Must Reads from Last Week

Grizzly Bear Trophy Hunt

The grizzly bear trophy hunt is now banned in BCBC is one of only two provinces in Canada without endangered species legislation.  I have no doubt our BC Green MLAs will be working on that.

Adam Olsen has a brief video on the BC Greens’ efforts on this.

Site C

One woman’s reaction to the NDP’s Site C decision.

Excerpt:  “A wise and good friend once said…: “Sometimes the sheer indignity of the will of a government imposed on people leaves me in a state of tongue-tied rage, unable to even put voice to the injustice served up….”

šxʷʔam̓ət (home)

Theatre for Living is going to present šxʷʔam̓ət (home), in Courtenay on Wednesday, January 24, 2018. The event takes place at Mark Isfeld School, and doors open at 6:30Start time is being finalized – between 7:00 and 7:30.

The event will explore the following questions:

What does Reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people look and feel like?
How does this idea of “Reconciliation” translate into our day to day human relationships?

This audience interactive play puts real, tough, current issues on the stage about the blockages we all face moving towards Reconciliation.  It asks the “What now?” question in regards to Reconciliation, and compels audiences to think about Reconciliation not as a “thing of the past”, but something that permeates many aspects of all of our lives.

What Is Forum Theatre?

Forum Theatre is an opportunity for creative, community-based dialogue. The play is performed once, all the way through, so the audience can see the situation and the problems presented. The story builds to a crisis and stops, offering no solutions. The play is then run again, with audience members able to “freeze” the action at any point where they see a character engaged in a struggle, and have an idea to solve the problem, somehow. They replace the character whose struggle they understand.  The other characters respond, not to “make it better”, not to “make it worse”, simply to be truthful, drawing on their own lived expertise. What insights do we have? What do we think? What do we learn? Who agrees? Who disagrees? In this way we engage in a creative and action-based dialogue about issues in our lives. The process is fun, profound, entertaining and full of surprises.

Created and performed by a courageous mixed Indigenous and non-Indigenous cast and production teamšxʷʔam̓ət (home) weaves together stories based on real life and challenges us to make reconciliation true and honourable.  šxʷʔam̓ət (home) invites audiences to try to offer solutions to the real-life problems being presented on the stage.  

Order your tickets here.

[The Death of] Net Neutrality

The end of net neutrality means giving rich multinational corporations control over what you can see on the internet.  That’s like giving Monsanto control over what foods you can grow.  Oh wait…that’s right…it’s already happening.

Without going into this important issue, here are a bunch of links.

Women in Politics:  Finding Parity: Women in Canadian Politics

This is a detailed report on a survey from Abacus Data.  Below is an intro and a summary of their findings if you don’t have time over the holidays to read the whole report.

In partnership with Equal Voice and in recognition of International Women’s Day and Equal Voice’s Daughters of the Vote initiative, we conducted a national survey of over 2,100 Canadian adults and asked them a range of questions about their views and perceptions about women in politics.

Here are the top 5 findings from the study:

  1. We still have some work to do raising the issue of underrepresentation of women in Parliament.58% of Canadians think there are too many or the right number of women in Canadian politics, even though, on average, Canadians estimate that women occupy 31% of the seats in the House of Commons.
  2. Most don’t believe gender parity will be achieved any time soon. Almost a majority of Canadians believe that it will take 18 years or longer for there to be gender parity in the House of Commons.  Troubling, 25% think it will never happen.  Equal Voice estimates that at the current rate, it will take 90 years before we achieve gender parity in the House of Commons.
  3. Canadians have mixed views on what the biggest obstacle to electing more women to public office is.30% think it’s fewer women run for office because of the negative, conflictual nature of politics; 28% say it’s because political parties don’t recruit enough women, while 26% point to the family obligations of women. However, we found some fascinating differences across gender and generations.
  4. Few would recommend a woman they know well to run for public officeand 22% would definitely not recommend a career in elected politics.
  5. Women and men would focus on different issues if they ran for Parliament.When asked to identify 3 priorities their campaign would focus on if they ran for office, we found substantial differences between men and women.  Women were more likely to say they would campaign on making housing more affordable, improving public healthcare, and taking action to address climate change.  Men were more likely to focus on reducing public debt, cutting taxes for corporations, and spending more on public infrastructure.

Parties as Brands: How Canadians see the Conservatives, Liberals, and NDP

Teaser:  “In this study, [Abacus Data] wanted to see what thoughts and images were more associated with Canada’s three largest political brands.  To do this, we offered people a series of 20 forced choices, far from an exhaustive list of possible variables, but enough to observe some powerful differences.”

Matters of Opinion 2017: 8 Things We Learned About Politics, The News, and The Internet

While this isn’t current news, it’s hugely interesting – especially for those of us trying to effect political change in Canada. 

Teaser:  “In August 2016, [Abacus Data] explored how Canadians use the internet to discuss and debate politics, get their news, and what role Facebook plays in our news habits, opinions, and participation in public affairs and public policy.  We collected 60 pages of data and learned a lot about these topics and how they break down by age groups, gender, political ideology, education, and communities. February 2017, we shared our TOP 8 TAKEAWAYS from the survey data.”


Elizabeth May

Elizabeth May’s interview with Chris Hall of CBC’s The House.  She talks about Site C and the BC NDP, she talks about Trudeau and his cancelling electoral reform, and she talks about the next election.  It’s amazing how much she can fit into a short interview, and it’s all articulate, thoughtful, and well informed.

Climate Change

Here’s a short video worth the few minutes it takes to see some factoids about how best to reduce our greenhouse gases globally. 

BC Electoral Reform Referendum

Part 1:  Think Local

Information:  Check out Fair Vote Comox Valley’s Facebook page.

Organizing:  We have had two volunteer organizing events which were very successful.  We currently have 12 working groups:  Bakers/goodie providers; community outreach; FVCV-led discussion groups; foot canvassing; phone calls; FVCV-created public events; public speaking; social media; finding tabling opportunities at community events; staffing tables and events; talking points/messaging; and a writer’s group.  Again, this is your opportunity to make a profound difference in BC politics; if you are interested in participating in any of these groups, contact Megan Ardyche,

Funding:  Fair Vote Comox Valley is also now accepting donations.  If you can’t give your time, here is your opportunity to support this campaign over the next year.  Cheques payable to FAIR VOTE COMOX VALLEY can be sent to: 203-2202 Lambert Drive Courtenay BC V9N1Z8.  E-transfers can be made to:  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.

This is your moment to change BC’s electoral system.  Get in on the action!  Contact Megan at if you’d like information on participating in any way.

The Tyee is doing a poll on What’s the Biggest Gift You Want from BC This YearWhen I did it on Thursday, PR was only marginally behind reversing the Site C decision.   By Saturday (today) PR is down to 4th place.  Reading some of the reasons people give for their vote is interesting.  One of the comments, which kind of sums it up for me, is:  “As much as I want a reversal of Site C, the foundation of better governance is proportional representation. Long term nothing will get better without it.”  I wish I had thought to say something so concise.  If we had had PR, we might never have gotten Site C in the first place, we might never have had fish farms for so long, and we might never have had governments sold to the highest bidder.

BC Electoral Reform Referendum, Part 2:  Citizen Consultation

The BC government has set up a site for the 2018 referendum.  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.  For example, they have a PR system called MMM which Terry Dance-Bennink of Fair Vote BC says she’s never even heard of.  There are links to read about different systems, the questionnaire, and for written submissions to

But BEFORE YOU GO TO THE SURVEY, check out Fair Vote Canada/BC’s guide to the questionnaireAs you may remember, the Federal Liberals created a similar for supposed consultation when Justin Trudeau decided to throw out his promise of electoral reform.  Many of those questions were obviously designed to be confusing, or were impossible choices.  Fair Vote has gone through the survey and provides thoughts on the questions.

Thought of the day:

“It’s not a principle until it costs you money.” This is a short piece by an advertising executive who resigned his job because he wasn’t willing to condone/benefit from insider dealing/influence buying/bribe taking.  Luke Sullivan ends by saying, I’m pretty sure at the end of my life no one is going to wax lyrical about some advertising campaign I launched in 1999. But, if I do my best to lead with values, purpose and principles, they just might say that I was a decent person. And to me, that’s a far greater achievement.” (emphasis mine)

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