth@greenparty.ca . Our new communications guy takes great delight in hearing what you have to say and is doing all that he can to guarantee a timely response.

We look forward to seeing you there! 

(Pour vous qui parlez francais, notre site est en train de converter bientot! Nous implorons votre pardon et nous remercions votre patience!)

Recapping the Young Greens Retreat

Through August 7th - 9th, Young Greens from across Canada came together for the Young Greens Retreat & Training weekend. The weekend was focused on building connections across the youth membership of the Young Greens of Canada and growing capacity for the upcoming election.

We were joined by several special guests over the weekend, including Ilona Dougherty, Co-Founder of Apathy is Boring, who facilitated discussions around youth engagement and building the youth vote. Local campaign organizers also joined in over the weekend, leading sessions around campaigning, Green policies, and canvassing.

Ending the weekend, there were a few major takeaways.

Young Greens are building leadership experience throughout the party, particularly in campaigns. While we're awesome at knocking on doors, we're also proving that our energy and fresh perspectives are a huge asset in building and driving campaigns forward.

We came away aligned on the issues we feel are most important to our generation and generations to come. We're ready to bring these issues to the forefront, and share with our peers how the Green Party is leading the way on these issues.

We had an opportunity to share our individual experiences, and build capacity from this learning. Campus Club leaders, community activists, campaign organizers and engaged Young Greens discussed our best practices, and are ready to bring them into action in our home ridings.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we left the weekend with a true sense of community amongst the Young Greens. Our membership varies greatly, and comes from many different backgrounds. Spending the weekend together, learning and getting to know each other, has strengthened our connections, and fired up every single one of us for the election period and beyond!

On behalf of the Young Greens Council, I'd like to thank everyone for taking the time to come and invest their time and energy. We're looking forward to many more!