A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Political Green Soul Mate?

I recently had the opportunity to speak with one of the two ladies running to become the Grey Bruce Owen Sound Greens federal candidate and seem to have found a political soul mate.

Emma Jane Hogbin is an enthusiastic & articulate young lady with a passion for democracy, she believes that government, political partys and candidates should be as open as possible and believes, as I do, that the GPC most closely represents those values. Like myself she has sought out the platform documents of the various parties and found them non existent , lacking in content or misleading, excepting for the Green Party’s Vision Green document, where like myself found a clear and broad ranging document giving the GPCs position on every thing from the economy to democratic renewal to quality of life issues. No one individual will agree 100% on everything but I personally found little that I could seriously disagree with, why don’t you take a look and decide for yourself, ignore the spin, and read the comprehensive party position. Good luck finding a similar document from the other parties to compare positions!

She is passionate about making politics accessible and like myself has deep concerns about the state of our democracy and the lack of the long promised “open and accessible” government as well as the lack of respect & decorum in the House.. She is a strong advocate for our Grey Bruce region, supporting the local environment and local people, choosing to spend money locally, deciding to work from home globally, but choosing to live very locally, and again like myself has her own business here in the region. That it is a tech company and that she is right on top of the latest Internet technology seems to me to be a bonus as I believe a large part of the future of an accessible and democratic government rests with Internet access to data. :

She has said that the choice in this nomination race could be expressed as between someone who seeks to get people excited and involved and someone who perhaps was more familiar with and focused upon GPC “policy”. It’s a difficult choice, some are all about policy whilst others may be more about the individual running, getting folks “excited about politics” is a pretty difficult goal but if she can reach enough of those folks who are turned off and do not vote then it just may work. All I can tell you that after a 10 or 15 min conversation with her I was excited to have a candidate who was so passionate about democracy, which readers of my other blog Democracy Under Fire will know is a pet issue with me. Given my jaundiced and cynical view of our federal politics in particular, that is no mean feat!

That this passion and concern for our democracy mirrors not only my own but Green Party leader Elizabeth May,s gives me hope for the future of the local “greens” and our region and our country. Without democracy all the “policy” in the world is but window dressing!

It is perhaps a little unfair, as I have not spoken to the other candidate Lynn about these issues, but at this point I think it is clear where my choice lays. To balance that I will post extracts both bios for the benefit of local greens. If you fall into that category do learn more about these two ladies and join us at the Bayshore on Aug 17 to hear them speak, renew your membership if necessary and vote for the Candidate of your choice.

Nominations are open until Thur July 29th, the nomination meeting will be at the Harry Lumley Bayshore in Owen Sound on Tuesday August 17. It is rumored that Elizabeth May will speak and deputy leader Adriane Carr will also attend. Further details will be posted here and on the local Green Party web site.

Emma Jane Hogbin 2010 – GPC Candidate

Emma is committed to helping people define and achieve success. She is passionate about creating opportunities for people to participate equally in their community of choice. In 2007 and 2008 Emma hosted HICK Tech, a rural technology conference which highlighted the unique challenges and opportunities her community faces. In January 2010 she was recognized by The Google Diversity Programme for her efforts in increasing female participation in software development.

Currently employed as a freelance technical author, Emma works from her home office in Owen Sound, Ontario. She is a highly sought after technical speaker and has given presentations around the world about the importance of small business, open source software and the role of women in technology. Her first book, Front End Drupal, is a best seller within its industry.

The Green Party is a natural fit for Emma. She was selected to be a Legislative Page at the Ontario Legislature while attending public school and was later a Legislative Usher while studying at the University of Toronto. She graduated from UofT in 1999 with a BSc in Science and the Environment where she focused on the politics of migratory fish species. Emma brings with her the experience of two successful campaigns run in Bruce-Grey Owen Sound where she acted as Web consultant. In addition to her own riding, Emma has a family history with the Green Party--her great uncle Richard Thomas was one of Canada's first visible Green Party candidates nearly 20 years ago.

In 2005 Emma returned to her home town where she continues to be inspired by her book store owner mother, her artist father, the local farmlands and the short deciduous trees which surround her.

Lynn Morgan 2010 – GPC Candidate

As a Business Management/Project Management Consultant for over 20 years in the technology field, I assist organizations, businesses and individuals to make better use of their technology. I am analytical/logistical and intuitive with strong leadership skills.

I am a board member for the following groups: The Women’s Centre Grey & Bruce Inc., the Affordable Housing Coalition Grey Bruce and the addictions education group LEAD. Past volunteer activities have included board membership with the Adult Literacy Group, Non-Profit Housing Association, and the Property Standards Committee, in Thunder Bay. Other volunteer work included the Heart & Stroke Foundation, Canadian Diabetes Association, and the Arthritis Society, Habitat for Humanity, HAYWEST, and Home and Community Support Services. I created the Holland Chatsworth School Literacy Library database and coordinated the Sauble Beach Clean-up in September 2007 in conjunction with the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.

Currently, I am the Recording Chair for both the Executives of the GPC and the GPO Bruce Grey Owen Sound EDA since 2008. Previously, I volunteered in the 2008 Federal Election campaign. In the last local municipal election, I worked as a Deputy Returning Officer.

My values...I believe we are stewards of our Country and all the people in it. We, as citizens, need to assume this community responsibility at all levels now. Our voices need to be united and speak out against the non-existent government-directed environmental action and the economic policies that subject growing numbers of Canadian citizens to subsist in poverty. We need to focus our efforts on living without fossil fuels and building our economy to support sustainable green industries. We need to be a voice for those in our community who suffer injustice or marginalization and who despair of ever gaining equality or being respected. We need to inspire people with our integrity to re-enter the political mechanism – get them out to vote! We need to speak out against policies that deprive people of their homes, livelihoods and hope. We need to start by wresting Canada back from the brink of destruction; socially, environmentally, and economically. It starts here...one voice added to others in our community...one community added to the other ...for all of Canada.

My personal thanks to both candidates for making this commitment, whoever comes in second will be no less a winner than the nominated candidate. Up with Democracy.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sirens in the bush.

Recently we have been hearing whoops and wails coming from the back of our bush so whilst trimming our trails I took a detour to where I knew we previously had found a red foxes den. I fear Mr Fox is no more, for a family of Coyotes has moved in and upgraded the small entrance to a 2 foot diameter hole. The large mound of sand (numerous wheelbarrows full) at the entrance speaks to both the size of the den and to what’s within the side of the drumlin (glacial deposit) where they have taken up residence.

Nearby an area of 10 to 15 sq ft is worn bare of any vegetation where presumably the Kitts romp and play. Well defined trail lead away from the den in several directions.

This would also explain why our Grouse population seems diminished this year, no doubt the Wild Turkeys that wander through will take a hit also. I usually leave Ma Nature to do her own thing in our managed forest, interceding as little as possible so I do hope that they do not become aggressive, move up closer to the house or have a face off with our Australian Cattle Dog and force me to take a more active role!

Meanwhile it sounds like police, fire and ambulance have all parked in the bush with their sirens going. Ma Nature at work!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Green Party of Canada Convention

The Green Party of Canada is having their convention in August and as with any political party will be considering a number of resolutions on policy and governance. Unlike any other party the grass roots membership can view and vote upon these resolution on line, this post will then be of primary interest to existing members of the GPC. Others however will be able to get a small insight into the things that are being considered (and as with any political group that covers a spectrum of opinion) and will find links to Vision Green the official green party position on a variety of topics.
These links to Dave Bagler's blog are then to make it easier for GPC members to make their decision, you don't have to agree with Dave (I disagree on several items) but you will find these a quick way to identify those issues in which you have a particular interest. Thanks for your efforts on this Dave! Please read the official motions before voting but do vote upon as many motions as you can.

BGM Resolutions Review



BGM Resolutions Part 1: Council Structure and Obligations

 GPC members wishing to discuss any of these motions in detail should do so in the non public members section of the GPC web site where they will find groups dedicated to the Policy, Constitution or Directive motions.
Democracy requires dialog, the Green Party of Canada includes all its members in that dialog why not join them.

UPDATE – For another point of view see “Sudbury Steve,s” Posts about some of the motions and the “spin” around them.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hydro demand July 7 - 3pm

For particular attention of those who say wind power (and solar) can replace nuclear.
Ontario Demand: (3pm Wed July 7) 24,974 MW

Operating Reserve Requirement: 1,453 MW
Today's Projected Peak: (at 5:00 p.m. EDT) 24,866 MW
SUPPLY Generation by Fuel Type:
Nuclear: 9,325 MW
Hydro: 3,759 MW
Coal: 5,050 MW  (Still over 20%)
Gas: 5,405 MW
Wind: 39 MW (0.16% of demand or 3.5% of installed capacity)
Other: 1,038 MW

Hourly Imports: 2,118 MW - Exports: 2,111 MW
Today's Generator Availability at Peak: 26,790 MW
Maximum Ontario Import Capacity: 4,600 MW (approx.)

From http://www.ieso.ca/imoweb/media/md_index.asp

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Credit where credit is due.

Regular readers will know I am not a particular Liberal supporter but having stumbled across an announcement that Ignatieff was going to do the rural bbq thing this summer to promote rural issues I checked it out and found the following announcements from May:-

Michael Ignatieff announced a future Liberal government would introduce a $3,000 refundable tax credit for Canada’s volunteer firefighters. It’s a policy meant to recognize the tens of thousands of men and women put their lives at risk to keep us safe when they don the firefighter’s uniform.
..............a future Liberal government would introduce a $3,000 refundable tax credit for Canada’s volunteer firefighters. It’s a policy meant to recognize the tens of thousands of men and women put their lives at risk to keep us safe when they don the firefighter’s uniform.
A future Liberal government will achieve the goal of 100 percent high-speed internet connectivity within three years of being elected, and expand mobile phone coverage for rural and remote Canada. (and are) building on our commitment to legislate a Rural Canadian Postal Service Charter that would prevent further reductions in rural mail service by pledging to work with Canada Post to modernize rural community mail centres with high-speed internet connectivity.
And........ committed to helping Canadians eat healthier, home-grown food through a new national food policy based on healthy eating, safe food, sustainable farm incomes, environmental land stewardship and international leadership.
As well as announced............... that a Liberal government would help attract doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners to underserved rural communities by forgiving up to $20,000 of their student debt over four years.

Now I am not sure that winning the rural vote will do much for the Liberal fortunes with us being such a small part of the fabric of Canada but is sure is nice to see someone in Ottawa getting out in the country and trying. These things are all “no brainers” I would think, and relatively easy to implement (except for 100% connectivity within 3 years?) but talk is cheap and we know how these things get lost once elected, but still its a step in the right direction for rural and remote residents.
Thanks for that Iggy!