Help choose our new Leader: Join the GPC

The Green Party of Canada isn’t quite like any other Canadian political party.  Which is why our Green Party leaders are not like other party leaders.

The GPC is a truly grass root party: our policy is developed by the membership.  Green Party members are united by six core values, and these values have shaped party policy.   Our party leader isn’t the boss who tells us what to do: our leader is the spokesperson who shares our vision and our policies with Canadians.

In the past, defenders of the status quo have dismissed Green ideas as impractical or unrealistic.  But in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic, suddenly the GPC Guaranteed Livable Income policy has been piloted by CERB, the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit.  And Canadians can see this makes sense.

The world is changing, and Green Voices are being heard.  This means we need to be sure to choose the best all around candidate to lead the way forward for Greens.  We are fortunate to have 9 excellent candidates to choose from.

If you are not yet a member, but are interested in Green Policy, maybe its time you joined.  If you become a member September 3rd, 2020, you will have the opportunity to help decide who will lead the Greens through this critical time.

Join the Green Party of Canada

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Ontario Townhall with GPC Leadership Contestants

Thursday, July 30th, 2020 | 7:30pm-8:30pm | Meet The Candidates | Ontario 2020 | Green Party of Canada 2020 Leadership Contest | Digital Townhall with GPC Leadership Contestants | Register! | https://www.greenparty.ca/en/content/ontario-townhall-gpc-leadership-contestants

Don’t miss our regional GPC Leadership townhall on Thursday Night for your chance to hear the leadership contestants discuss Ontario issues!

Got questions for the Candidates?  Submit them in advance!
Register NOW!!

Event Date

Thursday, July 30, 2020 – 19:00 to 20:30 EDT

Green Party website: Ontario Townhall with GPC Leadership Contestants

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Green Party Leadership 2020

Green Party of Canada/Parti Vert Leadership candidates Judy N Green, Amita Kuttner, David Merner, Glen Murray, Annamie Paul, Meryam Haddad, Courtney Howard, Dimitri Lascaris, Dylan Perceval-Maxwell and Andrew West.When Elizabeth May stepped down as leader, it triggered a Green Party of Canada Leadership Contest.  When the dust settled there were 10 excellent Candidates:

1st Debate: Fair Vote Canada presents the Green Leadership Debate on Democracy

2nd Debate: The Agenda with Steve Paikin​ presents Who Will Lead the Federal Green Party?

The first half of the Green Party Debate will air on The Agenda on TVO tonight, June 23rd, 2020, and the second part will run tomorrow night, June 24th, 2020.


UPDATE: Dylan Perceval-Maxwell is no longer a leadership candidate.

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Green Party Leadership Debates

This is an exciting year for the Green Party, as ten excellent candidates compete in the quest to find a new leader to become the spokesperson for the ​.

On Tuesday and Wednesday you’re invited to meet our Leadership Contestants as they face off in the Green Debates with Steve Paikin on The Agenda.

Watch live on all TVO’s Facebook, Twitter or Youtube pages as the debates will be streamed consecutively from 3:00 pm. – 4:10 pm (ET) via The Agenda with Steve Paikin​’s Facebook page, the Agenda’s Twitter Periscope page (https://twitter.com/TheAgenda), and YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/AgendaStevePaikin).

TVO viewers can tune in via broadcast at 8:00 p.m., 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.over two nights:

June 23 for debate one, and

June 24 for debate two

DEBATE ONE

will feature Judy N. GreenAmita Kuttner​, David Merner​, Glen Murray, and Annamie Paul​.

DEBATE TWO

will feature Meryam Haddad​, Dr. Courtney Howard​, Dimitri Lascaris​, Dylan Perceval-Maxwell, and Andrew West.

GlobeNewsWire: TVO to Host Green Party of Canada Leadership Debates

Green Party Leadership Debates  | with Steve Paikin on The Agenda | Tuesday 3pm EDT on TVO social channels (text on a green background with pictures of 10 candidates)

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Guest appearance on “Let’s Chit Chat with Narine Dat”

On Wednesday, 8 January 2020 I had the pleasure of being a guest on Narine Dat Sookram’s radio show, Let’s Chit Chat with Narine Dat.

We talked about computer consulting, community involvement, and, of course, politics.

"Let's Chit Chat with Narine Dat" is LIVE with Bob Jonkman, Computer Consultant & Politician. Interview starts right at 10 am eastern time…..Always putting People before Profit!

Posted by Let's Chit Chat with Narine Dat – Radio Talk Show on Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Facebook: Let’s Chit Chat with Narine Dat – Radio Talk Show (starts at about 6m00s)

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Canada tops the charts for poor vehicle fuel economy

[Guest Post by Blake Shaffer, PhD, University of Calgary]


Usually when Canada is at the top of an international ranking, it’s cause for celebration.

Not this time.

A recent report by the International Energy Agency shows that Canada’s vehicles have the highest average fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions per kilometre driven. They are also the largest and the second heaviest in the world.

In short: Canadian vehicles are big, heavy and guzzle a lot of gasoline. For a country that is championing its climate action, how do we square these facts?

An international comparison of vehicle emissions.
Data source: International Energy Agency; Chart by Blake Shaffer

Many point to Canada’s vast land area — often connected with less-than-ideal roads and highways — and our cold climate as reasons for requiring more substantial vehicles. These arguments are not convincing.

More than 80 per cent of Canadians live in urban or suburban areas where a more modest vehicle suffices for most activities.

In terms of vast distances, that actually calls for better fuel efficiency, not worse. And if cold weather is the excuse for buying an SUV, similarly frigid countries — Sweden, Finland and Iceland — have all managed to survive with lower-emitting vehicles.

So what explains Canada’s preference for gas guzzlers?

Fuel economy standards

North American vehicle manufacturers produce larger cars than their European and Asian counterparts. This in part reflects consumer preferences, but it is also the result of marketing campaigns and economies of scale in production that push buyers towards SUVs.

Fuel economy standards in Canada and the United States act to reverse this pressure, pushing manufacturers to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles. In part they have worked: the average fuel consumption of cars and trucks has fallen substantially since 2005. Even so, Canada’s average fuel consumption trend has flatlined recently, with almost no improvement since 2013.

Average fuel consumption for Canadian vehicles, 2005-2017.
Data source: International Energy Agency; Chart by Blake Shaffer

The slowdown in fuel economy improvements has a lot to do with the types of vehicles Canadians buy. The Toyota Camry and Honda Civic, once the mainstays of the average Canadian family, have given way to Ford F-150s and Dodge Rams.

The shift towards trucks, including SUVs, crossovers and minivans, in the past decade has been phenomenal. And before fingers point at places like Alberta, this is a trend seen across every province in Canada.

New vehicles sales in Canada shows a big shift towards trucks.
Data source: Statistics Canada. Chart by Blake Shaffer

Is bigger better?

Canadians say they are now buying trucks in droves because they are safer.

The common wisdom is that bigger, heavier cars are safer in a collision. This is half right. Vehicle weight does affect the likelihood of a fatality from a collision, but only in a relative sense.

An international comparison of vehicle weight.
Data source: International Energy Agency; Chart by Blake Shaffer

When similar-sized vehicles collide, it makes little difference to safety outcomes whether it is large-on-large or small-on-small. However, when a large vehicle collides with a small one, the results are (unsurprisingly) far worse for the small vehicle’s passengers.

This introduces the notion of vehicle-size externalities: buying a larger car imposes safety costs on drivers of smaller cars. It also raises the prospect of a vehicle arms race, with drivers buying ever-larger cars in order to protect themselves, when safety would be just as effective if everyone drove similar, smaller vehicles.

It comes down to cost

Far and away the biggest reason for Canada’s fuel inefficient vehicles comes down to cost. Simply put, the cost to purchase and operate a gas guzzler in Canada (or the U.S.) is far less than the rest of the world.

This cost difference comes in two forms: upfront charges for vehicle registration and gas prices.

In Europe, vehicle registrations are often based on the vehicle’s fuel economy or emissions profile. In France, for example, car buyers face a sliding “bonus-malus” scale (or “feebate”). High-emitting vehicles incur a registration charge up to €10,000 while zero-emission vehicles receive €6,000 in rebates. And in Norway, where new vehicles are subject to a 25 per cent value-added tax and up to €10,000 in registration fees, electric vehicles are exempt from both charges. It is little wonder that Norway has highest share of new sales of electric passenger cars.

Plug-in electric vehicle share of new car sales (2018)
Statista.com; ACEA, CAAM, InsideEVs, KAIDA

These upfront charges are often seen as alternatives to carbon taxes to shift consumers towards smaller, less emitting vehicles. And as Norway has shown, they can be effective.

However, other research has shown feebates are less cost effective than fuel or carbon taxes in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon taxes are better at targeting high-mileage drivers, and penalizing a gas guzzler that is driven sparingly can be a very ineffective (and costly) way to reduce emissions.

Pain at the pump

But perhaps the most significant reason Canadians drive less-efficient vehicles is gas prices. There is a clear correlation between the price of gasoline and the average fuel consumption of vehicles. Where gas prices are low, as they are in Canada and the U.S., fuel consumption tends to be high.

An international comparison of gasoline prices and average vehicle fuel consumption.
Data source: IEA and World Bank; Chart by Blake Shaffer

While most people focus on the role of carbon taxes to reduce emissions by discouraging driving, higher gas prices can also affect the choice of which vehicle to buy.

In the aptly named article “Frugal cars or frugal drivers?,” economists Werner Antweiler and Sumeet Gulati from the University of British Columbia looked at driver response to the provincial carbon tax.

They found that people started purchasing and driving more fuel efficient vehicles. According to their calculations, without B.C.’s carbon tax fuel, demand per capita would be seven per cent higher and the average vehicle’s fuel efficiency would be four per cent lower.

Carbon taxes may be unpopular with many, but they play an important role in determining what vehicles are on the road now — and in the future.


This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-ND 4.0) license.  Read the original article.

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Happy Holidays!

Wishing you peace, joy & electoral reform - Bob Jonkman & the Brant Greens | Green Party of Canada

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My submission to the Gazoduq Impact Assessment Agency

The time for piplelines is past.

The Government of Canada has declared a climate emergency. Every step should be taken to address that emergency — greenhouse gas emissions must be stopped, and all activities that lead to furthering the climate emergency must be halted.  This includes stopping building of pipelines, for which the sole purpose is to transport fossil fuels that will be burned to create more greenhouse gases.

There are other issues which have been raised that make this particular pipeline troublesome: the funding of electricity to power the liquifaction of the gas (the costs of purchasing electricity from Quebec will be subsidized by the taxpayer, so that Gazoduq will actually receive more money to purchase that electricity than the electricity costs); that the destination for the LNG product is other countries, placing the blame on them for the actual burning of GHG emitting fossil fuels; that the entire operation of transport and liquifaction of gas will result in GHG emissions; and that the extraction of the gas is one of the dirtiest industries in the world, resulting in irreversible damage to the Canadian landscape where it is extracted.

But all that pales to the foremost issue: A pipeline is designed for a purpose that will result in worsening the climate emergency, not bettering it. For that reason alone this pipeline project must not be allowed.

–Bob Jonkman.

You can read my submission on the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada User Comments page.

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Gazoduq Pipeline: Just Say Non!

On Tuesday — the day after the federal election — the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada invited the public, and specifically Indigenous groups, to provide feedback on a controversial 780-kilometre natural gas pipeline between northeastern Ontario and Quebec’s Saguenay region.

The Gazoduq pipeline is a key element of a $14-billion mega-project that intends to provide a permanent path for natural gas exploited in the West to be exported in the East.

You have three weeks to weigh in on a proposed gas pipeline
National Observer, October 23rd.

Pipelines?  But It’s 2019!

Perhaps because they don’t want to see the project overturned due to insufficient consultation, the  deadline was  extended to November 22, 2019.  That gives us all an opportunity to comment.  Here are the 495 comments so far.  The more comments they get, the better.
https://iaac-aeic.gc.ca/050/evaluations/proj/80264?culture=en-CA

If you care about the climate, just say no!  (Or non!)

Just Say NO to the Gazoduq Pipeline!


What’s it all about?

Fracked Alberta “Natural Gas” brought east through the TC Energy Pipeline (formerly known as TransCanada), will be diverted into the brand new Five Billion Dollar Gazoduc Pipeline at Kirkland Lake, Ontario.

The Gazoduc Pipeline would carry 1.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day to its customer, the planned GNL Québec Nine Billion Dollar Énergie Saguenay facility which will liquify the fossil fuel. The resulting LNG will be loaded onto massive tankers that sail through the Saguenay Fjord to the St Lawrence River enroute to hypothetical overseas markets.

pipeline under constructionThe proposed 780-kilometre underground pipeline would pass near or through Indigenous territories as it carries the fossil fuel across forests, ecologically sensitive wetlands and protected provincial areas.

Map showing the pipeline route

The proposed Gazoduc Pipeline (purple) travels from Northern Ontario across Quebec. The Indigenous nations it will pass near or through are listed in green.

Promises, Promises

The Gazoduq project promises to take into account the habitats and species “likely to be designated as threatened or vulnerable.”

Which sounds good until you consider this is not a promise to do no harm.   This project will introduce enormous tankers quadruple the size of the largest vessels currently using the Fjord (for whale watching).

LNG Tankers will ship out through the protected waters of the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, putting the endangered Beluga whale population at increased risk.

These tankers will be sailing through the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, which was established to protect marine life, including the endangered beluga whale population.

The Gazoduq project promises to “set a new benchmark in the LNG industry for environmental performance.

Which really only means it has to be less invasive than previous LNG projects.  The idea here is that the Quebec hydro electricity they expect to use to liquify the fracked natural gas won’t be as nad as burning natural gas to liquify it.

Even assuming this pipeline never suffers an explosion, the environmental impact of leaked or vented methane alone will contribute significantly to the GHG emissions released within Canada.

Never mind that the LNG this project produces will be burnt.  Just not here.

It doesn’t matter where in the world we are adding GHGs, they all go into the same atmosphere. And let’s not forget that shipping a cargoes of fracked LNG across the ocean itself generates GHGs.

Graphic shows an LNG Tanker in the water with Blue Whale, dolphin, Beluga Whales, Seal and a Humpback Whale... just some of the woldlife found on the protected waters. The text reads: The Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park protects a marine region that contains exceptional plant and animal diversity. The Marine Park is one of the best places in the world to watch whales. Whale watching can be carried out from a boat or from land. To visit this marine protected area is to have the privilege of gaining access to a natural setting where wild animals feed, rest and raise their offspring.

The Gazoduq project promises it “will help reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”

Funny claim to make about an industry that exists to increase our use of fossil fuels.  It seems to be based on the unproven assumption the fracked gas shipped to other parts of the world will displace coal and fuel oil.

Even if you believe these companies will try to do this, what happens when coal and fuel oil generated electricity has been eliminated?  Pipelines are expected to last at least 50 years.  Does anyone believe it will close its doors and go home? Especially if it’s only been operating for a decade or two.

The Gazoduq project promises it has “low potential for social and environmental impacts.”

Like “two scoops of raisins,” “low potential” could mean anything.

The construction alone will have an impact, with the introduction of problematic “man camps” as it travels near and through the territory of dozens of First Nations.

Economists don’t think much of the pipeline project’s promise of jobs.  Adding insult to injury:

Remarkably, the project will be eligible for Hydro-Quebec’s electricity rebate, amounting to an indirect subsidy of at least $43 million over six years. This is $7 million more than the $36 million that Gazoduq intends to donate, over the project lifespan, to communities in Quebec and Ontario affected by the pipeline.

An open letter on GNL Québec: A pipe dream of another Québec pipeline

The Gazoduq project promises that:

“Natural gas is not like oil. Lighter than air, it rises and then quickly disperses in the atmosphere without leaving a trace.”

Without a trace?

Tell that to the climate.


[Guest Post by Laurel L. Russwurm, reprinted from Whoa!Canada]

Image Credits:
Public Domain image “Saguenay Mountain Fjord” by cleprovost

Gazoduq Map:
based on Quebec province transportation and cities map by Eric Gaba released under a Creative Commons Attribution Sharalike 4.0 International License 
and
Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park by by Parcs Canada
and
Laughing Beluga by Steve Snodgrass released under s Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

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Elizabeth May appoints Jo-Ann Roberts Interim GPC Leader

Watch the complete CPAC video of the Press Conference

Deputy GPC Leader Daniel Green (Outremont GPC candidate) , GPC MP Paul Manly, (Nanaimo-Ladysmith),
John Kidder (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon GPC candidate),  GPC MP Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands),
GPC MP Jenica Atwin (Fredericton), and Interim GPC Leader Jo-Ann Roberts (Halifax GPC candidate).

“I’ve always kept my word and I’ve never lied, and I think that’s important.”
— Elizabeth May    

Elizabeth May stepped down as leader of the Green Party of Canada, effective Monday November 4th, 2019.  She will continue her important climate action work as an MP within Parliament.

Green Party of Canada Deputy Leader Jo-Ann Roberts has graciously accepted the appointment as the Interim GPC Leader who will oversee the Leadership process.

The GPC Leadership Convention will be held on October 2, 3 and 4th, 2019, at a convention in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

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