The Straight Goods


Our Children are Watching

Posted in Uncategorized by Marlene Wells on June 20, 2013
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I’ve wanted to write about the ‘bullying’ epidemic for quite some time now.  It has long been a cause that I have spoken about with various people in the community.  But this week it seems much more of an emergency.  Few of us have not been touched by the story of Rehtaeh Parsons.  While the case seems to be in extreme in so many ways, it is sadly the story of all too many of our young people today.

First let me qualify what I mean by extreme.  The mismanagement of the case by the police, the schools and mental health professionals, seems to be extreme mismanagement.  The alleged actions of the four boys are quite possibly the worst actions that can be perpetrated against any one, and are extreme in that way.  The method of the bullying was intense and wide spread, a very extreme way to torment any person.  And sadly, the ends that befell a beautiful young woman are certainly extreme.

This stuff only happens in the movies, right?  Wrong.  They are happening all around us, every day. On the surface it seems that our society is doing all that it can to protect our young people from bullying. There is a no tolerance policy for violence in the schools.  Kids are talked to about bullying and what they can do to help prevent bullying. There is a day for our kids to wear pink to raise awareness about bullying. There are many efforts by school groups to offer peer counselling and support to kids who are bullied.  I’m sure there are many more that could be listed.

But is this enough?  Obviously not, or things like what happened to Rehtaeh Parsons would not be happening.  When you think of the efforts being made, they are all aimed at our children.  Most of the bullying cases that we hear of are perpetrated by children, against children, so it would seem that teaching kids would be the right place to start.  It very well may be, but where are we teaching those kids about tolerance and acceptance for others, despite differences?  Where do we teach these kids about empathy and dignity for those people who may not fit into the ‘mould’?  How do we grow a better stock of citizen so that these things don’t continue to happen in generations to come?  Who is responsible for this?

It is a long held belief that children learn what they live.  Another is that actions speak louder than words.   What does that mean here?   It means children learn this behaviour somewhere.  They learn it from the adults in their life.  Parents, coaches, teachers, baby sitters, and so many others, have a hand in teaching all of our children, both from what they say, and in their actions. As the adults, we all need to be aware of our actions, all the time, even when we think that the children are not watching.  How adults speak of one another, treat one another, and represent this to our children, affects them in profound ways.  Kids pick all of this up; they are learning their behaviour somewhere.

As adults it is incumbent upon us to act like adults, always.  We must practice tolerance and acceptance toward one another, our children are watching. As adults we must treat our peers with respect and dignity, always, our children are watching.  As adults, it is only by doing this that we can hope to grow a better stock of citizens.

Who is responsible for teaching tolerance, empathy, respect and dignity to our children?  I am.  You are.  Every one of us is.   Our children are watching.

 

!!! Action Alert !!! Green MLAs will be elected in BC, with your help!

Posted in Uncategorized by Marlene Wells on May 9, 2013
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I am trying to help drum up some support for the BC Greens in some spare time.  With the BC Elections rules that are binding, it is quite illegal to use Federal resources to assist the provincial Campaign in the province.  Because of this I am doing this ask as a volunteer, and I’m asking you to volunteer too.  For this reason I am using my Blog space to ask for your help.
On May 14th, we have our best chance ever to elect Green MLAs in BC. They need your help to reach out to voters by phone in key ridings. No matter where you live, you can be part of the team that changes BC politics and shows the whole country that we can elect Greens in British Columbia.

 

This will also be very helpful to the GPC because it will prove that Greens are serious contenders and a real choice for the Canadian Electorate.  Remember when the NDP won multiple seats for the first time?  How about the Reform Party, or the Canadian Alliance?  This is OUR time, and we need your help!

We have three excellent candidates in ridings with strong Green support: leader Jane Sterk, climate scientist Andrew Weaver, and former municipal councillor Adam Olsen. But we need your help to reach out to their voters.

 

1. To volunteer for Adam Olsen’s campaign, contact:

Marilyn Redivo

email: volunteer.olsen4mla@gmail.com

Call: 778-351-0404

olsen4mla.ca.

2. To volunteer for Andrew Weaver’s campaign, contact:
Evan Pivnick
email:  evan.pivnick@gmail.com
phone: 778 679-4930

3. To volunteer for Jane Sterk’s Campaign, contact:
Lorraine Tanner
email: lorrainetanner@shaw.ca
778 265 9230

 

When you make these calls you are not trying to convince people to vote Green, you are simply finding out if the WILL vote Green.  This is important on Election Day because we can call those who said they are going to vote Green to make sure they get out to vote.  🙂  You never have to convince anyone of anything, or talk policy, or BC Politics…  you just identify them as a Green voter.

 

If you’ve phone canvassed with Grimes before, you know that it’s easy with our online system – you can call from home whenever you have time and you don’t even need to dial a phone. We’ll walk you through making calls, give you a script to make it easy, and we’ll always be there to help.

 

If 1000 people make 40 calls each, we can call every voter that we can reach in these three key ridings – Victoria-area ridings that Elizabeth May and Donald Galloway have proven are full of Greens.

 

There is just under one week until election day! Now is the time to be making calls.  Together we can do this!  

Please pass this email along to your contacts and friends.  We need to get this message out now, and we need your help for that too.

 

Thanks for reading this entire post!  Please share it on your Facebook so more people can help!

 

Marlene Wells

Nova Scotia

Central Nova Green Party

A Deep Hole

Posted in OpEd by Marlene Wells on March 20, 2013

A Deep Hole

 

A deep hole, a cavity, expensive, creators, annoying, squirrel bunkers, rim busters, rim ruiners, tie terrors, accident waiting to happen, a dip, ‘des nids de poule’, mine pits, drop-offs, caves, caverns, pits, holes, ruts, faults, an obstacle course, axel  smashers, portals to China, an obstacle course, and finally Foord Street.  These are all answers to the question ‘Do you have another name for a pothole?’

 

I didn’t ask about any specific street, or town, when I asked this question to my friends on Facebook, who are from all over the country, and the world.  I simply asked for alternate names for a pothole.  It wasn’t very long before there were many responses.  And I thought it was truly amazing that the last one was Foord Street. It is because of the state of Foord Street that I asked the question, and why it is the subject of my column this week. The entire length of Foord Street, from Sobey’s Distribution Centre right out to the town limits in leading to Riverton.  Foord Street is a mess.

 

I’ve heard that the powers that be are waiting for a dispute with the provincial government to be settled.  Through the grapevine, I’ve heard that the Town of Stellarton is petitioning the province for financial help to get the road paved, because it is used as an access road for wood trucks.  If this is true, if this is what is causing the delay, why is the Town not asking the taxpayers to help put pressure on the NDP government? Why is it taking Mr. Ross Landry so long to see that his constituents are taken care of? Isn’t that one of the perks of being a minister? He is obviously not a very effective MLA (but I digress, this is food for another column).

 

Another thing that gets me is that there was money to pave, curb and sidewalk, all of the new streets in the Albion Business Park. The newest residents of Stellarton have nothing but the best for their use, while the long-term taxpayers and residents get a Main Street that rides like an obstacle course.

 

The town made an effort a couple of weeks ago to fill the holes. They were back within a couple of days.  I noticed today that they are back with the fill again, and will likely be at them again next week.  They are the same holes that open every winter.  I wonder how much that band-aid costs the taxpayers.


Come on Joe, and crew, the residents of Stellarton deserve better than this.  Just pony up and pave Foord Street already. With roads like that in your community, it’s a good thing that re-election is 3 1/2 years away.    Will Foord Street be paved before that election?

You don’t want to miss GPC Convention 2012!

Posted in Green Party by Marlene Wells on July 6, 2012
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So, I don’t write in my blog very often, but this past week I have had a travel experience that only happens a few times in lifetime. Well, in my lifetime. I’m not a world traveller.  I’ve only ever been out of the  Country once actually… Because of my commitments to the National Convention, this past week found me in beautiful Sidney By The Sea.  And the catch phrase does not lie.

This summer, plan to visit Sidney, BC.  The town is amazing and should be on your bucket list.  From the mature gardens to the bustling local shops on the main street, you will be entranced with the hospitality and warmth the site of Convention 2012 has to offer.

For those of you who have already made the commitment to go to Convention 2012, you have made a very wise choice, you will not be disappointed. For those of you who have not yet made the commitment, time is short now, we are less than 6 weeks from the opening ceremonies in the magnificent Mary Winspear Centre. Sure, there are all kinds of reasons not to go to Convention. Expenses, distance, summer, carbon footprint. But for every reason not to come, there are 10 that make a strong argument to drop whatever you are doing and head to BC for August 17-19!

The Mary Winspear Centre, a stone’s throw away from the Victoria airport, is a magnificent facility and is the perfect centre to host the Convention.  It is situated at the west end of Beacon Avenue, the main street, and it minutes walking distance from all of the hotels and local shops. The riding of SGI is a beautiful place and would be an awesome place to plan for some vacation time.

One of the highlights for me visiting the area was ‘Avatar Grove’.  It is about a 2 hour drive from the Sidney area, all along the coastline, with breathtaking views, and the trees are unbelievable!  They are hundreds of feet tall, hundreds of years old and take on a very spiritual aura.  If delegates wish, a local team could arrange for tours before or after the convention. I highly recommend this!

As for the Convention itself, there are many highlights including great guest speakers (Stéphane Dion, Bruce Hyer and Arthur Black), a showing of the internationally acclaimed film Surviving Progress (Presented by Ronald Wright), and a Gumboot Gala  evening featuring a taste of BC flavors, including an outdoor Sustainably Harvested Wild Salmon Bake!  The Young greens are also making plans to host several special events as well. Along with these exciting special events we will also be discussing motions developed by members and we will be presenting more training sessions than ever before!  To top it all off this is a great opportunity to mix, mingle and get to know Greens from across the country.  Building your network is just as important as expanding your knowledge, and this convention will be a great way to do just that.

I met with several groups of people who are working very hard to create a once in a lifetime experience for all of our delegates.  One of the very special workshops will be all about the SGI experience, and how a team of mostly non-politicos and environmentally conscious people came together to create winning conditions for our very first MP to get elected to the House of Commons. This is certainly very important information for all of our members who want to see more Greens elected in the next election.

The short story is that this Convention promises to be better than any other  ever in our history! Please take a minute to look at the website and you will see that this trip would be the best thing you can do with your summer!

Hope to see you in beautiful Sidney by The Sea!

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my thoughts, a little scattered, on strategic voting

Posted in OpEd by Marlene Wells on May 1, 2011
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I thought I would gather up my thoughts on Strategic voting.  These are responses that I have made on various Social media, and are unedited or organized.  Simply my gut responses to why strategic voting in wrong.  {Please forgive the errors!}

  • When you vote strategically you are voting against something. It’s more negativity in our already flawed system. Vote for what you believe it. Feel good about your vote!! A vote for anything but what makes you feel positive is a vote that makes us all feel worse!
  • The platform that I believe in is the Green Party of Canada. They are the ONLY party that actually stands for something, the same thing, regardless of the economic situation, regardless of the ‘ruling party’, regardless of what the other guy is saying’. The platform fits into my lifestyle and I can clearly identify with at least 90% of it on any given day. There is no other party that has a platform that makes it through an election, let alone decades. I will say that I was born and raised a Liberal, but the party now only stands for what the other guys don’t, and that’s not good enough for me. I am proud to vote Green, this will be my third time. I’m a 3-pete. Voting for anybody else just doesn’t make sense. It’s too bad that more people don’t have the courage to do what they believe in.
  • Seriously {opponent}, did you just call me negligent? For doing something that I believe in? That is pretty arrogant. I know exactly what is going on in this country, I know the damage that HarperCons have, and will, inflict on our country. All I can do is what I feel is right. Everyone should do what they feel is right. But trying to influence how people vote based on guilt and fear is NOT what a democracy stands for. I know that you think what you are trying to do is the right thing, but pushing it on people for negative reasons can only result in negative outcome. The more people who go out and vote for something they DON’T want can only result in fewer people voting for what they DO want the next time. Think about that for a minute.
  • {Opponent}, if you believe in the Green Party then stop talking about the other parties and talk about ours. Get people to vote for the Green Party, not for some other party that does not stink as bad as the Cons, vote for a party that smells great, all the time! Together we can. It’s time, VOTE GREEN!
  • You say it is fact, but you say it out of fear. Greens are anything but one-dimensional, and by saying that you have proven that you don’t have the first clue what Greens stand for. We stand for integrity, honesty, truth and hope.
  •  {Opponant}, why don’t you just come out and tell us that no other parties are worth voting for, unless they are on of the old school parties. It is truly unimaginable where the country would be is everybody thought like you do. Strategic voting, if it ever could work, could only work if EVERYONE that went out to vote did it. The demographic that is the heaviest voters are over 55 years old. Now, I’m not saying that people over that age do not have computers, or know how to use them (my father is 75 and he does very well indeed, pays all his bills, communicates with all his family, reads news articles and reads party platforms online, but he is the exception!) What I am saying is that the whole strategic voting machine is online, you have to go out and look for it. The demographic that votes in the greatest, and most influential numbers, do not, will not, engage in Strategic Voting. The demographic of people who have access to it online are the same people who DON”T vote! They then go out and vote, in small numbers, for something they don’t want and skew the vote just enough to f@%k it up. It’s not vote splitting that is giving us a Harper Government, it is Vote Abandonment.
  •  ‎” We need to get Greens into Parliament” . Well then, stop voting for other parties, and telling other people to vote for other parties, and tell them to vote Green! That is the ONLY way we are going to get Greens into Parliament.
  • As soon as someone gets power via FPTP, anything that they said about changing the voting system will be out the window. Even if the NDP form the next government, they won’t touch FPTP, it’s like saying they will give themselves a pay decrease, not gonna happen. Greens need to fight in the system that we have, we have to play the cards we are dealt. Are you suggesting that we just stop playing because ‘it’s just not fair’? The world does not have time for that, we must wake up and act NOW. Not after the next election, NOW> It’s time, Vote Green!

The Most Amazing Speech EVER! (Updated)

Posted in Green Party by Marlene Wells on April 28, 2011

For those of you who didn’t watch the Rally in Saanich-Gulf-Islands last night, here is a little wee video that I found on YouTube!  It is amazing!  Elizabeth was ON FIRE!  I have heard her speak many many times, but she topped even herself here!  It is a small little video, but the audio is GREAT!

Full disclaimer:  I was watching on the live feed at www.greenparty.ca/live and I was so moved after this speech that I hit the DONATE NOW and gave my single largest donation to the party ever.

Watch, and tell me that you don’t get goose bumps on your goose bumps!

http://bit.ly/klG6tk

Here is a better quality video of ‘The Most Amazing Speech Ever!’ http://bit.ly/mx9UNl

Pass it around!

Also see these pictures: http://bit.ly/lzPoE3

Note: I am posting this mostly so that I will always have access to this video, and know where to find it.  It’s that good!

My opinion on Ibbitson’s opinion

Posted in OpEd by Marlene Wells on February 18, 2011

In Reference to Globe OpEd found here.

I seem to recall Ibbitson writing a column last fall about this very topic, only back them it was the Toronto area that was going to effect the elusive Harper majority government.  So, what has changed?  Polls, they are the only things that have changed.  But Ibbitson fails to do his homework before commenting on one riding in particular.  Saanich-Gulf Islands.

Ibbitson paints a picture of Gary Lunn in a two-way race, as he is, but fails to correctly identify who the race is with.  Consistently over the past 6 months polls have come back showing that Lunn is indeed in a 2 way race, but not with the Liberals.  The race is with the Greens.  Elizabeth May is consistently showing a neck in neck race with the Minister.  Ibbitson asks the question ‘how many votes will bleed off to the Greens?’.  The real question is how many votes will bleed off to the Liberals, from either side.

Lunn has been pretty much absent from his riding in SGI since he left, a year ago, to go to the Olympics.  Constituents noticed in the fall that he was conspicuously absent from an event where the Prime Minister was in attendance, IN SGI, as well as several other high-profile events.  It has led to some speculation that he will not re-offer in the next election.  This will be a problem for Mr. Harper in BC. 

It’s time to emerge from Harperland and take a look at what our Nation has become.  We were once well-respected internationally.  Not so much anymore.  The world is noticing that we are not quite as friendly, or dependable, as we once were. The only way to correct this is to defeat Harper, and his band of (NOT) so merry (wo)men, one seat at a time.

It’s time, Vote Green, in SGI, and everywhere else.

And there it is again folks, The Straight Goods!

An exercise in educational cut backs

Posted in Social Concern by Marlene Wells on January 19, 2011
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Last night I attended a public meeting at Highland Consolidated School in Westville, Nova Scotia, hosted by the School Board. A very detailed scenario of the proposed 22% cut backs to education was presented and discussed. This exercise was done by our school board at the request of the Dexter NDP Government. The future of our education system is grim, if these cut backs happen. The future of my child, and your children, is at serious risk.

Or is it?

The Dexter Government issued a press release Monday insisting that they have no intention of making the proposed cuts. That they will not devastate the education system of Nova Scotia. That this was simply an exercise to see what the cuts would look like.

Well, I don’t think that’s good enough. Why would the Provincial Government put the School Board, the staff and the parents through this ‘exercise’ for 3 months if they have no intention of making it happen? My thought is that this was one very well executed fishing exhibition.

Our well intentioned school board has prepared a silver platter full of cut back possibilities. The Dexter Government now has all the information on what services our school board deems ‘first-to-go’ in a devastating cut back. This plan is supposed to be a 3 year plan. Mr. Dexter had better be prepared for the voters to reply when he looks for his next mandate.

The presentation is very well prepared and presented. It is critical that the community attend these meetings. It is imperative that you contact your MLA and tell them that no cut back to our education system is acceptable.

We must not balance the provinces books on the future of our children.

Leadership, Voting and other Green stuff!

Posted in Green Party by Marlene Wells on July 18, 2010
Hello!

I sit and write today because it’s too hot to be outdoors! The temperature is a sweltering 35☼ in Stellarton, Nova Scotia. (I am from Newfoundland after all, I might melt today!)

So, there is lots going on with the Green Party these days. Some in the news, some not in the news. It’s sad that some of our party members choose to air their grievances in the media, but that’s it when you are grass-roots. I have to be careful of what I say here on this subject, I have, as all federal councillors have, signed a confidentiality agreement, and unlike some, I take it very seriously. I want nothing but the best for the party. Sure we have growing pains, all groups do in their development, but there’s no need to run to the press with it. We should, as a group, be concentrating on the things that will make us stronger. Not the things that will tear us apart.

There are a few who question the leadership of Elizabeth May. I am not one of them. Elizabeth works her butt off for this party, only to be chopped off at the knees by those who see another route for the party. Elizabeth is a well spoken, highly educated woman who wants nothing more than to see the party succeed. She is a well-respected citizen that the media respects. That, my friends, is something that money can not buy. (And for those who claim that you only have the best interest of the party at heart when you go public with your grievance, you are only doing us harm. Makes me wonder what side you are really on!)

So onto the BGM. Voting is on. I am not allowed, by my confidentiality agreement and a resolution passed, to endorse any candidate who is running for Council this year, but I urge you to really think about who is going to be a councillor who will have the best interests of the party at heart, at all times. We need to have a cooperative Council in order to move forward. Yes, we do look for consensus in everything we do in the Green Party, in order for that to happen we have to have people who are WILLING to compromise. Please look at the bios that can be found on-line at the candidates page on the Green Party of Canada Website.

As for the Resolutions, I can tell you how I am going to vote on some very key resolutions that can change the course of the Party. It is completely up to you how you vote, I’m not trying to tell you how to vote, I’m simply telling you how I am voting. It is a very long process that requires much thought and consideration. Again I urge you to think about the future of the party when you vote, and above all, I URGE YOU TO VOTE in this round of Council elections and Resolutions.

Here are some of the motions that I feel are critical:

I voted NO on G10-c01. Council restructuring – This resolution removes the right for Leader to Vote on Council business. I see the leaders vote as an important one. The leader is after all – The Leader. It’s only one vote on Council, the same as any other vote. The Leader should have that right.

I voted NO on G10-c12. Leadership Motion – Allows for a one time only extension of the leaders term and only up to 8 weeks after a federal election. This does not allow enough time to get the ‘house’ in order after a tornado!

I did vote YES on G10-c29. This motion provides for a Leadership Review after any federal election. When you look for this motion online you will see that I have actually endorsed this motion as a member of Federal Council. In order to change the existing constitutional mandatory leadership race we MUST pass this motion. This really in not a big deal, it will simply put into place a system that would allow the membership to speak after EVERY election about the support for the Leader. It will also allow for a more flexible timeline on when a Leadership race is more politically practical.

I voted YES on G10-c30. This motion provides a procedure to appoint an Interim Party Leader to ensure compliance with Elections Canada laws.

I voted YES on G10-d02. Vote to Support Elizabeth as Leader of the Party right now, outright approval. If you vote for this motion you are in fact stating that you, as a member, are satisfied with the Leadership. I have also sponsored this resolution. (Incidentally, look at the first 3 names of sponsors: Frank de Jong, Ralph Benmergui, Adriane Carr. By all insider gossip these are three leadership hopefuls for the future.)

I voted NO on G10-d11. This motion calls for an immediate leadership race, only to defer if there is a Federal Election called in the midst of said race. As a member who fully supports the leadership of Elizabeth I vote NO to this resolution. Also, it would look silly, and politically naive, to hold a leadership race ahead of ANY federal election. This motion, if passed, would hurt our party publicly and politically.

I voted YES on G10-d14. This motion is simply about having the EDA’s in contact with the federal party on a regular basis. It’s a healthy way to remain in contact with the roots of the party.

Please, vote. Vote now. If you have not received your e-ballot please contact webadmin@greenparty.ca . Every vote counts and I want you to be counted!

So there you have it, The Straight Goods, again.

Merger talk and the Green Party

Posted in Green Party by Marlene Wells on June 9, 2010

When I was studying Political Science in university, some 20 years ago, the first course was called Canadian Polity 1100. In it we learned about the ideology of the PCs, the Liberals, the NDP, the very new Reform Party gaining momentum… We also learned of other fringe parties that tended to develop and fizzle as they were more like interest groups. I remember it well, as one of my ‘duties” on the Memorial University of Newfoundland Student Union (CSU) was to ratify campus groups. It was the first year that there was a new political group created on campus for many years, and I was the VP responsible for them. I thought then, this is one of those fringe groups, they will fizzle, one issue, etc…

Well, here I am 20 years later, part of the Federal Council for that party! Boy were my profs wrong! And I guess, so was I. ( I’m big enough to admit it! I was at the time the niece of the Liberal Premier of the Province.)

I remember learning all the ideologies of the various parties, committing those to memory in order to regurgitate on an exam. I bet that is an exercise in futility now, if it is even required! The base beliefs of the current 3 big parties is so convoluted and responsive to the politics of the day that no one stands for anything anymore. Except to disagree with the other side! It’s part of the reason the electorate has no desire to participate and voter turn out continues to fall.

Not so long ago the Canadian Alliance/Reform party ate the Progressive Conservatives whole, after Peter MacKay served them up on a platter. Now they are one party, one ideology, undistinguishable from one another. There’s two ideologies committed to memory for not.

Will Iggy or Jack do the same for their parties? It remains to be seen. The political media types who are pouring over any scrap of information trying to turn it into a merger are frothing for more sound bites. Spin doctors are swirling the facts trying to develop some palatable story to feed to the media. In the end it will all mean the two will have to come to some common ground, combine their ideologies, and fold into one another. Again, 2 more ideologies committed to memory for not.

This political climate has provided a unique opportunity for the Green Party of Canada to stand up and do what is right. Offer to voters what they believe in. Not to offer some mangled version of ideology that might be hashed out amongst a hungry group seeking power, for power’s sake. To continue to grow as a party must never mean compromise of principles. Ideologically, it’s what Greens believe in.

It’s time. Vote Green.

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