Must Reads from Last Week

BC Electoral Reform Referendum

An Alternate Reality: Christy Clark in 2009

Read this article by two local Fair Vote Comox Valley members, on just how tied many politicians’ stances for or against proportional representation are to their political fortunes of the moment.  Read more.


Campbell River City Council is considering becoming a “Blue Community”

The Council of Canadians made a presentation to Campbell River City Council on becoming part of the Blue Communities Project.  Read more.

Campbell River to study future impacts of sea level rise

Interestingly, the article focuses almost entirely on the money the study will cost and not at all on the issue of sea level rise and its potential impacts on the community. Read more.

Merville Water Guardians

There is now a group which is taking up the issue of the water license to a Merville landowner who wants to draw, bottle and sell water. Read more.

Mack Laing vs Town of Comox in BC Supreme Court, or perhaps David and Goliath by another name?

The story and saga of the Shakesides House and the legacy of Hamilton Mack Laing will now move to a courtroom. After playing out for 36 years, it is time for the Court system to decide if saving a historical building on the waterfront in the estuary at Comox, BC will continue or forever be terminated. Mack Laing was a naturalist of some significance, and he built the house in 1950/51. He moved into the house when it was completed and lived out his life in “Shakesides” until his death in February 1982.

He left the house to the municipality, plus land and some money, all in Trust. The Town was the trustee, but instead of establishing a modest Natural History Museum as directed by Mr Laing, they rented out the place from late March 1982 until July 2014, did little to maintain the structure apart from a new roof in 1984, and have now concluded it is not in good enough shape to be converted, so the Town of Comox has applied to the Supreme Court of BC in order to get permission to tear down the house.

The BC Attorney General’s office has, in their role as parens patriae in looking after the interest of the Gift-Giver, sided with the Town of Comox on just about all points and information, and most importantly agreeing to the demolition of Shakesides.

Only the Mack Laing Heritage Society (MLHS) presents a different set of views and path forward, in order to enable the establishment of a Nature House similar to so many others on Vancouver Island, the Sybil Andrews House in Campbell River to name just one example.

After a full day of proceedings at the Supreme Court of BC in Nanaimo on the 17th of April 2018, Justice Thompson “Strongly instructed the parties to consent to granting MLHS Intervenor Status with NO restrictions what-so-ever“, due to an “armful of collected evidence and historical facts” numbering well over 500 pages with 11 affidavits and approximately 120 exhibits, all backed up by an actual friend of Mack Laing’s.

When the AG and the lawyer for the Town of Comox (Mr. Moll of YoungAnderson of Vancouver) were asked for ‘Issues not to be raised by MLHS, the answer from the Town was, “No breach of Trust issues” and, to my ears, only silence from the AG. However, the Town admitted in December of 2017 to having spent large sums of Mack Laing Trust money, NOT authorized by the probated will, and then repaid the said amount to the Trust, to the tune of $178 000.00.

The short of the long story now reads, “Town disputes ‘the Intervenor Status with NO restrictions what-so-ever,’ having never consented to such a solution.” Looks like we are heading back to Court to clear up what Justice Thompson really meant…Stay tuned!  Read more.

Excerpt:  According to [J-Kris] Nielsen, the ‘genius of Justice Thompson showed up in the last half hour of the April 17 court session, when he maneuvered the proceedings around with “carrot and stick tactics” to bring about a conclusion, surely saving a full day of court time from playing out…It was all done with one question (to the Town of Comox and the AG representative): ‘What question is it you want the society NOT to ask?’”

Clean, Green Energy Symposium, sponsored by Greens on Courtenay-Alberni

Knox United Church, Parksville,
10-4, June 2, 2018

Guest speakers –
Guy Dauncey, practical utopian
Micheal Mehta of Sweetspot Solar
Island Community Solar Coop

On site are Hakaienergy Solutions,Viridian Energy Coop,, Aztec Off Grid Solutions, ArroLectric and other clean energy solutions for you and me.

Open to everyone by your sustainable donations at the door.
Contact Sunshine for further information:

Greens of Courtenay-Alberni Fireside chats

A People, Planet, Profit Approach to Sustainability with Sandra Hamilton
April 26, 5-7pm

The final fireside chat leader will be Sandra Hamilton, Canada’s First Social MBA, who poses the question, “Why is it so difficult to get a local potato into the local hospital?”  Join us for a conversation about the power of leveraging taxpayer funded contracts to support sustainable food systems; community economic development; skills training and other important public policy goals such as indigenous reconciliation. Sandra was the catalyst behind the NIC FEED Comox Valley local food projects and has more than 20 years of experience in business, including to Business Manager to Vancouver 2010 Olympics CEO John Furlong, Olympian Silken Laumann, and publisher of BC Women’s Magazine. Admission by donation.


Tyee Writer Recognized for Work on Women’s Equality

Rachel Sanders wrote an investigative series on working conditions for restaurant and bar servers in BC. Sanders has been nominated for the (Michele) Landsberg “recognizing exceptional coverage of women’s equality issues.”  Read more.

Kinder Morgan

Part 1:  Pretty much the entire issue of The Tyee, April 20, 2018, edition is on the KM pipeline issue.

Part 2:  Policy Options gives pretty balanced reportage, and is perhaps one of the adults in the room on this issue. Read more.

Excerpt:  “None of the parties to the Kinder Morgan dispute come to the conversation with clean hands, but the current hysteria over the project has the potential to do more damage to Canada’s economic and environmental interests than the actual fate of the pipeline itself. A calmer and more mature debate is needed on all sides.

Part 3:  The National Post has this article looking at the scope of support/non-support for Trans Mountain. Like most relationships, it’s complicated.  Read more.

Excerpt:  Ask Greenpeace, and they’ll tell you First Nations are eco-warriors bravely protecting the ocean from rapacious pipeline-crazed plutocrats. Ask the Fraser Institute, and they’ll say First Nations are enthusiastic, hard-hatted oilmen who are tired of the “environmentalist propaganda” saying otherwise.”

BC Green Party AGM

June 1-3, 2018. Read more.  Sonia Furstenau will present the main keynote for Convention 2018: “A 21st Century Democracy: Proportional Representation for BC”.


NAFTA and climate change

Council of Canadians , Sierra Club U.S. and Greenpeace Mexico have published NAFTA 2.0: For People or Polluters?  Key findings from the report are available from Council of Canadians.

Greens of Courtenay-Alberni EDA AGM

May 6, Courtenay-Alberni Green Party of Canada will hold its AGM.

You are welcome to join us at 2 pm in the Board Room of the Bradley Centre a couple of km east of Coombs at 975 Shearme Road, parking lot on the corner of the Alberni Highway. That afternoon we will review the year, talk with each other about our Green future, identify who wants to take on or continue with work on behalf of the local Green members.

Perhaps you have an interest in doing the work that needs to be done between elections –preparing newsletters, for instance. Or, you could tackle a more challenging role as Treasurer of the local EDA (electoral district association)–that is us. This person will work with our current, super helpful Treasurer who will be there to consult during the learning period for the new Treasurer. It’s a good time to transition this job during this more inactive time between elections.

If you would consider doing some volunteer work, contact our current CEO, Mike Nestor, Or, if you know a member who would be a good rep for their local Green community, let Mike know. We are looking for new Members to join our Executive this year. Might be you or someone you know?

As part of the AGM on May 6, there will be a plant exchange. Bring one plant, and take another one home. If you can join us, we’ll get some work done, have a little fun too, and then get home for dinner.

Greens of North Island-Powell River AGM

DATE:  June 16, 2018. Keep on the lookout for news!

Green Party of Canada Webinars

Sunday, April 22, as part of Earth Day, the Greens are starting a series of “Living Green” themed webinars. The first is titled #PlasticFreeGPC.

Green Party of Canada Biennial Convention

September 28-30, 2018. Read more. T Convention 2018 is Sept 28-30 in Vancouver! Join us and help us build for success in 2019.  Info and registration here(Early bird rates until April 30.)

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