Must Reads from Last Week

BC Electoral Reform Referendum


Youth reject big media disinformation on PR Referendum

Throughout this referendum, “big media has been able to sow considerable confusion, but what has been the effect on the younger generation?  According to a recent poll, despite all the big media disinformation over the last year, 53 per cent of youth between the ages of 18 and 34 are likely to vote for proportional representation while only 22 per cent say they will likely vote for the existing First Past the Post (FPTP) system. Whatever the eventual outcome of the referendum, this is a stunning repudiation of big media, as well as the No side.” Read more.


Campbell River – Drinking water protection

The Campbell River Environmental Committee (CREC) started a petition to BC NDP Minister George Heyman, calling on the government to “legislate enforceable and mandatory landfill siting restrictions in the Environmental Management Act.” This petition is regarding Upland Excavating Ltd’s Application to deposit Non-Hazardous solid waste and contaminated soil and treat the leachate, across from McIvor Lake, Campbell River’s drinking water. Please sign the petition and share with friends.

Merville – Water protection

Many of you are aware of the Merville Water Guardians and the fight to stop a request for rezoning in order to bottle and sell water from the local aquifer. The Merville Water Guardians have now started a Leadnow petition to the BC government to protect BC groundwater from commercial interests. Read and sign here.

Can green innovations stop polluted stormwater from killing our waters?

“…every time it rains after a dry period, it’s as if a giant toilet flushes animal feces, fertilizers, pesticides, oils, road salts, heavy metals and other contaminants into our municipal stormwater systems, which in turn send torrents of polluted water directly into our watersheds, killing fish, eroding property and making our waters unsafe for shellfish harvesting.” Read more.

Comox Valley – 100 Women who Care

A new group is starting in the Comox Valley and is looking for its first 100 members. “Inspired by the various 100+ Women Who Care throughout Vancouver Island, and all over North America, we wanted to contribute to this incredible organization by forming a group in the Comox Valley. 100 Women Who Care was started in 2006 and with now approximately 500 Chapters across North America, they are all able to contribute and give back to their community. The premise behind 100 Women is that four times a year a local charity is chosen and the individual members send the chosen charity $100 each. If we have 100 members, that will be $10,000 donated! To learn more about the history of this organization, visit:” As well as the 100 Women who Care, there are also groups for 100 Men Who Care, 100 People Who Care, 100 Businesses Who Care, and 100 Kids Who Care groups. To see the list of chapters in Canada, check here.

Campbell River has a chapter. See this article in the Campbell River Mirror from March 2018, when they formed their chapter. Powell River also has a chapter.

Powell River event: How waste affects our carbon footprint

DATE/TIME:  December 8, 2018; 2-4 pm
LOCATION:    Elm Room, Recreation Complex, Powell River 

Details: The Trash Talk team will enlighten us all on how to contribute to the zero waste effort. They will talk about the why of it all, and ways to eliminate waste by wise resource management. The presentation will involve about one hour of lecture, demonstration, and power point, followed by a question period and group discussion. CAPR enthusiastically invites all comers.



Fact checking Premier Notley: False oil price narrative used to scare Canadians into accepting Trans Mountain expansion

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is aggressively advancing a false narrative about heavy oil’s deep discount. She presents the problem in two parts, neither of which stand up to scrutiny… Not only is Notley’s — and now Trudeau’s — $80 million a day deep discount narrative fundamentally flawed, the claim that only Trans Mountain’s expansion can solve it is also simply untrue.” Read more.

Coast Salish tribes oppose Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

U.S. Tribal representatives will speak alongside First Nations at press conference and before Canadian National Energy Board. Read more.

So many mistakes with Trans Mountain pipeline redo

“Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: the National Energy Board (NEB) is rushing through a pipeline review with a compressed timeline and narrow scope, where it sides with the proponent more often than not (despite tremendous opposition by intervenors), and excludes the public from “public” hearings. Huge volumes of evidence are filed by the proponent in what appears to be an attempt to overwhelm and paralyze participation in the already limited timeline.” Read more.

Warning: Explicit language ahead:

How fast can we get to 100% renewables?

“The overarching question we should be asking ourselves is how fast we can get to 100% renewable energy and not just for electricity, but for home heating, transportation and industry. This is the central theme of Mark Jacobson’s work: how to power the world with renewables—without tricks like nuclear power, carbon capture or biomass—just wind, water and solar (WWS) technologies. It’s a compelling message for an era that continues to seek more fossil fuels to dig out of the ground. Mark’s work tells us there is another way to meet our energy needs without undermining the future, one that is better for our health and produces more jobs than the fossil fuel industry.” This piece includes Jacobson’s Rosenbluth lecture.

Reclaim Alberta

“Many of us heard about Alberta’s looming oil liability crisis for the first time last week, but Regan Boychuk of Reclaim Alberta has been working on this problem for YEARS. He has a plan to make sure polluters don’t get off the hook for cleaning this up. One that will create green jobs and make sure Indigenous nations have control over what clean-up looks like.” Last week Regan participated in this webinar, along with Katie McKenna and Avi Lewis of The Leapto talk about the plan and how we can get there. Listen here.

True, Lasting Reconciliation

Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in British Columbia law, policy and practices. “Implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a central political and public policy issue around the world. The BC government has committed to fully adopting the UN Declaration and this ground-breaking report, for the first time, outlines what implementation could and should look like in BC law, policy and practices.” Download the report here.


Lake Louise ski resort to appeal $2.1M fine for chopping down endangered trees

The Lake Louise Ski Area was fined $2.1 million on November 30 for unlawfully removing and destroying 140 trees, including 39 endangered whitebark pines. They pled guilty but then “did not expect the ruling and the hefty fine,” so they’re going to appeal. Read more.

Trudeau’s carbon pricing needs to be fair

This is a letter to GuelphToday from Steve Dyck, who is a Green Party member. He’s also involved with the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL). This is an interesting letter in that Dyck talks about small businesses in Canada, and how Trudeau’s carbon pricing favours the rich multinationals but will hurt smaller Canadian businesses.

Delivering community power

This is an interesting new campaign that proposes using Canada Post in innovative ways. “Some consider the post office past its prime: the last decade has seen efforts to cut, devalue and undermine this self-sustaining public service. But the cuts have been fiercely resisted by people across the country, and we stopped the Harper-era cuts. It’s time to think about growth and not just preservation. What if our cherished national institution, with its vast physical infrastructure and millions of daily human interactions, could offer us more? What if the post office could play a central role in building our next economy — an economy that is more stable, more equal, and less polluting?” Read about the campaign, and watch the video.

Youth power: Quebec youth apply to sue Canada to get tougher carbon pollution targets

This blog has previously profiled various young individuals or groups who are taking actions to hold their governments to account for failing to address global warming. Now it’s come to Canada. Read more.

Woman Warrior: Viola Desmond

As you probably are all aware, Viola Desmond now graces the Canadian $10 bill – the first woman to have that honour in Canadian history. There are probably Canadians who still don’t know that parts of Canada had racial segregation between Whites and Blacks and Viola is but one example of someone who challenged that segregation. Read more of how Viola’s desire to watch a movie resulted in injuries, being thrown in jail, and a trial that ultimately resulted in “a mobilization for change among members of Nova Scotia’s Black population who were no longer willing to endure life as second class citizens. In 1954, segregation was legally ended in Nova Scotia thanks in large part to the courageous determination of Desmond and others like her who fought to be treated as equal human beings.” The piece includes a dramatization of Viola Desmond’s experience.

Perceptions of women in politics

Equal Voice commissioned Abacus Data to conduct research on the perceptions of women in politics and to better understand women’s engagement in politics or lack thereof. More specifically, the objectives of the study were to understand how women perceive the political landscape, identify levels of political ambition and involvement and potential barriers, identify perceptions of political involvement vs. other forms of community involvement, and identify tangible strategies Equal Voice could pursue to increase political involvement. Read more.

Elizabeth May: Would Canadian politicians have fallen over themselves to save the horse and buggy?

“No one would minimize the deep distress of workers losing their jobs in Oshawa. But the idea that the jobs must be saved because we must keep making the internal combustion engine is as tone deaf to global reality as deciding we have to buy a pipeline because oil prices are low… We are acting as though propping up whale oil to keep kerosene out of the market would be a shrewd move. If the Canadian policy-makers of today had been around in the 1920s, they would have poured money into the horse and buggy industry to try to keep the Model T at bay.” Read more.

Age, political ideology divide Canadians over cause and threat of climate change

Amazingly, Conservatives notice haven’t noticed weather changes wherever they are! Consistently, young people age 18 to 34 are more in touch with the realities coming at us. Read more.

…and so it makes sense that Canadian youth occupy MP offices around the country for climate action

Sit-in at the office of Finance Minister Bill Morneau. Nov. 30, 2018. Photo by Steph Glantzman

Read more.

Did you know … Political party affiliations were not included on the election ballots until 1974?

Elizabeth May has a chapter in the book, Turning Parliament Inside Out: Practical Ideas for Reforming Canada’s Democracy. That was the first election in which parties had to register with Elections Canada, and that was the time the leader of a party could refuse a candidate the right to run under that party’s banner, even if that candidate was nominated through an open and fair nomination race. And, as May says, “It also had the unintended consequence of increasing the ability of the party’s leader to hold power.” This might be a good book for all candidate hopefuls to read, so that if they end up taking a seat in Parliament, they’re not quite so shocked when they get there.

Elizabeth May’s week in review

See what Elizabeth May was up to this week, including submitting 43 amendments to a bill! Read more. Next week she will be heading to COP24 in Poland.

Elizabeth May gets engaged!

We all knew Elizabeth May was politically engaged, but now she’s ENGAGED! It seems romance blossomed at the 2018 GPC convention. Read more. According to the National Observer, May and John Kidder re getting married on Earth Day 2019.




To watch online, go to at 7 PM ET on December 3rd.

Details:  U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will host a national town hall on Monday, Dec. 3, aimed at addressing the global threat of climate change and exploring solutions that can protect the planet from devastation and create tens of millions of good-paying jobs. Sanders will be joined by founder and author Bill McKibben (see the link to his interview on CBC’s The Current); actress, activist and Our Revolution board member Shailene Woodley; CNN host and author Van Jones; Congresswoman-Elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY); Earth Guardians Youth Director Xiuhtezcatl Martinez; Union of Concerned Scientists Director of Climate Science Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel; Dale Ross, mayor of Georgetown, Texas; and Dr. Camilla Bausch, President of Ecologic Institute. This event is being presented in partnership with NowThis, ATTN:, The Young Turks, The Years Project, The Intercept, The Nation, The Guardian and

Solar panels that can pull clean drinking water out of the air

Being able to provide water in dry areas will go a long way to alleviating global warming pressures and consequent climate refugees. “Around the world, approximately 2.1 billion people do not have immediate access to clean drinking water. A startup called Zero Mass Water aims to make clean water easily accessible to more people around the world. In 2015, it launched its first product, Source — a solar panel array that harvests and filters water from vapor in the air. The company has installed the devices in 11 countries, including Chile, Jordan, Peru, and the US, where it became available in late 2017.” Read more.

An oasis of open water: Inuit in Canada and Greenland want to protect an ecological wonder

“…today, the Pikialasorsuaq is changing. The balance of forces that create the polynya may tip under the weight of climate change, and the warming ocean threatens to transform this remarkable ecosystem. The economics of the area are shifting, too, and the region could soon see more shipping, tourism, and resource extraction. As Inuit residents brace for these possibilities, they are asking the governments that manage the polynya…for greater control. The Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) has launched an initiative to establish an Inuit management authority for the area. It would give locals more sway over conservation and development decisions, and put them at the center of scientific monitoring and management efforts here. After decades of being sidelined on matters from where they can live to how they hunt, they want a stronger voice in shaping the future of the polynya, even if that future is uncertain. ‘It’s our own place, we live here…It’s only right that we have a say.’” Read more.

How poor communities pay for our holiday shopping with poor air quality

“I’m not the biggest fan of Black Friday. I personally don’t like how people don’t realize how it affects these lower income communities that have to work to ship their products.” One of the effects he points to is the emissions that come from all those diesel trucks and planes moving goods in and out of the region.” Read more.

Ireland joins France, Germany and Bulgaria in banning fracking

Read more. This website, Keep Tap Water Safe, has a list of fracking bans worldwide. It seems the latest update there is from July 2018. And DeSmog has a great article/photo essay on impacts of fracking in Texas.

The prickly intersection of protein sources and global warming: Why are fish consistently left out of the equation?

“Fish are a highly nutritious and, in many cases, a very sustainable source of protein. Following the release of the latest climate change report by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), many are talking about reducing their meat — and therefore protein — consumption. For some reason, fish and other seafood are repeatedly left out of conversations about how to build more sustainable and climate-friendly food systems.” Read more.

At the basis of this article is the concept of thesufficiency economy.” (Our apologies for using a Wikipedia source.) This was developed in Thailand and came to prominence there in 1997. “Sufficiency Economy is a philosophy that stresses the middle path as an overriding principle for appropriate conduct by the populace at all levels. This applies to conduct starting from the level of families to communities and to the nation in terms of development and administration, so as to modernize in line with the forces of globalization. ‘Sufficiency’ means moderation, reasonableness, and the need for self-immunity to protect from impacts arising from internal and external change. To achieve sufficiency, an application of knowledge with due consideration and prudence is essential. In particular, great care is needed in the utilization of theories and methodologies for planning and implementation in every step. At the same time, it is essential to strengthen the moral fiber of the nation, so that everyone, particularly public officials, academics, and business people at all levels, adhere first and foremost to the principles of honesty and integrity. In addition, a way of life based on patience, perseverance, diligence, wisdom and prudence is indispensable in creating balance and in coping appropriately with critical challenges arising from extensive and rapid socioeconomicenvironmental, and cultural changes in the world.”

Doughnut Economics: A healthy economy should be designed to thrive, not grow

“What would a sustainable, universally beneficial economy look like?” Check out this TED talk by Kate Raworth. Also, here is a longer talk by her, on the same topic. If so inclined, check out this website and join the discussion about these ideas. In fact, the BC Greens have this book as their topic for discussion on December 4, 2018.

Bill McKibben, founder of, on CBC’s The Current

Youth would make better leaders in the fight against climate change, says McKibben. He also references First Nations as being leaders in this – especially in Canada. Read/listen here.

U.S. Indigenous communities on the front lines of climate change

From hurricanes and pipelines to the bayou, First Nations in the U.S. are standing up more and more. Read more.

Excerpt: “’Organizations with Indigenous leadership have been calling attention to those concerns, whether documented on the EPA website or not, and mobilizing opposition to oil and gas pipeline projects. Climate change makes the challenges we are already facing that much worse — political and economic marginalization, loss of land and resources, human rights violations, discrimination, and lack of access to health care, education, and employment, etc.’ Stop Line 3, which opposes a $7.5 billion Enbridge crude oil pipeline project stretching from Alberta to Minnesota, says on its issues page. ‘Across the globe, Indigenous people are the most impacted by climate change and the problems it is causing, even though they contribute relatively little to the emissions that are causing it.’”

UN Environment’s 2018 emissions gap report

“To keep global warming well below 2°C, global greenhouse gas emissions will have to peak by 2020, and decline rapidly thereafter. At the moment, our greenhouse gas emissions show no sign of peaking. In fact, after holding steady from 2014 to 2016, global emissions went up again last year.” Read more.

Okay, so it’s time for a little levity

Watch this and this video for perfect illustrations of the absurdity of deep-sea drilling and transporting oil and oil products by ship.

Thought of the Day

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