Meeting held on August 26, 2020
Tony Van Bynen, MP Newmarket-Aurora
Organizing staff Sarah and Maria
10 constituents, all members of Drawdown Newmarket-Aurora (Dianne Stevens, Teresa Porter, Sandy MacKenzie, Peggy Stevens, Dave Kempton, Toktam Jahandideh, Dawn Horsetead, Catherine Blue, Irene Bazos, Fran Bazos)
The Leadnow introduction was followed with all present including Tony
Fran thanked Tony for meeting with us and introduced him to the group
Teresa read the Land Acknowledgement.
Thanked Tony and the federal government for their hard work so far in supporting constituents through the COVID crisis.
Said we’d like to share our concerns around the government’s plans for the next steps in the recovery effort from COVD. We are looking for a Just Recovery.
The next steps of the recovery are going to be key, and as your constituents, we want to bring you some of our concerns and ideas.
Everyone on the call introduced themselves and stated why a Just Recovery was important to them.
Gave the preamble & outlined the 6 principles.
Question 1: Do you support the 6 principles of a Just Recovery from COVID-19 that prioritizes people over corporations, creates millions of jobs, and builds a thriving green economy?
1. Put our health first, with no exceptions.
Tony’s response: As a father and grandfather, he can align with the 6 principles. He is a member of the government’s health committee.
2. Tackle the climate crisis and build resilience against future crises.
Tony’s response: The environment is a priority for him. He would like to organize a roundtable in October/November, and have the Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Marc Miller present. One of the reasons he chose to run in the election was because of Climate Change.
3. Strengthen the social security net and ensure relief flows directly to people.
Tony’s response: He is a member of an Anti-Poverty group. The health committee had a speaker and he wants to introduce them to the Anti-Poverty committee and have them speak.
4. Prioritize workers and communities.
The government topped up the salaries of health care workers. The Long Term Care homes issue will appear in the Throne Speech.
5. Build equity across communities, generations and borders.
Tony’s response: He was in a zoom meeting with NACA [I did not get the acronym recorded correctly] and a committee on Black communities.
6. Uphold Indigenous rights and work in partnership with Indigenous peoples.
Tony’s response: His daughter and his wife are both interested in this issue, as he is, so there will be 3 people working on this at his house! He is glad that we are presenting these principles.
Diane: gave the preamble and asked
Question 2: Do you support applying ambitious climate conditions to stimulus and funding programs, to ensure that any stimulus package moves us towards net-zero by 2050?
Tony’s response: This is one of the government’s commitments. Putting a price on pollution was a step in the right direction. He endorses this. He read a book called The Third Industrial Revolution: how lateral power is transforming energy, the economy and the world. It references renewable energy and fossil fuels. Green recovery is a priority for him and his government.
Question 3: Do you commit to working in cooperation with other parties, to ensure a Just Recovery?
Tony’s response: Yes he does. He read the book Teardown: Rebuilding Democracy From the Ground Up. He referred to the types of democracy in Scandinavian countries.
Question 4: To ensure accountability, do you agree to another meeting in September?
Tony’s response: Absolutely! After Parliament returns on September 23rd and after the Throne Speech would likely make the most sense. He would like to have an ongoing dialogue with Drawdown. He referred to the roundtable he is involved in that will be happening in October or November. He suggested that we meet again around October sometime. He would like to work with us on a Just Recovery Town Hall.
Additional Questions that were asked by attendees:
Dianne asked: Is there some way we can mitigate partisan politics?
Tony answered: There are some non-partisan politics things that are happening right now. He referred to the Green Party.
Dianne asked: Could we lobby the CBC because it often reports on the nasty side of politics?
Tony answered: Contacting the CBC is an option. As well, writing letters to the editor is another option.
Dave Kempton asked: Is your government willing to stop fossil fuel subsidies?
Tony answered: It is the government’s intention to move towards a green economy.
Tony, Sarah and Maria were thanked for their participation.
Notes by Sandy MacKenzie