The Green Party reaches a crucial crossroads


From the Inkless zero-disposable mailbox:

Green Party announces new location for September convention

The Green Party of Canada has announced that its September 5–7 policy convention and bi-annual general meeting, originally planned for the New Glasgow—Stellarton area of Nova Scotia, has been relocated to the neighbouring town of Pictou.

The convention was to take place at the Museum of Industry in Stellarton, with breakout sessions and accommodations in the nearby Heather Hotel. Unfortunately, the Heather Hotel announced last week that it would be forced to close its doors this month. After examining other options, the Green Party was unable to find adequate accommodation for delegates in New Glasgow—Stellarton and concluded it would be difficult for other facilities in the area to provide locally-sourced food and zero disposables.

The decision was made to move the policy convention to the deCoste Centre (http://www.decostecentre.ca) in the historic town of Pictou where delegates will find adequate accommodation with local inns, hotels, campgrounds and billets. Located in the heart of Pictou County, the town of Pictou is a short distance away from New Glasgow.


The Green Party reaches a crucial crossroads

  1. Whew, I’m glad that’s sorted.

    Now we just have to hope the decision doesn’t create a schism.

  2. I wonder what percentage of delegates will endorse Stephane Dion in the leadership review. Zing!

  3. Why not just move it to the MacKay farm, spuds and all, and sort of have a family picnic out there.

  4. Camping at the New Glasgow WalMart suddenly would seem less appealing with a change in venue…

  5. boy, people sure have to travel a long way to get to that conference hey?

  6. Hey Greenies out there – How is your Green Party doing anyways? To be honest I have never really payed much attention to them as so far they haven’t exactly earned that much as of yet. Isn’t there at least one seat anyone thinks they will win? I would like see them at the next debate as Harper and Dion is not much of a match and Layton is good lately but I wonder if Elizabeth would be able to hold her own up on the stage? Then again maybe the above poster is right and most of the green supporters will be voting Liberal (only to end up being very disappointed)

  7. @Paul: where’s the free Pictou-Antigonish media from a virtual convention? It’s all about Elizabeth…

  8. Sorry to be piling on here but I just read this in Wired:

    “If the UN has its way, you’ll be spending more time in the office and less time on a plane.

    At a meeting in the UK this past week, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, a climate scientist with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), strongly urged businesses to cut employee travel, and to fill the void with video conferencing.”

  9. Conservative partisans grasping at straws.

  10. Blues Clair I am a conservative partisan wishing others would start walking the walk if they believe global warming is happening and Earth is in peril.

  11. jwl, zzzzzzz…

  12. When Elizabeth met with herself to democratically select the site of this year’s convention, she did consider electronic videoconferencing or a “virtual online convention”, but as she has been a fervent anti-nuke since the 50’s, GP members in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick would need to be excluded from the conference, lest their nuke generated electrons powering their online votes “tainted the conference”.

    In addition, with increased local press coverage of the convention, she hopes to highlight her plans for economic development through a high speed rail line connecting the unheralded economic corridor between Halifax and Sydney, Cape Breton Island, which would by definition, probably bypass New Glasgow and Stellarton…d’Oh!

  13. Anyone who actually goes there will find a lot
    to like in Pictou. Colourful old town with a lot
    of old stone buildings. Federally solid Tory but
    provincially NDP.
    Old Tories may remember that Pictou Lodge was
    Mulroney’s official residence after his leaders
    victory when Daddy MacKay gave up his seat for
    the greater good.
    When the Highland clans were being turfed out of
    their crofts in the name of progress or whatever
    the first shipload (the Hector)landed on the shores of Pictou Harbour.
    There’s a lot of dying heavy industry in the
    area. I suspect Ms. May’s future there will
    not be bright. I’m told that some of the local
    Liberals are passing out “Liberals for Lorefice”
    buttons. Louise Lorefice is the NDP candidate.

  14. “Green Party reaches a crucial crossroads”

    Then the article says nothing. The convention switched locations. Is that the crossroads this article is supposed to address? Then poster after poster chime in with equally lame comments because even they don’t know what the hell the article means so everyone is free to just make up a meaning and react.

    The Green Party uses one member/one vote. The policies are posted on the web and debated and voted on by people who can’t make the convention. The Green Party has arranged deals with train travel from Vancouver through the country all the way to Halifax then has arranged collective travel to the convention. The convention then supports the local economy by using several hotels, motels, B&Bs, billeting. Every effort in the planning has gone into using locally grown food and fair traded goods as much as possible. All of this is in the Green philosophy. Holding the convention in a location that brings Greens to Ms. May’s riding where she has chosen a tough race is just good strategy. Conventions are excellent for bringing people face to face and the Greens have never said they wanted to halt all travel and live in isolated communities that only communicate through computer. For pete’s sake get a grip already.

  15. Stephen LaFrenie,

    From the section called:

    “Averting Climate Catastrophe” on the Green website:

    “Teleworking. A Green Government will pay a no-trip vehicle allowance to all federal staff working from home, give a tax credit for the cost of establishing a home office, and establish a parking cash-out system (cash to employees not using a company parking space) to encourage reduced use of cars and parking.”

    Since its a catastrophe as you describe it and you claim 150,000 people die each year due to global warming, I’d say you should halt all needless travel and communicate through the computer. Oh wait, so do you guys!

  16. There goes Chuck, grasping at straws on the Green website again.

  17. “The Green Party uses one member/one vote.”

    The one member’s name is Elizabeth May.

  18. I read this headline as a tongue-in-cheek joke, no?

    The Guelph by-election is being heaviliy targeted by the Greens. They have a credible candidate, Mike Nagy, who came second place in the 2007 provincial election with around %20 of the vote. The NDP has what I would call a star candidate in Tom King (check out his wonderful Massey lectures). It is a bellweather riding with strong bases for the three traditional parties. It will be fun to watch.

    I don’t think anyone expects the Greens to win this riding but they might surprise. Should they win, they would have a much stronger case for participation in the national leaders’ debates. Currently Dion and Duceppe support May’s participation regardless of whether they have a seat in parliament while Harper and Layton are oppposed to it. And yes, May would kick ass in the debates, she is a former lawyer and gifted public speaker.

    Also, I would check your assumption that Green voters are likely to strategically vote Liberal. My observation is that the Greens draw heavily from previous non-voters and red-tories and less so from from Liberals or NDP. I can’t access any detail on the July 12th IPSOS poll beyond the headline so I can’t tell how the NDP and Greens are faring, but I heard on the radio that the Greens recently were at 12% nationally.

  19. I would not like to see May in the debates. She represents a fringe party that could win maximum 2 or 3 seats. Of course Dion wants her there. She’s endorsing him as PM.

    Furthermore, she has already indicated that she is about nothing more than preventing Harper from winning, to the point where she is recommending people vote against her party where it accomplishes that goal. A leader who can’t even recommend that people vote for her party and openly advocates another party leader as PM has no business on the stage.

  20. “Mike Nagy, who came second place in the 2007 provincial election with around %20 of the vote.”

    Ben Polley ran in Guelph for the Greens, not Mike Nagy.

  21. thanks Mike, sorry for the mistake, Nagy got 8.7 when he ran federally in 2006.

  22. “The Green Party has arranged deals with train travel from Vancouver through the country all the way to Halifax then has arranged collective travel to the convention.”
    – Stephen LaFrenie

    It is petty politics to claim that the Green party is somehow in the wrong for having a face to face convention, when steps have obviously been taken to make it as Green as possible. But whatever… proceed.

    “The science is clear. The evidence is conclusive. It is important that we accept what the experts are telling us. We must now focus our attention on solutions to protect our planets fragile ecosystem. And we must take real action on climate change.”
    – The Honourable Long John Baird.

  23. At the risk of turning the debate in another direction, isn’t the bigger issue in all of this the closure of a hotel in New Glascow?

    As an Atlantic Canadian, I’d want to know why the hotel closed, and what economic conditions in New Glascow had the most impact in the decision to close the hotel? Is it tourism numbers, which I don’t know? Is it the rising American dollar, the price of gas, or simply the end of an era for the hotel?

    It’s July in Nova Scotia — this is the peak month for tourism, and New Glascow is on the way to Cape Breton, and it is also the entry point to the PEI ferry. If the Heather Hotel has closed, then something is happening economically there that is probably the story.

    A business like a hotel may not be major employer in Toronto or Ottawa, and the closure of one hotel/motel in a major urban centre isn’t a big deal. But this is New Glascow, so it probably matters more to folks in that community. Maybe worth a trip out East to have a look see for someone from Macleans, Paul?

  24. Stephen, I wondered the same thing when I first read the press release, so I googled “Heather Hotel shut down” It’s a 40 yr old hotel that is run down, and it is not worth it to fix it up. Also increased competition from newer hotels. Here’s a summary of an article outlining some of the reasons:

    Jacqueline May, a spokesperson for the Department of Environment and Labour, said the provincial fire marshal toured the building in May, a response to concerns made by the public.
    “He did an inspection – and found a number of things that were not quite up to scratch, in terms of their fire safety measures,” May said.
    The fire marshal then issued an order to correct those deficiencies. Some had to be addressed immediately – issues such as adequate signage and the posting of room limits – while other issues were more significant.
    “There was some leaking happening in the shell structure of the building, some things that were fairly extensive,” she said.

    About this time last year, a development permit was issued for the construction of a hotel, an 80-room Mariott hotel in the vicinity of the Heather. While it was expected construction would begin on that project last year, it appears the ground hasn’t been broken on the project. Meanwhile, a 125-room Holiday Inn Express is nearing completion.


    What I did find interesting, however, was that Elizabeth May did not call for government intervention to save the hotel, unlike what she did when the uneconomic and aged Trenton Steelworks recently announced it was closing its doors (a 1970’s Macheachen-esque pander to local voters in my opinion).

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