Cameron Wigmore, Green Party Member: 2006

December 28, 2006

Year End Reflections

This last year has been one of the best years of my life. When my wife and I decided to contact the Green Party to ask what separates them from the other parties I had no idea what lay in store for me. I find myself reflecting on the significant events in my life relating to my efforts with the Green Party. Follow the links for background on each subject.


Having signed up to be the Green Party candidate in the Crowfoot riding in southern Alberta, I found myself participating in the federal election in this capacity. I enjoyed the candidate's forums and debates, the television & newspaper interviews, the dozens of daily emails, the door-to-door & phone canvassing and everything else that comes with candidacy. The previous candidate in this riding worked hard and was very well spoken, but wasn't active between elections, so I wondered how we'd do. The 'strategic voting' frenzy - fear based voting as opposed to hope based voting - of the last election (vote X to keep Y from being elected, or vote Y to keep X from being elected) had an impact on the results. Since this was my first kick at the can and we had just formed a new electoral district association the entire campaign was run by myself with some help from a few family members. In the end we achieved the new national average of 4.5% in this riding and I realized that I had been bitten by the political bug. I wasn't going to be walking away from the Green Party.


As I learned about the Green Parties around the world I shared this and other information here on my blog. When Ralph Klein (thankfully now replaced by Ed Stelmach... we'll see how he does) took a shot at Canada's internationally respected system of health care I wrote a letter to the editor. This was the beginning of my efforts outside of election time to campaign for the Greens. We'll see how the op/ed's and other efforts pay off next election.


By May I had made up my mind to run for the position of Alberta Provincial Representative on Federal Council. I also intended to go to the GPC convention & general meeting in August and was raising funds to cover the expenses. How I went from curious about the Green Party, to candidate in a federal election, to candidate for provincial rep I'll never know. It all just seemed to happen without me forcing my will on the situation. For that reason, among others, this has been a very enjoyable – yet sometimes stressful – journey.

The newly elected Conservative minority government released it's spring budget and the Green Party had something to say about this, as did I. It's speculated by some that the next spring budget will be when the current government will fall, and our next election will take place. While most Canadians are tired of elections, many are less than pleased with the current governments track record, and when the options are weighed an election is favored over the thought of another year with the current government in place.


Internal elections were well underway and I was hard at work campaigning. A survey was circulated and many candidates for the GPC internal elections answered the questions. I gave a lot of thought to my answers. George Read, Leader of the Alberta Greens, endorsed me for the position of AB Rep on Federal Council. This was all very exciting!

With all of my experience writing op/ed's for the local weeklies I tried my hand at writing a national media release. After a number of redrafts it was released and I think this played a role in the outcome. This was a very good experience for me. As a member of the Arts, Culture & Heritage Issue Caucus I hope to participate in media releases on those subjects in the near future.

I traveled to Ottawa for the Convention & General Meeting at the end of August. What an amazing time! I was elected to the position of provincial representative and rejoiced in the election of Elizabeth May. I had a tough time deciding who to vote for as our new leader, but eventually it became clear to me who I preferred.


Suddenly I was very, very busy. I was finding my footing with the federal council, organizing our EDA in Crowfoot and living my life with my family. I continued my research on subjects important to me. This included the link between my personal faith and my endeavours as an environmentally conscious person. Environmental stewardship in the context of Christianity was the focus of a lengthy post I made here, and this has inspired me to prepare a power point presentation on this subject for my church. It's not finished yet, but I look forward to sharing this important and often overlooked aspect of my faith one day.

The subject of the oilsands in Alberta finally became major national news (along with the environment) and I wrote a lengthy article as a letter to the oilsands consultations committee. I wondered as I researched this subject more and more, if I'd eventually be comforted or grow worried about the situation. I'm more than worried. I'm spitting mad about the circus that is the Alberta oilsands destruction.

In October the Green Party released it's Green Plan Squared. This was in anticipation of the Conservatives Green Plan 'Two', which was discovered to be... no plan at all! It was in fact a clean air bill that didn't set mandatory targets for decades, and lacked any substantial plan for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. This flop has plagued the Conservative government ever since.

Our EDA held it's annual general meeting, elected a new executive, adopted a new constitution, and set in motion the nominations contest for candidacy in the Crowfoot riding. A few weeks later I was elected to be our next candidate. This time they're in for a real challenge! Although the odds are stacked against us here in rural Alberta, more and more people are waking up to the fact that the Green Party appeals to all voters across the political spectrum. Running out here is a great opportunity to discuss with thousands of people the issues that concern us all and the solutions that the Green Party offers. What do ya know - I'm on the soapbox already! ;-)

A week later I was off to Ottawa again for the Federal Council inperson meeting. This was very important for us to be able to get to know each other and do some very important work. It's unknown when we'll have another inperson meeting (although we've had a number of teleconference meetings) since this is a major cost and traveling consumes energy and increases emissions. We Greens do walk the talk!


Elizabeth May ran in the London North Center by-election and nearly won! She beat both the Conservative and the NDP candidates and proved that the Green Party is a real contender in Canadian politics.

This brings me to the present, and I can't begin to tell you how excited I am about the next year. Even now after a year of direct involvement I consider myself a newcomer to politics. Something that I found to be very appealing about the Greens is their six key values, and I've tried to practice these in my daily life. Volunteering with the Green Party has been a very spiritually rewarding experience.

I hope you enjoyed my year in review and know that I look forward to kicking some political @$$ in the new year!

Political Jokes & Blog Update

I've migrated this blog over to the newer blogger version. It took a few hours yesterday to insert all of the code and make various customizations. I'm pleased with the new look and I hope you are too!

There have been just over 2000 visitors to my blog over the past year. Most of these were in recent months, and I hope to see at least double this amount in the next year. I'll be making regular updates and posts in order to make it worth coming back.

Just for kicks, here are a couple of political jokes. Enjoy!

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A little girl asked her father, "Daddy? Do all Fairy Tales begin with 'Once Upon A Time'?"

He replied, "No, there is a whole series of Fairy Tales that begin with 'If elected I promise'."

- - -

Prime Minister Harper was awakened one night by an urgent call from General Rick Hillier at the Department of National Defense.

"Mr. Prime Minister," said the general, barely able to contain himself, "there's good news and bad news."

"Oh, no..." muttered the Prime Minister, "Well, let me have the bad news first."

"The bad news, sir, is that we've been invaded by creatures from another planet."

"Gosh, and the good news?"

"The good news, sir, is that they eat reporters and pee oil."

- - -

December 15, 2006

Still Busy...

So I thought I'd be able to take a break from my work with the Party, but unless I choose to leave some work undone, I must continue to devote at least two hours each day volunteering my efforts. So far I've been able to maintain a balance with my family and other interests, and with the holiday season beginning I'll have to work in some late nights to keep on top of things.

As the Alberta Provincial Representative on Federal Council I've been working with the Prairie Organizer to get the Party ready for a possible spring election. Over the next few weeks Mark and I will be continuing to strengthen the Southern Alberta Organizing Task Force and we hope to hold a training session near the end of January for candidates, EDA executives, and more. A change that will occur soon (and that will put more work on my desk) is that Mark MacGillivray will be ending his time as Prairie Organizer. He's done so much here in Alberta that I'm convinced we couldn't have done as well as we did in the last election without him. Mark signed me up a little over a year ago, and I'll forever be grateful for being introduced to the Green Party of Canada. I'm happy to say that Mark will be sticking around and helping out. Check out his website and forum at!

Federal Council has been working to create committees made up mostly of general members to help in organizing certain areas of the Party. This Party really is different; council asks members what they think will work, committees of mostly general members is suggested, motions are drafted with input from the membership, and viola! Council does what the membership suggests. So far so good!

Here in Crowfoot the EDA is still getting settled in with our new executive. As CEO I am doing my best to coordinate our efforts, and stand back when not needed to let our capable members do what they know needs to be done. We're having a lot of fun and we are ready for the next federal election. At the recent nominations contest I was elected to be our local Green Party candidate again. With my experience of already running, a larger team to work with, and a bit more funds at our disposal, I'm sure we'll continue to increase our support.

The news lately has been very interesting. Elizabeth May is getting a lot of news coverage. Today we announced our efforts to be included in the next televised leaders debates. Please go to Demand Democratic Debates for more info and to sign the petition to have the Green Party included.

One last thing - I was reminded this week to walk the talk regarding living spiritually. After a heated exchange in an online political forum I spent a day reflecting on my 'tone of text' (it's really difficult to get emotions across online without being misunderstood once in a while) and I went back to offer an apology. Using non-violent communication is a great way to interact with others. I reset my headspace, and this has been a valuable learning experience for me.

November 27, 2006

A Busy Month!

This will likely be the sole post here this month since it's already Nov 27th. Apologies for leaving the blog dormant for the last few weeks. Here's a bit of what's happening right now.

At the time of this writing Elizabeth May has second place with over 20% of the vote in the London North Center by-election!

The Crowfoot EDA held it's nomination contest and I am now the official federal Green Party candidate in Crowfoot!

I have a couple of motions on the agenda for our federal council teleconference meeting on Dec 3rd.

So with other events on the horizon I have to say that I am very excited about how the GPC is moving forward. I'm so busy I can hardly post here. By the way, don't forget to check out my archives - lots of great posts and content over the previous months for you to view.

October 30, 2006

Council Meeting Very Productive

"It was a very positive, collaborative meeting... with amazing progress on tough issues." - E May

I am very proud to be a part of this amazing team.

I arrived at the Ottawa airport and was surprised to hear my name announced. I was called to the info desk where I met up with two other council members in order to share a cab. We went straight to the new national office for the open house and were greeted by our staff and about 100 local members.

Near the door was a pumpkin with our logo impressively carved into it. I was going to do this at home but after examining all of the different lines to cut I decided not to put myself through the torture.

The crowd was huge and most of us had a chance to get to know eachother. I hope to spend time with our staff in a quieter setting in the future. I had some great conversations and then joined some councillors & staff at a nearby pub for more conversation and preparation for our two day meeting.

(Ben West, BC Rep; Cameron Wigmore, AB Rep & Amber Jones, Sask Rep)

I am very excited about our council team. On Saturday we started off with a long day ahead and tackled everything fearlessly.
Our chairperson, Melanie Ransom, has done a great job keeping us on track and moving our meetings forward in a structured, respectful and organized manner.

(Jean-Francois Pinel, elected as Treasurer & current councillor-at-large, reviewing the prices on the wine list. Nothing escapes this man ;-)

At dinner Jean-Fracois was quick to point out that the Party doesn't cover alcoholic beverages. I just had to get a picture of him scowling at the $64 bottles of wine. I drank water.

We had two full days of meetings (the minutes will be posted on the GPC website in the near future) and I think everyone was please with the quanity of work we did. I've found that a key to productive meetings is to have adequate discussion, and then pass a motion. Discussion without direction is the mother of all time vampires, and meetings without discussion can do very bad things. Thankfully we had the right amount of both and will be moving forward with a clear direction.

I left a rainy windy Ottawa and arrived back in a cold snowy Calgary. I sat down to 100+ emails and a new list of projects to tackle, and here I am posting on my blog. Time management is on my list of things to improve... ;-)

Thanks to all staff, councillors and members who helped to make this a great weekend!

October 24, 2006

Reality Check: Sustainable Development

I recently had a great conversation with someone who was turned right off of the term 'sustainable development'. Their definition was the same as the old line parties using this catch phrase to sound good; increasing consumption, or 'development', while giving a lot of lip service with regard to the environment, saying the word 'sustainable' repeatedly. I agreed with my friend that it's frustratingly silly and that the two words appeared to contradict each other. Fortunately there is one political party that is reality based and does a good job of bringing politics 'down to Earth' (pun intended). The Green Party has a firm grasp of what sustainable development really is.

There are different definitions of the words sustainable and development. These words combined have been thrown around haphazardly by politicians so a clarification seems appropriate. I agree with the current Green Party definition of sustainability from their policies. It states that, “Activities are sustainable when they use materials in continuing cycles, use continuously reliable sources of energy, and come mainly from the potentials of being human (i.e., communication, creativity, coordination, appreciation, and spiritual and intellectual development).”

On the flipside, activities are non-sustainable when they require continual input of non-renewable resources, use renewable resources faster than their rate of renewal, cause cumulative degradation of the environment, require resources in quantities that could never be available for all people, and lead to the extinction of other life forms.

Now hold on a minute! That last part sounds more like what the current politicians want us to believe is sustainable, yet it's exactly the opposite. I'll go with the definition of sustainability that the Green Party uses, thank you very much.

To 'develop' according to my definition (not grow or consume more, but develop as in mature or change) seems like something that all types of green-minded individuals can agree to be a good thing. Promoting Fair Trade instead of Free Trade, viewing the economy as a subset of ecology (aka eco-economics), promoting green industries & 'green-collar jobs' as well as a move away from dependence on non-green technologies, and realizing that our level of consumption does not equate to well-being or quality of life (and subsequently supporting a reduction in our levels of consumption) all fall under my own definition of sustainable development.

See A Question Of Direction for more on this subject.

October 23, 2006

Elizabeth May Runs In London Byelection!

The race is on to elect our first Green MP.

It’s definite. Elizabeth May is running in London Centre North.

We need your help in electing Elizabeth.

We need volunteers. We need donations. We need people to make calls. We need to let every Green voter in Canada know. For details go to


See news coverage through the links below.

October 21, 2006

Our AGM & Afterparty Was Fantastic!!!

It couldn't have gone better!

Thanks to Mark MacGillivray & George Read for attending and making sure everything went smootly. Your help in adopting a riding constitution was invaluable!

(George R at left and Mark M at right, just after the meeting)

We had 10 members in attendance and three observers, including one 'green curious' friend. People came to the meeting, held in Rosebud, from Camrose, Kelsey, Three
Hills, Drumheller, Strathmore & Calgary.

(Gerry Piro & Midge Lambert, newly elected to the Crowfoot EDA Executive)

The highlight of our inaugural general meeting was electing two new executives.

Gerry Piro is our new Financial Agent. He is a resident of Camrose, AB where he has an accounting business. His experience as an accountant and a longtime supporter of the
Greens will be extemely helpful in our efforts moving forward!

Midge Lambert is our new Membership Chair. She's a caterer and brought a very tasty platter of yummy snacks to the meeting. Her outgoing and friendly attitude will make her an awesome representative. Midge is already active planning events for the Green Party in and around Camrose!

(Jennifer Wigmore, my wife & Crowfoot EDA's Fundraising Chair, at center back, with co-workers at our Halloween afterparty)

After the Crowfoot general meeting ended we all headed back to my house for the big Halloween party. There were over 40 people in our little house and it was a blast! The credit for this sucess goes to Jennifer. Her experience with event planning really paid off. Tying in our AGM with a Halloween party brought out friends and acquaintances who otherwise would not have had any exposure to the Greens.

At one point we shut everyone in, turned off the music and made everyone watch videos of Elizabeth May. People were surprisingly glued to what she was saying. Ruth Bowker provided dozens of spooky cookies and sub sandwiches, and we had Vietnamese sticky rice with fish sauce. This was a huge hit with the crowd, which hung around until the wee hours of the morning. High point of the night: someone who I'd never met came up to me, asked to join the party, and made a donation to the EDA!

This was an amazing event and I am excited to be working with our new executive as we move forward. Up next is the Crowfoot nominations contest. Stay tuned!

October 19, 2006

GPC Video Links & Update Of My Efforts

Elizabeth May recently signing a copy of her book. Click on image to find out more.

There has been so much media attention in the last few weeks that I can hardly keep up with our leader! Interviews on national television, radio interviews, an 11 minute profile on CBC's the National, and other coverage, all linked to from here so you can try to keep up with our tireless leader.

This has been a busy season for me. Tomorrow is the Crowfoot Federal Green Party Association's inaugural AGM, and as CEO of this riding I'm hard at work preparing. Three weeks ago I was in Calgary attending the joint AGM of the Alberta Greens & the Provincial Division of the Federal Green Party at which I reported on my work as an executive member of the Provincial Division. In one week I'm headed back to Ottawa for Federal Council's first inperson meeting. We meet mostly by teleconference because that's the Green way to do things (less travel = less consumption of fossil fuels) but face-to-face meetings are a must.

So back to those links. I've had to do some digging for many of these so please take advantage of them all being in one place! Some are also found on the Party website, but they are provided for you here as direct links to the media. I highly recommend the MPtv interview and the profile story for download. Enjoy!

Elizabeth May profile
(11 min AVI video for download. Right-click & 'save as')

Radio interview of May
(18 min, mp3 audio download - Conservative radio talkshow host gets massively schooled by Elizabeth May ;-)

Speech by E.May as new leader of the Green Party
(CPAC video footage from Ottawa convention. Right click, choose 'save as' & open with your favorite media player)

Excerpt of May's 1st speech as leader of the Green Party
(realmedia audio format)

Video feed of E May October 5 comments from the Hill
October 5, 2006 - CBC News (realmedia video format)

MPtv - Interview with E May Oct 17th, '06
Garth Turner interviews Elizabeth May (Google Video Site)

Mercer Report - Tree Cutting With GPC Leader E May
(go to main page via link, click on 'videos' tab, and under week of Oct 17 select 'Tree Cutting with E May' video to watch... yes, the tree was dead ;-)

Debate incl E.May from The Big Picture w/Avi Lewis
(scroll down to 'watch video' on mid-right and click on 'video 47:19' under 'watch the town hall debate')

More on Garth Turner at This Blog.

Let me know if you have any trouble with the links.

October 6, 2006

Green Party reacts to Minister Ambrose - No Plan After All

You may have noticed that yesterday, despite months of build-up and promises of a plan, the environment minister Rona Ambrose announced that there is no 'Green Plan Two'. Instead of a plan the Conservatives will be making a series of environmental announcements. Instead of action now, they will be going back to consult groups on how to move forward - the same groups that were already consulted and decided to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. What Ambrose has been offering lacks detail, and opposition parties and environmentalists are accusing the government of wanting to stall environmental initiatives by pretending to start from scratch.

Just moments after this development, Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada, who was at the house of commons when all of this was taking place, was pulled outside for an intense media scrum and widely interviewed.

One great four minute video clip is here (you'll need real media player to watch):

The CBC story that has a link to this video is here:

The Green Party is on the ground in Ottawa and across Canada, and the media as well as the Canadian public is taking notice of the party and it's views on many issues. This development is an example of how the Green Party is an effective and important part of the mix in Canadian politics. Also, this development also shows a lack of accountability on the part of the Conservative government. Wasn't that one of their top five priorities? After abandoning the Kyoto Protocol (which the Liberals did a poor job of dealing with as well) the Conservatives promised us that a 'made in Canada solution' was on the way. Months later they tell us there is no plan. The Conservatives came to power on the promise to make government more accountable. I agree with the author of the story linked to below, that they need to be reminded that our government should be accountable to the people of Canada - not just its business elite.

There have been other developments showing a move away from real accountability including attending and participating in a recent highly secret deep integration summit in Banff. See Maude Barlow's piece on this from the Toronto Star through the link below.
So two stories for you today; Green Party responds to the lack of a read plan on the environment from the Conservatives, and secret meeting raises more questions about government accountability and transparency.


Cameron Wigmore
Alberta Representative, Federal Council
CEO, Crowfoot EDA
Drumheller, AB

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More from the Green Party and national news stories below. Enjoy!
Elizabeth May participates in televised discussion on global warming (note: large video file)

Green Party media release: Canada can meet Kyoto targets

The GPC's 'Green Plan Squared' (PDF file) This is an important document for understanding the Green Party's strategy on energy, the economy & ecology...

May's Blog: Rona Ambrose definitely does NOT clear the air....

Ambrose denies retreating from international co-operation on environment (Sept 14th, Canadian Press)

Ambrose balks at using existing powers to smack down polluters (

Grim Report Serves as wakeup call for Canada (

An Inconvenient Truth (on DVD November 21st) An important documentary on the science of climate change!

September 24, 2006

Stop Bias Against Green Party by Tom Axworthy - PLUS: Environmentalism & Christianity

Enjoy this wonderful article, and please explore the links to a number of other articles exploring environmental stewardship & Christianity at the bottom of this post!

Environmentalists should be welcomed to political table, says Tom Axworthy

Stop Bias Against Green Party - by Tom Axworthy
Sep. 24, 2006

"Scientists, like the Greens, have been worried about climate change for decades. New to the movement are evangelical religious leaders: In February 2006, 86 of them declared "Love of God, love of neighbour, and the demands of stewardship are more than enough reason for evangelical Christians to respond to the climate change problem with moral passion and concrete action."

It is time the Canadian political and media establishments stop discriminating against the Green party and the ethic it represents. If we are serious about preserving the planet and if we care about fair play, Canadians must demand the Greens be welcomed to the political table.

The basic premise of the Green movement is that "all life in the planet is interconnected and that humans have a responsibility to protect and preserve the natural world." Founded in Canada in 1983, the tiny minority of Greens in the 1980s were right about the impact of the fossil-fuel economy on global warming. As the science on climate change has become more mainstream, so should the Greens.

Global warming means that extra-solar radiation is being trapped at the Earth's surface; the rise in average temperature is only the signal that something profound is going on. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world's most authoritative scientific body on the problem, has documented the steady rise in global temperatures and attributes most of it to human activities.

James Hansen, head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Science, believes that in 10 years we will be at the tipping point — there will already be too much carbon dioxide in the system...

(article snipped)

...Last week, satellite images revealed dramatic openings in the Arctic ice big enough to allow a ship to sail to the North Pole. Scientists, like James Lovelock, creator of the GAIA Hypothesis, are deeply concerned.

He wrote this year "the climate centres around the world, which are the equivalent of the pathology labs of a hospital, have reported the Earth's physical condition and the climate specialists see it as seriously ill, and soon to pass into a morbid fever that may last as long as 100,000 years."

Scientists, like the Greens, have been worried about climate change for decades. New to the movement are evangelical religious leaders: In February 2006, 86 of them declared "Love of God, love of neighbour, and the demands of stewardship are more than enough reason for evangelical Christians to respond to the climate change problem with moral passion and concrete action."

These traditional allies of President George Bush have broken with him on the issue of climate change. They argue that change is real, that the poor will be hardest hit (as happened with Hurricane Katrina) and that Christian moral convictions demand a response. An evangelical-scientific alliance to force business and government to exercise responsible stewardship could change politics in a hurry.

If the Greens have been right on one of the largest issues of our time, they have also been dogged in building support. In the 2006 election, they won 4.5 per cent support by running candidates in all 308 ridings. Yet the established parties and the networks have not allowed the Green leader to participate in televised debates.

The Bloc Québécois, which runs no candidates outside of Quebec, gets hours of television time; the Greens are shut out. This has to change. If Canadians are ever to make the leap from a consumer society to a conserver society, the job of public education will be tremendous. For reasons of substance (to create a large environmental coalition dedicated to change) and for reasons of ethics (to give a national party a fair chance), Elizabeth May, the Green leader, must be included in the next debates. The new leader of the Liberal party should refuse to participate in any debate that excludes the leader of the Greens. To prevent climate change, we must change the current climate of denial; a starting point would be giving the Green party the respect it deserves.

Thomas S. Axworthy is chairman of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at Queen's University.

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Politics, ecology, economics, Green Party, Christianity, environmental stewardship... all of these subjects are related to the others. Maybe I'm tackling too big a topic in this post, but I enjoy exploring how my political endeavors relate to my spiritual & environmental efforts.

Environmentalism can compliment economics, and in fact care of our ecology is a necessary element in having a functioning economy that is sustainable. The Green Party has given this thorough consideration and has an excellent plan regarding our economy in relation to ecological considerations.

The following is a list of interesting articles
exploring environmental stewardship & Christianity. There seems to be two opposite schools of thought: a side that in part supports a free market and/or growth, and a side that supports more government involvement and/or sustainability. Both frame their definition of stewardship under each model. I think both extremes are just that - extremes, and the most reasonable concept of environmental stewardship for the Christian, or anyone else, is somewhere in the middle and draws aspects from both schools of thought.

(note: the titles below will link to the full articles.)

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Stewardship and the Environment
"...Many Christians are suspicious of the affinity groups like the Evangelical Environmental Network have with mainstream statist (or outright pagan) environmentalism, but they have not been trained in an appropriate response. Thus, after being browbeaten with the stewardship lingo, they leave the field of battle to the theological liberals and political statists...
...One approach in dealing with the new “stewardship” advocates is to inquire about the criteria for good stewardship. How do we know when we have been good stewards? How do we know when the tradeoffs between garden-tending and “being fruitful and multiplying” have been made appropriately? Is it better to use a 40-acre plot of land for wildlife habitat, for a farm, for a pharmaceutical plant, or for housing? The evangelical environmentalist material I have read so far would not rule out any of these possibilities. How can that decision be made, without resorting to the crucial information provided by that hated system of free market prices? The answers should be revealing..."

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An Evangelical Declaration on the Care of Creation
"...The earthly result of human sin has been a perverted stewardship, a patchwork of garden and wasteland in which the waste is increasing. "There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land...Because of this the land mourns, and all who live in it waste away" (Hosea 4:1,3). Thus, one consequence of our misuse of the earth is an unjust denial of God's created bounty to other human beings, both now and in the future..."

The above declaration seems to be written in the spirit of love, and I recognize the good will within it, but I don't completely agree with the logic and statements contained within it. Nonetheless, it is a very interesting document.

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Eco-Myths - Don't believe everything you hear about the church and the environmental crisis.
Myth 2: It's Not Biblical to be Green (Calvin B. DeWitt) "...I am amazed to hear Christians sometimes say that biblical faith has little in common with the environmental cause. Even worse, some evangelicals fear that teaching people to enjoy and respect creation will turn them into pantheists..."

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Stewardship Without Prices and Private Property? Modern Evangelical Environmentalism’s Struggle to Value Nature
"... Christians are right to seek ways to improve stewardship over nature. Yet those who are most vocal in their advocacy of stewardship seem intent upon neglecting critical sources of information about the allocation of natural resources. Numerous evangelical scholars and entire denominations give far greater weight to governmental intervention as a method of stewardship than to free-market pricing...
...schemes of central planning are no substitute for the market’s role in calculation. Statist environmentalism, however dressed in rhetoric of “justice” or “Christian stewardship,” is untenable because it lacks the necessary information to make resource allocations. Pursuing “eco-justice” or conservation of nature without protecting private property and the price system is “zeal without knowledge.” Being a Christian does not give one access to new revelation on the ideal allocation of resources."

This article is pro-libertarian & free-market, and anti-socialism & government regulation. It seems to represent the argument for government regulation in a way that is weaker than reality and mostly unappealing, and then argue against that representation. Despite this bias it is interesting reading. See the list of official denominational statements on the environment included in the original article .

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Stewardship and Economics: Two Sides of the Same Coin

"...examples display the shared biblical origin of the terms economics and stewardship. Economics can be understood as the theoretical side of stewardship, and stewardship can be understood as the practical side of economics. Here in the Midwest, over the course of the winter we’ve heard a number of news reports about the dilemma facing households over the rise in home heating costs. Often, the decision must be made to pay only one of two bills, to pay the heating bill or buy food. Dire situations like these are ones in which tough economic decisions are made by the heads of households. Far from being a discipline that explains all of human existence, in the biblical view, as we saw in the case of the shrewd manager, economics is the thoughtful ordering of the material resources of a household or social unit toward the self-identified good end. Thus, if we hold a biblical view of economics and stewardship, we will not be tempted to divorce the two concepts but instead will see them as united. On a larger scale, then, economics must play an important role in decisions about environmental stewardship. Economics helps us rightly order our stewardship. The fact that some advocates for political action on global warming are now attempting to propose economic arguments for their position is a positive step toward reconciling these two often estranged concepts..."

This article is basically about the concept of eco-economics. Click here and here for links to info on a great book exploring this concept.

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Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action
"...Over the last several years many of us have engaged in study, reflection, and prayer related to the issue of climate change (often called "global warming"). For most of us, until recently this has not been treated as a pressing issue or major priority. Indeed, many of us have required considerable convincing before becoming persuaded that climate change is a real problem and that it ought to matter to us as Christians. But now we have seen and heard enough to offer the following moral argument related to the matter of human-induced climate change. We commend the four simple but urgent claims offered in this document to all who will listen, beginning with our brothers and sisters in the Christian community, and urge all to take the appropriate actions that follow from them..."

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Preserved Garden or Productive City? Two Competing Views of Stewardship
"...The first position, understood as the preservationist view of stewardship, is manifest in the Evangelical Environmental Network’s Evangelical Declaration on the Care of Creation. This view emphasizes the pristine state of creation before the fall into sin, and understands this “garden” to be the ideal toward which we are to bend our efforts. The failure of humankind lies principally in its inability to both sustain creation’s fruitfulness and preserve creation’s powerful testimony to its Creator...

...The second position is evident in The Cornwall Declaration on Environmental Stewardship. This view emphasizes “productivity” and “proliferation.” The “productivity” view of stewardship stresses the unity between the biblical mandate both to “be fruitful and increase in number” and to “rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Gen. 1:28 NIV). The adherents to the Cornwall Declaration affirm human “potential, as bearers of God’s image, to add to the earth’s abundance,” and recognize the identity of human beings as both "producers and stewards."

Again I have to say that neither concept is entirely exclusive of the other. The preservationist view could be said to be supportive of "producers & stewards", but that the word producers doesn't allow for consumption of huge amounts of resources in an unsustainable manner. The proliferation view seems to fit with what the Bible states, and even in the parable told by Jesus (see full article) it appears that one is being told to 'develop and grow your assets'. While the economy is important in both views, and it's smart to make prudent personal investments, (my house has appreciated - hooray!) in the big picture of the world economy we can no longer grow; the human population is too large (it would take three earths for every person to consume resources at the rate that we do in North America), our resources and energy sources are being depleted rapidly, and environmental degredation is everywhere. The economy is a subset of ecology, and only through realizing this can we move forward together with a plan to improve the quality of life for everyone on our planet.

September 21, 2006

Oilsands: Burning Energy To Produce It

This image of the oilsands in northern Alberta links to an interesting video on oilsands development.

I wrote the following letter as a submission for the oilsands consultations that are taking place around Alberta. If you wish to make your voice heard, now's the time. Contact or call 1-877-644-4695 or go to for more info.

I want to add that in the 2006 Green Party platform it stated that
the GPC would create thousands of new "Green collar jobs" by encouraging the development of low-emission industries in areas most affected by the shift away from natural resource sectors. Yes, my friends who work in the patch can vote Green knowing that they won't be out of work under a Green government.

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To whom it may concern,

My name is Cameron Wigmore and I am writing this letter to you as a concerned Canadian. If it's possible, I would like to request for this to be read aloud by someone during the consultations please. I would be pleased to know that you have a system in place that allows people to be easily and readily heard.

It is my opinion that we are doing too much too quickly. What's the rush? If I were to ask the oil companies this question I imagine their answer would be profit related. It would be nice to see companies in the oilpatch taking the social and environmental implications of their business into consideration, but since the government says they don't need to do so, the companies don't worry about it. Why would they? To be fair, I realize that doing so would cut into their profits, and as a small business owner myself I can understand why a company would want the regulating bodies to stay out of their business so they can do what they want as quickly as they see fit. Sustainability doesn't fit in their equations. But it is in our best interests to regulate this industry properly. In this case it is my opinion that we can strengthen our economy by conserving our ecology.

This brings me back to my question. What's the rush? If I asked the city councillors in Fort McMurray or other negatively affected communities I'm sure I'd get an earful about how the government has been irresponsible in allowing, even promoting, such development and damage. I'd hear that many other people agree that we're doing too much too quickly. I remind everyone that recently the Regional Council for the Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which includes Fort McMurray, voted unanimously to apply for intervener status on any and all new oil sands projects coming before Alberta’s Energy Utility Board. Their infrastructure, police and social services are overstrained and woefully inadequate in the wake of this boom. They can't keep up with the pace set by the provincial government and this is a case where a municipality has taken matters into their own hands.

So let's ask the provincial and federal governments. What's the rush? Why are we doing so much so fast? Why are we moving forward with inadequate environmental impact studies being done? Why are vast areas of boreal forest being eliminated with no indication that we can ever restore this land? Yes, we can reclaim it, but I urge everyone to research what qualifies as land reclamation. Why are we allowing this extremely financially profitable activity to occur while we reduce royalties and taxes on oilsands development? Why should I believe that the companies, the government or even the organizations charged with ensuring public safety and proper activity regarding the oilsands share my concerns and wishes? To be clear, my wish is for no further leases to be issued and for current development to be properly examined for environmental impact.

To paraphrase James Howard Kunstler in his book entitled The Long Emergency, "The profits of a generation of speculators will be converted into costs passed along to future generations in the form of lost jobs, squandered equity, and reduced living standards. This is a convoluted liquidation sale of the wealth of the Earth for the benefit of a few people, with the average family sentenced to a race to the bottom as the economic & environmental assets are dismantled and sold off and livelihoods are closed down." Think about this. This is happening.

The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment. In other words, ecology isn't a subset of the economy; it's the other way around. We need to transform our economy so that it respects ecology and gives us a healthy country with healthy Canadians. If we continue business as usual without accounting for and charging for the irreparable ecological damage that is occurring then we are practicing bad government and bad business.

I'll close this letter with a few quotes. My favourite and probably the most relevant is last.

"What many now call 'growth' will soon be seen as accelerated decay."

"Anyone who thinks that an economy can be expanded forever, within the confines of a finite planet, is either a madman or an economist"
Economist Kenneth Boulding

"Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all."
Economist John Maynard Keynes

"Environmental injury is deficit spending. It’s a way of loading the cost of our generation’s prosperity on to the backs of our children."
"To waste and destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them."
"Where there is no vision, the people perish."
Proverbs 29:18

Cameron Wigmore
Drumheller, AB
CEO, Crowfoot EDA

August 30, 2006

Green Party Supports Safe Injection Site

The poster to the left is a mockup I did for the Badlands Drug Coalition, a local addiction awareness group on which I sit as a member. I had fun making this poster. We didn't go with it though because the photo is not free for public use.

There is a media release regarding the insite program that I helped write just before the convention. I'm bringing it up now because there have been a bunch of new stories on this program in the news lately. Click on the title of this post for the media release and see links below for recent news stories.

Here are a few links:
Mom of drug addict calls on Prime Minister to keep safe-injection site open
Ottawa ethically obligated to treat addicts at safe-injection site: ethicist
RCMP responds to media reports concerning safe-injection site reviews
RCMP oppose expanded injection sites

If you feel so inclined, you can send a letter asking to continue the program to Tony Clement, Minister of Health. His contact information is:
1 866 375 8669
Tony Clement MP
202 Main Street West
Huntsville, Ontario
P1H 1X9

Also, the website, has a letter to Stephen
Harper that you can send from their webpage. It's at:

The following link is to a site that has some great ideas on how to make
your voice heard on this subject and more:

"We can't incarcerate the problem of addiction away."

August 29, 2006

We've Been Elected!

No, not elected to parliament ...not yet anyway... ;-)

This picture of Elizabeth & myself was taken at the afterparty at her beautiful and funky heritage house. She had a Celtic band performing, organic nachos to munch on and many, many friends and suporters there to celebrate her being elected as the new leader of the Green Party.

I have been elected to federal council as the Alberta Provincial Representative. The full council is as follows:

Melanie Ransom, Party Chair; Andrea Caufield, Administration Chair; Kathryn Holloway, Chief Agent; Christopher Ian Bennet, Communications Chair; Amélie Gingras, Francophone Secretary; Angela Reid, Fundraising Chair; Silvaine Zimmerman, International Secretary; Steve Kisby, Membership Chair; Doug Anderson, Organizing Chair; Becky Smit, Party Secretary; Jean Francois Pinel, Treasurer.

Provincial /Territorial Reps: Cameron Wigmore, Alberta; Ben West, British Columbia;
Kate Storey, Manitoba; Erik Millett, New Brunswick; Fiona Roe, Newfoundland and Labrador; Thomas Trappenberg, Nova Scotia; William Gawor, Nunavut; Alexa Pitoulis, NWT; Lori Gadzala, Ontario; Jeremy Stiles, Prince Edward Island; Almaz Aladas, Quebec; Amber Jones, Saskatchewan; Gregory Heming, Yukon.

The new constitution was also voted in, and council will now be organizing according to it. Many policy resolutions were workshopped and will be mailed out to the membership across Canada for final vote. The conference was very well organized and fully covered by all of the major media.