“Living Green”: An interview with Susan Holvenstot

Susan Holvenstot, Green Party supporter  As part of a series of “Living Green” interviews with local Green Party supporters, I had the pleasure of interviewing Comox Valley resident Susan Holvenstot. Susan spent a month this past winter visiting indigenous occupation camps in Northwestern B.C., to prevent the use of these unceded lands for LNG and tarsand oil exports. In her answers below, you will find out how she demonstrated her Green Party values to become an ally of indigenous efforts to stop pipelines and tankers on our coast.   Q. Susan, thanks for taking the time to participate in this interview.  I heard you had a pretty interesting winter. What were you up to? A. I went to two different places in Northwest B.C., Unist’ot’en, near Houston and Lelu Island, next to Prince Rupert, where First Nations people are reclaiming their land. They are building and living in permanent camps in the line of proposed pipelines. I went to visit these two locations and help run the camps for a month during the winter. Q. What are the communities hoping to accomplish with these camps? A. Northern B.C. is awash with industrial development, much of which we aren’t even aware of in other parts of B.C. and Canada. There are dozens of proposals for pipelines and natural gas infrastructure all across Northwestern B.C.. Some of the pipelines are for tar sands oil, but others are for new infrastructure for Liquid Fracked Gas. The First Nations people are at the front lines of stopping this from happening. They have unceded ownership of the land, and are constructing and living in...

Brenda Sayers’ Election Night Speech

My family was the strength behind me, along with community members stretching across the North Island – Powell River riding. You all gave me strength during the campaign period. Thank you. The Riding result was called, and I wanted to say that what we achieved in the four-month period since I was nominated is quite incredible. Together we accomplished a lot. Sue and I travelled from the very northern tip of this riding, through the Islands and to Powell River several times over the past months. I truly enjoyed going into communities and meeting the people; having a coffee or a meal or a chat about their thoughts or concerns about the future of our country. As I watched the results roll in from across the country, Elizabeth May was strongly on my mind. She will be the only Green Member of Parliament for the next four years. This is a lot to carry by herself. She will need our help. We need to hold our Members of Parliament accountable. There were many promises made during this election - from an inquiry into the Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and girls, to ensuring urgent climate action and creating green jobs. These are also the things I repeatedly heard at the All-Candidates meetings. As community members, we need to hold the newly elected MP’s accountable to the things they said they would do. It is our responsibility and when I travelled across Canada to raise the profile of the Canada-China FIPA I encouraged people to meet with their MP’s as individuals or groups. They are accountable to us and it...

The Green Island Bus Tour!

Elizabeth May and Greens Host Campbell River Rally October, 17 2015 – Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party (Saanich-Gulf Islands), and Brenda Sayers, candidate (North Island-Powell River), rallied with Green supporters in Campbell River. Brenda Sayers, Financial Administrator of Haahuupayak School, champion against ratification of the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA), and former director of Director of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, said the Greens are quickly gaining momentum across Vancouver Island. “Green Party support is growing on the Island, in B.C., and across the country,” said Ms. Sayers. “We have won before and we will win again.” “Canadians need to get out and vote on Monday, October 19,” continued Mrs. Sayers, “I encourage all residents in the North Island-Powell River riding to get out, bring a friend, and vote Green.” The Green Island bus has arrived! Elizabeth May arriving in Campbell River! Brenda Sayers welcomes Elizabeth May The Green Island bus arriving in Courtenay! Brenda Sayers addressing the crowd, joined by Elizabeth May, Glenn Sollitt, and Green...

Brenda’s Thanksgiving Day letter to Green volunteers and supporters

The Canada-China FIPA has taken me on quite a journey. It has taken me from the Healing Walk through the oil sands in Alberta, to the Dene Nation Chiefs table in the North West Territories, to the stage at the Green Party of Canada annual conference in New Brunswick, and all the towns in between to meet and listen to people’s concerns about the rapidly changing landscape of Canada. This journey caused me to face my inner most fears on a physical, mental & spiritual level. I faced them because I could forsee the negative impact this agreement would have on the people, the land and the water for the next 7 x 7 generations. And I rose to the challenge out of the love I hold for the people and the land. It is not our responsibility; it is our duty, to ensure future generations have everything they need to sustain themselves and their families. They have a right to clean air, clean water and food as we enjoy today. The children, the people of Canada and future generations are what got me out of bed every day to continue fighting the long, arduous legal challenge to stop the ratification of the Canada-China FIPA. I am running for the GPC because they are the only party that not only has vision but has solutions to slow down climate change. The GPC is the only political party that sees the land as more than making a profit, it is about Ecological Wisdom and this sits well with my First Nations values. It was my love for the people and...

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