Schreiner Says First Year at Queen’s Park Proves One Person Can Make a Difference

The Green Party of Ontario is meeting this weekend for their annual convention in Scarborough, and though the party is still a bit disappointed in their Federal showing last month, Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner wanted to remind them that there’s still a lot to be proud of provincially.

“We’ve punched above our weight, proving that Greens belong at Queen’s Park,” said Schreiner is his keynote speech. He cited his private members bill, the Paris Galt Moraine Conservation Act, which unanimously passed second reading in the spring, as one of the ways that the Green’s collaborative approach to politics is working.

Schreiner recalled that at last year’s GPO convention in Barrie, he had to leave early because of the debate over using the notwithstanding clause to override the court decision about changing the size of Toronto City Council mid-election. He said it was an example of how Premier Doug Ford “used his first year in office to tear Ontario apart instead of build Ontario up.”

“I had to spend much of my first year in office fighting to stop the Premier from taking us backward rather than working to move us forward,” Schreiner added.

Schreiner touted the message he took away from this year’s Federal Election, that even though it only resulted in three elected MPs, there were 1.1 million votes for Greens across the country, and huge gains in ridings like Kitchener Centre, Parry Sound Muskoka, and, of course, Guelph. And then there’s all the elected Green representatives at the provincial level in B.C., New Brunswick, and in P.E.I. where Greens are the Official Opposition.

“I am so proud to be one of the 19 elected Greens across this country,” Schreiner said. “Even in this broken, winner-take-all system, that fosters the kind of negative, mud slinging that we saw during the federal election, the Green Party of Canada doubled its vote share.”

The GPO also used the occasion of their Annual General Meeting to release their new discussion paper, “Unlocking Affordable Housing for All.”

“We face a housing crisis. It is affecting nearly every corner of our province and it is getting worse,” said Schreiner in the preface. “Access to suitable housing is a key determinant to people’s health, well-being, employment, happiness, and so much more.”

The seven-point plan focuses on creating a greater mix of housing, giving more help renters, addressing the urgency of supportive housing, and undoing the speculative housing market, while at the same time working to contain sprawl.

You can find the discussion paper here.

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