What happened in our Calgary meeting – and what you will be asked to ratify

Elizabeth May

We emerged united and energized from a very successful meeting in Calgary. We have reconfirmed our commitment to our traditional core values as a party. These values include the commitment to respectful, thoughtful consensus-seeking decision making.

Key policy positions and directives were endorsed. We are also returning to our previous practice of seeking your confirmation of the decisions taken by Green Party members gathered in any general meeting.

Please look carefully at the ballot you will be receiving. I am very happy that all the motions being sent out for ratification were the products of a consensus-seeking process. Many were unanimous. Those that moved to a vote were passed overwhelmingly. I support all of them.


  1. S16-P001 Implement Recommendations from the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples Report, 1996

  2. S16-P002 Rebuilding and Recognition of Original Indigenous Nations

  3. S16-P003 Support Indigenous Women

  4. S16-P004 Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery

  5. S16-P005 Indigenous Peoples' Health Care in Canada

  6. S16-P013 Measures to pressure the government of Israel to preserve the two-state solution: addendum to current Middle East policy

  7. S16-P017 Extreme Genetic Technologies

  8. S16-P020 Husky Oil Spill

  9. S16-D001 Affirm the value of consensus based governance

  10. S16-D002 Affirm the democratic principle of post meeting ratification votes open to all members of the party

  11. S16-D010 Directive to list names of all Electoral District Associations (EDAs) under “Party Structure” on website

  12. S16-D015 Action to Overturn the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain and Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline Decisions and Oppose the TransCanada Energy East Pipeline

  13. S16-D017 Referendum

  14. S16-D018 Preferred Voting Model

  15. S16-D019 GPC Task Force

We passed five motions that dramatically improve our policies on indigenous issues. (S16-P001, S16-P002, S16-P003, S16-P004, and S16-P005.) With your approval in ratification, we will be the first party in Canada to renounce the doctrine of discovery and to press for an end to poverty among indigenous women.

We adopted a progressive policy to address a new threat in genetic engineering: CRISPR technology (S16-P017).

Members unanimously voted on several measures to address pipeline threats (Kinder Morgan emergency) and pipeline leaks and spills (Husky motion from August).

On the process of policy development, we asked council to create a Committee on Motion Development, to improve the coherence and advance consideration of proposals going to meetings of members. We also reconfirmed our commitment to consensus decision-making and verifying ratification votes by members.

For the first time in Green Party history, we decided on a preferred voting system. While not opposing other voting systems that deliver proportionality, we decided that strategically it was time to name a preferred system. This will ease the challenge of explaining the alternative to FPTP to many Canadians. We have passed a motion (unanimously) for Mixed Member Proportional (MMP). We have also accepted the idea of a referendum. Greens will only support a referendum before 2019 IF it only tests between various options for proportional voting, or including the option of First Past the Post or proportional systems following two elections using a proportional voting system. One last motion passed was a directive to council to conduct a national public education campaign for fair voting. (S16-D017, S16-D018, S16-D019.)

Lastly, on the very controversial motion from August, supporting BDS, we were able to support the consensus motion developed through hard work and good faith by Shadow Cabinet. In repealing the August motion, we adopted a principled, targeted set of measures, in addition to our current Middle East policy. It means that the Green Party takes a strong stand for Palestinian rights, for an end to illegal expansion of settlements by the Netanyahu government, while adopting the labeling of goods, differentiating between products of Israel, and products made in illegally occupied territories. It did not achieve full consensus, but passed with 85% support. The consensus resolution specifies other sanctions and measures. Members should review the consensus resolution in full to see what those sanctions and measures are. I hope you will support it as well (S16-P013).

Thanks so much to all of you for expressing support for my leadership.  But it takes all of us, working together, to achieve Electoral Reform, stop Kinder Morgan and secure real action on climate change. Your generous year end donation is how you can show us that we are on the right track and that you support our collective efforts to make these campaigns a success. Remember your tax credit is just around the corner.