Archive for News

Wide agreement that energy must be expensive

Today, Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller slammed the Liberals for cutting hydro bills by ten percent, identifying the measure as a perverse subsidy.  He stated:

The problem with the 10 per cent (cut) is it means the people who use the most energy get the most money back and that is a disincentive, a perverse incentive.  It rewards and encourages increased consumption.

He then went on to criticize both the NDP and Conservatives for pledging to remove the HST from hydro bills.     Read more »

More nuclear woes

The news from Japan keeps getting worse.  Now it is reported that not only did the reactor core melt down, not only did it breach the pressure vessel, but it now appears that the material has penetrated the reactor building itself and seeped into the ground.  That is close to the worst case scenario.  Clean-up costs are now estimated at $250 billion, and that will not bring things back to normal.  It will still mean living with elevated cancer rates, particularly in Japan, but spreading all over the world.  And Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has asked to close Hamaoka, another nuclear power plant that has been deemed not to be earthquake safe.

All of the costs for this disaster are being borne by the public.  The Japanese government will absorb all the costs of clean-up, relocation and health impacts.  Governments throughout the world will also be paying for the elevated health care costs arising from the increased rates of cancer in their countries.  These will continue for many decades.  Every other form of power generation is self-insuring.  The nuclear industry clearly does not deserve this free ticket as nuclear power is inherently dangerous.

Canada harshly criticized at climate negotiations in Bonn

Even Canada’s traditional allies like Australia tore into our report to the UN, pointing out that our reporting, our goals and the measures taken to attain these goals were all hopelessly inadequate.  They also charged that Canada is ignoring the elephant in the room, the tar sands, which are a large and growing proportion of our emissions.

Ontario NDP joining Jack Layton to help roast the planet and hurt the poor

About a week after the election, I wrote what I worried might be too strident a post and finally published it now.  Someone has to hold the NDP accountable.  Their climate policy is possibly the worst of all parties, as they continually find creative new ways to subsidize fossil fuels.     Read more »

Volunteer your fruit tree or your fruit picking skills…

Not Far From The Tree has established a new hub in Riverdale.

From the announcement:

Not Far From The Tree is a non-profit organization that connects people with fruit trees and local agencies. A team of trained volunteers pick the tree and the fruit is divided three ways, between the tree owner, the volunteer pickers, and a local community agency such as a food bank or shelter.

Tree owners get a substantial amount of fruit without the work or mess, and good food gets put to good use instead of rotting on the ground. This year the organization has established a new “hub” in the Riverdale area.

If you have a tree you would like picked (this year or next), are interested in being a volunteer picker, or would like more information, visit www.notfarfromthetree.org or contact Riverdale hub coordinator, Chris Sharp, at chris@notfarfromthetree.org.

 

Hard questions for Margaret Wente

A letter from George Monbiot published in the Globe and Mail in response to Margaret Wente’s “Hard Questions for Elizabeth May“:

Margaret Wente suggests I said that environmentalists “don’t understand the science and they don’t understand the economics” (Hard Questions For Ms. May – May 10). I’ve said nothing of the kind.      Read more »

The problem with the NDP

The NDP have now grown up into a mainstream, increasingly centrist party nickel-and-diming the poor for their vote and misleading on the environment.  I’m deeply disturbed by their success in Toronto-Danforth.

Over a week has passed since the night while I watched in horror as the Harper government got its majority coupled with the relatively minor shock of seeing the Green vote collapse in Toronto-Danforth despite the widely acknowledged strongest campaign we have ever had.

Nationally I am most concerned about a majority government which clearly caters to oil industry priorities.  In Toronto-Danforth specifically, I’m concerned about the success the NDP has had with convincing voters with timid and contradictory policies that will do little for climate change and will hurt the constituents the party has professed to care about in the past.  I ran a campaign promoting the positive aspects of the Green plan without challenging the obvious defects of NDP policies.  But it’s clear to me now that these need to be made explicit.

I had never expected to win in the NDP leader’s riding this time around, but I did hope for a strong Green vote to pressure Jack Layton and the NDP to improve their climate change policies and address some of the priorities of Green voters.  That didn’t happen, so I need people who care about the Green Party, the thousands who told me that they were considering voting Green, to help put the pressure on the NDP to get it right.

It’s time to stop mincing words.  The stakes are simply far too high.     Read more »

The dangers of fracking

Further to a discussion with someone who was convinced that hydraulic fracturing for shale gas was perfectly safe (see comments here), there is now a peer-reviewed study linking the practice with methane in the drinking water supply nearby.

2011 Jun 15: How Much Time? Urgent Priorities for Averting Climate Crisis

Wednesday, 2011 June 15, 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Ryerson International Living Learning Centre
240 Jarvis St (north of Dundas)

Adriana will be speaking at this town hall meeting, along with Hon Glen R. Murray, MPP (Toronto Centre), Minister of Research and Innovation. The discussion, which will focus on opportunities in building the clean energy economy, will be moderated by David MacDonald, United Church of Canada Minister, former MP (Rosedale) and former chair of the standing committee on the environment.

And on the bright side

Elizabeth May did get elected.

We are so screwed

International Energy Agency Chief Fatih Birol has stated that the IEA now believes that global crude oil production peaked in 2006.  It’s all downhill from now.  We can expect the kinds of supply discontinuities and price rises that led up to the 2008 economic downturn with regularity from now on.

So what is the US response?  Shoot the messenger.  They have cut funding to their own national energy agency and specifically ordered that agency not to prepare data on oil and gas reserves.  Keep us in the dark, that’s the ticket.  I expect the Harper government to follow suit shortly.     Read more »

Ma maman est dans L’Express

Le journal francophone L’Express a interviewé plusieurs candidats politiques qui se présentent contre des chefs de partis.  Ma mère, Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu, figure entre eux.

L'Express: l'hebdo des francophone du Grand Toronto

Gagner une élection n’est jamais très facile, mais gagner une élection contre le chef d’un grand parti est encore moins facile. Imaginez ceux qui se présentent contre Stephen Harper en Alberta, combien de chances ont-ils de gagner? Peu, je vous l’accorde. À Toronto, les chefs du Parti libéral et du Nouveau Parti démocratique se présentent respectivement dans les circonscriptions d’Étobicoke-Lakeshore et Toronto-Danforth. L’Express a rencontré trois candidats qui osent jouer les troubles-fêtes dans les circonscriptions des chefs.

Lisez le reste ici.

2011 Apr 26: Toronto-Danforth 2011 all-candidates debate on Rogers TV

Update:  Click here to learn about the provincial debate.

Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu at Rogers TV all-candidates debate

If you are a Rogers customer, you can now watch the televised Toronto-Danforth all-candidates debate, moderated by Dale Goldhawk, online.     Read more »

Sierra Club report card 2011

Part of what moved Adriana to the Green Party was an NDP canvasser who came to our door and told us that the NDP was greener than the Green Party.  Seemed like a bold assertion, and some simple research proved it to be false.

A diverse set of candidates

Here are Adriana’s answers from the Mirror newspaper’s questionnaire article on Toronto-Danforth candidates:

Andrew Lang (Liberal), Jack Layton (NDP); Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu (Green), Katarina von Koenig (Conservative).

1) How will Toronto benefit from your party’s platform?

The Green Party has received the endorsement of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for the second time in two elections. Our platform has an outstanding and innovative collection of programs that help cities rebuild infrastructure toward a low-carbon future, build future oriented industries, develop skills for our youth and give them jobs, as well as maximizing local community input.     Read more »

Three Brazilian Portuguese interviews

Update:  Now with English subtitles:

Here’s one of three Portuguese-language interviews Adriana’s done during this campaign.     Read more »

2011 Apr 28: New start time for Toronto-Danforth all-candidates debate

Update:  You can watch the debate here.

The all-candidates debate will run from 8pm to 9pm on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at the United Church on the north-west corner of Pape and O’Connor. Find out more about the debate here.  Adriana will be there from 7pm to meet and greet.

Underdog

Chris Kitching followed me along canvassing, and then wrote this article for CP24.com.  It uses my experience as a jumping off point to delve into the various motivations for underdog candidates.

Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu in TTC station

Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu, the Green Party's candidate in Toronto-Danforth, speaks to a man while campaigning for votes at Pape Station recently. Mugnatto-Hamu is in a David vs. Goliath-like battle against the riding's incumbent MP, NDP leader Jack Layton. (CP24/Chris Kitching)

Going toe-to-toe with an incumbent is always a challenge. The task is even more daunting when the reigning MP has a star profile that rivals that of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

So, why are these so-called minnows bothering to invest so much time, energy and money in a short-lived campaign when a landslide defeat is likely?

For Mugnatto-Hamu, a Green Party candidate, she relishes the opportunity to push the agenda of an emerging political party and engage voters on the topic that is most important to her — climate change.

“At one stage I realized that the threats to my children were far more serious, so I was compelled to run,” Mugnatto-Hamu told CP24.com recently as she campaigned for votes at a bustling Pape Station. “I want to change policy and this is one way to change policy.”

Read the whole article on CP24.com.

2011 Apr 22: Polls are open for Earth Day

Advance voting opens today, Earth Day.  What better way of celebrating than by voting for the Earth?

Advance polls are open Easter weekend
Friday, 2011 April 22, noon – 8 pm
Saturday, 2011 April 23, noon – 8 pm
Monday, 2011 April 25, noon – 8 pm

To find your advance poll station, visit elections.ca,
type your postal code and press Go to find your riding,
and then click on Where do I vote?

Please.  Your Green vote will be noticed and will make a difference.  We need your help to change the direction of politics in Canada.

Everyone is welcome vote in the advance polls.

Election day remains Monday, May 2.

2011 Apr 21: Power of one

The Xof1 solar car is not allowed to drive on public roads.  So its creator, Marcelo da Luz, pulled it all the way as he walked the distance from Niagara Falls to Toronto.  His ceremonial end point was Queen’s Park.  After arrival, Adriana walked with him and the car back to his home in Toronto-Danforth.

2011 Apr 23: All-candidates debate to focus on foreign policy

From the press release:

TORONTO, ONTARIO, MEDIA ADVISORY–(Marketwire – April 21, 2011) – The Green Party’s candidate for Toronto-Danforth, Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu, will participate in an all-candidates debate on Saturday, April 23, from 7pm to 9pm.

Organized by Engineers Without Borders, the debate will include candidates from three Toronto ridings: Toronto-Centre, Toronto-Danforth and Trinity-Spadina, and will focus on the issue of Canada’s foreign assistance and international development. The debate will take place in Northrop Frye Hall, Room 003, University of Toronto (73 Queen’s Park Crescent East).

Toronto-Danforth all-candidates debate 2011

Update:  You can watch the debate here.

From today’s press release:

TORONTO, ONTARIO, MEDIA ADVISORY–(Marketwire – April 19, 2011) – The Green Party’s candidate in Toronto-Danforth, Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu, will speak to the people of the riding in an all-candidates debate on Thursday, April 28, from 7 pm to 9 pm.

As of today, the debate will also include Marie Crawford, Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada, and Andrew Lang, Liberal Party of Canada. The NDP’s Jack Layton has not yet responded to the invitation and Conservative candidate, Katarina von Koenig declined to participate.

The debate will be held at the United Church on the north-west corner of Pape and O’Connor.

Flooding in First Nations communities

I have been wanting to comment for days on the appalling response to flooding in First Nations communities.  Apparently the election is getting in the way of what was always an inadequate response.

An open challenge to Jack Layton

Today’s press release:

TORONTO, ONTARIO, MEDIA ADVISORY–(Marketwire – April 12, 2011) – Green Party candidate, Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu, issued a challenge today for NDP incumbent, Jack Layton, to attend an all-candidates debate in Toronto-Danforth. If he accepts the challenge, it will be the first time in three elections that Mr. Layton has participated in an all-candidates debate in the riding.     Read more »