Mike Schreiner

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Mike Schreiner

Schreiner in 2012
Leader of the Green Party of Ontario
Assumed office
15 November 2009
Preceded byFrank de Jong
Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament
for Guelph
Assumed office
7 June 2018
Preceded byLiz Sandals
Personal details
Born (1969-06-09) 9 June 1969 (age 51)
WaKeeney, Kansas, U.S.
  • Canada
  • United States[1]
Political partyGreen
ResidenceGuelph, Ontario and Toronto
Alma materUniversity of Kansas
Indiana University Bloomington
OccupationEntrepreneur, Politician

Mike Schreiner (About this soundlisten) (born 9 June 1969) is a politician,[2] the leader of the Green Party of Ontario,[3] and the Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Guelph in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.[4][5] Prior to making politics a full-time career, Schreiner operated businesses that were food-related. He has been a small business advocate, entrepreneur, and food policy expert.[6]

Schreiner joined the Green Party of Ontario in 2005 and became leader in 2009, taking over from Frank de Jong. He made history in the 2018 provincial election, becoming the first ever Green MPP, taking 45% of the vote in the riding of Guelph. His election marked the first time that four different parties were elected to the Ontario Legislature since 1951. It was Schreiner's second time running in Guelph, after running in Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock and Simcoe—Grey previously.


Schreiner is a US-born Canadian. He was born on 9 June 1969, in WaKeeney, Kansas, the son of Barbara and Ronald Schreiner (1949–2007).[7][8] He grew up on the family grain farm, helping his parents. This is where his interest in food, agriculture and the environment began.

After graduating from Indiana University, Schreiner and his wife moved to Toronto in 1994, and he became a Canadian citizen in 2007.[2][9] He and his wife Sandy are the parents of two daughters.[10]


Schreiner earned bachelor's degrees in business administration and history from the University of Kansas (1992). He earned his master's degree in history from Indiana University Bloomington in 1994.[11]

While at Indiana University, he met his future wife, Sandy Welsh, later a sociology professor and vice provost at the University of Toronto.[12][2]


Schreiner has been an entrepreneur and small business owner whose ventures have focused on sustainable food production and the local food movement. His first business was Toronto Organics that specialized in delivering food to consumers.

After moving to the Guelph area, Schreiner continued operating food distribution businesses.[2] One company – WOW Foods – was awarded the Citizens Bank of Canada Ethics in Action Award for socially responsible business and the Toronto Food Policy Council's Local Food Hero Award. He also co-founded Earthdance Organics, a Guelph-based food production business that supplied area health food stores and farmers' markets in the early 2000s.[13]

In 2005 Schreiner he co-founded Local Food Plus, which brought "farmers and consumers together to promote financially, socially and environmentally sustainable local food systems".[2] According to the Green Party of Ontario, he has served as a volunteer with organizations including FarmStart, the Brewer's Plate, the Toronto Food Policy Council and the Green Enterprise Ontario Steering Committee, the Canadian International Peace Project, and Toronto's Campus Community Co-op Day Care Centre.[10]

Political career[edit]

Schreiner has been actively involved in the GPO since 2004. He co-chaired the 2007 election platform committee and served as policy coordinator from 2008 to 2009. He was acclaimed as party leader in 2009.[14]

Schreiner first ran as a candidate for the GPO in the Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock by-election in March 2009, losing to Rick Johnson.

In the 2011 election, Schreiner ran as a candidate for Simcoe—Grey, finishing fourth behind Progressive Conservative incumbent Jim Wilson.[15]

Schreiner was nominated as the party's candidate for Guelph in the 2014 Ontario general election, where he finished third behind winner Liz Sandals of the Ontario Liberal Party, garnering over 19% of the vote.  

In May 2018, the Toronto Star editorial board endorsed him as the best candidate in Guelph and said that he was "the most forthright leader in the campaign for the 7 June Ontario election".[16] He was also endorsed by the Guelph Mercury's editorial board in an op-ed, "Mike Schreiner is the candidate most worthy of representing Guelph provincially", citing ten reasons to vote for Schreiner.[17]

Schreiner's campaign proved successful in a four-party race, becoming the first ever Green MPP in Ontario history.[18] He captured 45 per cent of the vote in the Guelph riding, more than doubling the previous percentage and nearly tripling the actual number of voters for him.

Leadership of the Green Party of Ontario[edit]

On 14 November 2009, Schreiner won the Ontario Green Party leadership election, having been acclaimed. According to the GPO, "Under Mike’s leadership the GPO has experienced substantial growth in its voters, fundraising, staff, volunteers and media exposure". Between 2009 and 2014 for example, fundraising increased from $50,000 to $500,000, all from individuals.[19] Those achievements did not translate into success in terms of getting a seat until 2018.[20]

Despite not holding a seat in the legislature at that time, Schreiner lobbied in favour of the price on carbon, protecting pollinators with a ban on neonicotinoids, and funding for the Experimental Lakes Area.

2018 Election[edit]

Schreiner's platform for the Green Party of Ontario included the following, as summarized by the Toronto Star.[21]

  • Implement more programs to help homeowners with green retrofits to save energy
  • Offer universal dental care and pharmacare
  • Set a date to phase out internal combustion engines to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Introduce carbon pricing to discourage use of greenhouse gas-producing goods and services, with revenues returned to Ontarians as dividends
  • Focus health system more on illness prevention

Schreiner expanded on the platform with this comment: "I am fighting for a livable future for my children, I am fighting to tackle climate change and address income inequality, social justice issues and improving our democracy".[22] During an interview in May 2018 he added that the Party proposed cutting payroll taxes for some small businesses to be made up for with an increased tax rate on larger businesses.[23] Just prior to the election, he told the CBC that he hopes to see Ontario moving to 100 per cent renewable energy and was in favour of closing the nuclear power plant at Pickering. He also favoured adding mental health coverage into the Ontario Health Insurance Plan and a basic income program.[24]

Despite efforts to convince them otherwise, Schreiner was excluded from televised leaders debates, a move the Toronto Star billed as "unfair". The publication's Ontario Politics Commentator made this comment: "This isn't the first time they have conspired to exclude the Greens, but this time the exclusion is more egregious than ever".[25]

Following his win in the 2018 election, Schreiner was sworn into the Ontario Legislature on 5 July. Although he had been viewed by many as primarily a "green" candidate Schreiner said that his goal would be broader. "I'm going to do politics differently. I campaigned on a promise to create jobs, put people and planet first. I’m going to keep fighting for that."[26]

42nd Parliament[edit]

During the first three months of the 42nd Parliament, he was a frequent critic of Premier Doug Ford.[27][28][29] As a party leader, Schreiner has been extensively quoted by the news media on issues such as the government's decisions to cancel the province's cap-and-trade legislation, scrapping the green energy programs and rebates, on the tactics used by Ford to reduce the size of Toronto Council and on the provincial plan to allow marijuana smoking in numerous locations.[27][28][29][30]

Personal life[edit]

Schreiner lives with his wife Sandy and their two daughters in Toronto and in Guelph.[11] He became a Canadian citizen in 2007.

During 2012 to 2017, he was a contributor to HuffPost Canada, on topics such as water protection, healthy food systems, recycling, climate change, clean tech, transit, energy and carbon pricing.[31][32]

Schreiner served on the steering committee for Green Enterprise Toronto, an association of over 350 small businesses, and on the Board of Directors of FarmStart, a non-profit that assists new farmers in Ontario, and he is a governor of the Canadian International Peace Project.[11] He is a Rotarian and volunteer on many Guelph initiatives including Hillside Music Festival, Guelph Jazz Festival, Guelph Community Clean up, Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation, and Democracy Guelph.

Electoral record[edit]

2018 Ontario general election: Guelph
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Green Mike Schreiner 29,082 45.04 +25.75
Progressive Conservative Ray Ferraro 14,084 21.81 +0.97
New Democratic Agnieszka Mlynarz 13,929 21.57 +3.87
Liberal Sly Castaldi 6,537 10.12 −31.40
None of the Above Paul Taylor 358 0.55 +0.55
Libertarian Michael Riehl 297 0.46 +0.14
Ontario Party Thomas Mooney 181 0.28 +0.28
Communist Juanita Burnett 109 0.17 −0.17
Total valid votes 64,577 100.0  
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots
Turnout 63.18
Eligible voters 102,213
Green gain from Liberal Swing +12.39
Source: Elections Ontario[33]
2014 Ontario general election: Guelph
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Liz Sandals 21,949 41.33 +18.84
Progressive Conservative Anthony MacDonald 11,179 21.05 −33.54
Green Mike Schreiner 10,181 19.17 +10.41
New Democratic James Gordon 9,392 17.68 +3.22
Communist Juanita Burnett 236 0.44 +0.44
Libertarian Blair Smythe 168 0.31 +0.31
Source: Elections Ontario[34]
2011 Ontario general election: Simcoe—Grey
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Jim Wilson 25,396 54.49 13.42
Liberal Donna Kenwell 10,386 22.49 −21.24
New Democratic David Matthews 6,738 14.46 +8.48
Green Mike Schreiner 4,084 8.76 +2.12
Total valid votes 100.0
Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock by-election, 5 March 2009
resignation of Laurie Scott
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Rick Johnson 15,482 43.73 +14.22
Progressive Conservative John Tory 14,576 41.17 −8.73
Green Mike Schreiner 2,352 6.64 −0.56
New Democratic Lyn Edwards 2,117 5.98 −5.92
Independent Jason Taylor 320 0.90
Family Coalition Jake Pothaar 258 0.73 −0.07
Freedom Bill Denby 140 0.40 −0.4
Independent John Turmel 92 0.26
Libertarian Paolo Fabrizio 71 0.20


  1. ^ Guly, Christopher (15 June 2018). "Green Hopes, NDP Fears and PC Dreams". The Tyee. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Ontario's Greens pick Mike Schreiner as new leader". CBC. 14 June 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  3. ^ "Ontario's Greens pick Mike Schreiner as new leader". Globe & Mail. 14 November 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  4. ^ Kalinowski, Tess (7 June 2018). "Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner makes history with victory in Guelph". Toronto Star. Toronto, ON. Archived from the original on 8 June 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Schreiner makes history in Guelph". Toronto, ON: Green Party of Ontario. 7 June 2018. Archived from the original on 8 June 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  6. ^ Rider, David (11 August 2007). "Fresh thoughts about buying local". Toronto Star. Toronto, ON. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  7. ^ "Ontario Green party leader Mike Schreiner green in more ways than one - Globalnews.ca". Globalnews.ca. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Ronald Schreiner". McCook Gazette. 17 January 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Some facts about Ontario Green party leader Michael Schreiner". Global News. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Party leader Schreiner green in more ways than one". Green Party of Ontario. 7 July 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  11. ^ a b c "Leader - Mike Schreiner | Green Party of Ontario". Toronto, ON: Green Party of Ontario. 14 November 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  12. ^ "Communications for Academic Administrators – University of Toronto". Memos.provost.utoronto.ca. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  13. ^ "Party leader Schreiner green in more ways than one". TheSpec. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 June 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 June 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Guelph voters should consider making history and sending the Greens' Mike Schreiner to Queen's Park". Toronto Star. 21 May 2018.
  17. ^ "Is Guelph Going Green?". Guelph Mercury. 25 May 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  18. ^ Kalinowski, Tess (7 June 2018). "Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner makes history with victory in Guelph". Archived from the original on 8 June 2018. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  19. ^ "Mike Schreiner says Green Party has to prove it can win - The Star". Thestar.com. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  20. ^ "Mike Schreiner, Guelph Green Party of Ontario". Gpo.ca. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  21. ^ "'I'm so passionate about Ontario embracing a new economy': Green party Leader Mike Schreiner". Toronto Star. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  22. ^ "Mike Schreiner is hoping for Guelph's Green moment - The Star". Thestar.com. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  23. ^ Seto, Chris (18 May 2018). "Green party aims to cut payroll taxes for qualifying small businesses". GuelphMercury.com. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  24. ^ "Green Leader Mike Schreiner 'cautiously optimistic' he'll win in Guelph". CBC. 6 June 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  25. ^ "Why are the Greens barred from Ontario's TV debates?". Toronto Star. 2 May 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  26. ^ "Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner sworn in as Ontario legislator". National Post. 5 July 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  27. ^ a b "Ontario government moves to scrap Green Energy Act". 20 September 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  28. ^ a b "Ford says 'Guelph' turned down glass plant. But it was never destined for that city". 20 September 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  29. ^ a b "Ontario government moves to scrap Green Energy Act". 20 September 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  30. ^ "Ontario could see up to 1,000 private pot shops after cannabis legalization". 27 September 2018. Archived from the original on 28 September 2018. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  31. ^ "Party: Green,Riding: Guelph,City: Guelph,Province: Ontario". Greenpac.ca. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  32. ^ "Mike Schreiner". HuffPost Canada. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  33. ^ "Summary of Valid Votes Cast for each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  34. ^ Elections Ontario (2014). "027, Guelph". Archived from the original on 17 June 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2014.

External links[edit]