For Immediate Release – December 11, 2017
“There were two big misses in the provincial government’s announcement of cannabis regulations last week,” says Green Party of Nova Scotia Leader Thomas Trappenberg.
Firstly, “Nova Scotians we have heard from are frustrated that a monopoly was given, and to a government corporation. This was an ideal opportunity to support entrepreneurship, and they blew it.”
Social media reaction on Thursday and Friday indicated there are already many local entrepreneurs who have been developing business models based on the coming legalisation. BC, PEI, and other jurisdictions are working to provide opportunities for private retail sellers of recreational cannabis. Nova Scotia has a robust entrepreneurial spirit, and this was a prime opportunity for grassroots job creation.
The second error is one of omission.
Neither the federal government nor any provincial government have indicated a willingness to address the racial injustices committed during the so-called war on drugs. An overwhelming number of those targeted and incarcerated for possession-related infractions have been First Nations or Black Canadians. Many families have been torn apart and many lives have been ruined by incarceration for marijuana possessions charges.
“At the very least pardons could be offered to Nova Scotians charged with cannabis possession offences since medicinal marijuana was approved,” notes Trappenberg. “We have a lot of work to do to ensure a fair and equitable treatment of minority groups in our province. This could be a huge step.”
Opportunities to build local agriculture also seem to be slipping away as large, centralized companies purchase smaller ones. Toronto brokerage Catalyst Cultivator Corps recently announced their purchase of Antigonish’s THC Dispensaries Inc.
“Regulating legal cannabis sales is a great way to build a stronger economy and improve social justice while weakening organized criminal groups. It’s too bad the government chose to create their regulations without really listening to Nova Scotians.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 15, 2017
“Can’t we be leaders for once?”
(Halifax) The Leader of the Green Party of Nova Scotia has joined the call for a moratorium on street checks.
“Within the Police Act, the Minister of Justice has the ability to regulate this practice. It’s time to stop it,” said Thomas Trappenberg. “Ontario has already done it. Can’t we in Nova Scotia be leaders for once?”
The practice has been demonstrated in Halifax Regional Municipality to unfairly target and penalize members of the African Nova Scotian community.
“The police chief in Halifax claims to see benefit from this practice,” said Trappenberg. “I suggest the benefits do not outweigh the harm.” Social justice is one of the key principles of the Green Party.
A former police officer, Robyn Ivy Atwell, recently circulated a letter calling for a moratorium on street checks. In it, she noted:
“There’s a resonance in the arguments of those who see the current practice of street checks as a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which call for the freedom of association and equality. Yet as a group, the African Nova Scotian community suffers a more sinister breach of our Charter Rights. Section 12 says, “Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment”. Racialized street checks function as a form of unusual punishment for the charge of being Black.”
The Green Party of Nova Scotia calls on Stephen MacNeil’s government to act now to stop this unfair process.
For Immediate Release – June 28, 2017
(HALIFAX) – The Green Party of Nova Scotia rejects the position taken by the McNeil government on marine protected areas and calls for the government to support expanding ocean protection in marine waters surrounding Nova Scotia.
“The McNeil government is ignoring scientific evidence and jeopardizing the health of our oceans,” says Green Party Marine Affairs expert Martin Willison. In 1995, Willison co-edited Marine Protected Areas and Sustainable Fisheries: Proceedings of the Symposium on Marine Protected Areas.
“Even in 1995, the science was clear. Establishing marine protected areas is a necessary component of an overall ocean health strategy. Furthermore, scientific studies have repeatedly shown that setting aside marine areas does not diminish fisheries but enhances them by increasing fish stocks.”
Although the province has no jurisdiction in this regard, the federal government’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans is influenced by calls from provincial governments. Written statements opposing the expansion of marine protected areas in marine waters have been issued by three provincial ministers in Nova Scotia’s Liberal government: Energy ministers Samson in 2016 and MacLellan in 2017, and Fisheries minister Colwell in 2017.
Canada has committed to protecting 5% of Canadian marine waters by the end of 2017, with a goal of reaching 10% by 2020. Currently about 2.5% of Nova Scotian marine waters are recognized as protected.
Dr. WIllison says, “Protecting only 2.5% is woefully inadequate. The government cannot claim to take an evidence-based approach to environmental management while ignoring evidence.”
Willison notes that while marine protected areas may exclude petroleum exploration and development, this has not been the case in practice. Nevertheless, he says, sensitive marine areas (such as those rich in corals or whales) should not be put at risk by industrial development.
The Green Party of Nova Scotia supports the efforts of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to expand ocean protection in marine waters around Nova Scotia and supports the goal of doubling the total area protected under legislation by end of 2017.
May 26, 2017
For Immediate Release
(Halifax) The Green Party of Nova Scotia takes a principled stand against including costing in their platform.
“Big numbers sound impressive, that’s true,” says Green Party leader Thomas Trappenberg. “We’ve heard a lot from the old parties. A few million for this, a couple of thousand for that. Does anyone actually believe that these will end up being the actual numbers? Where is the accountability?”
He points out that the Liberals promised to end the monopoly on electricity rates in 2013, a promise that “hasn’t come up since.”
“One of the things we believe in is full cost accounting,” adds deputy leader Jessica Alexander. “For too long, we have heard these glossy promises at election time, and not only are the numbers almost never accurate, they don’t include what they consider externalities. So they don’t include the cost of the waste produced in the extraction of materials, the processing and manufacturing of products, nor the end of life disposal costs.” Calculating those costs is challenging, says Alexander, but essential for transparent governance.
Besides, the numbers often change after the election, Trappenberg notes.
“Sure, the party takes power and then blames the last guys for leaving a mess, so they can’t use the numbers they promised. It happens almost every election, unless the same party is voted back in, and then, they will say, ‘the currency fluctuated, the feds didn’t give us enough’, the excuses come out,” Alexander says.
The Green Party is hoping that Nova Scotia will follow the lead of PEI and New Brunswick, by electing its first Green member on May 30th.
For additional information, please contact:
Leader, Green Party of Nova Scotia
Charlene Boyce, Communications
Green Party of Nova Scotia