Happy New Year! Hopes and predictions for 2021
January: An early federal election is avoided
February: The Green Party’s rent control bill passes second reading
March: All members love the Green Party of New Brunswick AGM
April: David Coon wins an award for his rendition of “It’s not easy being Green”
May: The vaccines quash COVID-19 and New Brunswickers come out of winter more resilient than ever
June: More hugs and smiles than the previous 18 months combined
July: Kevin Arseneau’s crops have have a bumper year
August: Megan Mitton is celebrated as a climate action leader
September: Kids returning to school see the smiles of their schoolmates.
October: Halloween is back to being only “fun” scary.
November: Thousands more people are working in new green economy jobs
December: "Zoom" will just mean moving quickly
The Green Party of New Brunswick has six founding principles that we believe form the basis of a just, equitable and sustainable future for our children and our province. The principle of local self-reliance is particularly appropriate to consider at this point in our history, as we think collectively about our future.
Principle of local self reliance: New Brunswick communities must be in charge of their own destiny to the greatest extent possible. Resilient, sustainable communities require economies that meet local needs and are locally controlled, minimizing dependency on external forces. Self-reliance and resilience is built on public assets placed in the hands of and dedicated to the service of local communities. Local self-reliance is integral to the shift to a society which respects the ecological and social limits of human production.
News from Green MLAs
The Legislative Assembly was recessed on December 18 and will return on February 8, a delayed start due to extensive renovations in the Department building. Hansard and translation services (as well as the press gallery and the Green caucus office) are moving out of the building during the renovations and won't be fully operational in time for a January start as planned.
In December, our Green MLAs continued to make public statements on issues of concern in the province. Click on the headline below to read the statements:Continue reading
A message from the Green Party Leader
Your Green caucus is back in action at the Legislative Assembly, buoyed by strong votes of confidence from our constituents, and the surge in support for Green candidates around the province.
We were all hoping to paint more seats Green in the Legislative Assembly, but the snap COVID election undermined the winning conditions that otherwise were present in a number of ridings.
However, we now have incredible Green teams in so many ridings throughout the province that we didn’t have before. And it is that locally organized grassroots capacity that key to the growth and future success of the party.
The traditional parties have been picking up positions we have taken because of their popularity, without adopting the substance underlying our long-term vision for the future of New Brunswick. Flattering or frustrating, this reflects the growing strength and influence of Greens.
The flipside of this is muck-raking and dirty tricks directed at us in this recent election. It is a sad commentary on politics, but this signals that we have emerged as a major player in the body politic of New Brunswick.
Greens who ran this time are already thinking about the work they need to do in their ridings to win their seats next time. I hope you resolve to participate in your local RDA meetings and volunteer your talents to growing local Greens.
As the party of community power, grassroots democracy, and local self-reliance we will be relentless in the Legislature in our advocacy of local food and renewable energy security, and for decentralizing decision-making about healthcare, regional economic development, and local governance.
As the party of self-determination, social justice and ecological sustainability we will challenge systemic racism, champion our responsibilities as treaty partners, advocate for the vulnerable and for those in care, and press for action to restore nature’s balance.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me, Megan or Kevin with your ideas.
Best to you all
Your local NB Green Party association NEEDS YOU!
Do you know the other NB Green Party members in your riding? Together you represent the NB Green Party in your community through your local Registered District Association (RDA). With your knowledge of local issues you are the best people for community members to speak with about the NB Green Party.
Having an active RDA in each of the 49 electoral districts across New Brunswick ensures the party reflects the full diversity of communities and cultures throughout the province. A strong local RDA means supporters have local people to answer their questions. Organizing local events, info sessions and activities encourages everyone to become stronger Green Party supporters and helps to identify and prepare the best candidates for the next provincial election.
Some of the activities and functions the RDA can undertake include:
- Host regular meetings to discuss RDA business (finances, membership, recruitment, etc.)
- Plan inclusive riding activities and info sessions about current issues and desires
- Develop and maintain an online information site where people can learn more about the RDA and the Green Party
- Fundraising activities to support the RDA and prepare for the next election campaign
- Participate in policy development
- Work with members in other RDAs to build a strong province-wide network sharing ideas, events, activities, etc.
- Participate in local and regional events and gatherings to share information about your RDA and the NB Green Party
- Create new ideas and opportunities to meet the needs of community members
Building a strong grassroots RDA can be fun and exciting. The Green Party of New Brunswick depends on the RDAs for their knowledge about local and regional issues and desires. Our party is only as strong as our RDAs!
Please contact your RDA or the NB Green Party office (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more about the RDA in your riding.
A wake-up call on nursing homes
Green Party leader David Coon and Green caucus members Megan Mitton and Kevin Arseneau are calling a recent investigation into the long-term care sector a “wake-up call” for political leaders in New Brunswick.
The report, The Forgotten Generation: An Urgent Call for Reform in New Brunswick’s Long-Term Care Sector, was released in October after a two-year investigation by the New Brunswick Nurses Union (NBNU).Continue reading
More New Brunswickers than ever are sharing our Green Party vision. In the recent election, the Green Party again increased its share of the vote, to 15.2%. That's up from 11.9% in the 2018 election, and 6.6% in the 2014 election. The Green Party won 4.6% of the vote in 2010, the first provincial election in which we ran candidates. Our party was formed in 2008.
This year, among all parties, the Greens had by far the most diverse slate of candidates. Results show the Green Party made positive gains in every corner of the province, with almost all ridings showing a positive gain in Green votes.
We regained our three seats: David Coon in Fredericton South, Megan Mitton in Memramcook-Tantramar and Kevin Arseneau in Kent North. When people elect a Green, they are satisfied of their work.
Strong local campaigns resulted in 12 second-place finishes across New Brunswick: Charles Thériault in Restigouche West, Marie Larivière in Restigouche-Chaleur, Marie-Christine Haché in Caraquet, Gilles Cormier in Shediac-Beaubassin-Cap-Pelé, Carole Chan in Moncton Centre, Jenny O'Neil in Albert, Brent Harris in Saint John Harbour, Bruce Dryer in Kings Centre, Jennifer Smith in New Maryland-Sunbury, Luke Randall in Fredericton North, Melissa Fraser in Fredericton-York and Susan Jonah in Fredericton West-Hanwell.
Two of our second-place candidates won the majority of votes cast on election night, but this was not sufficient to overcome the votes cast early, before their campaigns had caught fire.
Elections NB reimburses eligible campaign expenses when a candidate receives more than 15% of the votes. For the first time, 18 of our candidates exceeded that level of support! The RDAs in the electoral districts represented by those candidates will be able to use those funds to build towards the 2024 election.
Congratulations to all our candidates and their teams and volunteers who did such an amazing job.
Happy New Brunswick Day!
The Green Party of New Brunswick Provincial Council, our leader, MLAs, staff and volunteers wish all our members a safe and enjoyable holiday on August 3.
Green Party update
Behind the scenes, Party volunteers are active on committees and Registered District Associations (RDAs) across the province. In July the Green Party Provincial Council adopted a gender equity plan and struck a committee to put it into action. After the Provincial Legislature was recessed at the end of June, the Party continued its recruitment of nominees who could stand as candidates for the next provincial election. We refined the process for vetting potential candidates and are working with the RDAs to identify suitable applicants for nomination.
At a strategic planning session in Fredericton, we welcomed new members to the Provincial Council from across the province elected at the online AGM in June. Council members discussed ways to improve volunteer coordination and fundraising. Particularly important is increasing the number of active RDAs to engage Green Party members and potential voters in all regions of New Brunswick. Keeping in touch with members and supporters during the pandemic has been a challenge and we are considering new outreach activities.
Are you interested to run as a Green Party candidate in the next provincial election?
Applications are open in many districts to find candidates to run for the Green Party of New Brunswick in the next provincial election or by-election. The first stage is to find and approve people to be nomination contestants.
We invite everyone interested to be a GPNB candidate to apply soon to ensure you are eligible to present in a nomination contest and to receive information that will help support your nomination. The process to be a nomination contestant as well as the application package is available on our website:
Happy Canada Day!
Best holiday wishes to all our members, from the Green Party of New Brunswick Provincial Council, our leader, MLAs, staff and volunteers.
Highlights from our first online AGM
Due to COVID-19, this was our first attempt at hosting our AGM online, and many were curious about what it would look like. The post-AGM survey found that most members attending were satisfied with the online compromise and its delivery, with 95% reporting it was worthwhile to attend. We heard very clearly from members that the chosen online format did not support discussion well. We have taken note of your comments and suggestions to ensure we do better in future online meetings.
The survey revealed that our Leader's report was the AGM highlight for many. Another highlight was the adoption of this emergency resolution by the assembly: In response to the killing of Chantel Moore and the death of Brady Francis, the Annual General Meeting of the Green Party of New Brunswick supports the call by the chiefs of the Wolastoqey First Nation for the Government of New Brunswick to initiate an inquiry into the treatment of indigenous people by the province's justice system. You can read the press release that we sent to the media.Continue reading
In future the Green Party will form the government when it wins enough seats in a provincial election. Have you ever wondered what kind of policies a Green government would implement in New Brunswick?
All Green policies must align with the Party's founding Charter of Principles: non-violence, self-determination and citizenship, social justice and equality, participatory democracy, local self-reliance, and living within our ecological means.
A Green government will be guided by the key principles of grassroots democracy: putting the well-being of people, their communities, and the environment that nourishes us all at the center of decision-making. Green MLAs will work to develop policies that meet the needs of New Brunswickers as expressed through their constituencies.
Every year since the Party was formed in 2008, Party members have been working hard to develop policies to serve the common good in New Brunswick. These policies have also helped shape our election platforms. Most of these policy discussions happen within the Policy Working Group (PWG) that is open for participation by all Party members.
The Green Party Policy Manual, available for download at this link, contains hundreds of policy ideas that have been introduced, debated and approved by Party members. The Policy Manual has 10 chapters, from Relationship with First Nations and Indigenous Peoples (chapter 1) to Green Energy (chapter 10).
In 2020, the Policy Working Group is reviewing four chapters: Green Economy (Chapter 4); Social Justice, Human Rights, and Environmental Rights (Chapter 6); Labour (Chapter 7); and Healthcare (Chapter 8). Rather than developing new policies, this year we are refining existing policies to ensure they are clear, relevant, and have stood the test of time. We are also identifying where synergies exist between policy areas and where new policies will need to be developed in future.
On June 7, for the first time our AGM will be online. Also for the first time, policy resolutions will not be discussed at the AGM but will be deferred to a special meeting for policy at a later date. All members interested in Green Party policy should stay tuned for more information later in the year.Continue reading
May Day: Honouring workers
May 1 is May Day, a day to honour all workers. During this time of COVID, we appreciate in particular the many workers keeping our communities, families and loved ones safe.
Knowing our health workers were working for us during this crisis time gave us all a sense of security and safety.
We thank the New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity for their work advocating for justice for the many workers, particularly women in the private caregiving sector, who have been working tirelessly and mostly behind the scenes during the crisis. They are paid much less than they deserve.
Many essential workers in all sectors are also under-paid and many are not yet collectively organized.
May Day is also a time to reflect on the value of labour unions that advocate not only for their members but also for workers everywhere. We celebrate the labour unions that introduced many of the benefits that most New Brunswickers enjoy today.
Of course we must thank the public sector unions. Two unions - the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) stand out for their tireless work to improve public services for everyone. The Green Party supports CUPW’s Delivering Community Power initiative that holds great promise for rural communities in particular.
A special shout-out to the 4,100 nursing home workers represented by CUPE NB who for decades have advocated collectively for improved care for seniors across the province and are now working tirelessly during the pandemic to keep our seniors safe and secure. Thank you!Continue reading
We've experienced unprecedented events in recent weeks. Demonstrating foresight and leadership on the provincial budget, our Leader David Coon has chosen the well-being of all people above partisanship. Thank you David.
Since March 12, David has been a member of the all-party cabinet committee on COVID-19 set up to deal with the pandemic. Extraordinary measures are being implemented and David is working hard to ensure that no one is forgotten. "I'm here to represent the interests of all, especially those in need," he confirmed in a meeting this week.
COVID-19 and government action
2020 Convention and AGM
Although the party’s Annual General Meeting was postponed, webinars proved to be a good alternative to the Convention. Webinars matching the workshops originally planned were conducted the same weekend and recordings of the sessions will be made available to candidates, campaign teams and Registered District Associations. The new date of the AGM will be announced when the public health situation becomes clearer.
The passing of the provincial budget in an extraordinary session on March 13 meant that the provincial election is unlikely to happen soon. We now have an opportunity to continue our development. In particular, following our founding principle to work towards a Legislature that reflects the diversity of political viewpoints of all citizens in NB, we must intensify our efforts to encourage more women to enter politics. In order for women's perspectives to have an impact, it is estimated that they must represent at least one-third of a group. Diversity of voices is a core value of our party and we must contribute to this necessary evolution - or rather adjustment - of our political representation in New Brunswick.Continue reading