“#GPO2018 is trending”

Those were the words of one of the MC’s at the Green Party of Ontario convention in Guelph last weekend. Members from across the province gathered in the riding of leader Mike Schreiner to prepare for the election and pass policy for the Greens’ platform. It was a weekend of community, connection and care. In all of this activity, our social media presence ballooned and we were the second most popular hashtag in the country on that Saturday.

We tweeted and posted on Facebook and Instagram so extensively because we were energized! Energized from connecting with fellow Greens; energized from participating in an epic keynote from Mike; energized from finding principled and practical ways to make life more sustainable, more affordable and more just for the people of Ontario; and energized from meeting elected Greens from coast-to-coast and connecting with our recently hired central party staff, like our new communications director Ralph Benmergui (yes, that Ralph Benmergui).

In fact, it was Ralph who asked me to address the Gala Dinner. As I did, I looked out across the 250 members and proudly told them of our beautiful riding, Kingston and The Islands. I spoke of our values of social, economic, environmental and democratic justice. I described our natural beauty and traditional territories. And I drew attention to the wonderful work of our local executive and campaign team. Nine of them were present.

These nine people punched above their weight at convention (or whatever the non-violent equivalent of that saying is). They articulated the need for a number of policies, from electrification of public transit to universal pharmacare, and they saw that they were passed. Many of the policies that I sponsored were also passed, including a policy on living wage and services for transgender Ontarians and their families. Together, we practiced what we preached. And all of this was captured online.

Which brings us back to the hashtag.

I encourage you skim through #GPO2018. See all the amazing things that happened last weekend. Feel the power of our party. Look to the horizon and see the Green wave that is building. And going forward use it to capture the good work of our party and our campaign. Because we can show Ontario, and indeed the country, that Greens can trend on more than social media but at the ballot box as well!