The Calgary convention got off to a great start. Elizabeth May received a spontaneous standing ovation even before we enjoyed a very moving First Nations Welcoming Ceremony. Then after Elizabeth's keynote address, our president Ken Melamed introduced our Federal Council noting what an honour it is to lead such a dedicated team. He then introduced the deputy leaders before officially opening the meeting. Paul Manly and Jo-Ann Roberts reported on their incredible work to achieve consensus around a new resolution and Dimitri Lascaris spoke eloquently in support of the new resolution, acknowledging that "the compromise resolution does not endorse the BDS movement" and "that this was ultimately the right thing to do." From there it was still a procedural grind as we all familiarized ourselves with the process of Green Rules again. But we stuck with it and by the end of the day, the new resolution to update our policy on Israel and Palestine had been passed with overwhelming support.
Our worst fears of continued or even intensified division did not materialize. Instead the SGM attendees rallied around consensus and applied the now more familiar Green Rules of Procedure the next day to address a special resolution on Kinder Morgan, new policies on Indigenous Rights, our Party's updated position on Electoral Reform and improved GPC governance by approving a number of exciting new initiatives to help us move forward. And that's a good thing. With the acrimony in the House and the unbelievable reality south of the border, it is so wonderful to be able to find solace in our Green Values.
In Calgary, members of the Green Party of Canada clearly re-committed to consensus-based decision-making. There was positive action on a surprising number of key issues - strong support for Indigenous rights, including repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery; a new resolution adding to our long-standing policy seeking peace in the Middle East with a balanced approach for the complex challenges faced by Israel and Palestine; an affirmation of proportional representation; and the first bold steps down the path to an improved process for policy proposals and directives.
Now to make this stick - all members of the Green Party of Canada are asked to support the decisions made in Calgary via an online ratification vote. Email notification of the vote went out December 7th with the subject line '2016 Online Special General Meeting'. The email has a link to the ratification ballot plus a unique password.
Elizabeth urges all of us to please vote in favour of the resolutions passed the Special general Meeting in Calgary! Voting is open until February 6, 2017.