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

But BEFORE YOU GO TO THE SURVEY, check out Fair Vote BC’s guide to the questionnaire.  Fair Vote has gone through the survey and provides thoughts on the questions.

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 currently has 12 working groups:  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; a writer’s group, and bakers/goodie providers; we need more people, though.  This is your opportunity to make a profound difference in BC politics; if you are interested in participating in any of these groups, please contact Megan Ardyche,  We are having another planning meeting January 13 from 2-4 p.m., location to be announced.  This will be a get-together of all the volunteers before they break into their separate working groups.  You are welcome to attend.

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.

Those who oppose electoral reform are mounting a near-hysterical fear campaign that proportional representation will result in our Legislature being dominated by Nazis and by racists.  As William Kaplan states in Why Dissent Matters, “Whenever there is a large, well-financed, and organized campaign against a person or an idea, it is time to pay attention” (110).*  The opposition to electoral reform are most definitely well-financed and organized.  The Liberals leadership candidates are making defeating PR their one and only issue.  They are terrified there will be a more effective democracy.

In order to get to a 50+1 Yes vote on the referendum, we need your help to counter the opposition’s hyperbole.  This is our 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.


*Kaplan, William.  Why Dissent Matters.  McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal & Kingston, 2017.



Greens of North Island-Powell River prize draw 

Gail Wolverton was one of two winners of NIPR’s prizes. From the list of people who commented on stories on NIPR’s website, Gail’s name was drawn.



On January 1, 2018, I presented Gail with her Beautiful Me Spa Package, generously donated by Trina McNiece.


Part 1:
By Pat Carl

Remember how I challenged all y’all to follow my lead and donate your retirement monies to Project Watershed’s Kus-Kus-Sum initiative?

I let my English Department colleagues at North Island College know that any cash they gave toward a retirement present I intended to pass onto Project Watershed along with an additional amount of cash given to all retirees by the college.


Well, on December 15, 2017, I met with Jennifer Sutherst, Project Watershed Biologist and Environmental Scientist, handing over $300.00 to aid the organization with their restoration of the K’omok’s Estuary in the Comox Valley.

Which brings us to…

Part 2:

I was so happy to see that Kus-Kus-Sum reached (indeed passed) their first funding milestone of $100,000 by December 20, 2017.  Their project to unpave the Fields Sawmill site parking lot and restore paradise is going to make such a difference to the Comox Valley.  The amount of traffic that goes by that site daily is increasing all the time.

Now that the first milestone is reached, the project needs to “raise another $400,000 from this community over the next two years, to complement the $6 million they will be raising from other sources.”

Part 3:

There’s a great Letter to the Editor in the online Comox Valley Record. Bill Hedrik is responding to a previous letter writer who essentially was saying it was a waste of a good industrial space to turn it into a park.

Looking for a spring/summer project?

Habitat for Humanity is planning a 10-unit build starting in spring 2018.  You can contact Terri Perrin at or call 250-334-3777 ext. 224.

Coalition to End Homelessness

Courtenay City Council Mayor Jangula doesn’t think Courtenay should have to take any greater lift to end homelessness than the rest of the Comox Valley.  The Coalition is asking Courtenay Council to donate land, but the Council doesn’t seem interested, though they did agree to have staff create a list of possible properties.  According to this article, the BC provincial government wants to construct 2000 housing units over the next two years, and wants to partner with interested communities.  I think our community would be interested, don’t you?



Canada Learning Bond

Did you know the federal government as a program called the Canada Learning Bond?  The Canada Learning Bond (CLB) is an RESP vehicle for low-income families in Canada.  It was started by Ralph Goodale in 2004.  As of 2006, the Federal government had signed up only 5% of eligible families and distributed only $12 million from a budgeted $192.5 million.  For an interesting history on the CLB, see Wikipedia, if we trust Wikipedia.

The Canadian government Canada Learning Bond site has links for:

  • Overview,
  • Eligibility,
  • How much a child could receive,
  • What you need to start,
  • Applying, and
  • After you’ve applied.

Currently, the Federal government has a call out for proposals (it expires January 16, 2018) “to increase awareness [of and registration in] the Canada Learning Bond.”  The government is committing a total of $1,500,000 to this initiative, between June 2018 and March 31, 2021.

I would like to see some Green Party of Canada EDAs across Canada take this on in the next couple of years.  We could help families sign up who otherwise would have no RESP for their kids post-secondary education.  This would be such a wonderful service to the community, which is at the heart of the Green Party of Canada’s philosophy.  People first…not party.

Elizabeth May

I’m including this video here not because it’s a plea for donations, but because Elizabeth is talking about Canada having 7 elected Green MP/MLAs in a first-past-the-post country.  So, just imagine what we can do if we can get electoral reform started in British Columbia.  The narrative of the 2019 election would be totally different if that happens here.  Fair Vote Comox Valley needs your support.

This CPAC video is over 2 hours long.  The section that includes Elizabeth May talking about 2017, BC Greens and Site C, and the 2019 federal election starts at about 45 minutes in and is about 8 minutes long.

Musings on the future of the federal Green Party

Andrew Coyne and Eric Grenier, on Power & Politics, talk about the federal versus the provincial Greens and how they are doing.



Control of the media

So, the Koch brothers are thinking of (indirectly) buying Time magazine.  What could possibly go wrong with that?!  But wait, there’s more.  It’s not just Time magazine.  In this NPR piece from 2013, the Koch brothers then had aspirations to buy print media outlets.  The US already has Sinclair Media, of which much could be said.  It is interesting that both the first and the third links are to The Guardian; perhaps the British are more aware of these issues, having already had to deal with Rupert Murdoch, who now owns Fox News.  So in the US, there is Rupert Murdoch owning the Fox News empire, there is Sinclair Media described as “probably the most dangerous company most people have never heard of,” by none other than George W. Bush’s former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and now the Koch Brothers thinking of buying Time and its subsidiaries.  Do we see a trend here?  Did we know it had already gone this far?  I didn’t.

Save the Arctic

This is a stunning short video.  It may be one of the most beautiful things you will see today.

Save the Earth

For a more macro but even more stunning perspective … This is why we do what we do.

A new idea for your Christmas tree

This BBC post profiles a Christmas tree farm that is renting trees – yes, that’s right – renting them out year after year.  If you’re wondering what to do with your tree now, maybe some local enterprising nursery could consider this for next year.

Thought of the day:

We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it.
(Wendell Berry, “The Long-Legged House,” 1969)

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