MP Spotlight: What have your environmental champions been up to?

Before the 2015 federal election, we released 18 candidates endorsements from across the political spectrum. We looked for candidates that had a proven track record of leading on environmental initiatives and moving the needle forward on environmental issues. We've since been tracking the 14 endorsed MPs that were elected and want to share what they've been up to recently. 

Note: these are not our endorsements for the 2019 federal election; those will be released later in the summer. 

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One Year Later: Catching Up with Mike Schreiner

GreenPAC endorsed Mike Schreiner in the 2018 Ontario election because of his lifelong commitment to the environment. Mike was one of five MPPs (from all parties) our supporters helped elect in Ontario. One year later, we’re sitting down with Mike to talk about his journey to politics and what he’s been up to since his election.

This interview has been edited and condensed.    

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My experience so far as a GreenPAC Parliamentary Intern

Coming into the GreenPAC Parliamentary internship, I wasn’t sure what to expect. My education is almost exclusively in ecology and evolutionary biology, meaning that I could happily tell you about biostatistics, conservation, and natural selection, but not about how a law is made in Canada. However, I couldn’t help feeling frustrated that politicians refuse to incorporate the increasingly grim climate change predictions into their political machinations.

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Quiet, Still, and at Peace: Growing up in North Frontenac

In 1965, my grandfather, Frank Baron, did something no one expected him to do — he bought a plot of land on the southern shore of Kashwakamak Lake, in North Frontenac, Ontario. There was nothing unique about it — one of many dagger-shaped lakes slicing through the Canadian Shield with only a few cottages on its shores — but he saw something special there.

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GreenPAC Parliamentary Internship Half-Year Round-Up

This past September, GreenPAC launched its Parliamentary Internship for the Environment, sending three highly talented young interns - Mavis Chan, Nancy Xue, and Ella Harvey - into the Hill offices of Liberal, NDP, and Green Party Members of Parliament. Our fourth intern - Jesse Hitchcock - started January 2019 with Conservative MP Michael Chong. Let’s take a look back to see what they’ve been up to.

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Meet our Parliamentary Interns

In September 2018, three interns, GreenPAC’s Executive Director, and its newest team member piled into a car loaded with tents and sleeping bags, bound from Ottawa for Gatineau Park. This was no ordinary camping trip: it was a three-night orientation, in an unconventional setting, for GreenPAC’s inaugural Parliamentary Internship for the Environment.

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In the Ontario Campaign, Millennial Voters Make the Difference

By Amanda Harvey Sánchez

As the Ontario election enters its final week, one of the big questions on pundits’ minds is how millennials—that coveted group of younger voters born between the early 1980s and early 2000s—will shape the campaign result.

It’s the first campaign ever where “unpredictable millennial voters” outnumber baby boomers on the list of eligible voters. As CBC pointed out in a weekend analysis, "if they are engaged and they turn out and vote, and turn out collectively for one party, they can shift the outcome," But banking on youth voter turnout is often presented as a risky proposition.

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Toronto Star Backs GreenPAC Endorsee Mike Schreiner in Guelph Campaign

Mike Schreiner (G, Guelph) became the first of GreenPAC’s eight endorsed candidates to receive a major media endorsement this week, when the Toronto Star encouraged voters in his riding to make the provincial Green leader his party’s first sitting member of the provincial legislature.

“It would not be an unwelcome development at all if the electors of Guelph were to decide on June 7 to make a little Ontario history,” the paper’s editorial board stated, after meeting Schreiner for a sit-down interview. “By dint of Schreiner’s own optimistic personality, or perhaps the candour that comes from having nothing to lose, it is arguably the Green leader who has been the most forthright leader in the campaign for the June 7 Ontario election.”

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It’s Official. Campaigns Matter.

With Ontario’s election officially under way, CBC is out with a curtain-raiser on the four-week campaign that sums up GreenPAC’s reason for being in one succinct phrase:

The campaign will matter.

The news report isn’t about environmental priorities in the election, or environmental leadership at Queen’s Park. But it points toward a key opportunity for GreenPAC supporters over the next four weeks: Whatever your political persuasion, with nearly half of Ontario voters still undecided about who they’ll support on Election Day, the next 24 days are a prime opportunity to find the candidate you most want to support, step up for their campaign, and advance the environmental values we hold in common.

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Ontario’s at the Starting Gate. GreenPAC is Ready.

With the official election period in Ontario set to begin in less than a week, it’s exciting to realize that GreenPAC is better prepared for the campaign than we’ve ever been before.

We issued our seven candidate endorsements earlier than in previous campaigns.

Hundreds of people across the province have already filled out our Candidate Matching Tool (here’s why you should, too), and many of them have pledged donations to the candidates of their choice.

We’re connecting more active volunteers with our endorsed campaigns.

We’re making better, more strategic use of phone, email, and social media to help our supporters find and connect with the endorsed candidates who match up with their own environmental priorities and political values.

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