Author: Bob Jonkman, Green Party Candidate for Kitchener-Conestoga (page 1 of 4)

WRGreens Campaign Office Opening Party!

The office isn’t quite ready yet, but the WRGreens are holding a party anyway!

Please join me, the candidates from the other Waterloo Region ridings, the volunteer office staff, supporters, friends and family as we celebrate the opening of our campaign office.

Map to 2018 WRGreens Campaign Office

What: WRGreens Campaign Office Opening Party!
When: Sunday, 13 May 2018 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Where: 6 Duke Street East, Kitchener, Ontario Map

There will be pizza and snacks; if you can, bring something to share!

The office is not fully furnished, so you may want to bring a lawn chair. And if you have some spare office furnishings, loans and donations are gratefully appreciated. The WRGreens blog has a list of needed items: WRGreens 2018 Campaign Office: OPEN HOUSE

Duke Food Block, Kitchener, Ontario

See you tonight!

The Kitchener — Conestoga Campaign Has Begun!

Hello Kitchener–Conestoga! The campaign period for the 2018 Ontario provincial election has begun, and things are busy already! If you’d like to volunteer to help out with setting up our new campaign office, putting up roadside signs, or canvassing door-to-door you can sign up on the GPO web site or send an e-mail to the WRGreens Volunteer Coordinators at

Green Party of Ontario | Let's Make History

I’ll be at the WRGreens campaign office at 6 Duke Street East in Kitchener Map on Thursday morning to drop off some stuff: Whiteboard, wall calendar, two tables with tablecloths, mops and pails. I may pick up some dishsoap and vinegar, my universal eco-cleaning agents of choice.

Then going to the printer to pick up the KitCon signs (they weren’t ready Wednesday), and back to the office to drop them off.

I’ll be away for the afternoon, but others will be there all day long setting up.

On Thursday evening (4:00pm to 6:30pm) is the Together In Education event at Conestoga Place, 110 Manitou Drive, Kitchener. Map

On the way back home we’ll stop by the campaign office again to pick up some signs and distribute them between Breslau and Elmira (the east side of the riding)

On Friday I’ll go back to the printer to pick up the remaining KitCon signs, put some up in the south-west section of the riding (Wilmot, Kitchener), then return to the campaign office to help clean up and set up the office. Late afternoon putting up the remainder of the signs in the north part of the riding (Woolwich), then some canvassing in Elmira.

Drop by the office if you have some free time! We’ll hand you a paint brush (green paint, of course) so you’ll feel right at home.


Bob Jonkman is the Kitchener–Conestoga candidate for the Green Party of Ontario

I’m very happy to announce that I’ve been elected to be the Kitchener–Conestoga candidate for the Green Party of Ontario in the upcoming Ontario Provincial Election on 7 June 2018.

Bob Jonkman and David Weber

Bob Jonkman speaks at the Kitchener–Conestoga Nomination Meeting

I’d like to thank the many Green Party supporters in Kitchener–Conestoga, especially those who came out to listen to the nominees and vote in the nomination contest.

Thanks to David Weber, for encouraging me in the previous Federal election, and for being the Returning Officer for the nomination contest.

And thank you to Bryan Izzard, our host, for giving us the use of your home and providing a wonderful array of light refreshments.

I’d like to thank my very worthy co-nominee, Patrick McDonald for keeping me on my toes, and giving me some new ideas to promote in my own campaign.

And a very special thank you to my wife, Laurel Russwurm, who has given me 100% support in this adventure, and who has worked very hard to promote the Green Party of Ontario and raise our profile throughout Waterloo Region.

–Bob Jonkman.

Kitchener–Conestoga Green Party AGM, 15 March 2018



Hello Kitchener–Conestoga Green Party members, supporters and friends!

There’s a provincial election coming in June, and the Kitchener–Conestoga Greens are starting to gear up.

Along with the other Waterloo Region Green Party riding associations, we’re having an election planning meeting this Thursday:

What: Election planning meeting
When: Thursday, 15 February 2018, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Where: Re/Max Office
Location: 720 Westmount Rd East, Kitchener Map

Everyone is welcome to come, not only Green Party members. Bring a friend, and meet the candidates for Waterloo, Zdravko Gunjevic, and Kitchener Centre, Stacey Danckert. We’ll talk about campaign strategies for Waterloo Region, and the Green Party of Ontario’s priorities

If you’re hearing about this for the first time, my apologies for the short notice. We’re just getting started with mailouts for KitCon Green Party members, so future events will get much more advance notice.

Speaking of future events:

The Kitchener–Conestoga provincial Consituents Association and the Kitchener–Conestoga federal Electoral District Association will be having their Annual General Meeting in four weeks:

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

We’ll elect new executive for the upcoming year. Positions to be filled are:

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

The AGM is at 7:00pm, but please join us for dinner at 6:00pm, and feel free to stay and chat about politics over a beverage until closing. Have a look at Kennedy’s menu!

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 need to submit their membership payment by 1 March 2018.

The AGM also marks the closing day for candidate nominations for the Provincial Election. If you’d like to run, please 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 early April to select our candidate for the June provincial election.

Hope to see you at a Green Party event soon!

–Bob Jonkman

Kitchener–Conestoga Green Party of Ontario
Constituents Association

Soundbites and other videos

Laurel’s Sheridan College based multi-media skills have been getting a real workout in this campaign.  There is still much video that won’t make it online before the election, but we’ve got a few uploaded to the Bob JonkmanGPC YouTube Channel, which we’ll continue adding to as long as we can.

YouTube: #culturalexchange5 with Bob Jonkman

The latest (as of this writing) is #culturalexchange5 with Bob Jonkman. This is the three minute “my views on culture” talk I gave at  A Cultural Exchange 5.0.

Along with posting the longer debate videos, Laurel has also begun putting together soundbites,  even shorter video promos  (less than a minute) which are good for sharing.

If you support my campaign as the Green Party Candidate for Kitchener-Conestoga, and/or the Green Party generally, it would be enormously helpful if you could share on social media.  The Green Party is still very much a grass roots party; we can’t begin to compete with the Conservative Party in buying advertising, but social media can help level the playing field a little.

7 Minutes on Proportional Representation

Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter logoOn Saturday, 3 October 2015 the Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter held an all-candidates meeting on Electoral Reform at Forest Heights Library. Here’s a 7 minute excerpt from that meeting in which I explain why Canada should adopt Proportional representation!

YouTube: Bob Jonkman On Proportional Representation

Fair Vote Canada has assembled a list of Candidates that support Proportional Representation.

At 17 October 2015 the Canadian parties whose policy does not support Proportional Representation include

  • Conservative Party of Canada
  • Liberal Party of Canada

The three parties actively campaigning on implementing Proportional Representation are:

  • The Green Party of Canada
  • The NDP (New Democratic Party of Canada)
  • The Pirate Party of Canada

As a matter of course, most (if not all) smaller parties support Proportional Representation because it would give them a better chance of achieving representation in Parliament.

Disclaimer: I’m also one of the Co-Chairs on the Executive Board of the Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter.


Carbon Fees and Dividends

Carbon cap

Yes, that’s a carbon cap!

Somebody asked:

Can anyone explain to me exactly how the fee and dividend system is better than cap and trade?

I first read about carbon cap and trade in Scientific American in the 1980s when it was still an economic theory that had yet to be put in practice. The idea is that each year the government sells or auctions off carbon credits to set a maximum amount of carbon emissions that any organization can emit. Organizations are only permitted to emit as much CO2 as the number of carbon credits they’ve purchased. If an company wants to increase its production they need to purchase additional carbon credits from another organization that hasn’t used all of theirs.

A benefit of cap and trade is the absolute limit it places on GHG emissions. This makes it easier for government to meet their carbon emission targets. Even if organizations trade or purchase carbon credits, the total amount of emission is fixed by the number of carbon credits issued. The cost of carbon credits is reflected in the price of goods produced, driving manufacturing processes to minimize GHG production, and causing consumers to avoid goods that have increased prices from carbon credits. Additionally, the price of traded carbon credits increases as demand for GHG goods increases, which should limit the demand for those GHG goods. Carbon credits become a commodity of their own, with trading in futures, derivatives, options, and other market instruments.

But the drawbacks of cap and trade are also significant. Every organization that emits GHG needs to be regulated and monitored — not just the companies that extract or sell fossil fuels, but every manufacturer, every airline, even forestry companies that reduce natural carbon sinks by cutting down trees. There are ways to circumvent the caps by purchasing goods from countries that have no emissions regulations, and carbon credit trading is a benefit only to the wealthy who can afford to dabble in the market, thus increasing income inequality even more.

But worse, when a government receives tax revenue from selling carbon credits there is no incentive to reduce the amount of carbon credits. Perversely, the incentive is to increase the amount of allowed GHG in order to increase tax revenue, lower the deficit, and “boost the economy”. We’ve certainly seen this with Canada’s current government.

In contrast, the Green Party proposes a Carbon Fee and Dividend system.

The government will collect carbon fees when GHG emitting fuels are extracted, or as they’re imported across the border. These fees are returned as dividends directly to Canadians.

Carbon fees might start at $50 per tonne of CO2 initially, increasing by $10 each year to $200/tCO2 by 2030. The costs are passed on to the consumers who use fossil fuels, but the dividends are distributed to everyone.

For industry and business, knowing there’s a set, predictable price for carbon-based fuel allows them to plan for a transition to a zero-carbon economy. As carbon fees increase it becomes increasingly profitable to invest in renewable and sustainable energy, such as the manufacture of windmills, low-head hydro-electric power, solar and geothermal energy, and all the related energy storage technologies. New, high-tech jobs in the renewable energy sector will outstrip the dwindling jobs in the extractive industries in short order.

For consumers there is an incentive to move off fossil fuels to renewable energy. All Canadians will receive the same dividend, distributed through the income tax system. People who reduce their GHG footprints, people with low incomes, and those employed in the renewable energy would benefit more — carbon fee and dividend is a means of income equalization.

Over time, as Canada moves to a carbon-free economy the fees collected will diminish. We’ll have met our carbon reduction targets, and created a vibrant sustainable energy industry. The Green Party is very optimistic that actions such as carbon fee and dividends will result in progress in Canada’s climate change obligations.

Further reading:

Carbon Hat by Anne Heathen is used under a CC BY-NC-NDCC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license.

Strategic Voting Doesn’t Work, Redux

Bob Jonkman votes

Vote for the candidate who will best represent you

I’m going to aim one last kick at the “Strategic Voting” can. Now that there is a feel for the relative strengths of the candidates in each riding, there are people who think they can manipulate the First-Past-The-Post system to influence the outcome of the election and oust the Conservatives.

“Strategic Voting” is not very strategic. It’s a negative tactic to defeat a particular candidate; it is an insincere vote that does not reflect the true beliefs of the voter. There are two possible scenarios: Those ridings where the Conservative candidate is weak, and those riding where the Conservative candidate is strong.

Kitchener-Conestoga has a popular Conservative candidate, who won the 2011 election with a true majority of the votes. FPTP is not a factor in this case. Even with a proportional voting system, a candidate with a majority of votes will be the winner. FPTP or not, all votes for the other candidates put together cannot defeat a majority of the votes. So, in Kitchener-Conestoga, tactical negative voting will not work. You can safely vote according to your principles, and know that it will not affect the outcome. Vote for the candidate who will best represent you.

In Kitchener Centre it’s a toss-up between the NDP and the Liberals. The Conservatives don’t hold popular support in that riding, so that casting your vote for either NDP or Liberals and choosing the wrong “strategic” side just means the vote will be split. This is exactly what Strategic Voting activists fear the most. Vote for the candidate who will best represent you — which I hope is Nicholas Wendler for the Green Party, but I encourage you to vote for your principles. Any other choice just means the best you can hope for is electing a government you don’t want, and at worst handing a victory to the candidate you hope to defeat.

The Waterloo riding is another close call. Contrary to what the polls suggest, when I’ve been canvassing for Richard Walsh most people tell me they are still undecided. “Strategic Voting” means you need to know how other people will vote so that you can cast a negative vote against them, but in a largely undecided riding there’s not enough data on which to base your decision. Voting the for the candidate who will best represent you is the only strategic choice.

The strategic voting group Vote Together isn’t as effective as they hope. At a forum they held a few weeks ago they claimed to have maybe 2,000 supporters. But the Kitchener Centre voting base is around 65,000 people, so they hold only a small fraction of the votes. Their polling has been limited to small samples, land-lines only, with the usual inaccuracies that incurs. The small sample is not representative of the riding, and those people who respond may not be telling the pollsters how they really feel. The polls themselves show incredible fluctuation from one week to the next, showing that many people are still changing their minds, and may vote differently on election day.

Vote Together’s methodology is to ask their supporters for the “strategic” decision, so their own poll results aren’t even being used to determine Vote Together’s endorsement. You’ll find that Vote Together is predominantly endorsing Liberal candidates. But in Guelph they are still advocating strategic voting to oust the Conservatives, yet the Guelph Conservative candidate is not even a contender there — it’s entirely a race between the Liberal and the Green candidate, Gord Miller. Strategic voting has no role to play there, but Vote Together is endorsing the NDP. Vote Together’s “strategy” really makes no sense.

So, vote for the candidate who will best represent you. It’s the only way to ensure you’ll get the government you want.


See other posts tagged “strategic voting”

Advance Poll Locations in Kitchener–Conestoga

What’s next weekend? Yes, it’s Thanksgiving, but it’s also Advance Polling Days from Friday, 9 October to Monday, 12 October 2015!

The (un)Fair Elections Act has introduced more stringent requirements for ID at the polling stations. I expect that on election day (Monday, 19 October 2015!) it will take longer to process voter registrations. You can avoid the lineups by voting in the Advance Polls.

Make sure you have the ID required to vote: One piece of government ID with your picture, name and address; or two pieces of ID with your name, and at least one with an address; or show two pieces of ID with your name, take an oath, and have someone already registered attest to your identity.

Remember that thanks to the (un)Fair Elections Act your voter registration card is no longer accepted as ID, and you can no longer have a friend or family member vouch for your identity. The list of acceptable ID is on the Elections Canada site at ID to vote.

Advance Polling Locations

If you’re not sure where your polling station is, check the Elections Canada site Voter Information Service – Where do I vote?

Advance Poll Number 600 Map

Slovenian Cultural Association Sava Club
50 Schiefele Place
Breslau, Ontario
N0B 1M0

Advance Poll Number 601 Map

Bloomingdale Recreation Club
1031 Snyders Flats Road
Bloomingdale, Ontario
N0B 1K0

Advance Poll Number 602 Map

Gale Presbyterian Church
10 Barnswallow Drive
Elmira, Ontario
N3B 0A8

Advance Poll Number 603 Map

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 469
11 First Street East
Elmira, Ontario
N3B 2E3

Advance Poll Number 604 Map

Calvary United Church
48 Hawkesville Road
St. Jacobs, Ontario
N0B 2N0

Advance Poll Number 605 Map

St. Clements Community Centre
1 Green Street
St. Clements, Ontario
N0B 2M0

Advance Poll Number 606 Map

Wellesley Community Centre
1000 Mapleleaf Street
Wellesley, Ontario
N0B 2T0

Advance Poll Number 607 Map

Wilmot Recreation Centre
1291 Nafziger Road
Baden, Ontario
N3A 1A1

Advance Poll Number 608 Map

New Hamburg Arena & Community Centre
251 Jacob Street
New Hamburg, Ontario
N3A 1C6

Advance Poll Number 609 Map

Stonecroft Recreation Centre
156 Stonecroft Way
New Hamburg, Ontario
N3A 4R3

Advance Poll Number 610 Map

St. Agatha Community Centre
205 Erb’s Road East
St. Agatha, Ontario
N0B 2L0

Advance Poll Number 611 Map

Resurrection Catholic Secondary School
455 University Avenue West
Kitchener, Ontario
N2N 3B9

Advance Poll Number 612 Map

Forest Heights Community Centre
1700 Queen’s Boulevard
Kitchener, Ontario
N2N 3L6

Advance Poll Number 613 Map

Highview Community Church
295 Highview Drive
Kitchener, Ontario
N2N 2K7

Advance Poll Number 614 Map

St. John the Baptist Romanian Cultural Centre
2150 Bleams Road
Kitchener, Ontario
N2E 4K5

Advance Poll Number 615 Map

Chartwell Westmount Retirement Home
190 David Bergey Drive
Kitchener, Ontario
N2E 3Y4

Advance Poll Number 616 Map

St. John the Baptist Romanian Cultural Centre
2150 Bleams Road
Kitchener, Ontario
N2E 4K5

This list is provided only as a service; for up-to-date Advanced Polling Station locations check the Elections Canada site Voter Information Service – Where do I vote?

Unequal Wealth Distribution

One of several questions from Jesse Bauman, editor of The Community Edition:

Wealth is very unequally distributed in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, the average net worth of the top 20 per cent of families (sorted by income group) rose by an average of 80 per cent between 1999 and 2012. The bottom 20 per cent experienced a 38 per cent increase. Do you think this is a problem? And if so, what would you do about it?

Wealth distribution and income inequality are both problems in Canada, especially for those who have neither sufficient wealth nor income. The Green Party will implement a Guaranteed Livable Income so that every Canadian has the means to survive without requiring welfare or food banks. A person with food security is healthier and more productive, so that there is a reduced burden on health care services and other support services. At the other end of the spectrum there are people with large incomes who pay disproportionally low taxes. The Green Party would remove many of the boutique tax credits and close tax loopholes so that high income earners pay a fair share of tax. Between the reduced costs of social services and the increased tax revenues the GLI is an affordable way to reduce income inequality for all Canadians.

I’m looking forward to seeing the responses from all the candidates in
The Community Edition.

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