For Immediate Release – 23 April 2018
(HALIFAX) – Thirty members, guests, and observers of the Green Party of Nova Scotia gathered this weekend at the L’Arche Hall in Wolfville. The weekend marks the second Annual General Meeting since the Party’s near-dissolution in 2016.
In the last year, leadership reported that the membership has more than doubled. The 2017 election saw the Green Party run a slate of 32 candidates, and attain a record vote share of over 5%.
“We have really spent the last eight months building a solid foundation for growth,” noted Thomas Trappenberg, Party leader. “Ensuring that our regional grassroots members are supported had to be done before anything else. The election hit us so fast during our party’s recovery, we were in high gear. It was important to step back and make sure that our base was solid.”
Building Connections with Mi’kmaq Communities
In the last year, Deputy Leader Jessica Alexander reported making a special effort to build the Party’s connection with Mi’kmaq communities. “We approached the Sipekne’katik Water Protectors with an offer to stand with them. We tried to be humble and respectful. We learned a lot about how to be supportive allies, and we know we have a great deal more to learn. We feel it is incredibly important to open spaces for indigenous voices.”
The Party invited Trevor Sanipass to open the conference with an education session on Mi’kmaq spirituality and culture. Sanipass, who ran for the NDP in the last election, is the great-great-grandson of the last hereditary Grand Chief, John Denny Jr. Donning his ribbon shirt, Sanipass shared the Honour Song and tips for working respectfully and effectively with Mi’kmaq allies and offered a smudging to open the day.
A by-law amendment passed by consensus changed the party’s approach to including indigenous voices, allowing any members of indigenous origins to develop a suitable process and approach on their own terms.
(Political) Climate Change
Green Party of Canada Deputy Leader Jo-Ann Roberts delivered a morning keynote address, noting the success of the Greens in New Brunswick, PEI and British Columbia as a sign that the political climate is shifting in favour of the party. Later in the day, Thomas Trappenberg echoed this sentiment, noting that times have changed and the time has come to shut down the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou.
The day closed with a panel of cannabis experts—Myrna Gillis, entrepreneur and lawyer; Kenny Lord, consultant; and Andrew Laughlin, retailer—who discussed the state of the cannabis industry in a wide-ranging presentation. The party noted policy opportunities related to health, justice, business and agriculture.
-Photos to follow-