Game Over, Serious Work Ahead

The Supreme Court ruling against Scott Moe and other conservative premiers’ challenge to a federal carbon tax is great news for Saskatchewan, Canada and the world. 

“Environmentalists in our province rejoiced at this decision. After all, pricing carbon is a great tool to wield in our fight against climate change,” states Naomi Hunter, leader of the Saskatchewan Green Party. “Heck, even the American Petroleum Institute supports it! But it’s only one small portion of what we need to do to reach 100% clean energy within the next 7 to 10 years.”  

The SGP proposes a non-partisan, all party approach to move forward and start taking real action on climate TODAY!

Our climate action plan knocks out fossil fuel emissions, strengthens our Saskatchewan communities while attracting innovation and investment. “We’ve run out of time for half measures and empty promises”, says Hunter.

SGP calls for an immediate end to unfair tax subsidies for the oil and gas sector and prompt localized investment into conservation, efficiency and renewable energy production.

  • We call for the establishment of an Indigenous advisory panel for guidance, ensuring that Traditional Knowledge and treaty rights are respected.
  • Establish a Guaranteed Livable Income to assist in the transition of workers and their families from dependence on oil and gas jobs.
  • Establish a moratorium on clearcut logging, peat bog mining, and unregulated drainage of our wetlands on the Prairies.
  • Offer real incentives for citizens to invest, and bring back the net metering program for residential solar projects.

Hunter reminds us: “We can lead Canada once again, like we did on Socialized Medicine back in the glory days of Tommy Douglas. Our wind and solar resources are world class and Saskatchewanians are renowned for their ingenuity and work ethic”.
The biggest problem is the policy of Scott Moe’s SaskParty government, in virtual climate change denial, excused by a half-hearted Ryan Meili led opposition. They deny our province the chance to finally embark on a serious climate plan. The NDP’s plan to have 100% emissions free electricity by 2050 grossly misses the mark. That empty promise prolongs our suffering with offers of false hope. In reality, it’s nothing more than a green light to the vastly toxic nuclear industry, to which their party is also beholden.

Further, mollycoddling the oil and gas sector with NDP vagaries such as “oil and gas will remain a strong pillar of our economy” is of no more help to Saskatchewanians than the overtly hostile position of Scott Moe’s government on climate change. After all, given his recent analogy, he and his party think this is all a game. “I’ve played enough hockey to know…”

“People from across the political spectrum have been reaching out to me non-stop since the Supreme Court ruled in favour of a federal carbon tax. I am inviting them to back the Greens and to support my voice as the only one among the province’s party leaders to speak the scientific truth about the climate crisis,” Hunter goes on to say, “The Dippers in particular feel let down by their party on this central issue. I’ll tell you what I’ve been telling them — there isn’t time to organize for change from within a party so deeply misaligned. Now is the time to back the only voice in this province that aligns with the science, the economics, the law, and the political will of the electorate.”

Hunter continues: “This is beyond partisanship. It comes down to whatever works in a crisis. We’ve got to get moving. This need has caught on in Prince Edward Island, where the Greens’ chances were considered laughably out of reach. In the course of one election cycle, the PEI Greens vaulted to Official Opposition. I’ve been an environmental campaigner for more than three decades in Saskatchewan and if the NDP showed any promise at all in tackling this issue I would have run as a candidate with them.”

“Don’t get me wrong”, says Hunter, “I cherish the social activist tradition in Saskatchewan and the CCF-NDP has always been at the forefront of this tradition. Many of my friends are NDP members or supporters, and I have worked with them on many worthwhile projects. But NDP politics are too conflicted when it comes down to facing the greatest crisis of our age. The time for playing games is over. As UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated recently, “In this ‘make-or-break’ year, … now is the time to be bold and ambitious”.

The days of denial, delay and dither are done. Let’s get to work!

Contact:
Naomi Hunter, Leader – Saskatchewan Green Party
(306) 561-8880
naomihunter@saskgreen.ca
Twitter: @GpcHunter

It’s Past Time for a Guaranteed Livable Income

The Saskatchewan Green Party thanks former Premier Lorne Calvert for helping reposition the left on this issue. Naomi Hunter, SGP leader, states: “It is very refreshing to see a former NDP Premier of Saskatchewan endorse GLI.” During the 2020 provincial election campaign, Guaranteed Livable Income was a prominent part of the Green platform. By contrast, the NDP candidates and their current leader, Ryan Meili, uniformly repeated that it was not feasible at this time, period.

In Premier Calvert’s March 3 Leader-Post op-ed, he writes: “For all our well-meaning intentions, at some point we have to admit our programs are not working to end or even significantly reduce poverty.” He goes on to give the idea of a GLI pilot program a push.

“I hope this article convinces the membership of the NDP to pressure their party to adopt GLI now,” says Hunter. “We can move to a less judgmental and more economical system of social supports in this province. The current system is outdated and administration-heavy. Now is the time for all parties, at all levels, to come together and make this happen.”

The Saskatchewan Green Party has promoted a Guaranteed Livable Income as a prominent part of its policy for years. The future has arrived. It’s time. A green recovery from Covid-19 and our transition from fossil fuels to renewables must include Guaranteed Livable Income.

Contact:
Naomi Hunter, Leader – Saskatchewan Green Party
(306) 561-8880
naomihunter@saskgreen.ca
twitter: @GpcHunter

SGP Electoral Reform for a Fair and Just Transition

On February 1, 2017 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau broke his promise to make the 2015 using first-past-the-post. The Saskatchewan Green Party promise of electoral reform would replace our obsolete first-past-the-post voting system with proportional representation (PR). PR would ensure Saskatchewan voices had proportional representation in the legislature– diverse voices working collaboratively towards just, fair, and democratic use of resources.

Our SGP Supernatural Saskatchewan Superstar

Supernatural Saskatchewan Superstar SGP Leader Naomi Hunter

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of Global Green News interviews with superstar SGP Leader Naomi Hunter.

Some highlights:

Q: Why is Saskatchewan a perfect place to confront the climate crisis? What are the environmental issues that are faced?

A: Saskatchewan currently has the largest per capita emissions in Canada yet we could lead the country in clean energy production. It’s time for Saskatchewan to lead again, as we did in Tommy Douglas’ day in the creation of socialized medicine for all. In the 21st century we need a Green Future for all, or there will be no future.

Q: People have recently paid more attention to Nuclear energy, and SMRs in Saskatchewan which can help Canada cut its emissions, but is it really clean and safe?

A: There are no operating SMR’s (Small Modular Reactors) in Canada. These are thus-far, an imaginary item that does not yet exist. They will take a decade (that we don’t have!) to go through testing and implementation. SMR’s are also costing out at 2-5times the cost of solar or wind. Governments willfully dismantling existing solar programs (like the SaskParty did ) this past year in Saskatchewan, for an unproven theoretical product with a radioactive and deadly waste product that will contaminate our planet for thousands of years, makes no sense.

No, nuclear is not safe! From mining to transportation to refining to energy and weapons production to waste, and contamination from depleted uranium and larger nuclear weapons. None of this is safe.

Scott Moe Bullies Regina City Council

In an unsurprising turn of events, Premier Moe threatens Regina with loss of funding and operating capital to which it is entitled.

“I think Scott Moe should mind his business not the oil and gas sector’s”, admonishes Naomi Hunter, leader of the Saskatchewan Green Party. “A leader that goes after our Capital City like that, attempting to subvert its own sovereign democracy, is quite frankly embarrassing. And it’s wrong!”

The Saskatchewan Green Party supports the City of Regina’s management of its own affairs. We further support their executive committee’s decision to prohibit “fossil fuel producers from advertising with the city”, and we stand with the council members who vote in favour.

We feel the Government of Saskatchewan should likewise divest public support from oil and gas, and immediately put those funds into renewables. Defunding this primary pollution source is a tool we need to use while facing down the Climate Crisis dead ahead of us.

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“I’m confident the people of Saskatchewan want their government to get on the right side of history”, says Hunter. “Our largest trading partner doesn’t even want our carbon anymore. The Keystone XL is dead, investors are scattering and it’s time to move on.”

Contact:
Naomi Hunter, Leader – Saskatchewan Green Party
(306) 561-8880
naomihunter@saskgreen.ca
twitter: @GpcHunter

Did You Vote Green?

The Greens are grassroots democracy in action. We need to mobilize and make sure every party sees Climate Action as the number one issue moving forward.

We need to work for and with YOU and others to ensure that our collective voice forces all political parties in our province to realize that this is an issue that will either earn or cost them votes.

Contact:
Naomi Hunter, Leader – Saskatchewan Green Party
(306) 561-8880
naomihunter@saskgreen.ca
twitter: @GpcHunter

Minister of Health Misjudges Pandemic, Death Toll Rises

The SaskParty ignored early post-election modelling that showed a likely surge in Covid-19. 

How is this quote from Paul Merriman, Minister of Health, “At the time, we wanted to make sure that we were reacting to what we saw, not what could come on the horizon”, any different from saying “We ignored the experts and trend data, the most valuable tool we have to predict this pandemic, because they were saying people would die and we didn’t want to believe it”? 

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“I call on the government to listen to its own experts and come up with a real plan to address this crisis properly”, demands Naomi Hunter, leader of the Saskatchewan Green Party. “People are dying because of government inaction.”

On Saturday January 9, we broke a record with 33 deaths in the previous 7 days. In fact, according to multiple metrics, our province is arguably in the worst place it has been since the pandemic began.  

SK’s case incidence per 100k = 23.9/day
MB’s case incidence per 100k = 12.6/day 

SK test positivity = 11.7% (7-day reported, 11.3% 5-day)
MB test positivity = 9.2% (5-day reported)  

Today many of our kids go back to school, and with a weekly positivity rate if 12.1% there is concern our numbers will continue to rise. “I believe the government’s reliance on wishful thinking instead of science and sound public health policy will continue to cause unnecessary suffering and death.” says Hunter. “It’s time for real leadership. We need to start putting the needs of the many ahead of the few. We must start listening to our front-line health workers, our educators, and our scientists, not the corporate lobby interests.” 

The Saskatchewan Green Party also calls on the government to immediately legislate a Guaranteed Livable Income and a doubling of education and health budgets during this crisis.

We continue to call for an all-party, all-expert committee to be formed that can examine all the data, making their findings and recommendations immediately public so the people of Saskatchewan can see what our government makes its decisions on. 

“It’s not too late to start doing the right thing”, reminds Hunter. “The solutions are there, let’s focus our efforts together and flatten that curve again!”

Contact:
Naomi Hunter, Leader – Saskatchewan Green Party
(306) 561-8880
naomihunter@saskgreen.ca
twitter: @GpcHunter

Premier Moe’s handling of the pandemic is literally killing people

 Scott Moe’s response in yesterday’s news is unacceptable: “I just don’t know that, as I reflect on them, that there is a different decision that we could have made at that point in time, given what we knew.” 

“Actually, Mr. Moe, you should be apologizing right now. That is the appropriate response in this situation, followed by a commitment to do better. Under your leadership we have an overburdened health care system, a bungled handling of the Parkside Care Home’s tragic outbreak, and skyrocketing cases of the virus in our province,” states Naomi Hunter, Saskatchewan Green Party Leader. “People are literally paying for these decisions with their lives,” Hunter adds.

Screengrab from https://dashboard.saskatchewan.ca/health-wellness/covid-19/cases on 03-Jan-2021

Moe’s approval rating sits at a dismal 39%, and for good reason, people are dying.

The Saskatchewan Green Party calls on Premier Moe to immediately strike an all-party, all-expert panel on how best to mitigate the damage, flatten the curve and better care for the sick and vulnerable.

We must not accept the continuing death toll.

We have the means to make this better.

Let’s put people in charge who know what they’re doing — the public health experts, the educators, the care-givers.

Now is the time for a Guaranteed Liveable Income (GLI) to be brought in. Real leadership is looking after people in times of crisis, especially the most vulnerable in society. We can choose to not have people evicted. We can choose to make sure people’s needs are covered. A GLI would support vulnerable people by giving them housing and food security.

Premier Moe’s continued supposed focus on businesses not suffering during a pandemic is a farce. There are numerous small and micro businesses that are really hurting right now. A GLI would do so much towards helping them keep the doors open. “People need some real supports and help right now. Saskatchewan can’t just keep pretending we are in normal times, we need to be reacting with extraordinary love and compassion right now, and it needs to start at the top,” states Hunter.

Contact:
Naomi Hunter, Leader – Saskatchewan Green Party
(306) 561-8880
naomihunter@saskgreen.ca
twitter: @GpcHunter

Steel Workers Crushed As Sask Party and NDP Play Pipeline Politics

Evraz workers lose again.

The Saskatchewan Green Party calls on the government to immediately move towards a bold Green Recovery. A recovery where local mills and their workers produce the needed steel. We can reverse the layoffs and create new opportunities that move us away from dependence on the precarious oil and gas sector.

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“500 more families in this province face financial ruin while Meili and Moe fight over pipelines”, states Naomi Hunter, leader of the Saskatchewan Green Party. “Where’s the leadership? Where’s the vision we need for our future? The SaskParty continues to fail us, and the NDP are powerless to stop them.”

Jobs would be created by converting to steel production for renewable energy projects. This is something the provincial NDP, Saskatchewan Party and local Conservative MPs should consider supporting to help workers get back to work.

Stainless steel is needed in so many different forms to support renewable energy deployment. In geothermal, where corrosion resistant stainless steel is needed for heat exchangers, condensers, piping, filters, pumps and valves. In thermo-solar energy, stainless steel is needed for water tanks, cushion absorbers, frames and fasteners. It’s needed in the emerging renewable ‘blue energy’ field to protect systems from seawater corrosion, abrasion, and bio-fouling. And, of course, wind power: from the foundation down to its screws and studs, every part of the wind turbine depends on steel. Non- carbon-intensive methods can be used to produce all of this machinery.

“It’s time to move beyond steel for pipelines and get people to work building our renewable energy sector”, says Hunter. “We need political parties to come together and take real Climate Action. Let’s transition our workforce and manufacturing sectors rather than focus on outdated political agendas.”

The Saskatchewan Green Party believes it is essential to have a vibrant and sustainable economic system, one that provides good jobs and a decent standard of living for all people while maintaining a healthy ecological balance.

We believe a Green Recovery can achieve this balance and call on the other parties to pursue the possibilities with us.

Contact:
Naomi Hunter, Leader – Saskatchewan Green Party
(306) 561-8880
naomihunter@saskgreen.ca
twitter: @GpcHunter

SaskParty Endangers Citizens with Cruel Policies

The Saskatchewan Green Party is calling on the Moe government to immediately release the immunocompromised from prisons and detention centres, along with those not at risk to reoffend.

Premier Moe’s continued mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis combines with his party’s draconian justice practices to further threaten the health of all Saskatchewanians.

Four of Saskatchewan’s adult jails and three youth correction facilities have COVID-19 outbreaks.

The SaskParty Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Christine Tell says she cannot release prisoners. Further demonstrating a lack of understanding on the issue, she has no idea how the virus got into her facilities in the first place.

“This is deplorable”, states Naomi Hunter, leader of the Saskatchewan Green Party. “Saskatchewan has double the number of remand prisoners than the Canadian average. And hearing a government minister saying she can’t do anything to reduce the numbers of prisoners in a COVID-19 infested jail is quite frankly unacceptable. It is time for her to step down.” 

Instead of reforming the criminal justice system the government has expanded the courts. There are now four separate courts operating in Saskatoon. Space is rented in the First Nations Bank building where a traffic court operates, and in the tower on 22nd Street beside the Tim Hortons.

The Saskatchewan Green Party calls on this government to be accountable. Where is the commitment to invest in people, not prisons?

“Minister Tell gets it right when she describes corrections as the ‘back-end’ of the system”, states Hunter. “Now we need her and Scott Moe to take responsibility for the front-end.

We spend extra to rent more court space, and have more staff at every level of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety, but where are the investments in community development, education, healthcare?”

The Saskatchewan Green Party insists that Premier Moe and Minister Tell do the right thing here and take immediate measures to reduce the risk to inmates, corrections workers, their families and the province as a whole.

We need more community-based sentences, not the potential death sentences that come with unnecessary COVID-19 exposure in our crowded jails.

Contact:
Naomi Hunter, Leader – Saskatchewan Green Party
(306) 561-8880
naomihunter@saskgreen.ca
twitter: @GpcHunter