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LE MAGA ZINE DES JEUNES VERTS YOUNG GREENS NEWSLETTER * VOL 1 # 4 JAN 07 FABRIQUÉ AU C ANADA / MADE IN C ANADA

LE VERT, C’EST TENDENCE ! GREEN IS THE NEW BLACK! NUMÉRO SPÉCIAL VERT THE GREEN ISSUE

CONTENU UNE LEÇON SURPRENANTE TENDRE LE PONT ELECTORAL CAMPUS : MOINS D’ORDURES, PLUS DE VERDURES JEUNES VERTS : LES PREMIERS DE CÔTÉ, PUIS DE L’AVANT CONTENTS FIGHTING THE GREENWASH: OUR CHANCE TO LEAD GREEN IS THE NEW BLACK: TAKING SIDES ON CONSUMERISM RETURNING THE LANDSCAPE: PAINTING THE BACKYARD WOMEN’S EQUALITY, SAFETY, HEALTH YOUNG GREENS: FIRST BESIDE, THEN OUT FRONT ‘TIS THE SEASON TO CONVERT YOUR CONSERVATIVE DAD CAMPUS: LESS LITTER, MORE GREEN ERECTING THE ELECTORAL BRIDGE AN UNEXPECTED LESSON

CONTACT * THEUNDER STORY “AT ” GM AIL .COM //GENER ATIONGR EENBLOG . BLOGSP OT.COM // W W W.GENER ATIONGR EEN .C A REDACTEUR EN CHEF / MANAGING EDITOR * GWEN MAY REDACTEUR ADJOINT / SUBMISSIONS EDITOR * DARCY HIGGINS DIRECTEUR DU DESIGN / DESIGN EDITOR * ADAM SOMMERFELD


THE UNDERSTORY * MAGA ZINE DES JEUENES VERTS YOUNG GR EENS NE WSLE T TER * VOL 1 # 4 JAN 07

ERECTING THE ELECTORAL BRIDGE IT

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BY LYNNE CHAMP OUX-WILLIAMS LYNNE.CHAMPOUX-WILLIAMS « AT » MAIL.MCGILL.C A STUDENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND LINGUISTICS, MCGILL U; FR ANCOPHONE COMMUNIC ATOR , YOUNG GR EENS COUNCIL

IS IMPOSSIBLE TO WIN THE POLITICAL WAR WITHOUT A BILINGUAL HEART WITHIN THE PARTY. NOT SIMPLY ENGLISH TRANSLATED INTO FRENCH, BUT BOTH ENGLISH AND FRENCH. ven if our environment is the hot political topic, it will have no substantial effect for the Green Party, unless we become truly bilingual and reach people by putting more than environment forward. Politics is an equation with two members, communication and marketing. Communication is brought by language. French is spoken by a minority of Canadians. A francophone can be a Quebecer, for example. A Quebecer is also Canadian, even if sie* doesn’t always recognize it, but a Quebecer cannot only be Canadian without denying hir roots. That is, a Quebecer doesn’t feel Canadian by default. We were Canadians, but when the Upper Canada inhabitants started to use the expression to define themselves, we became Quebecers. Now, we’re a nation. We feel a need to be recognized as unique

and different, but the rest of Canada doesn’t understand that, since for them we’re simply as different as Indigenous People, immigrants, etc. Language could be the explanation of this non-identification with the Canadian citizenship. Language is part of the identification process. If we want to reach more than the anglophone community, we need to reach citizens by the communication tool for which they have a special place in their heart—their mother tongue. (We are not going to reach people with two unequal website portals, one in French www.partivert.ca that contains less than the other one in English www.greenparty.ca). Marketing is implied in these arguments. We must reach people with something more than environment. When they know us, they know we’re good in that field, if not we wouldn’t have that name! We must, to convince a non-member, rapidly put our finger on what concerns hir as an individual. The

best example I ever heard was uttered by David Suzuki at a lecture organized by Equiterre in Montreal last year: “If a panicked parent drives his child suffering from an asthma crisis at the emergencies of an overcrowded Toronto hospital in SUV during a smoggy day, he or she isn’t drawing the link between his or her child’s health and using a gas-guzzler vehicle.” We must understand, categorize, and quickly react in a convincing way to reach the listener and convince hir to join with the Party. We need a good persuasive power, and ensure to reach a maximum of Canadians by putting forward not only environment, but also every single element of our platform with potential to reach someone. It is impossible to win the political war without a bilingual heart within the Party. Not simply English translated into French, but both English and French. Thought in French, thought in English. We must erect the bridge of Canadian

identity that some attempted to buy with flags. A Canadian identity that is blurred to all who didn’t linguistically and culturally bathe in the second official language sie didn’t grow up speaking. ¬ *THIS ARTICLE WA S TENTATIVELY WRIT TEN USING GENDER-FREE PRONOUNS. PLE A SE SEE // W W W.BBC.CO.UK/DNA/H 2G 2/ A7 70960


THE UNDERSTORY * MAGA ZINE DES JEUENES VERTS YOUNG GR EENS NE WSLE T TER * VOL 1 # 4 JAN 07

TENDRE LE PONT ELECTORAL

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PAR LYNNE CHAMP OUX-WILLIAMS LYNNE.CHAMPOUX-WILLIAMS « À » MAIL.MCGILL.C A É TUDIANTE EN ENVIRONNEMENT E T LINGUISTIQUE, U MCGILL; COMMUNIC ATION FR ANCOPHONE, CONSEIL DES JEUNES

« BREF, IL EST IMPOSSIBLE DE GAGNER LA GUERRE POLITIQUE SANS QUE LE CŒUR DU PARTI NE SOIT BILINGUE. PAS SEULEMENT ANGLAIS TRADUIT EN FRANÇAIS, MAIS ANGLAIS ET FRANÇAIS À LA FOIS.»

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ême si l’environnement est sur toutes les lèvres, cela n’aura aucun effet pour le Parti Vert du Canada à moins qu’il devienne bilingue et qu’il atteigne les gens en mettant plus que l’environnement de l’avant. La politique est une équation comprenant deux membres, la communication et la commercialisation. La communication est véhiculée par le langage. Le français est parlé par une minorité de Canadiens. Un francophone peut être Québécois, par exemple. Un Québécois est aussi Canadien, bien qu’il ne le reconnaisse pas toujours, mais il ne peut pas être seulement Canadien sans renier ses racines. Un Québécois ne se sent pas nécessairement Canadien. Nous étions Canadiens, puis, lorsque les anglo-canadiens se sont appropriés l’appellation, nous nous sommes définis Québécois. Là, nous sommes une nation. Nous avons un besoin d’être reconnu comme unique et différent, mais le reste des

Canadiens ne comprend pas cela, puisque pour eux nous sommes aussi différents qu’un Amérindien, un immigrant. La langue pourrait être l’explication de cette non-identification à la nationalité canadienne. La langue fait partie de l’identification. Si nous voulons aller au-delà de la majorité anglophone canadienne, il nous faut rejoindre les citoyens de ce pays par leur véhicule de communication pour lequel ils ont un attachement particulier: leur langue maternelle; ce n’est pas avec un portail français www.partivert. ca qui laisse à désirer comparé à son pendant anglais www.greenparty.ca que nous rejoindrons plus de gens. Bref, il est impossible de gagner la guerre politique sans que le cœur du Parti ne soit bilingue. Pas seulement anglais traduit en français, mais anglais et français à la fois. Pensé en anglais, pensé en français. Il nous faut tendre le pont de l’identité canadienne qu’on a tenté d’acheter avec des drapeaux, qui est flou à qui n’est pas bilingue, à qui n’a pas été immergé linguistiquement et culturellement dans la seconde

langue officielle qu’il ne parlait pas. La commercialisation passe par les points suivants. Il faut rejoindre les gens par autre chose que l’environnement. Ils savent que nous sommes les meilleurs à ce niveau, sinon nous ne nous appellerions pas ainsi! Il nous faut, pour convaincre le non-membre, que le membre mette en très peu de temps le doigt sur ce qui concerne son interlocuteur, qu’il le touche directement, dans sa réalité. Le meilleur exemple qu’il m’ait été donné d’entendre sur le lien entre l’environnement et le reste a été donné par David Suzuki, lors d’une conférence organisée par Équiterre à Montréal l’an passé: «Si un parent affolé reconduit son enfant en pleine crise d’asthme aux urgences d’un hôpital débordé de Toronto en VUS un jour de smog, il ne fait pas le lien entre la santé de son enfant et l’utilisation d’un véhicule à haute consommation de combustible fossile.» Il faut comprendre, catégoriser et réagir prestement de façon à convaincre son auditeur d’embarquer dans son bateau. Il faut un bon pouvoir de

persuasion, et s’assurer de rejoindre le plus de Canadiens possibles en mettant de l’avant non seulement l’environnement, mais aussi chaque élément de notre plateforme qui serait susceptible de rejoindre quelqu’un. J’aimerais ajouter un message sur le ton fataliste: ce négativisme ne sert qu’à ajouter du poids à l’argument de l’immobilisme, qu’il ne sert à rien de faire quoi que ce soit. Si on met l’accent sur une action pour un changement, que chacun a du poids dans la balance, qu’on peut réussir à survivre en tant qu’espèce sur la planète Terre, ça motive les gens à agir.. ¬ * SEUL LE MA SCULIN EST EMPLOYÉ À DES FINS DE SIMPLIFIC ATION DU TE X TE


THE UNDERSTORY * MAGA ZINE DES JEUENES VERTS YOUNG GR EENS NE WSLE T TER * VOL 1 # 4 JAN 07

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TIS THE SEASON TO CONVERT YOUR CONSERVATIVE DAD BY DAVE BAGLER DAVE _ BAGLER @ C ANADA .COM 3 R D YE AR CPA STUDENT A S ST. L AWR ENCE COLLEGE; FOUNDER OF THE SLC GR EENS.

t’s Christmas Eve. I’m sitting in my girlfriend’s parents’ living room in Bedford, Nova Scotia, and it is the first time I’ve ever been further east than Montreal. It’s almost Christmas, but looking out the window I’m a little scared. I can see something growing; slowly, but growing nonetheless. Everywhere it seems to be growing. What’s growing? The grass. If there was a time for the Green Party in Canada that time is now. My birthday is May 5th, and when I was a kid the driveway would need

to be shoveled on this day. Now, someone needs to mow the lawn. That’s my personal global warming example and I’m sure you have many of your own. There’s no point in pouring over the data, trying to prove global warming is our fault with charts and graphs. There’s now a much easier solution to convincing the skeptics of climate change—a warm, soggy, green Christmas. So much of Canada’s identity is tied to having snow. Pond hockey, dog sledding, and Texans thinking we live in igloos are just a few of

“EVEN THOUGH HE COMPLAINS EVERY STEP OF THE WAY, YOUR DAD REALLY WANTED TO MAKE THAT .” K N I R D R A Y K C BA

the things that depend on Canadian snow (and lots of it). I’ll be in Ottawa for part of the holiday, but I won’t be able to skate on the Rideau Canal and neither will anyone else. Just about every Canadian family has a collection of great memories that requires snow. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that Canadians outside on December 24th in Hawaiian shirts should be in Hawaii. The great thing about this sentimental argument is that it works on just about everyone. Grandmothers won’t be happy if their grandkids can’t go tobogganing. Mothers really like to play in the snow, and even though he complains every step of the way, your dad really wanted to make that backyard rink. I get a bonus reason too—my dad works for a large Canadian clothing company and his employees have a tough time selling winter coats when it’s plus twelve. So this is the winter to convert your family but please, I beg you, put your fact sheet down. Simply remind them about that snowy Christmas memory, that really great one that everybody loves. ¬


THE UNDERSTORY * MAGA ZINE DES JEUENES VERTS YOUNG GR EENS NE WSLE T TER * VOL 1 # 4 JAN 07

GREEN IS THE NEW BLACK: TAKING SIDES ON CONSUMERISM

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BY WILLIAM CR ADDOCK WCR ADDOCK “AT” MSN.COM HE IS A P OLITIC AL SCIENCE STUDENT AT THE UNIVER SIT Y OF WESTERN ONTARIO WHOSE PA SSION LIES IN PHOTOGR APHY, FA SHION, AND DESIGN.

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s any savvy businessperson will tell you, markets change rapidly, refusing to hold up for those that fall behind. Businesses must be responsive, adaptive, innovative and must anticipate market trends if they desire to stay on top—or at least to stay in the game. Companies neglecting the evolving wants and needs of the public are destined for failure. Following the continual consumerist desire for new and improved products, there has also been acceleration in the reduction of human and environmental negative impacts associated with the production of such items. Consumer demands for certain clothing manufacturers to discontinue production in sweat-

shops have not gone unheard. Pressing concerns over carbon emissions have encouraged the further development of hybrid vehicles. Consumer desires play an influential role in commodity production. We are often led to believe that large corporations control our world and that human beings are powerless against these giant conglomerates. To subscribe to such thinking only worsens the situation by producing herds of submissive and ignorant shoppers. Let us not forget that corporations are essentially empowered by the individuals purchasing their products. It is these individuals and their desires that set the trends to which corporate production must respond. So why not make the trends green? A very familiar trend in green

“IF SOMEONE F O R I A P A S Y U B JEANS MADE FROM ORGANIC COTTON SIMPLY BECAUSE SUCH MATERIAL IS IN STYLE, SO BE IT.”

consumerism is the production of organic food items. Products that once sold in small local business operations gained so much popularity that now even major supermarket retailers supply organic produce—with the organic food sections seemingly expanding with each visit! While some shoppers purchase organic foods to avoid consuming so many chemical additives and pesticides, others buy them simply because they are trendy. Either way, the production of organic foods has a positive impact on our bodies and the regions where they are produced. Lands that have once been saturated with innumerous pesticides and insecticides are able to retain their natural composition. The surrounding communities are no longer subject to polluted air from the spraying of such chemicals. The ecosystems of other surrounding plants and animals are no longer harmed. For an environmentalist, organic farming seems to be the best viable option for food production, but for corporations, it still comes down to the bottom line: profitability. The food we intake makes an important connection between consumerism and environmentalism. The clothing we wear does as well. Cotton is perhaps one of the most popular, if not the most popular, textile used in the manufacturing of our daily wear. It is also farmed with the extensive use of herbicides, insecticides and harmful fertilizers. Like organic foods, there has been a movement (although less publicized) toward organic cotton production and the manufacturing of organic clothing. The very familiar blue jeans that many of us wear have faced some recent industry innovation with the production of lines of organic “green jeans”—complete with environmentally friendly dyes and embellishments. There are clearly plausible opportunities to

turn fashion into a trendy sustainable industry. The drawback? Pricing. As with most new products, they cost more than the going item, essentially pushing budget-conscious buyers away from the organic products. While some may criticize the use of corporate techniques and “trendiness” to forward a green agenda in consumerism, I disagree and—in my most Machiavellian capacity—suggest that the ends justify the means. If an individual desires to purchase a pair of jeans made from organic cotton simply because such material is in style, then so be it. That person’s realization of the environmental benefit of such a product may come at a later date, but does it not seem easier to encourage a shopper into purchasing a certain trendy pair of organic pants over challenging their political outlook and potential complete ignorance of global environmental issues? As we see in our daily lives, some people just do not care about the amount of waste we produce or the hazardous chemicals polluting our air. They merely want what is “in style.” So I say, why not change what’s in style. If you can’t beat them, join them! Let’s make green the new black. ¬


THE UNDERSTORY * MAGA ZINE DES JEUENES VERTS YOUNG GR EENS NE WSLE T TER * VOL 1 # 4 JAN 07

AN UNEXPECTED LESSON

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BY GWEN MAY GWENMAY “AT” GMAIL.COM L AW STUDENT AT QUEEN’ S UNIVERSIT Y; EXECUTIVE MEMBER OF QUEEN’ S GREENS; MANAGING EDITOR-ELECT OF THE UNDERSTORY.

“THIS IDEA THAT THE UNITED STATES STANDS ALONE AS A RAPACIOUS OVERINDULGER ENGAGING IN GROSSLY UNSUSTAINABLE PRACTICES IS A POPULAR ONE. I’VE NOW SEEN THAT IN ADDITION TO BEING A POPULAR CONCEPTION IT IS ALSO NOT REALLY TRUE.”

t hasn’t been long since I’ve returned to Canadian soil after spending the fall semester in the U.S. at a law school in San Diego. My semester abroad was not only really fun but also led to a surprising discovery. Before I spent these four months living in the U.S., I held the belief that when it came to the world’s “terrible problems”, the United States was always the worst—they have the worst President, they are greatest contributors to greenhouse gases, etc. As a Canadian that was comforting to me: when I would get depressed about the state of the world, I would say to myself, “At least I’m not an American.” And, of all the evils I attributed to that country, the worst, I thought was the rampant consumerism. Citizens of the U.S. were the worst for wanting more and more as quickly as possible. Right? Of course, after actually living in the United States, I stand corrected. My very interesting discovery consisted of an almost immediate (and uncomfortable) recognition that Canadians live in a world of more immediate consumeristic convenience than San Diegans do. I noticed it first at my neighbourhood convenience stores. There were less of them; they were smaller, and they were less well stocked. There were fewer varieties of chips and candies, and there never was the option buying candy in those enormous, bulkÐtype bags that are ubiquitous at 7-Elevens and Macs here at home. (Writing this out, it does strike me as a trivialÐseeming observation. Who even pays that much attention to candy?) But I was confused: the U.S. is supposed to be the land of overindulgence. Why then did it seem vastly easier to overindulge at home?

A second example was one late night discovery that delivery of food to my home was near impossible. I could not find a restaurant that would do it for under $50. In other words, delivery of food for one (likely an extremely unsustainable practice) just did not happen in San Diego. At home it would have been easy as pie. I was definitely not alone in my previously held belief that Canadians are not as lazy or not as addicted to mass consumption as their neighbours to the South. While I lived in San Diego many people would tell me how they longed to live in Canada or how they were certain such and such a thing could never happen in Canada and other things of that nature. This idea that the United States stands alone as a rapacious over-indulger engaging in grossly unsustainable practices is a popular one. I’ve now seen that in addition to being a popular conception it is also not really true (something people actually paying attention to statistics and such already knew, as I learned later from some of my more learned friends). Hopefully, now that I can no longer pat myself on the back for not being on of the “big baddies”, I will be spurred into taking actions that are useful and meaningful. ¬


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LE MAGA ZINE DES JEUNES VERTS YOUNG GREENS NEWSLETTER FABRIQUÉ AU C ANADA / MADE IN C ANADA


THE UNDERSTORY * MAGA ZINE DES JEUENES VERTS YOUNG GR EENS NE WSLE T TER * VOL 1 # 4 JAN 07

UNE LEÇON SURPRENANTE

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BY GWEN MAY GWENMAY “AT” GMAIL.COM L AW STUDENT AT QUEEN’ S UNIVERSIT Y; EXECUTIVE MEMBER OF QUEEN’ S GREENS; MANAGING EDITOR-ELECT OF THE UNDERSTORY.

vant de partir pour les ÉtatsUnis, je croyais que dans le domaine des «grands problèmes actuels du monde», les Étatsunis étaient toujours le pire. (Par exemple, ils ont le pire président, ils sont les plus grands émetteurs de gaz carbonique, etc.) Et ça c’était un réconfort pour moi, une Canadienne. Quand j’étais malheureuse de l’état du monde, je me disais, «Au moins je ne suis pas Américaine». Je pensais que c’était les habitants des ÉtatsUnis qui vraiment poussaient le consumérisme: vouloir toujours plus, le plus rapidement possible. Maintenant je sais que ce n’est vraiment pas le cas. En effet, la découverte très intéressante que j’ai faite que c’était plus facile d’avoir une vie du consumérisme au Canada! Par exemple, les dépanneurs de mon quartier en San Diego étaient moins nombreux et plus petit. Il y avait moins du choix aux dépanneurs, et les dépanneurs

vendaient les chips et les bonbons en des formats plus petits. Ca veut dire que ces dépanneurs n’étaient pas comme les «Macs» et les «7-Elevens» chez nous. Bon, peutÐêtre les bonbons et les chips sont des choses insignifiants; néanmoins, j’étais étonnée: si les États-unis étaient le pays de la indulgence excessive, pourquoi semble-t-il plus facile de trop satisfaire tous les caprices au Canada? Je ne devais certainement pas être la seule de penser que les Canadiens sont moins consuméristes, moins paresseux que leurs voisins du sud. Lorsque j’habitais à San Diego, beaucoup de personnes m’ont dit qu’elles voulaient vivre au Canada et d’autres choses du genre. L’idée que les États-unis sont le seul pays de trop gâter est en vogue. Cependant, mon semestre à l’étranger m’a appris que cette idée est fausse. Dès maintenant, j’espère que je ne me féliciterai plus pour ne pas être une Américaine. Je vais plutôt prendre des mesures signifiants et utiles.

IL Y A QUELQUES SEMAINES, JE SUIS REVENUE DES ÉTATS-UNIS APRÈS UN PREMIER TRIMESTRE À L’ÉCOLE DE DROIT THOMAS JEFFERSON. JE ME SUIS BEAUCOUP AMUSÉE LÀ-BAS, MAIS MON TRIMESTRE À L’ÉTRANGER M’A AUSSI CONDUITE À UNE DÉCOUVERTE TRÈS INTÉRESSANTE.


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THE UNDERSTORY * MAGA ZINE DES JEUENES VERTS YOUNG GR EENS NE WSLE T TER * VOL 1 # 4 JAN 07

CAMPUS

LESS LITTER, MORE GREEN MOINS D’ORDURES, PLUS DE VERDURES BY ME AGHAN RUSTON

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ucked under the Ambassador Bridge, the main trade route between Canada and the United States, Indian Avenue received a facelift from the Young Greens of Windsor. With green in their eyes, the YGW met at a corner of Indian Avenue, our modest target for the cleanup. For their first event, the club adopted the area from the City of Windsor’s Adopt–a–Street program. The area is predominately made up of University of Windsor students. However, the street presented quite a challenge for the Young Greens as abandoned houses were strewn with weeks of newspaper adverts and other bits of litter. The City of Windsor provided gloves, garbage bags, and recycling bags with convenient pick up of our collection. The club worked hard searching the lawns and bushes for every bit of litter left behind by slippery fingers and ruthless winds. In total, eight bags of garbage and nine bags of recycling were collected. Unfortunately, if we had not run out of bags, we would have had doubled or quadrupled our results.

However, the cleanup was successful leaving smiles on participants’ faces and new students signing up as members. As a whole, we were surprised to see how one piece of litter, dropped, infests the whole neighborhood. It is disappointing to see an area populated by students to be in such bad shape. By rejuvenating this area, we will help elevate the reputation of the University and the entire area. The events don’t stop there. We are planning many more activities once next term begins. When we have the opportunity to host a booth in the student centre, we will be able to recruit new students to the club. We are hoping to fundraise via possible concerts, where half the funds help the Young Greens of Windsor (YGW) spread awareness and the other half being donated to an environmental organization within the Windsor community. ¬ SEND US YOUR ACCOUNTS OF GOOD GREEN DEEDS BEING DONE BY YOUR CAMPUS GROUP ! THEUNDERSTORY “AT” GMAIL.COM

ous le pont de l’Ambassadeur, la principale route commerciale entre le Canada et les États-Unis, la Indian Avenue s’est refaite une beauté grâce aux Jeunes Verts de l’Université Windsor (JVW). Avec du vert plein les yeux, les JVW se sont rencontrés à un coin de l’avenue Indian, notre modeste cible pour le nettoyage. Pour leur premier événement et en tant que participant du programme « Adoptez Une Rue » de la ville de Windsor, le club a adopté ce quartier. Les habitants du quartier sont surtout des étudiants de l’Université de Windsor. Cependant, la rue a présenté tout un défi pour les Jeunes Verts étant donné que plusieurs terrains de maisons, surtout abandonnées, étaient tapissés d’ordures de toutes sortes : journaux, emballages, publicités, etc. La ville de Windsor a fourni des gants, des sacs de vidanges et des sacs de recyclage en plus d’un service de collectes des ordures dans le cadre du programme. Le club a travaillé fort pour trouver tous les déchets et les ordures laissés par des passants et le vent. Au total, huit sacs de vidanges et neuf sacs de recyclage ont été ramassés. Malheureusement, si nous n’avions pas manqué de sacs, nous aurions dou-

blé ou même quadruplé la quantité de déchets ramassée. Cependant, le nettoyage fut un grand succès--les sourires sur les visages des participants et le nombre d’étudiants qui ont décidé de devenir membre en étaient preuve. Dans l’ensemble, nous étions surpris de constater comment même quelques déchets donnent l’impression d’envahir le quartier tout entier. C’est décevant de voir un quartier principalement étudiant dans un piteux état. En redonnant propreté et vie au quartier, nous aiderons à élever la réputation de l’université et du quartier. Nos activités ne s’arrêtent pas là. Nous planifions plusieurs autres activités dès le début des cours en 2007. Lorsque nous aurons l’opportunité d’avoir un kiosque dans le centre étudiant, nous serons capables de recruter de nouveaux étudiants au club. Nous espérons organiser un spectacle bénéfice où la moitié des fonds ramassés aideraient les Jeunes Verts de Windsor à sensibiliser les étudiants à différents enjeux et l’autre moitié serait donnée à une organisation écologiste de la région de Windsor.¬ PARTAGEZ AVEC NOUS LES ACTIVITÉS DE VOTRE CLUB VERT. CONTRIBUEZ AU CHRONIQUE CAMPUS ! THEUNDERSTORY “À” GMAIL.COM


THE UNDERSTORY * MAGA ZINE DES JEUENES VERTS YOUNG GR EENS NE WSLE T TER * VOL 1 # 4 JAN 07

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RETURNING THE LANDSCAPE:

PAINTING THE BACKYARD EASEL WITH FLOWERS “IF EVERYBODY JUST FOCUSED ON COMMUNITY GARDENS, WE COULD HAVE A BIG IMPACT IN FIVE OR TEN YEARS.”

BY DARCY HIGGINS DARC YHIGGINS “AT” GMAIL.COM STUDENT ENVIRONMENT AND RESOURCE STUDIES, U OF WATERLOO; SUBMISSIONS EDITOR FOR THE UNDERSTORY; FOUNDING PRESIDENT OF THE UW CAMPUS GREENS .

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ll life must come to an end. Without an end, new forms of life could not begin. If we are to truly honor the deaths that took place on September 11 it must be through life.” These are the words of ecological wisdom which accompanied the submission of artist Shawn McKnight for the World Trade Centre Site Memorial. McKnight who studied and reached much success as an artist could now be considered more of an environmentalist. “I appreciate art for the creative process and this has allowed my art to become more and more natural,” says McKnight. McKnight’s submission for the Memorial Competition was a garden of flowers. Well, that might have been what the submission looked like if it were done today. But at the time it was an idea for giant mechanical flowers made of steel, a proposal of one at the World Trade Center site for each individual who lost a life. The fifteen foot kinetic flowers would close with rainfall, and begin to open when the

weather clears. The pieces interact with their environment organically, with water collecting in an underground reservoir, forcing an air chamber to rise, causing a movement in the petals. The purpose of the sculpture was to force people to notice nature. “It was successful at the concept stage, but what I was learning about industry and problems with materials turned me off from wanting to complete it... there’s a message behind it, but there’s a better way of getting that message across.” He now believes we should be planting real plants. The transition in Shawn’s life has recently allowed him to drop ego. He thinks that was part of the reason he wanted to create large sculptures. He now uses stick figure cartoons to convey messages rather than his drawing talent, because they convey he feels they are more effective. He has been asked to do an art showing at a popular local nursery, after having the cartoons first displayed at a gallery. While thinking about how to solve world problems, he has been led closer and closer to the earth, where he now believes in natu-

ralization and reusing materials. “Nature has the answers. I learned about bioregions and it all clicked. My art switched from being a voice for nature to letting natural spaces spread and speak for themselves.” What solutions does he now see to achieve where we need to go? Well, he really just has one: return the landscape. Return it, learn about it, live within it. We should plant native plants – the ones that belong where we are – on private and public landscapes. He suggests Lorraine Johnson’s books, and you can find her article on Guerrilla Gardening in the latest edition of Alternatives Journal. The benefits to native plantings are numerous. But while planting you should also be learning – about natural ecosystem functions, what the plants can provide: their uses which vary from wood for furniture to edible snacks. We then live within nature as much as possible, using what we can from

what we’ve planted, using these natural alternatives to those things we’ve recently been creating. McKnight will now practice what he preaches, starting a small business in natural landscaping. And what should we be doing as Young Greens, in our campus clubs? He suggests we can be doing the same. “If everybody just focused on community gardens, we could have a big impact in five or ten years.” Green Party clubs could be naturalizing their campuses, their private residences and public parks. When people start to see nature brought back, things will start to come together. ¬ PHOTO FROM 2003 WHEN DARCY WAS EDITOR OF THE SARNIA-LAMBTON GREEN PARTY NEWSLETTER, THE CUCUMBER.


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THE UNDERSTORY * MAGA ZINE DES JEUENES VERTS YOUNG GR EENS NE WSLE T TER * VOL 1 # 4 JAN 07

WOMEN’S EQUALITY, SAFETY, HEALTH:

LET’S MAKE OUR VOICES HEARD W

“Each year...150,000 American women die of anorexia...more die of anorexia in the United States each year than died in ten years of civil wars in Beirut....”

“What happened to the dreams of a girl president? She’s dancing in the video next to 50 Cent.”

- NAOMI WOLF, GENDER BASICS

P!NK, I’M, NOT DEAD

“WOMEN IN GOVERNMENT MAY NOT BE VERY EFFECTIVE IN ELI-CITING CHANGE IF THEY ARE BUSY FIGHTING DISCRIMINATION AND OPPRESSION IN OTHER AREAS OF THEIR LIVES.”

BY BECK Y VENDE T TI R AVEN.THE.CRE ATOR @ GMAIL.COM U OF WATERLOO STUDENT, PHILOSOPHY, ENVIRONMENT & RESOURCE STUDIES; INVOLVED IN VARIOUS FEMINIST AND MEDIA PROJECTS. .

e, as a society, have become obsessed with images of glitz and glamour. Woman is not defined by her intellect, her creativity, or any other elements of her mental prowess. She is defined as a sex object; she is valued only if she is “smokin’ hot.” This presents an important problem for prospective equality. The female ideal and the portrayal of the female as a sex object are near-ubiquitous in modern society. This nearuniversality results not only in unequal treatment, but also in sickness and mental disorders in women. Many women are rendered politically and socially ineffective in such a culture of commodified youth and beauty.* Although women have gained the right to vote, we seem to be losing our right to define our own lives. As J. S. Mill said in 1859, “Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.” As women, we are losing our sovereignty. “Although Canada boasts we are a socially progressive country offering equal opportunities for men and women, real gender gaps persist in government and corporate Canada”

(Green Party, 2006). These gaps are evident in our governmental structure: “while the percentage of women elected to various legislatures across Canada has increased, many of the top government posts still seem off limits... only three women have ever been provincial premiers and at the federal level, Canada has never had a female Minister of Finance. Today, only 21.7 per cent of elected municipal officials are women” (Green Party, 2006). However, having more women in top government positions will not necessarily make the female powerful. The government needs to address other issues of gender inequality as well as women in government. Women in government may not be very effective in eliciting change if they are busy fighting discrimination and oppression in other areas of their lives. In order to achieve autonomy and independence, we need the help of governments and politicians. The Green Party seems politically ahead of its time on this issue. For example, in its 2006 platform the Green Party acknowledged the problem that feminists are currently struggling against: women and men are not equal in our society. Women can vote, but they are not sovereign over their bodies and minds; they do not

control their own lives. With the goals they have set, the Green Party addresses potential government strategies of autonomy and control for women. These include (and are not limited to) developing tax incentives for companies to meet the highest standards of gender and pay equity; increasing funding for women’s crisis centres and shelters, funding educational programs that build healthy attitudes toward women; coordinating action plans with the provinces to ensure women may travel safely to and from work, especially in isolated areas and at night; supporting municipalities to make urban infrastructure safe for women; introducing laws guaranteeing a proportion of seats for women in government appointed bodies; mandating the CRTC to regulate and receive complaints about the advertising industry; recognizing and valuing the unpaid work of women through reforms to our tax system (Green Party Platform 2006). These changes are much needed. Women are often in charge of the house and children regardless of whether they also work outside the home, often resulting in the “double day”. Women over the age of 65 are over-represented as a group whom live in poverty. Urban infrastructure must be made safe for women as women are disproportionately the victims of rape. The advertising industry is a very guilty party in contributing to mental disorders, including eating disorders and depression, among women. Women

are portrayed only as sex objects or “housewives” in the vast majority of media and advertisements. The unpaid work of women needs to be recognized—the wife and mother can put in as much time as she would in another full-time career. Often, daycare workers, babysitters, and maids are hired to do this work for pay when the woman cannot or chooses not to do it herself. The maid is paid but the wife and mother, acting as maid, is not. Governments need to take a stand on these issues. Women cannot change things alone. And, although more women in government is not a total solution, we are often kept out of positions of power and thus we are muted. We cannot change things if we have no voice with which to speak. ¬ *FOR MORE ON THE SOCIAL AND POLITICAL INEFFECTIVENESS OF THE FEMALE, SEE NAOMI WOLF’S “HUNGER” IN GENDER BASICS, EDITED BY ANNE MINAS, PUBLISHED BY WADSWORTH IN 2000. ALSO SEE “GLITZ AND GLAMOUR: THE POLITICAL AND SOCIAL INEFFECTIVENESS OF THE FEMALE” BY REBECCA VENDETTI IN THE FIRST ISSUE OF THE INDIE MAGAZINE STEAL THIS MAGAZINE. FOR A COPY, WRITE: EMAIL.THE.MAGAZINE@GMAIL.COM


THINK GREEN ? SPEAK GREEN. (YOU DEFINITELY AREN’T ALONE.)

(GET PUBLISHED IN THE UNDERSTORY.)

The Understory is an exciting new monthly publication of the Young Greens of Canada that is calling for submissions—articles, artwork, photography, comics or anything else you’d like to submit. (PLEASE EMAIL ALL SUBMISSIONS TO DARCYHIGGINS “AT” GMAIL.COM) (FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT THEUNDERSTORY “AT” GMAIL.COM) LE MAGA ZINE DES JEUNES VERTS YOUNG GREENS NEWSLETTER FABRIQUÉ AU C ANADA / MADE IN C ANADA


THE UNDERSTORY * MAGA ZINE DES JEUENES VERTS YOUNG GR EENS NE WSLE T TER * VOL 1 # 4 JAN 07

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THE YOUNG GREENS:

FIRST BESIDE THEN OUT FRONT BY JAR ED GIESBR ECHT JAR ED.GIESBR ECHT@ GMAIL.COM L AW STUDENT AT QUEEN’ S UNIVERSIT Y, CHAIR OF QUEEN’ S GREENS, & FOUNDING MANAGING EDITOR OF THE UNDERSTORY.

he recent election of Stéphane Dion as leader of the Liberal Party causes us to consider the relationship between the Greens and the Grits. On the other hand, the recent polls showing the Greens approaching the support of the NDP cause us to re-think the relationship between the Greens and the New Democrats. What should be our relationship with these traditional parties? How can we relate to them in a way that reflects our unique politic? And, more specifically, what role can the Young Greens play in relating to the older, conventional parties and their youth wings? The Greens are unique among the political parties in Canada and our relationship to the other parties needs to reflect this uniqueness. We are exceptional in our critical response to industrialism and our commitment to localized economic structures. However, we are also extraordinary in our belief in the importance of transpartisan political action and our history makes this clear. The Green political movement grew out of the activism of both the environmental and peace movements of the 60’s and 70’s and continues to be a place where activists feel at home. This background of activism leads us to seek positive and progressive political results that transcend partisan bickering and backbiting. Throughout our short history, Greens around the world have refused to seek power for power’s sake. Now, here in Canada, our party is strikingly devoid of career politicians and we have always been an opposition party. We also continue to be a party that attracts support from former members of all the other parties and encourages

not only biological diversity, but diversity of thought, lifestyle, and politic. Therefore, not only are we Greens hesitant to wave the party flag but are encouraged to see the Liberals beginning to dye their flag green with policy for environmental protection and a recognition of the need to act in response to climate change. Besides, don’t we Greens appreciate recycling no matter where we find it? (Some may call the Liberal a centrist party—I call it the blue box of Canadian politics). Joking aside, it is increasingly important for us to be known for honest and respectful dialogue with

the other parties and promote our common principles above all else. Although Greens recognize that we require Parliamentary power if we are to effectively accomplish our goals, we possess a unique footing to negotiate and cooperate with other parties. And, I would argue that we, the Young Greens, are in the best place to cooperate with the old parties around shared values. Not only are we not weighed down by identities that are wrapped up in years of working in partisan politics, but we are confident and secure in the Green political ideology. We are new to the political system,

“WE MUST BE KNOWN FOR HONEST AND RESPECTFUL DIALOGUE WITH THE OTHER PARTIES AND PROMOTE OUR COMMON PRINCIPLES ABOVE ALL ELSE.”

but we are the recent inheritors of a political ideology that has matured and developed to a great deal in the last decade. As a demonstration of our unique trans-partisan nature, I would suggest that the Young Greens and the New Democratic Youth come together on several issues—for example, the need for proportional representation, more environmental protection, more accessible education, and a more non-violent foreign policy. In fact, it may be time for the Young Greens to organize a conference with the New Democratic Youth in order to respectfully explore some of these issues, identify our common goals, and recognize our differences. (And, really, we should consider something like this with the Bloc Québécois Youth as well). If we truly desire to be neither left nor right, but in front of the traditional political spectrum, we will need to continue developing a positive, trans-partisan working relationship with the traditional parties—a relationship characterized by candid and courteous conversation and devoid of distracting partisan diversions. If we are to possess the Parliamentary power that we desperately need to be politically effective, we will not only need to be confident in our unique ideological grounding, but consciously and actively set out to join hands with the other parties whenever possible. For, if we want to come out in front of the other parties, we will first need to come alongside the other parties. ¬


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THE UNDERSTORY * MAGA ZINE DES JEUENES VERTS YOUNG GR EENS NE WSLE T TER * VOL 1 # 4 JAN 07

LES JEUNES VERTS:

LES PREMIERS DE C T , PUIS DE L’AVANT PAR JAR ED GIESBR ECHT JARED.GIESBRECHT «À» GMAIL.COM ÉTUDIANT EN DROIT, U. QUEENS; PRÉSIDENT DES QUEEN’ S GREENS; RÉDACTEUR EN CHEF FONDATEUR DU UNDERSTORY.

a récente élection de Stéphane Dion comme leader du Parti Libéral nous force à reconsidérer la relation entre les Verts et les Libéraux. D’un autre côté, les sondages récents démontrant que les Verts acquièrent le support du NPD nous pousse à repenser la relation entre les Verts et les Nouveaux Démocrates. Que devrait être notre relation avec ces partis traditionnels? Comment pouvons-nous être en relation avec eux de manière à refléter notre politique unique? Et, plus spécifiquement, quel rôle peuvent jouer les Jeunes Verts dans la relation avec les vieux partis conventionnels et leurs ailes jeunesse? Les Verts sont uniques parmi les partis politiques au Canada et notre relation avec les autres partis doit refléter cette unicité. Nous sommes exceptionnels dans notre réponse critique à l’industrialisme et notre engagement à des structures économiques locales. Cependant, nous sommes aussi extraordinaire dans notre foi en l’importance d’action politique trans-partisane et notre histoire l’illustre bien. Le mouvement politique vert émergea du militantisme des mouvements environnementaux et de paix des années 60 et continue d’être un endroit où les militants se sentent chez eux. Ce passé de militantisme nous mène à rechercher des résultats politiques positifs et progressistes qui transcendent les calomnies et les querelles. Toute au long de notre courte histoire, les Verts du monde entier ont refusé de rechercher le pouvoir pour lui-même. Maintenant, ici au Canada, notre parti est, de façon saisissante, exempt de politicien carriéristes et nous avons toujours été un parti d’opposition. Nous continuons aussi d’être un parti attirant le support d’anciens

membres de tous les autres partis et nous encourageons aussi non seulement la diversité biologique, mais aussi la diversité de pensée, de mœurs et politique. Par conséquent, non seulement hésitons nous à brandir le drapeau du parti, mais nous sommes encouragés de voir les Libéraux commencer à teindre leur drapeau vert avec la politique sur la protection environnementale et la reconnaissance du besoin d’agir contre les changements climatiques. En outre, n’apprécions-nous pas le recyclage peu importe où nous le trouvons ? (Certains pourraient qualifier le parti Libéral de centriste – je l’appelle le bac bleu de la politique canadienne). Plaisantant à demi-couvert, il est de plus en plus

important pour nous d’être connu pour le dialogue honnête et respectueux avec les autres partis et de promouvoir nos principes communs par-dessus tout. Bien que les Verts reconnaissent que nous avons besoin de pouvoir parlementaire si nous voulons accomplir efficacement nos buts, nous possédons une position unique pour négocier et coopérer avec d’autres partis. Et, j’argumenterais que nous, les Jeunes Verts, sommes dans la meilleur position pour coopérer avec les vieux partis à propos de valeurs communes. Non seulement nous ne sommes pas entraînés vers le fond par des identités enveloppées dans des années de travail dans la politique partisane, mais

« IL EST PLUS IMPORTANT POUR NOUS D’ÊTRE RECONNUS POUR LE DIALOGUE HONNÊTE ET RESPECTUEUX QUE NOUS ENTRETENONS AVEC LES AUTRES PARTIS ET DE PROMOUVOIR NOS PRINCIPES COMMUNS PAR-DESSUS TOUT »

nous sommes confiants et sûrs de l’idéologie politique verte. Nous sommes nouveaux dans le système politique, mais nous sommes les récents héritiers d’une idéologie politique qui a mûri et s’est développée beaucoup durant la dernière décennie. Comme preuve de notre unique nature trans-partisane, je voudrais suggérer que les Jeunes Verts et la jeunesse néo-démocrate s’entendent sur plusieurs points – par exemple, le besoin de représentation proportionnelle, plus de protection de l’environnement, une éducation plus accessible, et plus de politiques étrangères non-violentes. En fait, il pourrait être temps pour les Jeunes Verts d’organiser une conférence avec la jeunesse néo-démocrate dans le but d’explorer respectueusement quelques-uns de ces sujets, identifier nos buts communs, et reconnaître nos différences. (Et vraiment, nous devrions considérer quelque chose comme ceci avec la jeunesse bloquiste aussi). Si nous désirons vraiment n’être ni de gauche ni de droite, mais à l’avant du spectre politique traditionnel, nous devrons continuer à développer des relations positives et trans-partisanes avec les partis traditionnels – une relation caractérisée par un dialogue franc et courtois et exempt de distrayantes diversions partisanes. Si nous voulons posséder le pouvoir parlementaire dont nous avons désespérément besoin pour être politiquement efficaces, nous ne serons non seulement confiants dans notre unique assise idéologique, mais consciemment et activement prêts à collaborer avec les autres partis à toutes les occasions possibles. Si nous voulons ressortir devant les autres partis, nous devons premièrement ressortir à leurs côtés. ¬


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FIGHTING THE GREENWASH: OUR CHANCE TO LEAD

GRIFFIN C AR PENTER GRIFFINC ARPENTER “AT” HOTMAIL.COM STUDENT OF PHILOSOPHY, POLITICS, & ECONOMICS, WILFRID L AURIER U; ENJOYS LONG WALK S ON THE BE ACH

n what Pollster Bruce Anderson described as “probably the worst outcome for the Green Party,” Stéphane Dion, the former environment minister and heralded environmentalist of the Liberal Party, has been elected leader of the party. This change in leadership indicates that the Liberal Party intends to revamp its policy perspective. Similar to the environmental approach the New Democratic Party has advocated for years, Dion recently explained the new prominent position the environment will play in Liberal policy in a letter to members. The letter stated, Many of you heard me say that our Party will shape the nation’s future by following a three-pillared approach. Our Party has always worked hard for social justice and economic prosperity. These are the first two pillars of Canadian Liberalism. Now, in the 21st century, the environment needs to be part of every decision we make. That is why I want to make environmental sustainability the third pillar of our liberalism. One can easily see that the federal political landscape is under new pressure to address environmental sustainability. Yet are the mainline parties responding appropriately? Many in the Green Party will argue, as I will, that the mainline parties are still not responding appropriately to environmental issues. The problem the mainline parties face is that their mindset does not reflect the natural realities of the planet. Instead of the environment being one of many party priorities, the

environment must be the foundation of policy development. Without a strong foundation, we as a country have nothing upon which to build. This most certainly does not take away from the importance of economic and social issues. Instead, this worldview means that policy decisions must always answer the prerequisite question: Is this sustainable for the environment and humanity? In a recent interview, Prime Minister Stephen Harper commented that the reason why environmental issues have received a lot of press recently is because the opposition parties had no other issues in which to criticize the government. This attitude perfectly reflects the kind of thinking that the mainline parties dictate. One can be sure that a Green government would give the natural environment its true place in governmental priorities. This changing political environment presents the Green Party with both opportunities and threats, and we must be sure to properly address the threats and capitalize on the opportunities presented. The most significant threat the Party faces is the phenomenon of “green-washing” where a politician may craft a positive public image for environmental practices that are unsound. Green-washing may present voters with a variety

“THE NEXT E D P I H S R E D A E L BATE MAY IN FACT GIVE THE A Y T R A P N E E R G HOME COURT N O E G A T N A V D A E B S E U S S I E H T .” D E S S U C S I D G N I

of federal parties claiming to be the most environmental. Within this threat however, the Green Party finds its greatest opportunity. As the federal parties battle to present their environmental policies, the issues the Green Party has been campaigning for are finally receiving attention. The next leadership debate may in fact give the Green Party a home court advantage on the issues being discussed. The Green Party’s fundamental strength on environmental issues will prove a powerful asset in public and political debate. For the mainline parties, the

renewed interest in environmental issues is a trend to be capitalized on, but for the Green Party, the interest shows an alignment of societal values with those that the Party has held for decades. The public’s shifting values may well shift the balance of power in Ottawa. ¬


THE UNDERSTORY * MAGA ZINE DES JEUENES VERTS YOUNG GR EENS NE WSLE T TER * VOL 1 # 4 JAN 07

WANTED/ RECHERCHÉ

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THE EDITORIAL BOARD OF THE UNDERSTORY IS LOOKING TO FILL THE FOLLOWING POSITIONS: 1. WEBBUILDER: this person will be responsible for designing and building a website for The Understory under the supervision of the editorial board. Preferably, this person would be bilingual and have experience with webdesign. PLEASE EMAIL THEUNDERSTORY “AT” GMAIL.COM IF YOU ARE INTERESTED OR HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT EITHER OF THESE POSITIONS.

LE COMITÉ DE RÉDACTION RECHERCHE DES JEUNES VERTS TALENTEUX POUR COMBLER LES POSTES SUIVANTS: 1. PROGRAMMEUR-CONCEPTEUR WEB ET WEBMESTRE. Cette personne est responsable pour la conception et la réalisation d’un siteweb du Understory en consultation avec le comité de rédaction. CEUX ET CELLES INTÉRESSÉS DEVRAIENT ENVOYER UN PETIT MOT DE PRÉSENTATION ET LEUR CV À L’ADRESSE SUIVANTE THEUNDERSTORY « À » GMAIL.COM. NE GÊNEZ-VOUS SURTOUT PAS SI VOUS AVEZ D’AUTRES QUESTIONS!


The Understory 4