It was a cool, cloudy day for the Convention, held again at the Monte Carlo Inn on Woodbine Avenue in Markham on Saturday November 4, 2017. This didn’t deter many members and guests from attending. Sixty-three people registered for the event, but five did not show. And five more who had not registered in advance showed up at the door. There were three new members (less than 90 days and not eligible to vote) and four guests.
A new feature this year was the low registration fee of $25. One of the changes to the Elections Finances Act effective January 1, 2017 was that fees for business meetings can no longer be treated as a donation eligible for a political tax credit. General Meetings have never been considered fundraisers, so in the past we set the fee to (hopefully) recover costs. The fact that 75% of a $50 or $60 fee would be refunded when attendees filed their tax returns made the net cost minimal. We didn’t want to inhibit anyone from attending because of the cost. It appears the strategy worked since attendance has not been this high for many years.
About 10:00 AM, after everyone partook of coffee and pastries, Allen Small welcomed members and guests and gave his “State of the Party” which you can read here. A disappointment to members was that Allen announced he would resign as Leader sometime after the General Election next June. This follows Jim McIntosh’s announcement at last year’s AGM that he would not run for re-election this year, and Rob Brooks similar announcement more recently.
After Allen’s presentation our guest speaker, Anthony Furey, gave us a lesson on EMPs (Electromagnetic Pulses) and their catastrophic consequences. According to his book, Pulse Attack: The Real Story Behind The Secret Weapon That Can Destroy North America, an EMP can happen when the sun ejects a coronal mass towards the earth. It can also happen when a nuclear bomb is exploded high in the atmosphere. An EMP may not cause damage like those dropped in WWII, but will fry the electric grid and electrical equipment connected to it. It will take months, if not years, before the electric grid is restored. Civilization as we know it will be destroyed. There are ways to defend against such an attack. It will cost a few hundred million dollars to replace and add parts to the North American grid. Most of the costs would be incurred by utilities and passed on to the rate-payers. You can buy the book at www.pulseattackbook.com or on Amazon.
Anthony also had some comments on the uphill battle fighting socialism, as evidenced by the fact that the budget more than doubled between 2000 and 2015. He pointed out that politics is “downstream” from culture, and unfortunately the current culture assumes the government must solve every problem. “Libertarians need to be proactive” he said, “and have balls of steel.”
After a great lunch we held elections for Leader, Deputy Leader, Officers, Members-at-Large, and two members of the Ethics Committee. The Members-at-Large are elected for a one-year term. The rest are elected for three-year terms. The Ethics Committee consists of six members. At each AGM and Convention the members with four or more years of service are retained and two (or more if needed) new members are elected.
The good news is, thanks to the growth of the Party, we have several good people willing to step up and fill these positions. Another indication of our growth is almost all positions had multiple nominations and we needed six run-off ballots! You can see the election results here and the new Executive here.
As expected, Allen Small had no problem retaining the position of Leader, a recognition of the great work he has been doing on Facebook to attract new members and in recruiting candidates for 2018. Mark (Wojo) Wrzesniewski gave incumbent Rob Ferguson a run for Deputy Leader. Jim McIntosh agreed to stand for Secretary (“so I can’t be elected Treasurer”) and won handily. After the Convention someone pointed out that the term for Treasurer (and CFO) is the calendar year to coincide with Elections Ontario’s reporting requirements, and no member may hold more than one position on the Executive. As a result, the position of Secretary is open. Let Gene or Allen know if you’re interested in helping to manage the affairs of the Party.
As the final item of business the Convention passed a motion by show of hands; “To review the promotional statements on the Ontario Libertarian Party website and revise any that may mislead people into thinking they can vote for a party with ones that observe the truth and encourage people to vote for candidates endorsed by the Ontario Libertarian Party,”