Another Year, Another Hydro Hike: Help The GPO Lower Your Bills

As we move past Halloween and into November, we can all look forward to lots of glittery holiday decorations (yay!) and… higher hydro bills (boo!). The bi-annual hydro hike, which came into effect November 1, will increase the average household’s bill by about 1.7 percent, according to the Ontario Energy Board. That translates to an annual average increase that’s around 1.5 times the rate of inflation.

While you can reduce your energy use as much as possible by avoiding using energy-hungry appliances during peak time of use hours -- 7-11 AM and 5-7 PM in the winter, in case you aren’t sure -- install energy-efficient appliances and take advantage of energy-saver coupons to save some cash, the only long-term solution is responsible, sustainable policy changes.


We need to reward lower carbon usage, and invest in cheaper and more sustainable energy sources over more expensive sources.

Canada now places dead last in the developed world for policy for combating climate change, and Ontario needs to step forward as a leader to help fend off the climate crisis while making utilities and electricity affordable.

The Green Party of Ontario proposes two solutions to help lower your utility bills.

  1. Implement a carbon fee and dividend policy. We’ve blogged about this already, but here’s the gist -- you run a small or energy-efficient household that uses less carbon, you get a regular rebate cheque to reward your efforts. Those that use more carbon and contribute more to climate change pay a little more.

Sign the GPO petition and make your voice heard.

  1. Cancel the Darlington Rebuild project and invest in water power from Quebec. Rebuilding the Darlington Nuclear Station is already a financial mess -- it’s $300 million over budget and construction has not even started, with Ontario’s taxpayers on the hook for most of the over-cost charges. The GPO proposes working with Hydro Quebec to buy water power -- a source of energy that could save Ontarians between $750 million and $2.6 billion dollars annually.

You can help avoid a financial nightmare by signing the GPO’s petition. Consider writing to Premier Wynne and your MPP. Not sure what to say? Check out Mike Schreiner’s open letter to Wynne here

Posted by stremblay on November 06, 2014 | Permalink

Guelph—Get Out and Vote!

Municipal elections are often one of the most ignored aspects of politics, but they have the most impact on your day to day life. Voting for local government is also a great way to influence province- or even nation-wide policy, since a municipality that implements new programs and policies can serve as a model for larger-scale policy changes. This election, you have the chance to elect local government officials that reflect progressive values, and six members of the Green Party are running for city council. Read on to find out more about the Green candidates, and to find out how to vote!

Karolyne Pickett


  Karolyne Pickett, Ward 1

  519-831-6490 |

  Twitter | Website



Bob Bell


  Bob Bell, Ward 1

  519-766-0111 |




Marty Collier


  Marty Collier, Ward 2

  519-826-0277 |

  Facebook | Twitter | Website



Maggie Laidlaw


Maggie Laidlaw, Ward 3




Mike Salisbury


  Mike Salisbury, Ward 4 

  519-763-4461 | 

  Facebook | Twitter | Website



Keith Poore


  Keith Poore, Ward 6

  519-820-0358 |

  Facebook | Twitter | Website


Online voting is available NOW and it's open until October 24, 2014! Visit Guelph Votes to register as a voter, vote online or find out where you can vote in person, and find out what ward you're in.

Want a little refresher on Guelph politics? Check out Guelph Citizen, Beyond the Ballot Box, Guelph Politico, and We Are Guelph

Happy voting, see you at the polls!

Posted by stremblay on October 09, 2014 | Permalink

Sign the GPO Petition to Demand Your Carbon Cheque!

Climate change not only threatens our ecosystems and health, it puts a dent in our bank accounts. Canadians have already spent $3.2 billion in home insurance claims related to climate change in 2013, and climate change is projected to cost Canada $221 billion by 2075. That’s almost $6500 per person. And with Ontario’s failure to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, that projection will go nowhere but up. 

Pair that with rapidly rising utility costs -- hydro, for example, is projected to increase up to 8% per year, which is much faster than the rate of inflation or average wage increases -- and you're looking at a massive bill.

Many in Ontario can’t afford these cost increases. Right now, over a million households in Ontario spend too much of their income on utilities -- a phenomenon known as energy poverty. Low-income households also tend to consume less carbon than high-income households and corporations, so they contribute less to climate change even as they pay a disproportionate amount of their income for carbon use. Meanwhile the biggest polluters in our country aren’t paying enough to offset the cost of climate change and, in the case of corporations, enjoy very low tax rates.

If you’re thrifty with your utilities and do your part to minimise carbon usage, don’t you deserve a reward? Isn’t it fair that the biggest polluters pay more of the cost of climate change?

Demand Your Carbon Dividend!

The Green Party of Ontario supports a carbon rebate program to level the playing field and make sure the people responsible for pollution are the ones who pay for it.  If you run a small or energy-efficient household and consume less carbon, you’re rewarded with rebates to offset the cost of your bills.

Think of it as the carbon-savings equivalent of the current GST/HST rebate program. You pay your utility bills and, if you have low carbon consumption, you’ll get regular refunds according to your consumption levels. The less carbon you use, the higher your refund.

A rebate program places the cost of climate change on the worst polluters. And that’s right where it belongs.

Make your voice heard! Sign the Green Party of Ontario’s petition for a Carbon Fee and Dividend program!

Posted by stremblay on September 29, 2014 | Permalink

Guelph Greens AGM 2014

The Guelph Greens Annual General Meeting (AGM) is just 19 days away!

This will be a chance to reconnect, socialize, hear updates, and take care of business.

We will be electing a new executive, as the following positions are open and/or up for re-election:

Vice-President (2-year term)

The VP provides support and guidance to the Riding, and steps in to a chair and leadership role when the President is unavailable. The VP must be a member of both Parties.

Secretary (2-year term)

The Secretary is responsible for taking minutes during all executive meetings, and circulating them to the executive and the members.  The secretary is also responsible for obtaining up-to-date records of membership in the Parties and the Riding.

CFO-Federal (2-year term)

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Federal is the CFO for the Federal EDA. The CFO (Federal) is responsible for ensuring all activities of the riding comply with the rules and regulations of the Green Party of Canada, federal audits, and reporting to Elections Canada.  The CFO (Federal) must be a member of the Federal Party.

CFO-Provincial (2-year term)

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Provincial is the CFO for the Provincial CA. The CFO, Provincial, is responsible for ensuring all activities of the riding comply with the rules and regulations of the Green Party of Ontario, provincial audits, and reporting to Elections Ontario.  The CFO (Provincial) must be a member of the Provincial Party.|

Director-at-Large (x2) (2-year term)

The Directors-at-Large support the work of executive and the riding in furthing the objectives of the Green Party, provincially and locallly.  They may be part of subcommittess and task forces in the planning and implementation of various campaigns or projects. (Eg - communications, AGM planning, events planning, etc.)

AGM Agenda

  • 7:00pm Registration, voting opens
  • 7:10pm Welcome from the executive and review of 2014
  • 7:20pm Financial update from the Electoral District Association and Constituency Association
  • 7:25pm Explanation of the Guelph Green election process from the Returning Officer
  • 7:30pm 1 minute Speeches from Executive Candidates
  • 7:35pm—8:00pm Voting  - Mike Schreiner — Leader, Green Party of Ontario; Candidate: Guelph
  • 8:00pm -  Results of election announced - Thank you to outgoing Executive - AGM officially closes,
  • Socialize, brainstorm, refreshments available until 9pm

If you were involved in the Mike Schreiner campaign, joining up is a great way to keep the momentum going.  If you are interested in being a member of the executive, please submit a completed Executive Application form to by September 1. You can download a copy of the application form by clicking here.

Only members of the Guelph Greens who have been members for at least 14 days prior to the date of the AGM may vote at the meeting. This is a good chance to renew your party memberships:

Green Party of Canada


Call 1-866-868-3447

Green Party of Ontario


Call 1-888-647-3366

Posted by gmaurice on August 29, 2014 | Permalink

Where have the Guelph Greens been?

Well, that was an exciting spring. The Guelph Greens executive took a backseat to the star of the show for the last several months - our GPO Leader, Mike Schreiner.

Most executive members and volunteers new and old, near and far, put their lives on hold to pitch in and help Mike run for a seat here in Guelph.

Although we didn't win the first Green MPP in Ontario (yet!), we are pleased with our 19.17% result: we broke 10,000 votes, acheived a +12% point increase in vote share, and got an almost-second-place finish, trailing the Conservative candidate by less than 2%.

Mike congratulated Liz Sandals on her re-election with 41.33% of the vote.

What next?

Keep in touch with us and Mike on Twitter, Facebook, and stay tuned for some serious website makeovers!

Most executive members and volunteers new and old, near and far, put their lives on hold to pitch in and help Mike run for a seat here in Guelph.

Although we didn't win the first Green MPP in Ontario (yet!), we are pleased with our 19.17% result: we broke 10,000 votes, acheived a +12% point increase in vote share, and got an almost-second-place finish, trailing the Conservative candidate by less than 2%.

Mike congratulated Liz Sandals on her re-election with 41.33% of the vote.

What next?

Keep in touch with us and Mike on Twitter, Facebook, and stay tuned for some serious website makeovers!

Posted by gmaurice on July 11, 2014 | Permalink

Second Annual Food Drive with Mike Schreiner


In order to combat local hunger in Guelph, Mike Schreiner and the Guelph Greens are organizing our second annual food drive and canvass of Guelph neighbourhoods.
Last winter, Mike and volunteers collected over 384 pounds of food from neighbourhoods in Guelph, giving back to the community and supporting those in need. 
Will you join us knocking on doors and collecting for the Food Bank?

Monday December 2

3:30 - 5:30pm
Saturday December 7
10:00am - 12:-00pm
4:00pm - 6:00pm
Tuesday December 10
Food canvass - 3:30 - 7:30pm
Saturday December 14
Food canvass - 11:00am - 4:00pm
Monday December 16
Food canvass - 3:30 - 6:00pm
Can you help us reach our goal of 500 pounds of food this year?
If you are available, please email
If you can't help out, you can also drop off your donations at the Guelph office at 88 Gordon St, beside the Short Stop.

Posted by gmaurice on November 27, 2013 | Permalink

Protect Our Water — Say No to Dolime

Join Mike Schreiner and supporters on the Protect Our Water — Say No to Dolime campaign. 

The provincial government approved Dolime's application to amend their water permit. This approval threatens the quality and quantity of our water in Guelph and the City of Guelph is seeking to appeal this decision: City Will Seek to Appeal.

The intent of the Protect Our Water — Say No to Dolime campaign is to raise awareness about this important issue and support the City of Guelph in its bid to appeal. Ways for you to play a part in the Dolime campaign:

  • Help Mike gather signatures for the Protect Our Water — Say No to Dolime petition by contacting Gillian Maurice at
  • Sign the petition at
  • Request a lawn sign by contacting Mark Filo at

For more information about the campaign and the issue see

Posted by Carl Griffin on April 30, 2013 | Permalink

Guelph Greens Constitution

The Guelph Greens AGM is coming in June and will feature the election of new Executive. If you have questions about what the Guelph Green Party is, how we function or the descriptions of various positions, please read our constitution available here!

The Guelph Greens AGM is coming in June and will feature the election of new Executive. If you have questions about what the Guelph Green Party is, how we function or the descriptions of various positions, please read our constitution available here!

Posted by Robert Routledge on April 07, 2013 | Permalink

Community responds generously to Holiday Food drive

December 21, 2012

Guelph - Green Party Leader and local candidate Mike Schreiner and his team knocked on doors in Guelph this past week collecting food for the Guelph Food Bank. 
“Sadly, a record number of people in Ontario visited food banks in 2012,” says Schreiner. “Guelph is a caring community. We wanted to make it easy for people to give by collecting food donations door to door.  The community’s generous response to our food drive is a positive sign of how neighbours can work together to effect change.”

Food bank use in Ontario hit a record high in 2012 -- 412,998 individuals visited an Ontario food bank in March alone. Children represented 38.7 per cent or 159,918 of these users. Food bank use is up 31.4% in Ontario in the past four years. The Guelph Food Bank distributed 1,075,300 pounds -- 500 tons -- of food in 2011.
“We can all make a difference now by donating and volunteering to support the food bank,” says Schreiner. “But we must do better. Ontario needs a strategy to reduce poverty and build a healthy food system that works for eaters and farmers.”
People can learn more about the Guelph Food Bank by visiting their web site: or by calling 519-767-1380.

Posted by gmaurice on January 06, 2013 | Permalink

Mike Schreiner (GPO Leader) Nomination Meeting

Be part of the momentum to put the first Green in provincial parliament, here in Guelph!

The Greens have conducted local polls showing that 50% of Guelphites are more likely to vote Green with the Leader running here.  Mike is also already the clear second choice among traditional non-Green voters - just think what we could do before spring!

Let's show Mike our support by coming out to his official nomination meeting.  Everyone is welcome, supporter, member or just plain curious! Bring a friend out for a chance to meet Mike!

(Only members registered prior to November 20th may vote.)

If you have any enquiries or would like to get involved, please contact us at

December 4th, 7:30pm
Innovation Guelph
111 Farquhar

Please let us know you're coming by confirming via the facebook event.
I look forward to seeing you there!

Gillian Maurice
Secretary, Guelph Greens

Posted by gmaurice on December 04, 2012 | Permalink

Nominations to be the next Provincial candidate are now open!

The Guelph Greens are preparing for an election likely to take place in the spring of 2013 in response to Dalton McGuinty announcing his intention to resign. The nomination meeting is on December 4th, 2012, 7:30pm at Innovation Guelph (111 Farquhar Street). The meeting is open to anyone interested in hearing why the Green Party is the party of good ideas and why Guelph's next representative to Queen's Park should be Green. 

If you are interested in becoming the candidate, please contact the Chief Returning Officer Philip Zachariah via to get the nomination package or to ask any questions. 

To vote at the nomination meeting, you must become a member of the Green Party of Ontario before November 20th. Go to to become a member. A one-year membership is only $10. 

Information about the potential candidates will be made available to all members of the party as it becomes available. 

if you have any enquiries, please contact us at

Posted by gmaurice on November 07, 2012 | Permalink

A little learning is a dangerous thing

A little learning is a dangerous thing. Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring

-Alexander Pope

I was very frustrated when the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario came out with a position against wind turbines. Specifically, he's against turbines in Important Bird Areas. 

Here's what boggles my mind. Windows are killing 22 million birds in Canada each year. House cats are killing half a billion birds in North America each year. Power lines kill birds. Cars kill more birds. Oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico kill 200,000 birds a year. And that's when they're not spilling oil all over bird habitats (I'm looking at you, BP).

Wind turbines do kill birds. They kill about 2 birds a year. In Canada, there's about 5500MW of wind turbines, or about 3000 turbines. So, we're talking about 6000 bird deaths a year.

Let's put that in perspective. For every bird killed by a turbine, 3,600 are killed by a window. The big problem is that fossil fuel plants, and nuclear plants, will kill birds too. Both directly, and as a result of negative effects on climate. And when you have big generating stations, like you do with nuclear, you have big power lines. Big power lines kill birds.

And this doesn't even touch on the fact that climate change will be devastating to bird climates. That's part of why the Audubon society has come out in favour of wind turbines.

I'm not writing this to be against nuclear, or coal. I'm just curious why the Environmental Commissioner would come out against a clean, renewable source of energy like wind. Even just in Important Bird Areas. If he wanted to really help birds in those areas, perhaps he should come out against windows in important bird areas.

So, do wind turbines kill birds? Yes. But wind turbines also provide us with part of the key to a carbon-free energy mix. And that's going to be better for all of us, birds included. Let's not just learn a little, let's think about it in a bigger context.

David Estill

Posted by gmaurice on October 04, 2012 | Permalink

An open letter to Guelph City Council on the nuisance by-law

Dear Honourable Mayor and Councilors:

It is puzzling why a by-law, which ostensibly is being considered as a way to address the unruly and sometimes damaging behaviour of club patrons or neighbourhood party-goers, has, in what appears to be a seemingly stealth addition, included public demonstrations and protests, and the erection of temporary structures on public property.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms enshrines a certain number of fundamental rights that are deemed necessary in a healthy democracy. One of them is the public’s right to assembly.

 At the same time that this by-law is being considered the City is also working on an initiative that covers community well-being. The well-being of a community depends on many things, but one of the most basic is the right to assemble in public. By attempting to constrain that right, regardless of the wordplay used to make this palatable to the public, this by-law would be an assault on democracy and community well-being as it is currently proposed.

As well, the inclusion of these two additional activities places us on a slippery slope that could lead to major abuses of the public right to assemble here in Guelph. One just has to look at New York City last week, Anaheim, California earlier this summer, and the G20 in 2010. This is what happens when laws are struck without respecting the fundamentals freedom they are assaulting. It is also the first steps that governing bodies take when their fear of public response is high; but it is also certain that those same bodies, by enacting laws that contravene basic rights and freedoms, could lead to an eventual police state, where repression of the public is key for social control. I am sure that this is not the City’s intent, but it is a danger with the proposed by-law.

Freedom for the public to assemble must never be constrained or outlawed, no matter how uncomfortable it may be to observers, or how conflicting it may be to currently held attitudes of any level of government. A push-back from citizens of a city, province, state or nation is always a sign of a healthy democracy and that is the purpose of protests and demonstrations. They bring attention to issues that threaten our basic freedoms and rights. The abuses and arrests of peaceful demonstrators in the Occupy Movements and G20 would never have been able to occur had not the states, province and municipalities enacted temporary and illegal laws to curtail the protests.

The erection of temporary structures, the second activity about which I write to you today, includes those structures that may be part of a public protest or demonstration, but could also include the temporary structures of the homeless. Neither are public nuisances. They may be uncomfortable to behold and may offend our sense of tidiness, but both are outcomes of injustices and attempts to survive. The homeless are another casualty of either mental health issues or inequality from vulture capitalism, and they could be another casualty in the efforts to comply with the by-law.

I urge you all to please consider the direction that this by-law takes us. Fear and power are not amiable companions and when you use both to resolve issues that may be uncomfortable and disruptive it can only lead to a deterioration of community well-being. I understand the need to curtail unruly behaviour and vandalism in both the downtown and in residential areas. Living in close proximity to downtown I have firsthand experience with this type of behaviour and vandalism. But, please, consider this proposal carefully and in the end I hope you will decide to strike from the by-law the activities of public protest and demonstrations, and the erection of temporary structures on City (public) property.


Patti Maurice

Posted by gmaurice on September 29, 2012 | Permalink

Robocall vote suppression update:

President’s Blog

Robocall vote suppression update: The Liberals are fined?

The Liberal campaign in the 2010 Federal Election made a mistake, they sent out a voice message to thousands of phones in Guelph (a robocall) and did not identify themselves as being the source of the call. This is a violation of Election Canada rules and they were fined accordingly. This is how our system should work: If a party chooses to violate law or rules they should be caught and face consequences. A similar example occurred in Etobicoke Centre where voting irregularities occurred at a high enough frequency that they likely affected the outcome of the election. The results of this election were overturned and the Supreme Court of Canada is currently examining the case.

These examples beg the question: When are we going to see someone held accountable for the voter suppression that took place in Guelph? This isn’t about the results of the election being affected, MP Valeriotte, won by a large margin. This is about our right to vote, this is about encouraging the next generation of voters to know that their vote matters, this is about setting a precedent for what is and is not acceptable in Canadian politics. I find it hard to believe that there is no action that could be taken in our situation with the information currently available to our elected representatives in Ottawa.

The Green Party holds participatory democracy as a core value. It’s too bad the traditional parties don’t share that belief.

Posted by Mary Cross on September 16, 2012 | Permalink

K-W By-election: Greens hit the ground running!

The writ has dropped for the Kitchener-Waterloo by-election, with residents going to the polls on September 6th.  With so many folk on vacation, and students not back yet, Green candidate Stacey Danckert can use all the help she can get!

Let's show our neighbours that the Guelph Greens are here to help - visit and sign up to volunteer or donate at this critical time!

During by-elections there is no concern about what party will form the government - but what party will hold the balancing vote?  That could be the Greens, with enough people and support - let's help Stacey get to Parliament!

Posted by gmaurice on August 09, 2012 | Permalink

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