Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

  • The realities of cooperative banking

    Date: 2016.10.19 | Category: Banking, Politics | Response: 0

    Last year I left my part-time job working as a teller for a major Canadian bank. Having left that, a few credit-union-copy-2months ago I decided to move my money to a… credit union. Meridian to be exact.

    While job hunting, (I am available for hire, by the way,) I have come across a few job posts from a few credit unions. And the reality is their sales force has the same sales goals as the major Canadian banks. I’m told this is not a bad thing as credit unions profits get paid out to their members. Which is true. Even credit unions that have investment shares – those shares can usually only be purchased by members.

    And they do the whole one member, one vote thing.

    There are some downsides, however – if you tend to travel a lot, you won’t find your branch outside your home province. Because in Canada there is an entire one federal credit union – and it’s a french credit union. (So no, Vancity and Meridian are not federal credit unions.)

    This means if you want to do banking outside your home province, you’ll have to rely on your phone, computer, or an ATM linked to your credit union. (Ask them for details.)

    On the positive side, from personal experience, I find employees at credit unions seem happier. Perhaps it’s the same reason people prefer to work for non-profits. (Though I should note, Canada’s credit unions are for-profit and pay corporate taxes.)

    Also, credit unions are supposedly easier to borrow from if you need a loan. Why? Because it’s my money you’re borrowing. Members supporting members and all that.

    Think a credit union is the right choice for you? Good news, bank transfer day is coming up November 5th! Call your local credit union for an appointment. Operators are standing by.

  • 9 Enticing Volunteer Opportunities you can do NOW!

    Date: 2015.08.07 | Category: Green Party, J2DW, Living Green, Politics | Response: 0

    Everyone and their dog knows I love to volunteer. It’s unfortunate but many organizations, my own included, are always looking for volunteers. I present 9 of these opportunities.

    Barrie in relation to other North American cities

    Barrie in relation to other North American cities (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    1. Shane L.S. Dennis does community cleanups every Sunday. I don’t know what time, but they meet at Unity Market on Toronto St @ Simcoe St right here in Barrie.

    2. An organization my late mother supported, the Simcoe County Alliance Against Homelessness is always looking for help!

    3. General volunteers – Bonnie North, the Green Party candidate in Barrie — Innisfil is looking for a few good people to knock on doors, call voters, put up signs, and whole lot more! Apply within.

    4. General volunteers – Journey to Diversity Workplaces is a local non-profit I started in 2013. We’re looking for a few good people to join the board. We are looking for a few good general volunteers for things like blogging, editing, essay-writing, photography/videography, and more. Apply today.

    5. Board members – Journey to Diversity Workplaces is a local non-profit I started in 2013. We’re looking for a few good people to join the board. We meet every 2 months or so, commit is about 2 – 4 hours in the months in which we meet. Apply today.

    6. General volunteers – Living Green Barrie, a local charity whose board I currently chair is looking for a few good people as general volunteers for things like tree planting, event planning & running, and other future opportunities. Apply within.

    7. Board members – Living Green Barrie, a local charity whose board I currently chair is looking for a few good people to join the board. It’s 2 – 4 hours per month. Apply within.

    8. Volunteer Coordinator – Bonnie North, the Green Party candidate in Barrie — Innisfil is looking for a good person to manager her volunteers. Apply within.

    9. Official Agent – Bonnie North, the Green Party candidate in Barrie — Innisfil is looking for a good person to manager her books. Apply within.

  • Why you have no say in whom I vote for

    Date: 2014.10.16 | Category: Articles, Open letter, Politics | Response: 0

     photo ballotbox.jpg
    In Canada, we are generally considered to be a democracy. In Ontario, it is municipal election time in every municipality.

    We get to vote for the Mayor, City Council, School Board, Hob Goblin, Batman, etc.

    Ok, we don’t really get to vote for Batman.

    Recently I was telling a few people why I would not be voting for Barrie’s current Mayor Jeff Lehman. A few people told me I was not voting for him for the wrong reasons. However, at the end of the day, those reasons are my own, and we still live in a democracy. I could be totally lying, since it’s a secret ballot, and still vote for him. (Won’t happen, but theoretically it could.)

    I think dialogue is a wonderful thing, but we shouldn’t discourage people from voting for someone – because they’re voting!! I would rather have someone vote for the “WRONG PERSON”, than not vote at all.

  • The web this week…

    Date: 2014.06.10 | Category: Articles, Green Party, Health, Politics | Response: 0

    First off is an amazing YouTube video that if you haven’t seen it, you’ve been living under a rock. It comes to us from Volkswagen. It’s a must watch!

    If you’ve been living under the same previously mentioned rock, then you’ll have completely missed that this upcoming Thursday is election day in Ontario. I’m not going to lecture you on whom to vote for, but instead share more YouTube vids!


    Next we have an awesome photo from the Kidney Foundation of Canada. Read my February blog post on organ donation.


      • My own non-profit, Journey to Diversity Workplaces released its June newsletter today.
      • A cancer donation box was stolen. While I don’t support giving drug companies even more money, this seems wrong.
      • Postmodern Jukebox released their new video titled No Diggity. Though Like a Prayer is still my fav.
    Clockwise from top left: Marge, Homer, Bart, S...

    Clockwise from top left: Marge, Homer, Bart, Santa’s Little Helper (dog), Snowball II (cat), Lisa, and Maggie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

      • Not sure who your Green candidate is on Thursday? Find out.
      • Turing test beaten by Russian chatterbot.
      • 10 Words That “The Simpsons” Invented.

    Find out all this and more by following me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+!!

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  • Are the @CanadianGreens as inclusive as they could be?

    Date: 2014.04.15 | Category: Articles, Green Party, Politics | Response: 0

    English: Dialysis machine with bed side setup

    For reader’s of my blog, you’ll know I am on dialysis. I have treatments three evenings a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This is both a blessing, and a curse. A blessing because I am still alive, and a curse because it makes it really hard to travel.

    I am the immediate Past President of the Barrie Green Party. I was President for almost 6 years. I have been actively involved with the party since 2005, and this is my 10th year as a member.

    Coming up 18 July – 20 July is the Green Party of Canada’s Biennial General Meeting in Fredericton, New Brunswick. I am sure it’s a beautiful city, but it has a huge barrier for me as an attendee. Horizon Health Network operates the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital. They have a dialysis unit….

    but it’s a satellite of the hospital in Saint John, New Brunswick. And they’re full.

    If an attendee was in a wheelchair, we’d ensure there was ramp. If they were deaf, we’d ensure there are American Sign Language interpreters.

    Saint John is approximately 1.5 hours away from Fredericton. I’d have to make two trips. One to see the kidney doctor, and another for the actual dialysis treatment. Upon visiting a new dialysis unit for the first time, it’s standard practice to see the kidney doctor. So the party is asking me to make a 6 hour round trip… at my expense. And I’m already a low income member.

    Why couldn’t we simply have the convention in Saint John?

    I had a similar problem in 2009 when the convention was in Nova Scotia, which unfortunately I couldn’t attend due to getting the flu. But 2010 in Toronto was fine, as was 2012 in Victoria, BC.

    This past Sunday at its Annual General Meeting, the Barrie Green Party heard from Sandra Holdsworth from the Trillium Gift of Life Network. She pointed out that those on the waiting list for a heart transplant go around with a backpack that has an artificial heart in it to keep them alive until they get a transplant. I imagine they can’t just travel anywhere. How are we accommodating them?

    So I am asking my fellow members to help me find a solution, as I could be on dialysis for a very long time.

    If you live in Ontario, I encourage you to ensure you’ve signed your organ donor card, by visiting the Barrie Green Party’s campaign page. (If the link doesn’t work, visit

    Thank you for reading.

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  • Revitalizing democracy

    Date: 2014.04.01 | Category: Articles, Green Party, Politics | Response: 0

    Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

    Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    On April 13th, I will be stepping down as President & CEO of the Barrie Green Party after almost 6 years. If I were the President of the US, that’d be a term and a half. Alas, I’m a volunteer President, and so after 6 years it is time to move on.

    I leave behind a legacy of democracy. When I held my first Annual General Meeting in 2009, we could barely make quorum. Over the years we’ve completely replaced the constitution with one that works much better for us, and not only do we meet quorum at our AGM’s, we exceed it. Simple things such has having a speaker, and sometimes Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner help bring out members, friends, and supporters. One change we made in 2014 was moving the meeting from January, to April, where we can promote it at our annual Earth Hour activities.

    This year we present Sandra Holdsworth, a presenter with the Trillium Gift of Life Network who will be speaking on organ donation. Sandra herself is from the Simcoe/Muskoka area, being a local native herself.

    I’ve always felt it was the President’s job to protect democracy within the Electoral District Association. I always claimed the AGM as mine, my event to organize, and invite the members to. To ensure it is not only held, but that anyone who wants to attend can. I also moved it from a boring evening during the week to a Sunday afternoon at the Barrie Public Library, where notably, the room is free.

    The new President of course will be able to chart their own course, but I am proud of my 6 years, and I cannot wait for whatever window opens next.

    “Second star to the right and straight on till morning.” – Captain Kirk, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

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  • Action needed!! Please help!

    Date: 2014.01.06 | Category: Green Party, Living Green, Politics | Response: 0


    We need your help!

    Last evening, Barrie Green Party President & CEO Peter Tretter, launched a petition. He is asking the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) to do something extraordinary.

    He wants RVH to stop buying styrofoam cups. Why? Well RVH doesn’t recycle them, and there are signs all over RVH stating the fact.

    So Peter is petitioning them to switch to paper cups, which can be recycled.

    But Peter needs 100 signatures by Monday morning to get the attention of Hospital CEO Janice Skot, and RVH.

    What do you need to do?

    1. Sign the petition!
    2. Share the petition on Facebook, Twitter, Google+
    3. Tell your friends and family about the petition!

    Together we can end styrofoam cups at RVH!

    Source: Barrie Green Party News.

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  • Updating in the ecosystem

    Date: 2012.04.11 | Category: eBooks, Green Party, Health, Politics, Reading, Website | Response: 0


    Canada (Photo credit: palindrome6996)

    So it’s been a while since my last update. My Kobo I mentioned is a really good product. I did have to send it in under warranty to be replaced a few weeks ago, I couldn’t connect the Kobo to my computer. Works great now!

    So with the Barrie Green Party, which is the local electoral district association for both the Green Party of Canada and the Green Party of Ontario; for a few years now we’ve played host to a few college co-op students. This term we’ve had our co-op students working on research articles for the newly formed Georgian College Young Greens. The newest is on Alternative Energy Sources. They’ll also be doing one for the Barrie Young Greens.

    Health wise I’m still on the transplant list, I potentially have a 5 year wait still. I’ve been on the list for 5 years since it goes back to my “return to dialysis” date.

    What else is new? I’m going to BC in August for the Green Party of Canada convention. I’m really looking forward to that!

    Oh and I’m also now on Google+! And my main website has been totally changed to a cool new format!

    Have a great day!!

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  • Why a merger is great for the Greens!

    Date: 2011.05.21 | Category: Green Party, Politics | Response: 0

    Lately there’s been talk of a merger between the New Democratic Party and the Liberal Party of Canada. Especially given the dramatic rise of the NDP (and their subsequent loss of power in a majority parliament), and the Liberals utter defeat back on May 2nd.

    Pic for WikiProject Political parties and poli...

    Image via Wikipedia


    This generally can mean good things for all involved.

    If the Liberals and NDP merge, there will be folks who are dissatisfied with that option. Look at the UK where their version of the NDP and Liberals merged years ago. And have since formed government with the Labour party.

    So how does a merger help the Green Party? Because not everyone is going to want to vote for the new party. It will allow smaller parties like the Green Party to attract more votes, and win more seats.

    Of course all of this wouldn’t be necessary if we simply had some form of proportional representation. Have you signed the Declaration of Voters’ Rights yet?

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