Must Reads from Last Week

Spreading the Word

If you have friends who are interested in any of the content of this blog, please feel free to share it far and wide. The fact that it comes from the Greens of North Island-Powell River (NIPR) doesn’t mean it is only relevant to people in that riding.  Because all Greens are part of the Global Greens, we need to think outside our riding boundaries and connect with each other.  Encourage your friends to subscribe to NIPR communications. Let’s connect across this vast riding, this vast country, and this vast but ultimately tiny planet.

Have Your Say About Did You Know…

Reader responses to last week’s blog

Well, we got a bit of a dialogue going on the website last week. Check out the comment on the story of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and the response to that comment, AND the comment on the New Zealand government’s plans and the Irish government’s divestiture of fossil fuel investments. PLEASE, go to the website and comment on any of the links in the blog.

If you’d like to respond to any article, go to NIPR’s website and leave a comment.  If you have ideas for future editions – remember, Did You Know… is weekly – go to NIPR’s website and leave a comment. If you have general feedback, go to NIPR’s website and leave a comment.

BC Electoral Reform Referendum

Part 1: Policy Note is doing a series on proportional representation. It includes a number of articles, and has links to videos on the 3 possible systems. Honestly, the CBC video seems ambiguous enough that it’s hard to determine if they’re subtly trying to cast doubt on how the province would implement. The Megan Dias video from the Tyee seems more clear, but my favourite is still Gisela Ruckert’s video on Kamloops This Week.

Part 2: We previously told you about the BC business group that requested an injunction against the PR referendum. Well, they’ve lost round one: “The B.C. Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to expedite a constitutional challenge to the referendum on the first-past-the-post electoral system and told its anti-proportional representation backers to apply for an interim injunction.” Read more.

Part 3: Fair Vote Comox Valley was at Courtenay Market Day: North Island - Powell River Greens working for participatory democracy in the #pr4bc campaign. Fair Vote Comox Valley talked to a LOT of people today. Downtown Courtenay Market Day was a big success for #ProportionalRepresentation. We talked to as many #youth4pr as we could, as well.



Merville Water Guardians

Part 1: The CV Regional District is holding a public hearing regarding the rezoning application for this issue.  This bylaw, if adopted, will rezone the subject property from from Rural Eight (RU-8) to Rural Eight – exception 8 (RU-8-8) to add “water and beverage bottling” as a permitted use.

DATE/TIME: July 23, 6 pm
LOCATION:  Florence Filberg Centre, Conference Hall (upper level)

Part 2:  Last week’s blog had notice of another meeting where Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) attempted to justify its decision to grant a license to withdraw water and gave “presentation to convince the crowd of several hundred people that the extraction of up to 10,000 litres per day from their aquifer won’t result in any negative effects.” As one speaker said, “We need to recognize that water is a common property,” he said. “Private profit on a sale of community property is not a beneficial use.”

Ronna-Rae Leonard, who attended the meeting, left without responding to [Wayne] Bradley. Leonard made a statement earlier that residents “should feel assured that I have posed these questions also.” Perhaps that’s not too reassuring when Leonard can’t get the ‘confidential’ approval report from her own government. Read more.

Gay Pride


Part 1:  Drag Queen Story Hour 

DATE/TIME: July 26, 10:30-11:30 a.m. 
LOCATION: Courtenay Library

Join us in collaboration with the Vancouver Island Regional Library as they host an exciting new event. Drag Queen Story Hour will feature our favourite Drag Queen, the beautiful, Miss Vikki as she reads from her favourite picture books to our kids. This is the first one of its kind for the Pride Society of the Comox Valley in an effort to support gender diversity and literacy in a fun, inclusive environment.

Part 2:  Pride Flag Raising

Monday, July 23

  • Town of Comox – 9:00am
  • Village of Cumberland – 10:00am
  • City of Courtenay – 12:00pm
  • 19 Wing Comox - Base Ceremony

Tuesday, July 24, 10:30 a.m.
North Island College

Part 2:  Burger & Beer

DATE/TIME: July 26, 5-9 p.m.
LOCATION: Prime Chophouse & Wine Bar

Come in and enjoy your choice of a glass of wine or pint of beer with a Prime burger or house meatball pasta for only $20. With every burger/pasta meal $5 will be in support of the Pride Society of the Comox Valley. 

Part 3:  Pride in the Park

DATE/TIME: July 28, 12-5 p.m.
LOCATION: Simms Millenium Park

This is the final event of Pride Week. They are hosting a family friendly, all-inclusive BBQ fundraiser. Come out and enjoy the entertainment and live music, community partner information booths, children’s bounce and activity tent and have a burger or hotdog.  NIPR Greens are having a tent at Pride in the Park. Come and say hey.



Site C: 

Part 1: There’s lots of information on the Witness for the Peace site. And you can Call for Justice – the website has a handy feature that will dial Premier Horgan’s office for you, making it very easy for your voice to be heard.

Part 2: As a follow-up to last week’s Damming the Peace, check out this article in the Watershed Sentinel.
Excerpt: “Making water available to “the right places” has been the dream of megaproject promoters of bulk water export ever since the 1950s, when the US Army Corps of Engineers mapped Canada’s freshwater resources in fulfillment of their government mandate to make sure America would never run out of water. [Emphasis added]

Part 3:  There’s still a case pending against Site C, and the judge ruled against BC Hydro, who wanted to strike down sections of the West Moberly First Nations’ claim. Read more.

Part 4:  Site C and Canada’s unsustainable environmental rhetoric
Excerpt:  “…the massive Site C dam project in northeast B.C. has become emblematic of the gulf between the progressive public rhetoric of Canadian politicians and the reality of how major investments by the federal and provincial governments often play out on the ground. At a price tag of almost $11 billion and climbing, Site C is one of the largest energy development projects on the continent. Although B.C. Hydro continues to bill Site C as a ‘green energy’ project, nothing could be farther from the truth – a fact that is not likely to escape notice during the upcoming sustainable development forum.” Read more.

Part 5:  Site C dam facing ‘extremely high probability’ of major construction delay. Read more.

 Big Oil – Kinder Morgan

Part 1: Opponents protest in kayaks. Read more.

Part 2:  Prime Minister Trudeau’s own Youth Council calls on government to halt the KM buyout. Read more.

Part 3: Kinder Morgan spies on protesters
Excerpt: “The fascinating thing is that we know very little, certainly in Canada, about the role of private eyes and private investigators and even the security branches of the energy companies in terms of their role in collecting intelligence and surveillance information on protesters,” said Jeffrey Monaghan.” Read more.

Part 4: Petroleum News says First Nations are considering ‘investing’ in Kinder Morgan
Excerpt: Ellis Ross, an opposition member of the British Columbia legislature, said he was positive some B.C. First Nations would be eager to invest in the pipeline once the Canadian governments makes the terms public. He said that including indigenous communities as owners of economic projects would be the “last piece of the puzzle” to fully involve aboriginals in rights and title on their claimed lands.” So, is Mr. Ross actually saying that forcing pipelines through is how governments show respect for aboriginal rights and title? If you (dear reader) read this differently, please put up a comment on the website, at the end of this week’s post. Read more.

Part 5:  Rachel Notley’s government hired a firm to conduct a mysterious “survey” throughout Canada. “What is unusual about this one is…this seems to be a survey designed to understand how people in Ontario are responding to an Alberta agenda, which mainly affects British Columbia,” said Angus McAllister, a pollster based in B.C.” Read more.

First Nations Forward: Resistance, reconciliation, and autonomy in First Nation

Old pipes for new clean energy projects, this Nation is leading in renewable development.
Excerpt: The Tla-o-qui-aht Nation in coastal British Columbia has always been a strong nation, governed by cultural values that protect and preserve their homeland. Its people have a long history of innovation, trade and war — having survived colonization’s ugliest attempts to eradicate Indigenous cultures, protected their sacred land and waters, and pushed back against extractive resource industries. According to its members, this past is an essential ingredient in decisions the Tla-o-qui-aht make about their future. It has informed the community’s current land-use plan, tribal parks program and clean energy projects — all of which are developing its economy to create a more sustainable future for generations to come. The nation’s historic approach making waves across the province, and its members have shared their learnings with Indigenous communities far and wide.” Read more.

What is the relationship between the provinces and First Nations?

Excerpt: “Canada’s premiers emerged from meetings with Indigenous organizations Wednesday with little in the way of concrete initiatives after several major Aboriginal groups refused to participate in the gathering for the second year in a row. Three of the country’s largest Indigenous groups — the Assembly of First Nations, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Metis National Council — all bowed out of the talks in Bouctouche, N.B., held a day before provincial leaders are set to gather in St. Andrew’s, N.B., for their annual Council of the Federation meetings Thursday and Friday.” Read more.



Ontario abandons reconciliation curriculum in classrooms

Read more.

Big Oil – Kevin Taft

Kevin Taft is the author of Oil’s Deep State, is doing important stories that are getting marginalized in the pipeline debate. Read more and see here for more of Taft’s pieces. The former leader of the Alberta Liberal Party wrote a terrific piece of whistleblowing in Oil’s Deep State, revealing just how big oil has carefully and craftily permeated its way into the uppermost levels of government, especially in Alberta and Ottawa, controlling the agendas on climate change and energy policies, and the Kinder Morgan buyout.

If you are not familiar with Kevin, you can Google him and take your pick of hits. Check out his YouTube videos.

You can see Kevin speak in person at one of a series of venues various Green Party EDAs are lining up for him in September including Vancouver, North Vancouver, Salt Spring, Victoria and the North Island from September 9th through the 13th. Stay tuned for details. It’s all part of the lead-up to our National Convention at the end of that month.

Green Party of Canada Biennial Convention

September 28-30, 2018. Read more.  Convention 2018 is Sept 28-30 in Vancouver! Join us and help us build for success in 2019. Check out the list of speakers so far.  Info and registration here

Green Party of Canada webinar for EDA Executives, volunteers & staff

Eryn Sylvester, National Volunteer Coordinator, recently announced “a monthly volunteer meet up for all volunteers, EDA executives, and staff to get together to talk about planning, goals, strategy, ask questions, and share ideas.” The first one is this Wednesday, July 25 at 8pm EDT (5pm PDT) Register here

Green Party of Manitoba candidate Francoise Therrien Vrignon running in a by election

Read her profile here. Watch her campaign video on Facebook. Update: She placed third, beating out the Conservative! In Manitoba!

Green Party of Ontario – Why even a single voice is important

Mike Schreiner in Maclean’s Magazine.
Excerpt: Running as a Green is not the easy path to being elected. But taking the right road is more important to me than choosing the easy road. And to me, that’s about choosing to do politics differently. It’s about putting honesty, integrity and people ahead of political self-interest, lobbyists and donors. It’s about fighting for a livable future for my two daughters.” 

Court decides re political activity of charities – against CRA

Leilani Farha, executive director of Canada Without Poverty, which won a key Charter challenge in court this week regarding how much political activity a charity can engage in. A judge ruled the constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression means there can be no limits. (Idil Mussa/CBC News).

Excerpt: “An Ontario judge has pulled the rug out from the Canada Revenue Agency’s political-activity audits of Canadian charities, ruling the Income Tax Act infringes on the constitutional right to free expression. Monday’s ruling immediately quashes a longstanding rule limiting to 10 per cent the resources any Canadian charity is permitted to devote to political activities.” Read more.



Big Oil – Investments in fossil fuel-related companies

Yes, Ireland has committed to divesting itself of all investments in fossil fuel related companies (see last week’s Must Reads) — but there’s more.

Here’s a link to a report from the Institute For Energy Economics and Financial Analysis further illustrating just how financially irresponsible and foolish the Trudeau “investment” into the Kinder Morgan pipeline is. This report is specifically written for investment fund managers — the people who decide where to invest money for the best possible returns. What are they saying? They’re saying get the hell out. Divest — if you want to protect and grow your capital.

This is big stuff. When we’re writing letters to politicians and newspapers, we need to include links to or quotes from reports like this because, unfortunately, far too much of the Canadian public still believes in the embedded myth that what’s good for oil is good for the Canadian economy. But it ain’t true.

The heavy hitting investors know it. The oil companies know it.  I bet Trudeau knows it, but he and the other major political parties remain in the pocket of the oil companies as they get better return on their money by buying politicians than they do drilling for oil or scraping tar sands out of what used to be the tundra. Yes, it’s time to face the truth — all sorts of truths — because a better future does start right now.

Majority of krill fishing companies support calls for Antarctic Ocean protection

A group representing almost the entire krill industry has agreed to stop fishing in vast areas around the Antarctic, including the breeding grounds of penguin colonies. The best part? They’ve also agreed to support the creation of an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary. Which means when the Antarctic Ocean Commission meet in October to decide on the Sanctuary, the influential krill industry won’t be standing in the way. In just a few months, Greenpeace supporters around the world have helped to change one of the most powerful industries working in the Antarctic. Read this and this and this and this and this. The decision of the krill fishing companies comes ahead of a meeting of the Antarctic Ocean Commission (CCAMLR). See CCAMLR’s report on krill fisheries and sustainability.

Samsung commits to 100% renewable energy in the US, Europe and China

Over the past year, tens of thousands of Greenpeace supporters have demanded that Samsung, the largest smartphone company in the world, commit to renewable energy. Greenpeace volunteers staged creative actions in New York, Seoul, London, Berlin, and Taipei to make the message heard. And last month, Samsung responded. The company will adopt 100% renewable energy at its factories, offices and buildings in the United States, Europe and China by 2020. It will also install onsite solar and geothermal energy at key semiconductor factories in South Korea. Samsung is the first electronics manufacturing company in Asia to take this step. Read more.


Everyday terrorism: A woman or girl is killed every other day in Canada

Part 1: “For 40 years, this fact has varied little; similarly, rates of other forms of violence against women and girls have remained persistently stable.” Read more and check out the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability. The stats for Canada show that between 2001 and 2015, Indigenous women were victims of homicide by several orders of magnitude greater than non-Indigenous women in every province/territory but for PEI.

Excerpt: The mass killings in Toronto this spring by accused Alek Minassian and his reported involvement in a misogynistic online movement provides a concrete and horrifyingly real example of the way misogynistic hate can kill both women and men. The last time we focused on misogynistic hate with such vigour followed the 1989 mass femicide at École Polytechnique at the Université of Montréal.”

Part 2:  The World Cup is over and so many more women have been at risk. There is a lot of correlation between domestic violence and major soccer tournaments. Read more and more.

Women in politics

Here’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the political necessity of compromise: “The question is compromise what? I don’t compromise my values but I’m certainly willing to compromise to get things done. If I have to make compromises to actually improve our healthcare, I’m happy to. If I have to make compromises in terms of improving our educational system, I’m happy to do those things. But I will not compromise on a vision, and I will not compromise on the goal, and I will not compromise on the future I think is best for this country.” Also when asked by the (male) interviewer, “Did you experience sexism during the course of the campaign,” her response was “Duh…The New York City political establishment…is 80% male. That’s not an accident…It’s not like women just decided, “I’m going to give up all my power.’ I mean, come on.” The Green Party has Elizabeth May – let’s get other candidates like Elizabeth May and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, and let’s DO THIS!

Thought of the day:


If it doesn’t make us bitter, it makes us better. (Oma)

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