[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[OPIRG-EVENTS] Green Party Legal Challenge

Please forward far and wide. The Green Party needs your help!

September 12, 2003

Dear Green Party Friend,

Yesterday, in many ways, was a banner day for the Green Party of Ontario and 
for the planet and its inhabitants.  We landed on the front page of the 
Toronto Star and we were a headline story on both CBC and CTV.  Our coverage 
began with the Premier defending the Todd Lucier situation and continued with 
the networks explaining their rationale for excluding us from the Leader’s 
Debate; and they say we’re not a factor in this election! 

You are all well aware of our arguments:
·       First party in almost a century to run candidates across Ontario
·       Up to 6% in the polls this year in Ontario
·       Finished 3rd in 2 by-elections, including 12.4% in Parry Sound-Muskoka
·       Up to 20% in the polls in BC 
·       BC vote increased 600% after being included in the leader’s debate

Basically our message is: What do we have to do to be included? Do Ontarians 
only get to hear from parties already in Queen’s Park under the first-past-the-
post system? We’ve already seen all three of them with majority governments 
over the last two decades and know exactly what they’re not going to do.

Earlier this week, we sent a formal request to the networks to reconsider 
including Frank in the Some of the Leaders’ Debate. Yesterday we received an 
official response to our request from The Ontario Leaders’ Television Debate 
Consortium.  The network executives claim that, “The decision about who is 
invited to participate is made on editorial grounds and is part of the 
editorial decisions these stations make every day.” I am asking you to be the 
one that changes their decision!  They argue that based on the party’s past 
performance, we are not a force in this election.  This week’s events prove 

We now have a stationary target:

The Ontario Leaders’ Television Debate Consortium
Peter Rehak
Producer, Debate ‘03
C/O Canadian Broadcasting Centre, 250 Front St. W., Toronto, Ontario, M5W 1E6
Tel: 416.205.2962, Fax: 416.205-6478

Please implore them by whatever means you see fit to demand that Frank and the 
Greens be included in the debate  and forward this to anyone you know who 
might care to do the same.  Also, send carbon copies to the CRTC Ottawa, 
Ontario K1A 0N2, Fax: 819.994.0218 and the print media.

We are on the verge of the tipping point. Help transform Ontario and the 

Peter Elgie
Green Party of Ontario, Deputy Leader & Candidate St.Paul’s Riding


For Immediate Release
September 12, 2003


TORONTO  Peter Elgie, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Ontario, joined by 
Peter Rosenthal of Roach, Schwartz and Associates, today announced that the 
Green Party will unhappily launch a legal challenge concerning its exclusion 
from the televised Leaders’ Debate and the filing of a formal complaint with 
the CRTC. 

“We are disappointed for the people of Ontario that a few network executives 
have arbitrarily decided that the Green Party will not be provided a voice on 
the publicly-funded, media centerpiece of the election campaign. In order to 
encourage them to reconsider, the GPO has retained Peter Rosenthal to act in 
this matter.  We have instructed him to file a formal complaint with the CRTC 
and also to launch a lawsuit for damages should the consortium in charge of 
the debate continue to unfairly exclude us,” said Elgie.  “We feel the 
consortium’s decision deprives Ontario voters of their right to hear and 
evaluate the platform of a credible, necessary political alternative.”

The Green Party of Ontario is running candidates in each of Ontario’s 103 
ridings.  This is the first time in almost a century that voters have had a 
different party that they could choose to vote for across the province.  The 
party’s comprehensive platform extensively describes its fiscally responsible, 
socially progressive and environmentally responsible policies.  In two 
previous Ontario by-elections, the party finished third.  In recent polls, the 
party has received the support of as many as six percent of decided voters.  
Support for the British Columbia Green Party grew 600 per cent  taking it from 
a distant fourth place to third place in that province’s election  after 
Adriane Carr, the party’s leader, appeared the televised leaders’ debate.  

“Many Ontario voters have little or no interest in the three major parties and 
would therefore be open to voting for other parties if they were made aware of 
their platforms,” said Rosenthal. "It is my opinion that recent Supreme Court 
judgments imply that the electoral fairness implicit in section 3 of the 
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms requires Green Party participation in 
the Leaders' Debate in the circumstances."

“We understand that this is a choice that has not had to be made before in 
Ontario, and we feel that simply explaining it as an “editorial decision” is 
at best a simplification and at worst a distortion and does not reflect 
political realities.  If anybody thought we were not going to be a factor in 
this election,” said Elgie.  “The events of this week prove otherwise.  
Elections should not be decided by a consortium  they should be decided by 
citizens  and citizens have the right to make an informed choice.“ 

- 30 - 
For further information: 
Green Party of Ontario 

This is the OPIRG-events@ox.org list. Participatory activist events only.
To unsubscribe, send email to opirg-events-request@ox.org, and put
"unsubscribe" in the body.
Archive at: http://www.sandelman.ottawa.on.ca/lists/html/opirg-events/