Did You Know…Week of April 14, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week BC Electoral Reform Referendum Part 1:  April 21 – Day of Action on proportional representation.  We’ll be on the 17th Street Bridge waving signs and banners from 10-12 Saturday morning.  We will have a table at the outdoor Farmer’s Market, AND we’ll be canvassing later that afternoon!  It’s going to be a full day.  Come on out to the bridge in the morning and show your support.  Check us out on Facebook. Part 2:  The New Zealand government has just announced it is banning all future oil exploration. If you have concerns that a proportional system of government would not be able to get anything done, watch this video. The three parties are all on the same page, and so the government is able to bring about a massive shift, whereas our Prime Minister talks a lot all over the world about Canada’s dedication to climate change but is doing virtually nothing and is now possibly considering using the military to force the Kinder Morgan pipeline through First Nations lands to the BC coast. Locally Indspire Indigenous Awards Dr. Evelyn Voyageur, one of the Elders in Residence at North Island College and part of the Nursing program, will be awarded the Indspire Award for Health. 2018 is the 25th year for the Awards. Read more. Indspire is led by Indigenous people, investing in education for Indigenous people. Aquifer and local rezoning request for water bottling Check out the Canadian Freshwater Alliance’s action on the license granted to the Merville property owner who wants to tap into the aquifer.  Read more. Greens of Courtenay-Alberni Fireside chats...

Did You Know…Week of April 7, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week BC Electoral Reform Referendum Part 1:  Unifor has joined the BC campaign for electoral reform.  Read more. Part 2:  If you would like to get involved, or just feel more comfortable talking to people about proportional representation and the campaign, join us for a session on Sunday, April 15, 3-5 p.m. It’ll be fun and informative. No stress, no fuss, no pressure. Address is on the Doodle poll. Locally Recycling and Waste Part 1:  Comox Strathcona regional districts are looking at alternatives to landfills. Excerpt:  “Using valuable land to bury our garbage is 17th century thinking.”  Read more. Part 2:  Meanwhile in Campbell River, Uplands Excavating wants to expand its operations and accept contaminated soil at a landfill in the city’s watershed. Read more on this four-year long fight.  And here is Damien Gillis giving his presentation at a hearing on behalf of the Campbell River Environmental Committee (CREC) recently. Greens of Courtenay-Alberni Fireside chats The Courtenay-Alberni EDA are holding a series of Fireside chats at the Westerly Hotel during April.  The second one is April 12, 5-7 p.m. and the topic is “How to Reduce Human-Wildlife Conflicts.” Invitation to groundwater licensing workshops and information session, April 16, 2018 Excerpt:  The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) and the Province of BC are hosting “existing use” groundwater licensing workshops and a public information session on Monday, April 16th. Anyone interested in water management is welcome to attend the information session, to be held at the Lower Native Sons Hall from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. Farmers and other non-domestic well users are invited to register for one of...

Did You Know … Week of March 31, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week BC Electoral Reform Referendum Part 1:  The Make Every Voter Count (MEVC) is getting its campaign together.  Their website has options to Join the Campaign, Spread the Word, and Take the Survey. Part 2:  Fair Vote Comox Valley (FVCV) has been out canvassing a number of times now, and the canvassers are finding that more than 50% of people talked to don’t yet know about the referendum. This represents a HUGE opportunity for the Yes to PR side. We have the opportunity to set the narrative, to make sure people hear how a proportional voting system would benefit them, would give them a greater voice in government. CALL TO ACTION:  This referendum campaign needs many “boots on the ground” to get the word out before the No side starts spending thousands of dollars on TV and newspaper ads. Foot canvassing, phone canvassing and tabling are all opportunities to inform people. Contact a Fair Vote chapter near you, or form a chapter. There is a Fair Vote Powell River chapter, a Fair Vote Sunshine Coast chapter, and a Fair Vote Canada-Mid Vancouver Island chapter. FVCV is offering fun, safe, non-threatening training sessions on talking about PR, focusing on questions canvassers may be faced with.  The focus of the canvassing right now is to inform people of the referendum and let them know that a vote for Yes to PR will benefit all voters, not parties. Liberal, Conservative, NDP and Green voters alike will benefit from a more proportional system. If you’d like to attend one of the FVCV training sessions, contact Megan Ardyche, FVCV Volunteer...

Did You Know…Week of March 24, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week Provincially: BC Green Party Annual General Meeting/Convention June 1-3, Kamloops:  Early bird tickets available now. LNG From the BC Greens:  Add your name to tell John Horgan his plan to woo LNG companies will sabotage BC’s climate targets. Premier John Horgan and LNG A Financial Post article on LNG in Canada/BC.  Read more and still more.  There’s much more on this available, of course.  The BC Greens are asking people to “tell Horgan it isn’t worth it.” Site C – Is it a Done Deal? The Site C town hall at the K’omoks First Nation Band Hall was a really informative event.  Ken Boon and Steve Gray did a great job of debunking the current NDP government’s contention that Site C is “past the point of no return.” Agrologist Wendy Holm also explained why that whole area is such an important agricultural area.  The valley goes east-west rather than north-south, and so has the advantage of a microclimate that is perfect for growing food despite its northern location. The speakers talked about the Yellow Stake campaign and how the First Nations who are fighting this need financial support.  Wendy Holm put it succinctly:  “If you eat for a living, you’ve got a stake in the Peace Valley.” Kinder Morgan Elizabeth May is arrested.  “The commitment to build a pipeline when we’re in the midst of a climate crisis is a crime against future generations and I will not be a part of it.”  Her court date is June 14, 2018.  The charge is civil contempt for blocking a road.  She now cannot go back...

Did You Know … Week of March 17, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week BC Electoral Reform Referendum March 14, 2018 – Let’s Make Every Vote Count! What a great event this was. Elizabeth May, Rachel Blaney, Sheldon Falk and Barb Berger were the speakers. We got some background from May about the Federal committee on electoral reform and Trudeau’s decision to renege on his campaign promises. Blaney talked about her town halls and survey on electoral reform in the North Island-Powell River riding. Falk talked about youth voices, and Berger gave some background on the BC Alliance in this effort and also on the three main systems that would work for BC. It sounds like it would be kind of boring, doesn’t it? But it wasn’t boring at all! There were 180+ people at the Stan Hagen Theatre, and they were obviously listening closely, if the questions during the Q&A were anything to go by. The evening ended with a personal story on the positive impact people-centred government policies can have in people’s lives. That personal story bookended what all the speakers emphasized – that values are at the heart of this referendum debate - the values we all cherish and which governments under a first-past-the-post system don’t reflect. Fair Vote Comox Valley has been out canvassing 3 times already. What we’ve found is that at least half of the people we’ve spoken to don’t know about the referendum at all. Our focus at this point is to make sure people know about this important vote, and that they know it will be a mail-in ballot. The vast majority of the people we’ve spoken to, even if...

Did you know…Week of March 10, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week BC Electoral Reform Referendum Get involved locally Six people went out again on Saturday, March 10, in the Puntledge area.  It was a gorgeous day to be out canvassing and, while many people weren’t home, those who were home were largely in support of electoral reform. We need your help to get to 50 + 1 in this referendum.  We’ve got a great group, but we need more people. Get in on the action!  Contact Megan at m.ardyche@gmail.com to get involved. Let’s Make Every Vote Count, March 14, 2018 ONLY 3 TICKETS REMAINING AS OF MARCH 10. Fair Vote Comox Valley’s campaign launch, March 14, 2018, at the Stan Hagen Theatre at North Island College.  Doors open at 6:30; the event starts at 7 p.m.  Speakers will include Elizabeth May as a previous member of the Federal Committee on Electoral Reform and MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, Rachel Blaney, MP for North Island-Powell River, Barb Berger of FV Comox Valley, and Sheldon Falk of the NIC Students Union and BC Federation of Students.  Tickets are available at Eventbrite.  Tickets are free.  Locally: City Planning – Municipal Elections We have municipal elections this fall.  In Macleans Magazine’s March 2018 edition, Jennifer Keesmaat has an essay titled “Urban Life:  Stuck in the Middle.”  It’s not available online so you’ll have to pay the female or male price (see item below) for this month’s issue. Keesmaat is a former urban planner for the City of Toronto.  In this essay, she talks about Canada’s cities not having a sustainable future “because they’re stuck on a suburban growth model.”  She...

Did you know…Week of March 3, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week BC Electoral Reform Referendum Get involved locally Fair Vote Comox Valley (FVCV) canvassers are going to start canvassing in early March.  We’ve been holding a series of “Talking to People About PR” exercises which have been a huge amount of fun and very good preparation for knocking on doors or talking to people on the phone.  There will probably be more of these exercises held over the course of the rest of this campaign. Check out Fair Vote Comox Valley Facebook page and Fair Vote BC’s page. Fair Vote Comox Valley is also now accepting donations.  If you can’t give your time, here’s how you can support this campaign over the next year.  E-transfers can be made to:  fairvotecomoxvalley@gmail.com.  If you do an e-transfer, please put your name in the Note field and some sort of contact information so we can thank you.  If you’d like to write a cheque, send an email to fairvotecomoxvalley@gmail.com and we’ll give you the address. We need your help to get to 50 + 1 in this referendum.  We’ve got a great group, but we need more people. Get in on the action!  Contact Megan at m.ardyche@gmail.com to get involved. Let’s Make Every Vote Count, March 14, 2018 Don’t miss this event:  FVCV is hosting an information night on March 14, 2018, at the Stan Hagen Theatre at North Island College.  Doors open at 6:30; the event starts at 7 p.m.  Speakers will include Elizabeth May as a previous member of the Federal Committee on Electoral Reform and MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, Rachel Blaney, MP for North Island-Powell...

Did You Know…Week of February 24, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week BC Electoral Reform Referendum Get involved locally Fair Vote Comox Valley (FVCV) canvassers are going to start canvassing in early March.  We’ve been holding a series of “Talking to People About PR” exercises which have been a huge amount of fun and very good preparation for knocking on doors or talking to people on the phone.  There will probably be more of these exercises held over the course of the rest of this campaign. Check out Fair Vote Comox Valley Facebook page and Fair Vote BC’s page. Fair Vote Comox Valley is also now accepting donations.  If you can’t give your time, here’s how you can support this campaign over the next year.  E-transfers can be made to:  fairvotecomoxvalley@gmail.com.  If you do an e-transfer, please put your name in the Note field and some sort of contact information so we can thank you.  If you’d like to write a cheque, send an email to fairvotecomoxvalley@gmail.com and we’ll give you the address. We need your help to get to 50 + 1 in this referendum.  We’ve got a great group, but we need more people. Get in on the action!  Contact Megan at m.ardyche@gmail.com to get involved. Let’s Make Every Vote Count, March 14, 2018 Don’t miss this event:  FVCV is hosting an information night on March 14, 2018, at the Stan Hagen Theatre at North Island College.  Doors open at 6:30; the event starts at 7 p.m.  Speakers will include Elizabeth May as a previous member of the Federal Committee on Electoral Reform and MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, Rachel Blaney, MP for North Island-Powell...

Line-up for Nanaimo town hall shows people care about the country

Feb. 15, 2018 Dear editor, I went to Nanaimo on Friday, Feb. 2 for PM Trudeau’s town hall. I didn’t even try to get inside, but talked to people in the line who were waiting to get in. There were people who had concerns about Kinder Morgan, LNG, electoral reform, the opioid crisis, the national housing strategy, and much more. I was astounded at the number of people who waited hours outside. Even at 11 a.m. people were lined up for what would probably be the equivalent of four or five city blocks, and that’s after people lining up since 8 a.m. had been slowly entering the hall. I was so heartened by the number of people who are engaged enough and who care enough to have made the trip to Nanaimo. I was especially heartened to see so many young people in the line. They are the people who are going to inherit our government, and the world we leave them. Many of the ones I spoke to were aware of all the various issues, including electoral reform, both federally and provincially in B.C. Some of these people who waited hours may have been there just to see their prime minister in action; this is also a laudable goal. Whether in support or in opposition to PM Trudeau, people care about how their country and province are run. People may not vote because they’re disillusioned, but they care. If we had an electoral system provincially or nationally that represented more of the voters, more of those many people in line in Nanaimo, I think the number of people...

Did You Know … Week of February 17, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week BC Electoral Reform Referendum The BC government consultation site for the 2018 referendum is up.  They are looking for feedback between now and February 28, 2018, at 4 p.m.  Everyone please check out the questionnaire and make a written submission if you think some of the questions are too confusing or obscure.  There are links to read about different systems, the questionnaire, and for written submissions to citizenengagement@gov.bc.ca. Go to http://www.fairvote.ca/bc-government-consultation-survey-guide/ first, and it will take you to the survey. BC Electoral Reform Referendum:  Get involved locally Check out Fair Vote Comox Valley Facebook page and Fair Vote BC’s page. Fair Vote Comox Valley is also now accepting donations.  If you can’t give your time, here’s how you can support this campaign over the next year.  E-transfers can be made to:  fairvotecomoxvalley@gmail.com.  If you do an e-transfer, please put your name in the Note field and some sort of contact information so we can thank you.  If you’d like to write a cheque, send an email to fairvotecomoxvalley@gmail.com and we’ll give you the address. We need your help to get to 50 + 1 in this referendum.  We’ve got a great group, but we need more people. Get in on the action!  Contact Megan at m.ardyche@gmail.com to get involved. Let’s Make Every Vote Count Don’t miss this event:  FVCV is hosting an information night on March 14, 2018, at the Stan Hagen Theatre at North Island College.  Speakers will include Barb Berger of FV Comox Valley, Elizabeth May as a previous member of the Federal Committee on Electoral Reform, and Sheldon Falk of the...

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