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…
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BC Electoral Reform Referendum
“The case for [PR] is fundamentally the same as that for representative democracy. Only if an assembly represents the full diversity of opinion within a nation can its decisions be regarded as the decisions of the nation itself.” — Encyclopedia Britannica
Referendum Ballot Questions
BALLOT QUESTION #1: Which system should British Columbia use for provincial elections? (Vote for only one.)
- The current First Past the Post voting system
- A proportional representation voting system
BALLOT QUESTION #2: If British Columbia adopts a proportional representation voting system, which of the following voting systems do you prefer? (Rank in order of preference. You may choose to support one, two or all three of the systems.)
- Dual Member Proportional (DMP)
- Mixed Member Proportional (MMP)
- Rural-Urban Proportional (RUP)
PR could come to Quebec before the 2019 Federal election
Excerpt: “There, three of the four parties in the National Assembly last month signed on to an electoral-reform pact pledging to introduce a mixed-proportional voting legislation within a year of the upcoming fall election…Unlike B.C., Quebec’s plan is not conditional upon a referendum. If the Oct. 1 election is won by any of the signatories, it is expected to be the last of its kind before a new format emerges.” Read more.
Actual fair and balanced journalism on the BC referendum
Not out of BC, though. Read this Globe and Mail article on the 3 proposed systems for BC.
Merville water bottling proposal heading to public hearing
Excerpt: “Despite CVRD staff’s recommendation to deny the rezoning application based on the flurry of public backlash that it’s received, EASC chair and Area C director Edwin Grieve made the motion to move to a public hearing instead.” Read more and more. Check out the Facebook page for the Merville Water Guardians.
Fish farm protest in Comox
On June 16, there was another fish farm rally/protest in Comox. People walked from the Little Red Church to Filberg Park, which was the site of the 2018 BC Seafood Festival. Read more. The first rally, on June 13, in downtown Courtenay, got over 100 participants.
World Community AGM and film premiere
DATE: June 27, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Creekside Commons
Following a brief business meeting, Ed Carswell will show a sneak preview of his new film about the farmers who produce World Community Coffee. Carswell has just returned from a trip to Nicaragua and will share stories and video of his encounters at several coffee farms and co-ops in Nicaragua (the source of World Community Coffee). The farmers talk about the benefits of fairly-traded, organic coffee and what working with the co-ops has meant to their daily lives.
Kus-Kus-Sum Multi-Media Spectacle
DATE: June 28-30, July 1, show starts at 8 – 11:00 p.m.
The Nomadic Tempest production takes place on the waterfront, on a tall ship. An “intense, beautiful, gritty, experimental and important…apocalyptic rock opera.” Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for those under 14. Get tickets here. Read more. BRING YOUR OWN CHAIR!
Site C: BC withholds press materials drafted for Site C cancellation scenario
Two things of interest in this article in the National Observer. The first is about an oil spill response Washington State required from Kinder Morgan and how the clean-up response was different on the Canadian side and the American side. The second thing of interest is that TransMountain, which Canadians now own, actually includes a line into Washington State. Read more.
Excerpt 1: “Washington required Kinder Morgan to conduct a worst-case scenario exercise. The company simulated a spill of 3,024 barrels of heavy synthetic crude oil in the Sumas River, which runs from B.C.’s Fraser Valley to Whatcom County, Wash.
In a report following the exercise, state ecology department staff wrote that Kinder Morgan brought together a skilled spill management team including staff from U.S., Canadian, B.C. and Washington government agencies. But the report also said non-floating oil tactics planned on the Washington side were not planned on the B.C. side, and Canada did not discuss the type of equipment it would use to clean up a major spill.
The exercise was conducted to meet U.S. regulatory requirements and was not focused on the Canadian response, said James Stevenson, a spokesman for the National Energy Board. A joint U.S.-Canadian plan to respond to cross-border spills exists but was not activated during the May 2017 exercise, he said.”
Excerpt 2: “Canada’s purchase of the project includes the Puget Sound pipeline, a 111-kilometre line that diverts from the existing Trans Mountain pipeline in B.C. and carries oil to four Washington refineries. Environmental groups now fear an expansion to the Puget Sound line, citing 2017 financial disclosure documents in which Kinder Morgan touted the potential for increasing capacity.
“That is definitely a big concern,” said Rebecca Ponzio, campaign director for Stand Up to Oil, a coalition of U.S. groups that oppose new oil terminals and coastal exports.
Canada’s Department of Finance did not directly answer a question about whether it would consider expanding the Washington line, but it said it planned to follow Kinder Morgan’s 2018 construction schedule for the expansion of the pipeline in B.C. and Alberta.”
Greens of North Island-Powell River (NIPR) 2018 AGM: How did it go?
It went great. Read the report here.
Pathway to Canada Target1
Canada Target 1 is one of the 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada. The Pathway initiative is led by Parks Canada, on behalf of the Government of Canada, and by Alberta Environment and Parks, on behalf of the provinces and territories. Read more. This is a wonderful project and laudable goals. How buying the TransMountain pipeline fits into these kinds of goals is unclear.
Elizabeth May talks about the most recent Parliamentary session
Watch this video with the National Observer.
- Bill C69 for project environmental assessment – May was disappointed in the Liberals’ “fix” of Harper’s Bill C69. Future projects will have ‘better’ rules, but not necessarily adequate rules, and only about a half-dozen projects will be assessed.
- Chapter 11 Investor Dispute Settlement in NAFTA – Why does Canada want to keep it?
- Kinder Morgan.
- Fisheries Department and protection of fisheries habitat (Bill C38 gutted the Fisheries Act).
Green Party of Canada Biennial Convention
A new take on 1 + 1 = 2: Mathematics talent abounds in Indigenous culture
Excerpt: “After attending the First Nations Math Education Workshop in Banff in 2009, I launched the Math Catcher Outreach Program at Simon Fraser University (SFU), which uses the model of the Indigenous storytelling as a tool to attract youth to the study of mathematics.”
Stephen Hawking’s ashes in good company
Stephen Hawking died in March 2018. Hawking’s ashes will be interred at Westminster Abbey, between Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin, and close to other great scientists and thinkers. Read more. Listen to this extraordinary man’s last message to us.
Sexual Violence in the South Sudan
Excerpt: “Rebecca Nyandier Chatim is now head chief of the Nuer ethnic group in the United Nations Protection of Civilians site (PoC) in Juba, where more than 38,000 people have sought sanctuary with United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) peacekeepers. Her victory is of symbolic and practical importance.” Read more.
Gender Equity: A female Commander of British Empire
A woman from Nova Scotia, who has been a “fierce advocate of gender equity in corporate boardrooms, has been named Commander of British Empire by the Queen. Read more.
The Global Electrification Summit conference
On June 14, Vancouver hosted the Global Electrification Summit. Andrew Weaver of the BC Greens was the keynote speaker. Check out the schedule for the one-day affair; it’s impressive! How is BC doing on climate change?
Excerpt: “British Columbia has a climate strategy coming out in later this year that will call for 40 per cent greenhouse gas reduction by 2030. Then we will have the promised Energy Roadmap that will describe how we are going to get there. We have signed up to lots of things, but emissions are not going down. In Canada, greenhouse gas emissions are only 2.2 per cent down from 2006. About 25 per cent of those reductions have come from British Columbia. We have stepped up when it comes to signing documents, but not when it comes to following through.”
McDonald’s is starting to ban single-use plastic straws
Watch this SumOfUs brief video.
Broadbent Institute petition to have Canada end the Safe Third Country Agreement with the US
What’s happening in the US is really beyond belief. Rachel Maddow (The Rachel Maddow Show) ended up crying and unable to speak at the end of her show on Tuesday while trying to read some breaking news about the government keeping infants in detention facilities. And also yesterday, the US withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council. Now the Broadbent Institute has a petition out, calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to end the agreement.
Noam Chomsky on how Trump is the front-man for dismantling of government “by the people for the people”
Watch this short video. Chomsky cuts right to the heart of the matter. As Rachel Maddow (The Rachel Maddow Show) often says, don’t listen to what they say; look at what they’re doing.
Bhutan – the world’s feel-good country and now the first carbon-negative country
Bhutan has strong environmental policies, and their constitution mandates that 60% of the country will remain forested. Watch this short video. You’ll feel better.
Thought of the day:
Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up. While there is life, there is hope. (Stephen Hawking)