September 2020 SGI Newsletter

Welcome to the September 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…... 

Archives of previous newsletters can be found here.

Annual General Meeting 2020

The 2020 SGI Virtual Annual General Meeting is almost here, so mark your calendars!  We need a quorum and are really hoping for good attendance.  In addition to our usual AGM business, we will hear from our valued MP and former Leader of the Green Party of Canada for 13 years, Elizabeth May, plus a guest appearance by Adam Olsen who is running for re-election in Saanich North and the Islands for the BC Greens.

Stay tuned for details about registration and logging into the meeting - your email should have arrived September 22nd!  Please reach out if you did not receive your email invitation.


Date: Sunday, September 27th

Time: 3pm

Venue: Online via Zoom 

  • Pre-registration required, via reply to email received, or here.


Notes from Elizabeth


We are facing two health threats at the moment, and we need to confront both, not one or the other.

I would not have imagined that we would have dueling health concerns- should we stay outside to avoid COVID health risks? Or move inside to avoid the health risks of the smoke?

What a weird world.

As Greens, we have been talking about the climate crisis and trying to get governments to address it for decades!  I had a meeting by video link with the Prime Minister on Thursday. I started by reminding him of where he fell out of his kayak with TV cameras rolling.  It was on Sidney Spit. And I told him my apartment building is almost at the water's edge, but I cannot see Sidney Spit for the smoke. The catastrophic fires of California, Oregon and Washington have caused massive losses and deaths. And their governors are united in saying, "This is the climate crisis."  And it is impacting air quality for Canada.

Then the PM and I discussed what Greens want to see in the Speech from the Throne (SFT). Hint: climate action!

I will be in Ottawa on September 23rd to hear the SFT along with Paul Manly and Jenica Atwin. Then we will decide, by consensus if there is enough in it for us to vote our confidence in the Throne Speech. With all those worries, I am horrified by the political maneuvering that foreshadows a snap election call here in BC. I am appalled by the cynicism of John Horgan. Of course, the minority Conservative government of Blaine Higgs in NB just got its coveted majority in a snap election call. By the way, NB Greens grew their vote to 15% and all three of the Green MLAs were re-elected!!

But New Brunswick is not having the same pandemic as BC.  COVID rates in NB are VERY low while we are experiencing an upsurge in BC. 

So please support Sonia Furstenau in the media,  by reinforcing that an election call now is cynical and risks our health.  As does going outside for a walk until the air clears.

Hang in there... sending love to you all!



GPC Leadership race

Our opportunity to choose a new leader is almost here!

Members are automatically registered to vote online in the leadership contest and will receive an email with the ballot link when voting opens on September 26. Members without emails on file will receive a letter in the mail with the information and password they need to vote online.

Voting closes on October 3rd. Results will be live-streamed on Facebook and Youtube


Still deciding who to vote for?  There are many recorded interviews and debates, and here are some of the locations where you can find them:


The BC Tour of Candidates can be found on the North Island Powell River Green Party Facebook page here.

Green Party of Canada, see “Past Events” at the bottom of this page

The Candidates webpages provide great information. 


Please vote in this important election!


BC Greens News

Congratulations to the new leader of the BC Green Party, Sonia Furstenau!  Sonia was elected on the second ballot on Monday, September 14th, and we wish her well in the coming years.  To read more, click here.

As we publish this newsletter we all know of the early election call by John Horgan.  British Columbia voters will go to the polls on October 24th.  Sonia has made it clear where the BC Greens stand - that the BC NDP were governing within a stable Confidence and Supply Agreement with the BC Greens, and that calling an election amid a global pandemic and rising Covid case numbers in BC is completely irresponsible.  Nevertheless, election campaigns have begun.  We encourage you to reach out to your local BC Green Riding Association and offer your support as a volunteer or to make a donation..  

Specific links to a few South Island riding associations are below - you can also find them via their Facebook pages:

Saanich North and the Islands:  [email protected]

Saanich South:  [email protected]

Oak Bay Gordon Head:

Cowichan Valley: [email protected]

Victoria-Swan Lake: [email protected]


The Federal and Provincial Green Parties subscribe to the same Global Greens six core principles as outlined in a previous newsletter, however they are separate organizations.  As such, personal data sharing is not permitted under BC Privacy Law.  We urge you to contact your local BC Greens RA directly to offer your support.


Federal Council:  Joey Leckman

For September, we are pleased to present a profile about Joey Leckman, our Vice-President for French and a man who deeply believes in green values.

There is a place in Canada where politics seems to be baked into the people, rather like the delicious locally baked bread created there. And if you care to step foot into that political arena, you had better be passionate about your beliefs. So into this picture comes Joey Leckman.

Joey is very involved in life in the small town of Prévost, a beautiful area in the Laurentides region of Quebec. As well as being an educator in sustainable development and Physical Education, he is also a municipal councillor, has run as a federal Green twice and is twice elected as our current Vice President for French on the Federal Council.

His beliefs in sustainable living go beyond politics as evidenced by the garden used to grow much of the food to feed him, his wife and two children as well as the geothermal energy system used to heat his home. A very personable young man, Joey’s work to make Prévost a desirable place to live is paying dividends as the sales of local homes is on the increase. 

Always impressed by the dedication of some people to the amount of effort they are willing to put into their life choices, I asked Joey how he manages to do all he does while raising a young family and he laughed and admitted that “it can wear you out being Green”. Then, the next day, he will passionately go right back to his many involvements.

The election for the new leader of the GPC is of absolute importance to Joey. The 2019 election did not go well for the Greens in PQ as the Bloc Québecois surged ahead of all the parties to victory. The Parti Vert in Quebec knows there is much work to be done to capture the hearts of the people of Quebec. To that end, he considers a fluently bilingual leader a necessity for modern Canadian politics.

The Green Party, like all parties, contains a multitude of talents and personalities and we should consider ourselves fortunate that Joey has chosen to work with our team. In his own words: “I chose to be involved with the Green Party of Canada because I know that it is the only really integrated party that can guarantee a progressive, environmentally responsible and egalitarian future for everyone."


Gardening in SGI: Happy Harvest Season!


We all know that fall is harvest season in the garden, but we are not sure why. We harvest from our garden every month of the year. Certainly there is a bounty of fruits and vegetables at this time of year and you can’t picture fall without pumpkins, squash, onions and apples. This has certainly been a wonderful year for the garden. An exceptionally warm April followed by rains in May and June and then just enough sun in July and August to produce some of the best crops of almost everything we planted - and now our freezer is rapidly filling. We have had such fresh gourmet dinners every night throughout the summer as only Nancy can conjure up from what the garden offers at the time. Cooking is a real challenge because when we go out to the garden and see what needs to be harvested that day, that forms the ingredients for which Nancy needs to invent a recipe. I must say, it is a pity the world does not eat as well as we do.

But we didn’t want to talk about the joys of eating from the garden, or even the harvest of all that good food. We wanted to fast forward to next year (would that we could simply skip winter). We know that the garden is still in production and much remains that needs to be harvested, but without seed there would not be a garden next year. Yes, we can always rely on someone else to look after that aspect of gardening (the seed companies and their growers), but, challenging as it sometimes is, seed saving brings the gardening experience full circle. To us, growing with seeds that we saved from last year’s garden is one of the most satisfying parts of gardening. Some seed saving is very straightforward, while others need a bit of preparation (e.g., tomatoes) and still others need complete isolation from their relatives (e.g., brassicas, squash) and they all need to be non-hybrid varieties to begin with. Don’t get us wrong, we still buy quite a lot of our seed because some seeds are too fiddly to save during the busy gardening season (even though we have the best of intentions each year to do so).

So we had an idea that we want to share with you. As seeds get more and more expensive especially when you buy them in small packets, why not start a seed co-operative where we can exchange seed from the garden (like Seedy Saturday) and combine seed orders to buy seed in larger quantities (to get a discount and at least save the high shipping cost). And beyond the cost savings, we thought it might be fun to see what everyone else is growing and try some of those varieties without having to buy an entire packet of seed. We haven’t worked out all the details yet, but if you think you might be interested in joining the Saanich Peninsula Seed Buyers Co-op, send us an e-mail ([email protected]) and we will include you in the group. Perhaps next year we can have a garden tour of each co-op member's garden. We think all gardeners know the real meaning of Thanksgiving, Gary’s favourite holiday of the year. So let us wish all of you and early but heartfelt, Happy Thanksgiving!


Nancy & Gary Searing

Honeysuckle Cottage

New Brunswick election

Image credit: Parti Vert NB Green Party

The Green Party of Canada and the Saanich-Gulf Islands EDA congratulate Green Party of New Brunswick Leader David Coon (54%) and Green MLAs Kevin Arseneau (48%) and Megan Mitton (42%) on their re-election in yesterday’s New Brunswick provincial election. All three Greens were able to hold onto their seats during the unnecessary election called by the minority Progressive Conservative government, which now has majority status.

Green parliamentary leader Elizabeth May said: “In an election where the Conservatives made big gains through the cynical, opportunistic use of a snap election in a pandemic, and in which the Liberal leader, prominent former Sergeant at Arms Kevin Vickers, did not win his own seat, David Coon's achievement and that of the whole NB Green team should not be under-estimated. The entire Green caucus was re-elected with strong public support. I have so much respect for all the NB Greens, and our own New Brunswick-based federal Green MP- Jenica Atwin - who also campaigned alongside our provincial cousins. Job well done!"

For the full story, please see:


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