Posts from December 2013 & before

Posted by on 03 Dec 2016 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

are below.

John Deverell – Democratic Reform Update

Posted by on 06 Dec 2013 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

John Deverell, the Green Party of Canada’s candidate in the November 25, 2013 Toronto Centre by-election, continues to respond to Canada’s crying need for democratic reform.

He has just drafted 4 resolutions on democratic voting for the upcoming Green Party of Canada convention. The Green Party’s grassroots-based policy process means all party members are encouraged to weigh in on resolution development.

John is an ideal spokesperson for democratic reform and its details. He has long served as a director of Fair Vote Canada. And he co-authored, with Greg Vezina, the book, Democracy, Eh? A Guide to Voter Action.

Interest in electoral reform is building. John’s strong voice can help make it happen.

The Green Party’s deadline for resolutions is April 30.
The party’s convention is in July, in Fredericton, N.B. – all party members are welcome.

Click for
John’s YouTube channel .

John Deverell, Green Party candidate, Toronto Centre

Posted by on 11 Sep 2013 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

John Deverell

John Deverell

Facebook: Deverell for Toronto Centre – community & public group pages
Twitter: @Dev4TOCentre
YouTube: Toronto Centre Greens
campaign office: 555 Parliament Street (north of Winchester)
campaign manager: Sharon Danley

Green Party of Canada media release:
John Deverell will be the Green Party’s Candidate for Toronto Centre By-Election
OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada’s Electoral District Association for Toronto Centre has announced that well-known former journalist John Deverell will be the Green candidate in the coming federal by-election.

“This by-election is a wonderful chance for Toronto voters, with the whole country watching, to tell all the parties in Ottawa that the political system is broken and we want it fixed – now. In a by-election Toronto can feel free to vote Green and put Parliament on notice: The People Want In,” said Green candidate John Deverell.

“Among those who still bother to vote, half are unable to elect a representative to Parliament. Half of us are required to pay taxes without having a democratic voice, and this is unacceptable,” said Deverell.

“I am thrilled that John Deverell has chosen to join us and work with the Green Party to rid this country of the perverse system of voting called First Past the Post (FPTP). Only FPTP would allow a minority of voters to create a majority government. We need to make sure every vote counts,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands.

John Deverell is a former president of the Southern Ontario Newsmedia Guild and Founding Treasurer of Fair Vote Canada, the national multi-partisan campaign for equal effective votes and proportional representation.

Deverell joined the Liberal Party of Canada in 2011 hoping that it would be ready to rethink its traditional defense of FPTP voting systems. During the Liberal leadership campaign he worked for Vancouver MP Joyce Murray, among the candidates the only advocate of proportional representation.

John Deverell recently resigned from the Liberal Party to join the Green Party of Canada. “Under the leadership of Elizabeth May, the Green Party offers Canadian voters the most trustworthy instrument for democratic reform and new economic policy directions,” said Deverell.

Seeking Candidate for Toronto Centre By-Election

Posted by on 25 Aug 2013 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

Here’s the Green Party of Canada’s notice about our candidate search. This time I will not be seeking nomination, am very much looking forward to being active in our upcoming campaign.

Hello Toronto Centre GPC member:
We urgently need your help. The by-election to replace our current M.P., who has resigned, must be held by mid-February, and could now be called at any time. As result, on August 21, the Green Party of Canada’s Campaign Committee declared Electoral Urgency for Toronto Centre.
The Green Party in Toronto Centre is getting ready. That means staying connected with our network of supporters, and planning our election campaign. Green results in all of our most recent federal elections have been impressive, and we have great potential to do even better this time. Discussions in anticipation of this campaign already began at our AGM in June, and yielded volunteer commitments from attendees, both longstanding members and new.
Our candidates come via our members, so we need you to identify a candidate for your riding. Here’s how you can help now:
• consider being a candidate yourself
• think about people you already know in the riding who would make great Green MPs
• think about green people who are active in the riding – maybe you’ve seen their names in a community newspaper, or they’re visible through involvement in business, volunteer work, schools, churches, non-profit groups, women’s organizations. Retirees make great candidates – they have time, networks and life experience.
• forward the names of potential candidates, and their phone numbers if you have them.

Please see below for contact information. We can do the asking! This is what makes a good candidate:
• active in the community
• green-thinking and understands the issues
• wants to make a difference
• articulate and personable
• prepared to put in several months of campaigning, including evenings and weekends
• ideally lives in the riding

Nominations will close at midnight on Wednesday, August 28. Then, Green Party members in Toronto Centre will hear from me as to the resulting next steps. This promises to be an exciting and rewarding time for the Toronto Centre Greens!

Membership: You must be a member of the Green Party of Canada and a resident of Toronto Centre to vote in a nomination meeting for the riding. If your membership has lapsed or will expire soon, please consider renewing it online at, or phone at 1-866-868-3447.

Please contact me for more information, or to send names of potential candidates. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Kindest Regards,
Rebecca Harrison, Senior Organizer, Green Party of Canada
905-999-5479 (local call from Toronto)

Video – Fixing Canada’s Electoral System: Four Fallacies

Posted by on 05 Oct 2012 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

Thoughtful audience, worthwhile discussion for the talk described in the post below this one; here’s the video.

Fixing Canada’s Electoral System: Four Fallacies

Posted by on 16 Sep 2012 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

Metta Spencer, President, Science for Peace and Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto, organizes a free lecture series every year, called Vital Discussions of Human Security. This year, I’m one of the speakers. Here are the details.

Topic – Fixing Canada’s Electoral System: Four Fallacies
Date & Time – Thursday, September 20, 7-9pm
Location – University College, University of Toronto, 15 King’s College Circle, Room 052 (east end of building, basement)

Topics I’ll explore include:

    – how our current majority government gained power,
    – options and implications for electoral reform,
    – political parties, and
    – grass-roots efforts.

Two hours means plenty of time for discussion – please join us.

For details on the full lecture series, which runs from September 13 through April 4, 2013, please click here.

The series is co-sponsored by University College Health Studies Programme, Canadian Pugwash Group, Voice of Women for Peace, and Science for Peace. The lectures are all free of charge, and promise much food for thought.

Democracy Day, Sat. Sep. 15, 2012

Posted by on 14 Sep 2012 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

PR 101
Invitation from Fair Vote Canada, Toronto:
“PR 101: A Crash Course in Proportional Representation

As part of Democracy Day, we invite you to attend PR101.

We’ll explore the flaws of our current voting system, and introduce you to various forms of Proportional Representation. PR is the most common electoral system in the world, because it guarantees that all votes count, and that all voices are heard. We’ll look at models including Regional List, Mixed Member Proportional, and the Single Transferable Vote. We’ll also give you insight on how politicians adapt to a PR system. If you want to become an advocate for democratic renewal, this is the place to start.

Special guests: Wayne Smith, Executive Director of FairVote Canada and Ellen Michelson, Green Party Toronto Centre.”

7pm, 215 Spadina Avenue (Centre for Social Innovation)
All Welcome – Free of Charge

Toronto Ukrainian Festival

Posted by on 14 Sep 2012 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

The Green Party will be in the parade, starting at 11am, from High Park, and among the speakers, I’ll be bringing greetings on behalf of Elizabeth.
Bloor West Village Toronto Ukrainian Festival 2012

Cabbagetown Festival

Posted by on 04 Sep 2012 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

On Sunday, September 9, we’ll be at our Green Party table, looking forward to chatting with you – please stop by.
Cabbagetown Festival

Sunday In The Park, July 8, 2012

Posted by on 04 Jul 2012 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

Sunday in the Park, July 8, 2012-Lord Dufferin School, Parliament south of Gerrard, from noon
Please come by the Toronto Centre Greens’ table for a chat, a freeze-pop, a spider plantlet and more. Sunday in the Park is so enjoyable, every year.
Lord Dufferin School, west side of Parliament south of Gerrard, from noon, this Sunday, July 8

Pride Toronto Parade, Sun. July 1

Posted by on 28 Jun 2012 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

Join GPO Leader Mike Schreiner & Greens from across the province-meet before 1:45pm at Bloor/Ted Rogers Way (Parade Entry F20).

Second Democracy Salon, Wed. June 27, 2012

Posted by on 20 Jun 2012 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

The Canadian Electoral Alliance is growing! Attendees at the first Democracy Salon decided to plan a public town hall panel discussion. Questions to be explored could include:
* what is the role of electoral reform in the 2015 election?
* how is cross-party cooperation different from merging political parties?
* where do social and environmental issues fit into this discussion?

Please come to the next meeting to help plan this panel.
Wednesday evening, June 27, 6:30-8:30 pm
Alterna Savings Meeting Room, 4th floor, Centre for Social Innovation,
215 Spadina Ave.

At our first meeting, some people had difficulty getting into the building. If the front door is locked, and no volunteer to guide you to the meeting is in view, please call 647-502-7322, and someone will come down and let you in.

more info on this meeting: Second Democracy Salon

Questions? Comments?

Democracy Salon, Wed. June 6, 2012

Posted by on 05 Jun 2012 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

A number of groups have been forming across Canada, in response to the fact that only 39% of those who voted last spring elected a majority government. Some groups are focusing on electoral reform, some on cross-party cooperation, some on planning specifically for the 2015 election, while others see these strategies as means to the end of affecting government policies on environmental responsibility, social justice, arts and culture, and more.

In Toronto, a group started forming this past fall that decided to call itself the Canadian Electoral Alliance. I was invited to participate, to enable Green Party of Canada policies and concerns to be heard. I was mostly in Ottawa then, volunteering for Elizabeth in her parliamentary office; Elizabeth enthusiastically clarified policies she was pleased to have me convey, at the meetings I was able to attend on my weekend trips to Toronto. (Once, when I couldn’t be here, the group even enabled me to participate by telephone from Ottawa.)

The Alliance, here in Toronto, is keen to reach all who have concerns about the future of Canada. You can learn more about the Alliance at and reach the Alliance at .

The Alliance’s first Democracy Salon is this coming
Wednesday evening, June 6, 6:30-8:30 pm,
Alterna Savings Meeting Room, 4th floor, Centre for Social Innovation,
215 Spadina Ave.
If the front door of the building is locked, you can enter via the café at the south end of the building. The Alterna Room is on the right, once you pass the information desk on the fourth floor.

John Bessai, the alliance chair, will be leading the meeting’s programme. We’ll be sharing ideas, and also fresh iced mint tea, from the plants that have just about taken over my balcony.


Posted by on 04 Jun 2012 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

“Right now, Parliament is pushing through a bill to weaken many of the country’s most important environmental protection measures and silence the voices of all Canadians who seek to defend nature.”
One way I can show concern is to darken this website today, June 4. As I don’t have the know-how to do that, I’m trying to publicize this issue here instead.
Click here for info.

Free Literary Pub Night tonight, May 23

Posted by on 23 May 2012 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

This evening, at the NOW Lounge, 189 Church at Shuter, about a dozen readers, including me, will share our work. Please come.

The Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) Toronto Chapter and the Canadian Authors Association (CAA) are hosting a literary pub night this evening, starting at 7 p.m.

Food and drink will be available, at cost for attendees. The event itself is free, and open to the public. Here’s the link for more info. Registration is appreciated, not mandatory.

Toronto Centre Greens AGM Tues. April 3

Posted by on 27 Mar 2012 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

7 p.m., 140 Carlton Street, party room (main floor)

Did you know? Toronto Centre is the name of our riding, both federally and provincially. EDA stands for Electoral District Association. That’s the term for the group of Green Party of Canada members who live in a specific riding. CA stands for Constituency Association, the term for the group of Green Party of Ontario members who live in a specific riding. Our meeting is efficiently Green – it’s combining our EDA & CA annual general meetings.

All are welcome. To vote, you need to be a member for at least 30 days before the meeting. EDA & CA memberships are separate – you can be a member of either or both. You can join or renew online. links: and
Memberships will be available at the meeting. Lapsed members (membership ended less than one year ago) can renew at the meeting and vote.

Consider standing for an executive position to help build our riding associations and promote Green Party policies. Positions are elected at every AGM & include the following.
EDA (federal): Chief Executive Officer; Financial Agent; Secretary; Membership, Fundraising, Organizing & Communication Chairs; Member-at-large (up to 4)
CA (provincial): President; Chief Financial Officer; Secretary; Membership, Communications, Fundraising & Youth Chairs
more info:

Our meeting will feature snacks by chef par excellence Mark Daye, our candidate in the recent provincial election and now GPO Shadow Cabinet critic for Community & Social Services. While munching, you’ll be able to learn a little more about my Ottawa experiences than you can read on my blogs below – there’ll be a brief slide/sound show. A short chat about Ottawa was part of the original meeting plans, but then a new grandchild arrived early, so I’ll be out of town, with him and his parents.

Please come – there just might be some baby photos …

From My Desk On The Hill-Views from Centre Block

Posted by on 17 Mar 2012 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

All are from the front steps – facing straight ahead (south), toward West Block, and toward East Block.

Regular meetings of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development’s Subcommittee on International Human Rights brought me to Centre Block, as did two luncheons Elizabeth hosted in the dining room, the press conference for the bill on establishing a Canadian Department of Peace … and Question Period.

The nuclear disarmament forum described below took place in East Block, where Sir John A.’s office is still maintained. His desk, as seen these days, is laden!

The little bus in the Centre Block photo is one of a fleet, circulating constantly around the federal government buildings on and near The Hill. The wait for one is never long. The buses are mostly green – nice to learn that green is the traditional colour for the House of Commons. Everyone’s so companionable, the short rides are a pleasure, but I almost always walked. My quick jaunts in the brisk air were invigorating.

looking south from Centre Block, showing green bus & city view

Behind the green bus is the path up to Centre Block from Wellington Street.

Just beyond West Block, across Bank Street, is the Confederation Building, where Elizabeth's office is located.

Some of the elaborate figures on the Centre Block building are visible on both this photo and the one above.

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