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 email@example.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 NIC Students Union and BC Federation of Students. Tickets are available at Eventbrite. Tickets are free, but I highly recommend you get a ticket because people with tickets will be allowed in first.
Coldest Night of the Year
Comox Valley Transition Society and Dawn to Dawn are having their annual walk for homelessness on February 24, 2018. Opening ceremonies are at 5 p.m., the walk begins at 5:15. There is a meal at 6 p.m. Walk lengths are 2 km, 5 km, and 10 km. Come prepared for any weather. Read more
CALL TO ACTION: Some of the North Island-Powell River Greens will be in this walk, so come and join us.
One of our local supporters has a good letter in The Comox Valley Record, responding to Ronna-Rae Leonard’s email to people who had contacted her (as our NDP MLA) about Site C. This letter is definitely worth a read. Read more
Habitat for Humanity
A few weeks ago I issued a challenge to Greens in the Courtenay-Comox area to participate in a build Habitat for Humanity is doing in the Valley this summer. There is exciting news: Habitat has just received a big donation of $10,000 from Mindset Wealth, which was a match for community donations. This will go a long way to Habitat being able to fulfil its goal of building 19 homes in Courtenay and Campbell River over the next 3 years. Read more
Habitat is sponsoring a Women Build program (which includes men) between March 23 and June 30, 2018 specifically, though helpers are welcome throughout the build season.
CALL TO ACTION: I’m looking for someone to organize a group of Greens (provincial and federal) to participate in the Habitat for Humanity build this year, either in the Comox Valley or in Campbell River. This person would need to check to see what Habitat’s expectations for a volunteer group would be and what the minimum time commitment would be. This would be a lot of fun, and a great bonding exercise for all of us locally. And it would be of great benefit to our community. If you’re that wonderful person who would take this on, please get in touch with me and I will help to broadcast the call-out.
The Alberta/BC W(h)ine War
Please read Thomas Teuwen’s weekly missive, “Justin and Rachel admit that Kinder Morgan is Environmentally Unacceptable.” He has written an amazing piece.
And for a humorous take on this wine war….
Dogwood is hosting a call on February 20th to strategize on the No Tankers campaign. Read more
Prime Minister Trudeau seems to be seeing himself more and more as Canadians’ Dear Leader. He says that Kinder Morgan “would eventually wean Canada off its dependence on fossil fuels.” I fail to see how building a pipeline for bitumen would help to wean us off fossil fuels. He says, “his government is also providing tools to accommodate First Nations affected by the west coast oil pipeline expansion project.” This sounds pretty colonialist/paternalistic to me: I would venture that any government would not see their agenda being served by truly ‘giving’ First Nations the tools to look after their own interests. Read more
Green Party of Canada “Green Spring” mobilizing webinars
Sonia Theroux, the Director of Mobilization for the Green Party of Canada (GPC) is doing a whole series of webinars on how to develop a stronger Electoral District Association (EDA). These cover anything you need to know about having a more effective EDA. These webinars are open to all members and volunteers of the GPC. If you think you’d like to get involved with your local EDA, or if you know you will want to volunteer in the 2019 election campaign, check out these webinars. Registration is simple, and it’s free. I think all the webinars are offered twice on different days – once at 6:30 Eastern time (3:30 Pacific time) and again at 6:30 Pacific time. You can register for both sessions if you wish. I find that there are usually different people on the different days and so the discussions are always different too, which can be helpful if the topic was one I was finding challenging.
“EDA 101” has already happened, but the others are worth attending. Go to the GPC calendar and click on any that you find interesting and register. If you click on the topic name on the calendar, it will bring you to a description of the webinar and the Register button.
“Regional Organizing: What It Is and Why Do It” is happening February 20 (3:30 p.m. PT) and February 22 (6:30 PM PT).
“Recruiting a Candidate and Campaign Team” (February 28 (3:30 p.m. PT) and March 1 (6:30 p.m. PT)) is going to be timely given the Federal election is next year. Anyone who thinks they will be interested in working on the campaign should attend this, if at all possible. The NIPR EDA Executive already has a committee working on election readiness for 2019.
Profiling Elizabeth May
Here’s Elizabeth May in Question Period, challenging the Prime Minister to produce evidence of his claim that Kinder Morgan will produce jobs. Of course, Trudeau doesn’t answer the question; he does his usual talking points.
Elizabeth May’s Week in Review
This woman is almost as old as I am, and believe me that’s feeling older by the DAY. I don’t know how she manages everything she does. I plan to make this week in review a regular feature in this blog. Whether we want to just keep abreast of the issues the Green Party feels are important, or it’s wanting to be prepared to articulate issues going into the 2019 election, I feel this would be a great place to start. Read more
Nova Scotia Pulp Mill, cont’d from several weeks ago
A number of weeks ago, I had a link in this blog to a story from Nova Scotia about a pulp mill outside of Pictou, N.S., and how the pulp mill got a local bookstore to cancel an author’s reading because her book was about issues with the mill. DeSmog has just published something on that story, and it’s a fascinating read. Read more
National Geographic’s focus on “Why Birds Matter”
“If you take care of the birds, you take care of most of the big problems in the world.” Read more
Excerpt: In 1918 Congress passed the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to protect birds from wanton killing. To celebrate the centennial, National Geographic is partnering with the National Audubon Society, BirdLife International, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to declare 2018 the Year of the Bird. Watch for more stories, maps, books, events, and social media content throughout the year. Read more
Women in digital media
Excerpt: “Women’s Leadership Accelerator, a yearlong program for women innovating in digital journalism. This year, we welcome 25 women representing a range of backgrounds, expertise and newsrooms around the globe that are leading digital innovation.” Read more
The state of democracy around the world
This article in the New York Times is an interesting read, and the comments about it are equally interesting. We in Canada and now in BC, with the electoral reform referendum, need to be thinking about. Read more However, my issue with the basis of this article is that it doesn’t question the fundamentals on which our entire political system is based. Of all the comments, one in particular resonated with me:
“Laurence Hauben [writes] What is missing from this article is the “why.” Globalization has led to a dramatic reduction of poverty in China, India, and many other so-called “less-developed” countries. It has led to the plentiful supply of cheap goods in rich countries. At the same time, it has led to the loss of economic security for many, and to a deep malaise, an identity crisis in these rich countries. The mainstream political parties have ignored the angst of the people, and the unions, instead of remembering the Marxist motto “Workers of the World, Unite,” have played a losing protectionist game. Add to this a mainstream media more interested in ratings and entertaining than in deep analysis, and you are left with a population vulnerable to every demagogue and would-be dictator. The mainstream parties will only regain legitimacy if they begin care a bit less about their corporate donors and party loyalty, and a bit more about their constituents. Our [politicians] shouldn’t wait until they have decided not to run again to start speaking the truth. After all, what is the point of sitting in office if the price is checking your integrity at the door?”
Even this doesn’t go far enough, though. The very concept of countries being able to act nationally when the issues facing them are global is ludicrous. Economic disparity is increased by the economic paradigm so pervasive in our world because of global corporate entities. That economic paradigm says that Growth is God and everything else must be sacrificed to increase growth. Growth in this context means nothing more than corporate profits going to the very few at the top of the economic spectrum. I really feel that until we challenge the reality that corporate money can go wherever the wages are the cheapest (which inevitably means the human conditions are the worst) and that corporate profit is God, we will never address the problems with our political systems.
Portland, Oregon: A city looking to the future
I remember seeing footage of the kayaktivists in the Seattle and Portland harbours when there were drilling rigs in port. This article gives some background of the anti-fossil fuel movement, as well as reports on the concrete forward movement that is taking place city- and state-wide. Read more