Cameron Wigmore, Green Party Member: May 2006

May 8, 2006

GPC Convention 2006

The Green Party of Canada 2006 National Convention will be taking place August 24 to 27, 2006 at the Ottawa Congress Centre in Ottawa, Ontario. This is the event for Party members, combining a policy convention and biennial general meeting. At the convention we will:

  • Debate and vote on policy resolutions for ratification by the membership

  • Elect the Leader of the Party

  • Elect the governing Council of the Party

  • Hold a general meeting of the membership (selection of shadow advocates, Ombuds committee, various resolutions, etc.)

I'll be working with the financial agent of the Crowfoot Federal Green Party Association to raise funds so that I will be able to attend the convention. An EDA (Electoral District Association) can pay part or all of a member’s costs of attending the convention. This can include part or all of registration, travel, and accommodation. EDAs can fundraise and take donations to be used to sponsor members to attend.

I am running for the position of Alberta Provincial Representative for federal council. The election will take place during the convention. The provincial representative responsibilities include representing the views of all Green political organizations in the province and participating in the decision making required to conduct the business of the party.

To ensure that our platform truly represents the party I will promote policy development through tools such as the living platform, and I will ensure that channels are open for all members to voice their thoughts.

The Greens will be the first choice of enough Canadians to make our platform a reality.

By improving media relations and increasing coverage through staying active with newsworthy endeavors in our communities and through the use of television spots we will ensure that every Canadian understands who we are, what we stand for and what we can do for our country.

More to come soon!

May 3, 2006

Conservatives short-change Future Generations

The following media release is in response to the new Conservative government’s budget.
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Why cut GST, increase the burden on the working poor and subsidize air pollution?

(Ottawa – Tuesday, 2 May 2006) – "Why cut GST, increase the burden on the working poor and subsidize air pollution?" asked Green Party leader Jim Harris following Harper’s budget speech.

The Green Party is appalled at the Conservative government’s fiscal assault on Canadians’ quality of life and the failure of any party in Parliament to offer a vision of Canada that is fiscally, socially and environmentally sustainable.

"Cutting one or two percent off the GST proportionally increases the cost of collecting it," said Green Party finance critic, Ariel Lade, an economist based in Victoria, BC. "Instead of cutting the GST, why don’t we eliminate it from hybrid vehicles, bicycles, alternative medicine, and books?" At the same time the Green Party would levy against products and services that harm our way of life such as gas-guzzling vehicles, chemical fertilizers and unsustainable resource extraction.

A Green budget would include:

• Introducing fiscal incentives to meet Canada’s greenhouse emission targets. The Green Party would eliminate subsidies to the fossil fuel industry freeing billions to pay down the debt and improve healthcare;

• Eliminating the GST on things that improve society and reduce our ecological footprint such as hybrid vehicles, bicycles, alternative medicine, and books;

• Raising the basic personal exemption amount to relieve the additional tax burden on people living below the poverty line;

• Funding a citizen’s committee on democratic reform. We need an
electoral system that values every vote and encourages collaboration among different political parties in Parliament.

• Acknowledge that the government’s objective is to increase Canadians’ well-being and not simply create more economic activity for its own sake.

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As a musician I've been wondering what will happen to arts funding. I suppose It's not all bad as funding for the arts wasn't taken away altogether, but it wasn't improved upon by any great degree, and it's obvious that this government is not a strong supporter of the arts.

Bob McPhee, a spokesman for the Canadian Arts Coalition says "At least it's an indication there is a level of support for the arts".

The Writers' Union of Canada expressed disappointment that the previous government's funding pledge to the council wasn't honoured.

"The government should go back to school and learn economics 101," Brian Brett, chair of the Writers' Union, said in a statement. "Funding to the arts is returned more than eight-fold to Canada's economy and to its tax revenue."

For more on this story see the following links.

$50 million for Canada Council but little for arts (Canadian Press)

Grateful for a few crumbs (Toronto Star)