Green Talk with Stephen Kotze - theHumm September 2019
Green Talk with Stephen Kotze - theHumm September 2019
By Chandler Swain
In my life’s work in the visual arts, especially as it relates to creative, healthy communities, the environment is never far from the centre of what I (and many artists) find most relevant. I joined Pollution Probe in 1969 when I was still in high school (when the big issue was acid rain), and then supported Greenpeace as it brought issue after issue to our attention through the years, and I have remained an activist ever since. Recently, information coming from the world’s leading scientists has shown us the reality of our climate crisis, and I have wondered how to help make a difference. Enter my decades-long affiliation with the Green Party. Like many I have often voted strategically, but this time around it’s clear that the Greens have such an important part to play in helping direct policy to ensure the future on our one and only planetary home, so I am committed to helping our excellent candidate for the Green Party win in this riding. I thought that asking Stephen Kotze a few questions about the Greens would be useful. You can also read up on their “Mission Possible” 20 Point Plan at greenparty.ca .
Chandler Swain: I understand that you entered the race for the Green Party nomination close to the last minute, and that you do not have a history in party politics. What prompted you to run for the Green Party in this election?
Stephen Kotze: My decision stemmed from a frustration, shared with many others, about the way that politics is conducted. I think we need more “ordinary” people in Parliament to represent us, and fewer career politicians. I have a lot of real life and business experience to bring to the table. I’m not running to further my career or life ambitions; I’m doing this as an act of service to the people of this riding. We are in a climate crisis and the mainstream parties are simply not rising to the challenge. I think the Green Party provides a fresh vision and an action plan, and will deliver. Most importantly, I know that the Green Party can win in this riding and I was moved to lead the work needed to make it happen.
What do you feel is the most important message the Green Party has for voters in this time of climate crisis?
What is happening in the world is an emergency and we need to act accordingly. We must be willing to work together, across party lines, as our forebears did when faced with the emergency of World War II. We need to put political differences aside and get down to doing the work that is needed to turn our current situation around. The Green Party’s 20-point “Mission Possible” climate action plan is comprehensive, practical, and achievable greenparty.ca/en/mission-possible .
How do you respond to the criticism that the Green Party is essentially a one-issue party?
Anyone who has listened to Elizabeth May, the federal Green Party leader, understands that the party is anything but a one-issue party. The Green Party has developed well-thought-out policies that address the full range of issues facing Canadians. High on the list is a solid financial management and job creation program — doing more to keep jobs in Canada and building our capacity to compete in a rapidly changing world — and safeguarding and enhancing our social programs that are so important to people on fixed incomes and to our quality of life.
Why do you think the Green Party can win in Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston?
I’ve lived here for 35 years and I know that there are a lot of people in this area who are supportive of the Green Party, or lean in that direction, but who have voted “strategically” for the NDP or Liberals, or don’t vote at all because they think that their vote won’t have an impact. I want to encourage these people, this time around, to vote Green. In addition, I think that if rural conservatives listen to what we have to say, they may see that the Green Party addresses their concerns more accurately than the current Conservative party; today’s Conservative Party of Canada is not the same as the Progressive Conservatives of yesteryear. If we rally these votes, along with the general increase in support for the Green Party across the country, I think we have a serious chance of winning here. Many people lack awareness of what the Green Party stands for and what it has to offer. I’m trying to change that.
By Sally Hansen
Art… and Soul
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Great Music for a Green Party Stephen Kotze Fundraiser a Star-Studded Affair! - theHumm September 2019
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Performing in this stellar show will be Juno nominee James Keelaghan, multiple Juno award-winner......
The Ontario Festival of Small Halls is embarking on a musical wanderluster’s dream schedule this month — bringing stunningly creative forces in Canadian music to intimate settings close to home from September 12 to 29. The Festival will be shaking up small stages for the sixth consecutive year, offering extraordinary chemistry and charm throughout three weeks of musical bliss in places like Almonte, Balderson, Tatlock, Pakenham and more.
Musical mavericks, trusty veterans and awe-in......
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