"The heart of Ontario's democracy is a system of regular elections that allows citizens to choose the people who will represent and govern them. When that system reflects the values of citizens, it produces a democracy that is rich, vital, and strong." - Democratic Renewal Secretariat, from the Backgrounder, "Engaging Ontarians in a New Form of Decision-Making: The Citizens' Assembly on Electorial Reform." Rob Welch explained the selection and membership as well as mandate and principles of the Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform to members of the Rotary Club of St. Catharines South.  


Weekly Bulletin of the Rotary Club of St. Catharines South 

July 31, 2006
Volume 10, Meeting 4

Lead the Way
Reporter:  R. Morissette

Call to Order:
President Matt Taylor
National Anthem:  Rob Welch
Toast to Queen and Canada: Julio Batres
Invocation: Peter Snodgrass

Jim Howes introduced two visiting rotarians: Paul Monohan from the Niagara Falls Sunrise Club and Henry Becker from the Downtown St. Catharines Club.
Doug Foss, serving as Sergeant-at-Arms, fined:
Laetitia and Paul for excessive "cuddling" during a greeting.
Doug Foss, serving as Sergeant-at-Arms, accepted Happy Dollars from:
Paul Massuet who had a beautiful family reunion recently where he had a chance to spend time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren;
Paul Monohan who was happy to be at the "controversial table";
Julio Batres whose employee had an amazing experience at RYLA;
Henry Becker for representing the "premier Rotary Club of St. Catharines";
John D'Ambrosio whose good friend delivered a Harley Sportster, which John rode all weekendl
Matt Taylor who saw the movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," which addresses the issues of global warming, was compelled to purchase a hybrid vehicle from PerformanceCars.




Ribfest August 4th, 5th, and 6th:

June Manning reviewed the need for volunteers to handle ticket and glow stick sales. June will consolidate the list with Ron Kozub and distribute to all members. 


Golf and Club Assembly, August 14th:

Ron Kozub announced that on August 14th there will be a combined golf day and General Assembly meeting. Golf will be 18 holes at Brock Golfland from 2:00 p.m.to 5:30 p.m.Then from 6:00 p.m.to 9:00 p.m.a General Assembly meeting will take place at Dom's Restaurant at the corner of Merrittville Highwayand Schmon Parkway. Dinner will be from 6:45 p.m.to 7:30 p.m.and the General Assembly will be from 7:30 p.m.to 9:00 p.m.For both venues, please confirm your attendance with Ron Kozubby August 12th.


Ti-Cats Game, Labour Day Weekend:

Bob McBride announced that 35 tickets (of which 16 are now spoken for) have been secured for the Ti-Cats game on Labour Day weekend. The tickets are $38. each. Centre field positioning. The game starts at 5:45 p.m. See Bob McBride for tickets and details.


Bingo: The next bingo sessions are August 12th and September 9th. Jim Hooper and Greg are in need of two more volunteers on August 12th. Bingo runs from 5:30 to 9:30 and then "after bingo" until whenever. On September 9th, three volunteers will be needed to help John Teibert.


Wine Tour Cycle Trek, September 10, 2006

A wine tour/cycle trek is planned for September 10th. The wine tour will start from Victoria Avenue in Vineland at 11 a.m. Wineries to visit include Willow Heights, Vineland Estates, Lakeview Cellars, Kacaba Vineyards and Ridgepoint Winery. Further details to follow from George and Valerie Fitzpatrick. Contact Dan Toppari or Ron Kozub if you are interested.

50/50 DRAW
Julio Batres had the winning ticket, but was unlucky in drawing the Queen of Hearts. 


George Fitzpatrick, June Manning, John D'Ambrosio, and Keith Shaver expressed regrets to the President and Guest Speaker and took early leave.
Manfred (Manny) Fast. Classification - Charitable Foundation Administration.
Also proposed, but deferred for full Board vote is Jean Holbert Leighton.

Rob Welch was the guest speaker addressing the topic of "The Ontario Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform."
Ed Telenko suitably introduced Rob. A partner at Lancaster, Brooks & Welch, Rob, who has a rich and diverse record of community involvement, has announced his candidacy for Mayor of St. Catharines. 
The Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform is the most ambitious and far-reaching democratic renewal initiative in Ontario's history. The heart of Ontario's democracy is a system of regular elections that allows citizens to choose the people who will represent and govern them. When that system reflects the values of citizens, it produces a democracy that is rich, vital, and strong. 
Rob explained that the Ontario Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform will have 103 members (52 females/51 males, at least one aboriginal) - one member from each of Ontario's ridings - plus a Chair appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council (George Thomson), who will review our electoral system and perhaps make recommendations to change it. If the Assembly recommends a new system, the Ontario government has promised to put it to a referendum by the next election in October 2007.
The Assembly will define what the most relevant values and principles are and will include the following in its considerations:
- Legitimacy: The electoral system should have the confidence of Ontarians and reflect their values.
- Fairness of Representation: The Legislative Assembly should reflect the population of Ontario in accordance with demographic representation, proportionality, and representation by population, among other factors.
- Voter Choice: The electoral system should promote voter choice in terms of quantity and quality of options available to voters.
- Effective Parties: Political parties should be able to structure public debate, mobilize and engage the electorate, and develop policy alternatives.
- Stable and Effective Government: The electoral system should contribute to the continuity of government, and governments should be able to develop and implement their agendas and take decisive action when required.
- Effective Parliament: The Legislative Assembly should include a government and opposition and should be able to perform its parliamentary functions successfully. 
- Stronger Voter Participation: Ontario's electoral system should promote voter participation and engagement with the broader democratic process.
- Accountability: Ontario voters should be able to identify decision-makers and hold them to account.
Meetings of the Citizens' Assembly are expected to begin in September 2006. The Citizens' Assembly will issue a report outlining its recommendations on or before May 15th, 2007.   
For more information, please visit www.citizensassembly.gov.on.ca   Questions about the process can be directed to a toll-free information line at 1-866-656-9908, (TTY) 1-800-387-5559.  
Jim Howes thanked Rob for his information presentation.
Debbie Garneau reported 19 members out of 37 for 51 per cent attendance.

As there was no further business for the good of Rotary, President Matt adjourned the meeting at 1:30 p.m.