December 2020 SGI Newsletter

This issue features a message from Elizabeth, EDA greetings, and more.   

Welcome to the December SGI EDA newsletter.  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.

Archives of previous newsletters can be found here.


Notes from Elizabeth

Best wishes for a Happy Christmas- Restful holidays -- and a much Happier New Year!

I do not need to tell Green Party friends and members how hard Paul Manly, Jenica Atwin and I have been working through pandemic. I can point to so many issues we have solved – from getting an additional $2 billion to provinces for support for education during COVID, to getting Finance Canada to allow religious organizations to access the wage subsidy, to helping hundreds of individuals. These moves have our fingerprints – and no one else’s – all over them.

Helping people is very satisfying work, but it is exhausting.   I cannot wait for the holidays.  

We will have a very different new year… at least I hope so!  At some point, we will pivot from emergency relief to economic rebuilding.  We have some hints from the Fall Economic Statement that a lot of Green ideas will be involved in the stimulus spending. What is missing is the actual number crunching- do these measures add up to enough to avert climate disaster? The Liberals' unwillingness to  adopt a climate target for 2030 aligned with the science is not encouraging. We go into 2021 with the same target Harper left behind.

But I will keep trying!  As your MP and your friend, I would be grateful, if you can manage it, if you would donate something, no matter how small to the Green Saanich-Gulf Islands EDA before year’s end.  I think we are likely to be in an election this spring, so we need to be ready.

Thanks so very much. Stay well! Stay safe!



Good Pandemic News?

Some might ask; in this bummer of a year, is there some good to be found?

I would suggest that there is plenty to be grateful for in these crazy times.

The GPC has the fabulous Annamie Paul, who found her way to the head chair after a hard fought leadership contest. The quality of the candidates was amazing and speaks to the need for a party that represents our beleaguered environment and social problems. No less important is our new federal council. There has not been much attention paid to this important body in the past but that is definitely changing. The membership is more active now and seeks transparency and truth from this guiding body. Best wishes to all these volunteer councilors.


Looking for a new Financial Agent...

Next spring the SGI EDA will have an opening on the executive for a financial agent as our dedicated volunteer Sharon takes a well deserved break after many years on council. If you have a financial background in accounting, banking or similar skills, this is a rewarding volunteer role. You will be a member of the executive where you can be involved in supporting the work of the Green Party locally and federally. In addition, you are one of two primary contacts with Elections Canada for donations and financial reports. You want to be comfortable with accounting software (ie. Quickbooks) to oversee banking and prepare financial statements. For further information about this opportunity, please contact Sharon Forrester or Harald Hommel.

Greetings from the Saanich-Gulf Islands EDA Chair Harald Hommel:

Dear Green Readers

It’s been a tough year for many people. Many Canadians have lost their livelihood, or part of their income or their businesses. Countless people are worried about putting food on the table or paying for rent. Too many people have become lonely, ill, hospitalized or have died this past year. It has been a grim picture. Most of us are glad to see the end of 2020.

But There are Some Bright Spots

  •  Canadians have appreciated the long, hard hours that medical workers of all types have been putting in to serve the public, as well as workers in other essential services
  • Although overall donations to charities are down, the CBC B.C. Food Bank Day hit an all-time high of over $2.5 million compared to last year at just $1 million (We encourage you if you can to donate where the needs of the most vulnerable are addressed, such as  food banks and women’s shelters)
  • Many of us have been able to spend more time with our families
  • We’ve realized that some of us can do their work without driving into work every day, saving much time and producing less greenhouse gases
  • The science industry set incredible records for the speed in which they developed vaccines against Covid-19
  • The federal government reacted fairly quickly to get money out to Canadians in need
  • Dutch Brewery is using iron powder as a source of fuel, with no GHG released from this combustion, (seriously!!!).  

Moving Forward in 2021

The new year will be better, we’ll eventually have fewer people getting sick and the economy will recover.  And there are opportunities.

Although global climate change is a much more complex problem than creating a vaccine for Covid-19, it has shown us that when we work seriously to fix a problem, we can do it. Let’s encourage our governments to apply this thinking and effort to Global Climate Change.

The federal government has certainly tried to help those Canadians hit with job and income loss with numerous subsidy programs, however then Revenue Canada clumsily sent out a letter in the middle of December to Canadians who were “ineligible” for benefits, asking for repayment.  Doesn’t this just make the case for the Green idea of a Guaranteed Livable Income program for all Canadians, which would be easier to administer and more efficient? Let’s keep pushing for this humane and honourable method of providing for those in need.

I want to thank all of you who have given your time, talents and resources to keep our SGI Green EDA functioning. I also want to send a big thank you to the Executive Team who have worked harder than usual due to the unusual circumstances of both federal and provincial elections, and leadership contests federally and in BC over the past year and a half. Despite the fact that we are an organisation set-up for the federal riding, many of our volunteers have worked tirelessly, both federally and provincially.

As I write this, Covid vaccinations are happening in BC. This is not the end of the pandemic but it is certainly a positive move to shortly reopen our society to public events. Soon, we can go back to enjoying live music, coffee with friends and visits with loved ones that actually includes hugs.

Lastly, I wish you all the best for the Holiday Season, and for a Happy New Year.

Stay healthy and stay safe!  


Join us on the Executive Board

The Executive Board of the SGI EDA unexpectedly lost a new member who was not able to juggle a busy university schedule and also attend our meetings. This means we are giving you or a friend an opportunity to join our executive in 2021 as a member-at-large. This is a chance to make new green friends and participate in the regular activities of SGI. 

To balance our board, we would like to especially invite people from the Saanich or Gulf Islands areas to consider joining us. Our board meets once a month, online as necessary, and works to keep a robust and active riding in the SGI area. If you are interested, please contact:  [email protected]


With warm regards from the SGI Executive; Harald, Dan, Nancy, Linda, Helena, Karen, Sharon and Bob.



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