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E-newsletter - Summer 2015
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We hope this newsletter finds you enjoying your summer and that this very green season is providing you rejuvenation!

The annual general meeting (AGM) held in April was a big success with good attendance and great discussions. We want to take this newsletter as an opportunity to share that information with an even wider audience by providing you a few of the addresses delivered at the meeting. 

In this issue:
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Speech delivered by David Coon
AGM - Rogersville (April 25, 2015)

Looking to the Future

Are you ready to roll up your sleeves? Our ability to build on the momentum we created out of the last election is dependent on what happens on the ground in your communities. I need you to establish a riding association in your community if there isn’t one.  If there is one, I need you to mobilize your riding association. As Greens I need you to be visible in the public spaces of our communities. I need you to be talking about the issues and about what is happening in Fredericton at the Leg. I need you to be recruiting members. And I need you to be raising money to finance a winning campaign for your candidate in the next provincial election – or by-election.

The federal election may draw at least one Tory out of the provincial Legislature to seek a seat in the House of Commons. There are those from the former Tory cabinet who may decide not to stick around for the next three and half year until the next election. There may even be someone on the government side who gets so fed up with the same old, they might seek greener pastures. The point is, we have to be ready.

I remember in the lead up to the election, I had lunch with a long-time member of the Rotary Club in Bouctouche. I was explaining to him what the Green Party stands for and he said, “Well those are Rotary principles,” he said. The Green Party is something I can support.  
Our support is coming from everywhere. Most people are not ideological in their voting patterns. It is habit or wrapped up in family or personal identity. You have to assume everyone is a potential Green Party supporter. We are the alternative, as it becomes increasingly difficult to slip a playing card between the Tories, Liberals and the new NDP.

It will be interesting to see if the outrage over the Liberal’s budget undermines their support in the polls. After keeping the big promises they put in the showroom window; the moratorium and opening access to abortion, things have been turning. The Throne Speech was so narrowly focused many could not see themselves in it.  The Budget contained bizarre measures that targeted seniors, students, daycares, and teachers. And if the Liberals choose to lift the shale gas moratorium a year or two from now, it will be pandemonium in some counties.

Greens don’t just talk about doing things differently, we actually behave differently. And I am doing my best to be an example of that in my work as an MLA in my riding, in my work representing my constituents in the Legislature, and in my work as the Leader of the Third Party in the Legislature - as a lawmaker, and as a watchdog over public money in the Legislative Assembly. It is essential that in talking up the Green Party, you can point to how I work, what I do, and how I do it, as examples of the kind of representation, the kind of leadership New Brunswickers will get with Greens as the Official Opposition or in government.  

What I have learned is that for most citizens, it isn’t as much about policy details as it is about the character of the person, the values of the party, and the determination to serve the public interest, that influences how they vote. We do well in all these departments, but we what we need to do better is communicating these things.  That is why I am working to make what I am doing at the Legislature and in my riding as visible as possible through
davidcoonmla.ca. That is why, as Carmen takes on the full-time work of Executive Director this fall, improving communications must be a priority.  And that is why your efforts in your ridings are so critical to our ability to be present in the Legislature in significant numbers after the next election.

There are plenty of empty offices surrounding my office on the 3rd Floor of the Departmental Building beside the Legislature. When the dust settles after the next election, I want them to be filled with Green MLAs from across our province.

Look at the impact I am beginning to have as the sole Green MLA in the Legislature. I can clearly see what we could achieve with a full caucus of Greens, prepared to actually represent their constituents and focused on making meaningful change inside and outside the Legislative Assembly.

People are coming our way. I am asking you to open the door for them in your communities, and welcome them warmly.

Change is coming, and we must be prepared for it!

Presentation to the GREEN PARTY OF NEW BRUNSWICK 2015 AGM
by Willi Nolan (
Grandmother Elder / Human and Ecological Rights Activist)

I bring a vision of Peace and Friendship and healing for our planet and for each other to assist the goal of this gathering, “Greening the Maritimes”.

The Maritime provinces, like the rest of Canada, have been overrun with colonial ideologies and the oppression of populations since before the formation of Canadian state, along with the attendant ills that they have brought. These ills include overt and covert racism against Aboriginal peoples and peoples of colour and the economic subjugation and enslavement of peoples of limited means.

What has all of this got to do with “Greening the Maritimes”? Is a good and obvious question to ask. I ask you to consider the present systems, your own ways of thinking and belief systems and examine whether you or the families or communities to which you belong may be unwitting -- or knowing -- accomplices to the continuation of the systems that threaten not only the basic rights and freedoms of human beings, but are now threatening the destruction of the ecosystems that sustain Life.

The suppression of the authority of governments that were -- and still are -- in place long before colonialism became a fact, is continuing. You can see evidence of this as you explore truths related to the “Great New Brunswick Shale Gas Rebellion of 2013” and the lawsuits that the New Brunswick and Canadian governments are facing. For me, addressing this key fact provides a way for us to move forward to healing - or “greening” - the air, lands and waters that we rely on for everything in Life that we value.

Please take some time to notice a few acts of inter-tribal sovereignty that have taken place here in NB that few politicians seem to have attended to. In August 2013, a directive from traditional government of Sikniktuk region, along with non-indigenous allies, was delivered to the New Brunswick and Canadian governments as well as to purported and severely conflicted government agents under the Indian Act. Last year, a group of youth presented a draft moratorium on oil and gas developments for consideration to the governments of Wabanaki territories and to the provincial and federal governments. How do these two actions tie together to help us.

These actions both provided legally sound direction and documentation that is in harmony with the Covenant Chain and other Treaties, under the Two Row and Peace and Friendship Wampum, and under the Great Tree of Peace, which Canada are legally bound to uphold. Both of these actions acknowledge the pre-existing governments that still operate in the territory. Both of these actions acknowledge the right -- and power -- of the collective of Peoples to decide whether to consent to developments that affect the lands and waters. Properly responded to and their assertions applied, these documents pave the way for traditional knowledge and governance to take their rightful places in decision-making regarding matters that affect mismanagement and destruction and the continued health of the ecosystems in all of the territories of Turtle Island (North America).

I agreed to attend this gathering in order to help the NB Green Party to pave a way forward. I was asked to speak as a Grandmother and to say the difficult things that need to be said. I will ask you a few questions, borrowing a few phrases penned by my friend Lorraine Rekmans, who is the Indigenous Affairs Critic and Nominated Candidate for Leeds Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes for the Green Party of Canada Are you aware of the “profound inequality of life on First Nations Reserves and life for off reserve urban Aboriginal people across Canada”? Water that is too hazardous to drink; serious poverty, health problems from diabetes to tuberculosis, addiction, and suicide; unacceptably poor housing stock; high unemployment rates, exclusion from resource development” ! all make a mockery of our progress.

Are you aware that white South Africa based its apartheid system on Canadian laws and policies affecting Indigenous Peoples? Are you aware of the many, many insidious policies of assimilation and fundamental human rights violations that are occurring within our midst every single day?

I understand that the Green Party of Canada promises to ensure that governments and corporations respect court decisions that uphold the rights of Aboriginal peoples . Will it also uphold our rights to give or withhold consent? Will it learn to do these things outside the illegal laws and policies now in place in Canada? Will it learn how to root out and eliminate the subversive and illegal laws and policies that in truth, are causing the genocide of the original peoples and continue to attempt to erode and destroy our governance systems?

If not, I have some ideas about what's holding you back. I invite you to check out the racism, classism, fears, beliefs, colonialist and divisive thinking and self-interest that are harbouring within each one of you and within the Green Party itself. I share with you that, having looked into these things within myself, that I had -- and still have -- work to do to purify myself, decolonize myself and then to integrate my better way of being into my life and in my dealings with other people and communities.

As a deeply traditional woman and longtime learner, I am fortunate enough to finally be rooted in ceremonial and cultural teachings of the best I could find on Turtle Island. I know that respecting and placing myself under the Great Tree of Peace, the traditional governance of Turtle Island (North America), and the Mi'kmaq-Wabanaki territory where I received Life, where I was born -- is a way to identify and restore the damaged, failing systems that I see all around me. I think it also the way to achieving Peace and Friendship among our Peoples. Today, we are engaging in small and personal conversations about what can and should be done.

I ask that you consider the great value of humility and do what I did many years ago -- seek out the original governments of the territories and begin to question, and ask for the whole truth from the authorities that you have been accustomed to obeying.

Seek out the Original stewards of the land and caretakers of the Peoples, and begin to question the status quo and compare its policies with the Original laws of this land. Seek out your brothers and sisters who truly hold to and embrace the Original teachings given to us and passed along to the generations, and compare the Original teachings to laws related to environmental protection and resource development. I suggest, no, I beg you to find the humility within you and then do all these things. Then let's gather again and again and see how we can use all of the knowledge, all of the learning to live together in Peace and Friendship and assure the survival of my grandchildren's grandchildren -- and yours.

All My Relations 

 ___________________________________________________________________
Video: How Racist Are You? - Jane Elliott's Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Exercise -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nqv9k3jbtYU

An Online Guide to Jane Elliott's Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Exercise -
http://www.datehookup.com/content-an-online-guide-to-jane-elliotts-blue-eyesbrown-eyesexercise.htm

Ainsley Swift was one a panelist at the Annual General Meeting held in Rogersville in April 2015. Following are the remarks she delivered in point form style:

1. Youth involvement in politics
  • Issues in the province are associated as a problem for government, not for youth: part of the Liberal/Conservative debate.
  • This creates a sense that there is no chance for youth to change things because of the "old province" superstructure.
  • To be more involved, we need to be more informed. 
2. Vote 16
  • Youth are not voting in part because they are aware, or rather feel, that the promises made prior to becoming an elected politician are meaningless.
  • Lowering the voting age allows youth to get involved and have an interest in politics (and the importance of voting) earlier on.
  • If they can vote, they will and as a result will not feel ignored.
3. Issue of youth leaving the province
  • Feel that there is a lack of jobs and opportunity
  • Jobs = housing = family = future
  • Need employment before, during and after university
  • Need jobs with professional possibilities: modern jobs, useful to the modern world
  • The prospect of coming back is also a problem: will not return (to stay) if there is no opportunity to make a difference here
  • Youth are a people of change who migrate to places that allow for, and adapt to change. New Brunswick cannot afford to stagnate
Ainsley Swift is enrolled in the UNB Arts program and has a keen interest in politics, the environment, world issues and languages. She likes that a Green MLA representing the riding of Fredericton South adds more representation to local government & supports David Coon’s movement to push the initiative of incorporating more local food. 
Volunteer Appreciation

We would like to introduce Katie Abbott who volunteers with the Green Party of NB every Tuesday in our Fredericton office. Katie provides support in many office duties including reception, membership updates, Thank You letters to donors, general organization and more! Her willingness to help with all tasks is greatly appreciated!

THANK YOU! to all the volunteers contributing to the success of the Green Party of New Brunswick in so many different ways!

Katie is pictured here with Derek Simon, President of Provincial Council
Andrew Clark along his wife Linda and their 11 grand children 
Andrew Clark has been nominated the Green candidate in the Carleton riding for the upcoming by-election (date yet to be determined). His team is active and door-to-door canvassing is underway an a web page has been set up - click here to view.

Please consider lending your support by volunteering and/or by donating to Andrew's campaign.

Let's all work together to put another Green MLA in the NB Legislature! 
Copyright © 2015 Green Party of New Brunswick / Parti vert du Nouveau-Brunswick, All rights reserved.


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