CKMS 102.7 Radio Waterloo “Vote For Me 6-7-18” show with @DavidWeberGreen and @BobJonkmanGPC

This morning I appeared on the CKMS 102.7 Radio Waterloo show “Vote For Me 6-7-18” with David Weber, Green Party candidate for Kitchener South — Hespeler.

YouTube: David Weber and Bob Jonkman on CKMS 102.7 Radio Waterloo

We chat about electoral reform, health care, affordable housing, hidden sources of revenue, carbon fee and dividend, and other issues on the Green Party of Ontario platform.

Many thanks to our host Kevin Hiebert, who also hosts My Audio Face on Friday afternoons.

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High Speed Rail in South-Western Ontario

Updated 4 June 2018, including some corrections from InterCityRail technical experts — Thank you!

One of the first events I attended as the Green Party of Ontario candidate for Kitchener–Conestoga was the InterCityRail Town Hall meeting on High Speed Rail, held Wednesday, 18 April 2018.

Map showing High Speed Rail corridor from Windsor, through Chatham, London, Kitchener, Guelph, Malton, and Union Station in Toronto

Proposed Future Southwestern Ontario Passenger Rail Network

Kitchener–Conestoga rural residents are worried about the High Speed right-of-way cutting their farms in two, and since HSR cannot have at-grade crossings (because HSR is 200+ 177+ km/h speeds), farmers are concerned that they’ll have to detour tens of kilometres out of their way to access their farmlands — InterCityRail says only four grade-separated crossings are planned required to be kept open between Kitchener and London. It is not known how many will eventually be kept open.

There would be only seven stops: Starting in Windsor, through Chatham, London, Kitchener, Guelph, Malton, and ending at Union Station in Toronto. None of the smaller communities such as St. Mary’s or Stratford would have service. Not even the large community of Brampton is slated for a High Speed Rail station. If the experience of expanding GO Train service around 2012 is anything to go by, VIA Rail will cut its service to those communities once High Speed Rail is established. Phase One would connect Toronto with Kitchener-Waterloo and London with operations starting 2025, while Phase Two would extend the route to Windsor Ref1. Phase Two is not of immediate concern.

An alternative, High Performance Rail (HPR) has been proposed that would allow slightly slower trains (150-180 175 km/h) to run on the existing right-of-way and still have grade-level crossings, but the Minister of Transporation, Kathryn McGarry (Lib), has flat-out said the government will not consider anything in their EPA study except a new High Speed Rail corridor. And the Ontario Federation of Agriculture that represents the farmers directly affected by this have not been consulted, and do not have a voice in the decision making.

Other jurisdictions are jumping on the High Speed Rail bandwagon too. 570AM news reports that Waterloo is pushing for High Speed Rail with the intention of turning South-Western Ontario into one continuous city of 6 million people…

I was a fan of High Speed Rail until attending the Town Hall meeting, which was educational in informing me about High Performance Rail and the issues farmers face with HSR. The Green Party’s Vision Planet document says: “Prioritize low-cost high-performance rail in the short-term as the province plans long-term for higher-cost, high-speed rail projects.” But as the representative for Kitchener–Conestoga I will advocate that High Performance Rail should be the ultimate goal, the better to keep farms together, preserve farmland, protect wildlife, and provide better rail service to smaller communities.

Actually, it’s more than Kitchener–Conestoga residents who are concerned, also Oxford and Perth–Wellington residents are affected, and more. Hopefully we’ll have Green Party Members in those ridings soon!

The image is from the Ontario government report: High Speed Rail in Ontario: Special Advisor’s Final Report

Reference 1: High Speed Rail in Ontario — Special Advisor for High Speed Rail: Final Report pg. iv
http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/publications/high-speed-rail-in-ontario-final-report/pdfs/high-speed-rail-in-ontario-final-report.pdf (2.3 MBytes)

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Speaking at THEMUSEUM’s Cultural Exchange 6.0

Last week I was invited to participate in THEMUSEUM‘s Cultural Exchange 6.0 — Every election THEMUSEUM brings together candidates and people from Waterloo Region’s culture and arts community to discuss the importance of arts and culture.

The candidates move from table to table for discussion, punctuated by each candidate speaking to everyone about their party’s platform. I spoke of learning music for mental health, and the importance of music, art and culture in all sectors of society.

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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!
–Bob.

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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 volunteer@wrgreens.ca

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.

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Bob Jonkman is quoted by 570AM News on the removal of Michael Harris, the incumbent PC MPP.

Remaining candidates in Kitchener-Conestoga don’t think they’re at an advantage to win the riding

Remaining candidates in Kitchener-Conestoga don’t think they’re at an advantage to win the riding

Candidates vying for the Kitchener-Conestoga seat at Queen’s Park say they were caught off-guard by the allegations brought forward by a former intern against Michael Harris.

But at least two of Harris’ challengers say they don’t think the scandal puts them at an advantage.

(…)

Green Party candidate Bob Jonkman says he believes it’ll be a fair fight between all the parties.

“This is an issue that affects all parties, and so I don’t think it’s going to affect any one party more than any other, ” says Jonkman. “Really any member of any other party could be in the same situation as well.”

Harris has been the MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga since 2011, but prior to that, the riding was held by the Liberals. Gowing doesn’t think Harris being removed from the Tory caucus will impact his party’s bid to turn the riding red again.

But it could be seen as a blessing in disguise, now that the candidates no longer face the uphill battle of trying to unseat a two-time incumbent. Both Gowing and Jonkman say they’ve considered how Harris’ departure bodes for their own chances at winning the riding.

(…)

“I think that not having an experienced candidate on the slate will actually equalize things much more for the remaining candidates,” Jonkman says.

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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.

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Kitchener–Conestoga Green Party AGM, 15 March 2018

Meeting

Meeting!

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 maureenbalsillie@gpo.ca 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

President,
Kitchener–Conestoga Green Party of Ontario
Constituents Association

bob.jonkman@greenparty.ca

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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.

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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.

–Bob.

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