August 2020 SGI Newsletter

Welcome to the August SGI EDA newsletter.. We are pleased to provide you with information about local EDA activities as well as some Federal Green Party news and relevant information from other Green organizations.   We are excited that this newsletter goes out to over 4000 subscribers, many of whom reside outside of SGI.  We welcome all readers, and greatly appreciate your feedback.

This issue features a message from Elizabeth, AGM news and leadership contest details.  Read on for more…... 


Notes from Elizabeth

I am so grateful for your continued support.  And I SO wish that the AGM announced in this newsletter was going to be in person.  Zoom is our life for awhile longer. 

I want to let you know that I will be holding some MP community meetings in September - two virtual and one in person.  The two virtual meetings will be September 17 and 19, the in-person meeting will be at Mary Winspear Centre September 15 at 7 pm.  The health restrictions mean that only 50 people can attend.  The RSVP's will be received by phone, call my constituency office to reserve a spot. (250-657-2000)  Watch for the notice of all three in the next MP newsletter to be sent out by Canada Post in early September.

I am enjoying a full month with no flights! Thanks to colleagues Jenica Atwin and Paul Manly the two one day sittings are being covered.  As you may know, we have been taking them in turn. In normal times, Parliament would not sit at all in July or August, but we added four days, 2 in July and 2 in August to be able to respond to COVID19 relief and emergency issues. I had the shifts to cover June 1-18 and then back again for the July 8 session. 

It is so wonderful to be able to stay put in Saanich-Gulf Islands.

Stay well and stay safe.

Annual General Meeting - Save the Date!

Please join us for the virtual SGI- AGM, set for Sunday Sept 27th at 3:00 pm. 

In order to vote at the AGM, you will need to become a member at least 30 days prior to the meeting.  If your membership has lapsed in the past 12 months you simply need to renew prior to the meeting date although we encourage early renewal to assist us in organizing the meeting and members list ahead of time.  Memberships can be arranged here.

Registered GPC members within SGI will be sent registration information in the coming weeks.

Please note that Elizabeth will address the AGM, an opportunity not to be missed!!!


Federal Green Party Leadership Contest

The contest for leadership of the Green Party of Canada continues, and there are many resources available to help you with your voting decision.  The resources page provides links to information about all of the stellar candidates, as well as both past and upcoming events.  Links can be found at the bottom of the page under “Events”.

Remember - you must be a member in good standing by September 3rd, 2020 in order to vote!  Details can be found here.

“Local” Candidate Events:


All of the contestants for the position of leader of the Green Party of Canada (GPC) are coming to BC! Well, they’re coming virtually in this case. You may recall the GPC did a BC regional town hall with them all. There was a lot of interest, and over 180 questions submitted! Sadly, because there were nine contestants on the stage, they only answered a few out of the 180.

So - we are bringing the contestants back, one by one, for one-hour Zoom sessions.

Who are we? Five BC EDAs have collaborated on this project, and three EDAs are each hosting three of the contestants. (See the schedule and registration links below). Kelowna-Lake Country (KLC), North Island-Powell River (NIPR), and Saanich-Gulf Islands (SGI) are the hosts.

Schedule and Registration Links:


The BC Tour with Courtney Howard, Wednesday, September 2, 7 pm.  

Register in advance for this meeting: 

(Hosted by NIPR)


The BC Tour with Dimitri Lascaris, Saturday, September 5, 6:30 pm.

Register in advance for this meeting: 

(Hosted by NIPR)


The BC Tour with Annamie Paul, Sunday, September 6, 2 pm. 

Register in advance for this meeting:

(Hosted by KLC)


The BC Tour with Judy N Green, Sunday, September 6, 4 pm.

Register in advance for this meeting:

(Hosted by KLC)


The BC Tour with Meryam Haddad, Wednesday, September 9, 7 pm. 

Register in advance for this meeting:

(Hosted by SGI)


The BC Tour with David Merner, Sunday, September 13, 4 pm. 

Register in advance for this meeting:

(Hosted by SGI)


The BC Tour with Amita Kuttner, Monday, September 14, 7 pm.

Register in advance for this meeting:  

(Hosted by NIPR)


The BC Tour with Andrew West, Wednesday, September 16, 7 pm.

Register in advance for this meeting:

(Hosted by KLC)


The BC Tour with Glen Murray, Thursday, September 17, 7 pm. 

Register in advance for this meeting:

(Hosted by SGI)

BC Greens Leadership Contest   

As most of you are likely aware, the BC Greens also have a leadership contest underway.  You can learn more about the three exceptional candidates and the contest here, including all relevant dates here.  Of note, the official leadership debate will be held September 1st, and the deadline to become a member or supporter for online voting: September 2, 2020 (deadline for telephone voting August 21st). 

Elizabeth visits with James Shaw, New Zealand Green MP

Elizabeth recently interviewed New Zealand MP James Shaw during an online event hosted by the West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea to Sky Country Greens.  This very interesting wide ranging discussion touched on various topics, but focused primarily on electoral reform.  To watch, click here

Learn more about the  Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, and their current elected members via the link. 

New Zealanders will go to the polls for a federal election on October 17th and we wish the Green candidates all of our best wishes over the coming weeks.  Conducting an election campaign while in the midst of a pandemic is a challenge not faced before, and we will watch carefully and learn from the New Zealand experience in the lead-up to a BC provincial election in 2021 and the next federal election.

Federal Council 


This month, we continue our introductions to members of the Federal Council. Today, we meet a  co-chair of the Young Greens as well as a Council youth representative, Liana Canton Cusmano.

The GPC has many strengths, including a remarkable diversity in it’s membership as exemplified by Liana Canton Cusmano.

Born in Montréal and still a resident there, this Young Green is exhibiting both energy and enthusiasm in the position of CEO with the Montréal EDA of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. 

Being a writer, spoken word artist and also a filmmaker gives Liana the freedom to speak out for the rights of an equal society: environmental rights, gender issue rights, race equality rights - all issues that are tackled with passion.

Using the pronouns they/them, Liana’s bio describes a “ feminized, queer, non-binary trans millennial”; an identity which has fostered a sense of being “othered” by general society. Early days included a belief in nihilism and a rage at the world. This is somebody who could have easily become an outcast in our society. Instead, this sense of “otherness” and an outrage against inequities has fueled an incredible desire to fight and to right the many prejudices in our modern culture.

In 2019, both Liana and father Dominic Cusmano ran federally as Green Party candidates in the Montréal ridings of Ville-Marie Le Sud-Ouest-Île-des-soeurs and Honoré-Mercier respectively . How tremendous it is to have a father and child both wishing to represent our party in one of Canada’s most cosmopolitan areas.

Liana related being ludicrously busy these days and it is easy to see why. Working with the Young Greens has led to becoming a Co-Chair. Their website states “we contribute new ideas and new energy, and push Canada towards a fairer more sustainable future.” This mix of young energy is very important for the GPC in order to be relevant to all ages in our country. As well, Liana has another great responsibility as one of two Youth Representatives on our Federal Council. These activities with the GPC demand a lot of time and energy and it is inspiring to have young representatives who can fulfil these roles with passion and determination.

This pandemic weighs heavily on our world but out of this chaos will come opportunity. Bright, agile minds will be required to create a path forward to a future state of equilibrium and I for one, wish skilled, young people such as Liana to be there to help create the future generation of leaders for our country.  


Have feedback? What would you like to hear about in our monthly newsletter?  

Please feel free to contribute a relevant article, interesting read or story!  

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.