Saturday, December 31, 2005

NTV News Spot

Michael Conners of NTV conducted an interview with me on Dec 21st which quickly aired that night. I was very impressed with how well it turned out and was very happy that there was no negative spin taken. Great promotion for the start of the campaign...

There was also a article posted on the NTV website ( written also by Michael.

Local Green candidate tries to overcome seal hunt platform
by Michael Connors
December 21, 2005

It's never easy for new political parties to get traction in this province. For local Green Party candidates, the job has been made even more difficult by their leader's opposition to the seal hunt. Stephen Harris is running for the Greens in St. John's East. He likes the party'’s vision of ending the conflict between the environment and the economy. The party's policy of "tax shifting" would place more taxes on junk food and companies that pollute, and ease the burden on healthy food and clean industries. But that message doesn't get much attention in Newfoundland and Labrador. Instead, party leader Jim Harris came to St. John'’s on Dec. 1 and called on the federal government to stop supporting the seal hunt. Mr. Harris says he hasnÂ’t heard about anything else from voters since. He says he has gotten many e-mails complaining about the platform. The seal hunt has been an ongoing source of conflict between the national Green Party and its membership in this province. People who supported the party in the past have left, including the party's nominee in Labrador, because of the platform. Mr. Harris says he personally supports the seal hunt as long as it is conducted in an environmentally sustainable manner. But he has stayed with the party because he believes its overall message is worth fighting for. He admits the Greens will have a tough time in Newfoundland and Labrador. While the party has only a handful of nominations to fill across the rest of the country, four of the seven ridings in this province still do not have Green candidates. Mr. Harris worries that if the party is going to run in all 308 districts again, it will have to resort to parachuting candidates from other provinces.

A special thanks to Michael Conners and NTV for the opportunity to speak my mind and further spread the awareness of the Green Party.

Visit thier website:

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Bus Fuss

The Metrobus here in St. John's has a really great service whereby for 2 dollars you get a ride and a copy of the days Telegram. On January 2nd, I doubt I'll be grabbing a paper anymore because 2 bucks will only get me a ride due to Metrobus' decision to hike the rates.

While I can understand why the rate hike came, I'm completely disgusted by it. Right now, on average, I'm paying $24.50 a week or $98.00 per month whereas in January that will rise to $28.00 a week and $112.00 a month. That's a significant increase if you ask me and a deterrent from using the service. In this day an age when we should
be promoting the use of public transportation to clear our roads and clean our air, hiking the rates will only do the opposite. Like with many other things, we are moving backwards as a society.

If only there was a way to promote the use of bus systems so that more citizens use it. With an election upon us, I suggest that the people of St. John's express their disdain with the rate hike and see what the local candidates are going to do about it. I know that the Green Party has a policy in their platform to make all bus passes tax deductible which would indeed lessen inhibitions from using the bus service but, what do the others plan to do? This I'd like to know. As a concerned citizen worried about the amount of vehicles driving today and subsequently the amount of toxins being released into the air, I deserve to know.

Green Seal of Dissaproval

This is my personal response to the Jim Harris' stance on the commercial Seal Hunt.

The Green party of Canada is founded apon six fundamental principles; Ecological Wisdom, Social Justice, Non Violence, Sustainability, Respect for Diversity and Participatory Democracy. All of these values are extreamly important however, the one I believe is essential to the growth of Government is the latter of the 6. The Green Party strives for a democracy in which all citizens have the right to express their views, and are able to directly participate in the environmental, economic, social and political decisions which affect their lives. One of the ways they've already started to impliment this is by way of the Living Platform; an online discussion of all the Green party's values whereby anyone of any age, gender, race or political affiliation can have their say on how they think a Green Party government should be ran. Their wish is to open up debate to more people than ever ensuring that everyone has their say on thier future.

This brings me to my point. Recently, Jim Harris (Leader of the Green Party) visited Newfoundland and Labrador and expressed his views on the annual Seal Hunt. Many were angered when Mr. Harris said that "It's time to end federal support for the seal hunt and instead use federal programs to develop sustainable jobs that will bring Newfoundland and Labrador international praise". I was one of those many.

As a supporter of the Green Party I can understand Mr. Harris's view however, the leader truly doesn't understand how important this industry is to Newfoundland and Labrador. It seems only those who are native to the province can understand the importance and it's truly sad that so many "upalongs", "mainlanders", non-Newfoundland a Labradorians are mislead about the seal hunt. It's not an industry of brutallity and 'baby seal whacking' (on a side not, I agree with Cathy Jones, Bill Lankhof IS an asshole) that everybody believes it is. It's astonishing that so many people assume that baby white coat seals are clobbered just because organizations like Green Peace use it as thier poster child when in fact, these seals aren't even harmed.

I do agree that it's time for our province to start pursuing sustanibile industries If the seal hunt is mananged property to ensure only what's needed is taken and all that is taken is used, then the industrly would indeed continue to be sustainable. I'm a strong supporter of the ways of old where thousands of people existed by way of hunter/gatherer. These people would scour the land gathering food and killing animals to feed apon... however, they would only take or kill what they need. There was no stockpilling of meat or sport hunting thus ensuring that there would always be plant and animal life to live off for generations to come.

This is my participation to the democracy. I want Mr. Harris and the rest of the country to hear my voice on this issue and will do whatever possible to make sure all of the voices of Newfoundland and Labrador are heard. A well managed, publically informed hunt is a sustainable way of life and should never be banned completly. The effects to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador are too severe to do so.

Stephen Harris
Green Party Candidate - St. John's East

The Welcome post

Every new blog has one; a welcome post. Here's ours... welcome...

This is a place for Green Party candidates in Newfoundland and Labrdor to express thier opinions and hopefully open themselves up to a wider audience.

Questions, concerns and replies are always welcome so please don't hesitate to make a reply.