Together, we are starting to build a Canada for the many.
Letter from the Directors
As we look around the world today, it’s sometimes difficult to be optimistic. Donald Trump is President, and far-right politics seems to be ascendant across the developed world. Here in Canada, Doug Ford has been elected Premier of the country’s largest province, and Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives are embracing the ideas of extreme right-wing figures like Ezra Levant.
However, we also have reason to be optimistic. Progressive ideas about inequality, the economy, and our planet which would have recently been dismissed out of hand are now part of the mainstream political discourse. The field is open, and we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape our future.
We created North99 to help ensure that our future is a progressive, forward-thinking one — not the one preferred by the likes of Ford and Scheer. Since its creation North99 just over 12 months ago, North99 has quickly grown to be the most engaged, and one of the largest, communities of progressive Canadians online. We have created a media ecosystem that reaches millions of Canadians with a progressive message, mobilized tens of thousands of Canadians to take action on key issues, and pressured government to enact progressive change.
Tens of thousands of Canadians have embraced North99’s mission to use modern communications and advocacy to promote policies that make Canada work in the interests of the many, not the wealthy few. This is important, because without a progressive voice on social media platforms such as Facebook, we risk losing the battle for ideas against far-right groups like Rebel Media and influential think tanks like the Fraser Institute.
Beyond defeating the far-right, we also need organizations that can pressure governments, day after day and year after year, to implement progressive change. We cannot show up to vote once every 4 years and expect to win the change we want. It’s going to take constant work and advocacy. That’s why we are working hard to make North99 an organization built to last.
2019 is going to be a crucial year for Canada. If Andrew Scheer is elected, his friends at The Rebel and in the anti-women’s movement will score a major victory and gain access to the halls of power. Needless to say, we must prevent this from happening.
But we must also not lose sight of our goal: bringing about real progressive change in this country. That’s why in addition to continuing to advocate for progressive policies like more protections for workers, higher wages, and economic security for all, we are excited to be launching a major, flagship campaign in the run-up to the 2019 election. We will be announcing details of this soon.
And whether we are successful or not depends on you, the people in our community. To the tens of thousands of Canadians who signed a petition, made a phone call, shared a story, or made a donation — we want to thank you for your contribution to building North99 this year. All of our success thus far is because of you.
Thank you for your support, and see you in the New Year.
Geoff Sharpe (the hairy-looking guy on the left) & Taylor Scollon (the dorky-looking guy on the right)
Where We Stand
We are dedicated to advancing progressive ideas and policies, in particular we believe in:
True democracy is incompatible with a society where the richest 1% own 50% of the wealth. Public goods — land, resources, roads, bridges, education — are the foundation of all wealth created in this country, and the public should share in that wealth. We support policies to redistribute wealth and power from an elite few to everyone, including taxes on wealth and inheritance along with greater public ownership of key segments of the economy.
In one of the world’s wealthiest countries, nobody should have to wonder whether they will be able to feed or shelter themselves and their family. But automation and globalization have made work precarious, the cost-of-living is increasing, and wages are stagnant. We believe in policies that will make people’s lives economically secure, including a universal basic income, free college and university, and affordable housing for all.
Hard work ought to be honoured, and the people who build our economy ought to be respected. That must include guaranteeing workers a decent wage, safe working conditions, and fair benefits. We support policies to protect workers, and to empower them to secure a better life through stronger unions.
There is no place for racism, sexism, xenophobia, or discrimination of any form in our society. We oppose all movements and groups that promote these ideas, and support policies that curb discrimination.
Climate change is an existential threat and must be reversed. We support moving Canada to a 100% clean energy economy with net-zero carbon emissions. We support policies that will move us towards achieving this goal, and oppose policies that will expand our extraction and consumption of fossil fuels.
We believe that by bringing together progressive Canadians, we can build powerful institutions that can make change happen through the democratic process.
We are creating a progressive Canadian media ecosystem that can shift public opinion in favour of progressive ideas and policies.
We target and work to defeat right-wing candidates in elections at all levels across the country, while highlighting issues of importance to progressive voters.
We mobilize citizens to pressure elected officials of all partisan stripes to back progressive polices.
In just one year, the North99 community has become one of the largest forces for progressive change in Canada.
Hear from the North99 community
We asked North99 monthly donors why they are a part of our community. Here's what they said.
I donate to only a few progressive organizations that I believe have the greatest impact. These include the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Greenpeace, Doctors without Borders, and the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees. However, North99 has the punchy, to the point messaging, necessary to counter the right wing resurgence in Canada. This is why I am making ongoing monthly donations.Dennis Raphael
I have been concerned about the general reversal of progress that I have seen in politics in the U. S. and other democratic countries. Recently, I have witnessed the same trend taking hold at home, even in Ontario. The wave of populism, exclusion and accompanying lack of compassion pervading our provincial politics is very distressing. I will not comply with the will of "leaders" who bray populist themes to appeal to the heartless privileged. I must do something to resist their bid to profit by "stealing from the poor, to give to the rich."Robert Allingham
Politics and religion are for sure two subjects that if you stand your ground on what you believe in, can divide a family in a heartbeat, especially when you're dealing with right to far right relatives who have a "my way or the highway mentallity". I refuse to destroy my family because of politics and this is why I'm perfectly comfortable donating to an organization that have the same political beliefs as I do and who is willing to step up to the plate in defense of these beliefs. We must keep the ball rolling to protect our children and grandchildren until they can defend themselves against their present.Clem Pineau
We need a genuinely progressive presence on the Internet. I am willing to put my money where their voice is. I am not rich but I will do what I can to be a tiny part of the growth of North99.Paula
I decided to donate and support North 99 after seeing too much of the right wing biased stuff coming out of groups like Ontario Proud. I feel and recognize the need for a counter voice in the fight for the soul of Canada.Chris Watson
After reviewing several articles on the website I found myself nodding in agreement with virtually everything. North99 is prepared to challenge the lies and misrepresentation of the right wing and Conservatives. I am constantly disappointed in the corporate media and the CBC news service who continue to treat politicians like Ford, Scheer and others as holding legitimate positions and never challenge their agendas.Paul Rainsberry
I've seen too many once-(seemingly-)kindhearted and sensible friends and family members sucked in by hate-fuelled propaganda from the far right. North 99 helps to counter the misinformation being pumped out by far right media outlets, and provides progressive Canadians with a common community to build from as we work to repair and prevent the damage and injustices done by reactionary groups and regressive politicians.Nicole
North99 is the only source online that I'm aware of that provides a truly critical look at what is happening with government policy. More than at any time in my adult life I feel that we need informed folk like these guys to be examining what's really happening around us.John R. Smith
Far too much money is poured into alt-right disinformation campaigns, and North99 brings forward responses to that ideology where it manifests significantly in Canada. It is difficult to find information about Canadian alt-right activities that is not overrun with conflationary USA-driven content. I think North99 does a reasonable job of presenting Canadian responses in a rational, thought-provoking manner and I find that useful. The old funding models for reporting are largely no longer viable and so I contribute what I can to help support reporting that I believe has value.Dennis Simpson
- Built the most engaged progressive community online in Canada.
- Reached millions of Canadians each month with a progressive message.
- Successfully pressured the Federal government to restrict access to dangerous guns.
- Helped defeat targeted Conservative candidates in the Ontario election.
- Kicked the far-right Proud Boys group off the Shopify platform.
- Pressured Rogers to pull white nationalist Faith Goldy's radio ads.
- Mobilized 15,000 Canadians to tell their MP to ban handguns.
- 150,000 actions taken to pressure elected officials to support progressive causes.
- 13,000 Canadians demanded Tim Horton's pay workers a decent wage.
North99 is 100% funded by individual Canadian donors. We don't take a dime from business interests or corporations. In 2018 we received 3,774 individual donations with an average donation size of $14.50. The largest contribution we received was $515.
We dedicated 100% of donations in 2018 to either active campaigns, warchests for future campaigns, digital advertising for North99 directly, or basic infrastructure (like software tools or accounting) to keep North99 operational. We did not pay out any salaries, though we plan to begin hiring a full-time team in 2019.
- Defeat Andrew Scheer's Conservatives. Canadians will head to the polls in 2019 for a Federal election. Andrew Scheer has already made it clear that if elected he will serve as a puppet of his three chief benefactors: corporate interests, the far-right Rebel media crowd, and regressive social conservatives. We will work to ensure he is soundly defeated.
- Launch our 2019 flagship campaign. We will have more details on this soon, but in early 2019 we will be launching a flagship campaign that will run throughout the year (and beyond). It will be a push both online and on the ground for transformative progressive change in Canada. Stay tuned!
- Double the size of our community. It's important to continue growing the size of our community. Our goal for 2019 is to increase the number of North99 supporters (defined as people who have joined our supporter email list) from 60,000 to 120,000.
- Create a volunteer program. The strength of North99 is it's community of grassroots Canadians. A goal for 2019 is to create a volunteer program that effectively channels the passion and skills of our community into action.
- Reach financial sustainability. North99 is sustainable as a volunteer operation, but not as one with professional staff and paid organizers. Our goal in 2019 is to expand our grassroots fundraising program to become financially sustainable for the long-term.
Be a part of it
Politics as usual isn't going to cut it anymore. We need to build an organization that can advance progressive ideas and pressure politicians day after day, year after year, until we get the change we need. If you want a Canada that works for the many, not just the wealthy few, join North99 and help us make it happen.