Must Reads from Last Week

BC Electoral Reform Referendum

Get involved locally

Six people went out again on Saturday, March 10, in the Puntledge area.  It was a gorgeous day to be out canvassing and, while many people weren’t home, those who were home were largely in support of electoral reform.

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 to get involved.

Let’s Make Every Vote Count, March 14, 2018


Fair Vote Comox Valley’s campaign launch, March 14, 2018, at the Stan Hagen Theatre at North Island College.  Doors open at 6:30; the event starts at 7 p.m.  Speakers will include Elizabeth May as a previous member of the Federal Committee on Electoral Reform and MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, Rachel Blaney, MP for North Island-Powell River, Barb Berger of FV Comox Valley, and Sheldon Falk of the NIC Students Union and BC Federation of Students.  Tickets are available at Eventbrite.  Tickets are free. 


City Planning – Municipal Elections

We have municipal elections this fall.  In Macleans Magazine’s March 2018 edition, Jennifer Keesmaat has an essay titled “Urban Life:  Stuck in the Middle.”  It’s not available online so you’ll have to pay the female or male price (see item below) for this month’s issue. Keesmaat is a former urban planner for the City of Toronto.  In this essay, she talks about Canada’s cities not having a sustainable future “because they’re stuck on a suburban growth model.”  She names Portland, Ore. as a city whose planners have successfully “rejected sprawl, and instead linked land use with transportation planning, economic development, green spaces and strong neighbourhoods.”  In the Comox Valley, we can’t get decent bus service or paved shoulders that are safe for cyclists, never mind a mindset that isn’t “stuck on a suburban growth model.”  Let’s hope the next crop of councillors and mayors will change that.  This alone is a reason to ask our municipal candidates hard questions about what their vision of the future of our Valley is.  In Vancouver, the Green Party runs for City Council.  Perhaps it’s time for our municipal politicians to declare their political stripes. And while we’re at it, let’s talk to them about proportional representation!

Licence to take Comox Valley water for commercial sale

The Comox Valley Regional District held a meeting on March 5, 2018, at which they had between 150 and 200 citizens attending, which they hadn’t expected. The meeting was to hear a rezoning application for a local commercial water bottling operation. Decafnation and Comox Valley Record carried stories on this. Decafnation also includes a quote from MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard, in which she assures us she will be “monitoring the situation closely.” The Comox Valley Record has another article from March 8 which reports on opposition by the K’omoks First Nation. According to Chief Rempel, the KFN is “currently in a treaty process and negotiating for allocations of groundwater ourselves.” You can also read the KFN’s media release on this issue. The subhead of the media release states, “In a time of reconciliation with First Nations, the BC government gets it wrong again.”

People can express their views on the proposal to Tanya Dunlop, senior authorizations technologist, at

World Water Day, “Take the Pledge:  Tap Into Water,”

March 22, 2018, Our Water - Our Future

On World Water Day, learn how we can protect our waters locally and worldwide. Hear how to make Campbell River a Blue Community. Speakers include Andrew Nikiforuk and Damien Gillis. Q & A to follow. Doors open at 6:30pm. Cosponsored by Council of Canadians, Campbell River Chapter and Timberline Earth Club.
Date:  Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 7:00pm
Pricing:   Admission by donation.
Phone Number:  250-286-3019

Reconciliation Workshop at Campbell River Museum:

A Community Circle hosted by the Museum at Campbell River and the CR Arts Council, March 24, 2018

While the past cannot be changed, together we can create a new understanding of our shared history - this knowledge can lead to respectful relations for the future. This is one of the greatest hopes for the TRC, a growing reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.
(From the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada)

The public is invited to a day exploring the theme of reconciliation.

This event will take place at the Museum at Campbell River, 470 Island Highway, On Saturday, March 24 from 9:30am – 3:30pm.  Lunch will be provided.  There is no cost, however registration is required.  There are only a limited number of spaces available, and registration is on a first come first serve basis.  Please contact the Museum to register 250-287-3103 or

Paddle design by Mulidzas Curtis Wilson.


BC Green Party Annual General Meeting/Convention

June 1-3, Kamloops:  Early bird tickets available now.

Site C:  Is it a Done Deal?

TOWN HALL MEETING, Friday, March 23 7:00 - 9:00
K’omoks Band Hall

Main Speakers:
Ken Boon (Peace Valley Landowners Association)

Steve Gray (Peace Valley Solidarity Initiative)

Ken Boon of the Peace Valley Landowners Association and Steve Gray of the Peace Valley Solidarity Initiative will give up-to-date information on the economic analysis of Site C, including the environmental and social costs of this mega-project. They will also discuss the BC government’s disregard for the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People and the breaking of Treaty 8.

This event will be a fundraiser for the legal costs for West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations and the Peace Valley Landowners.

Phone Rick at 250-336-8944 if you would like to arrange car-pooling from Cumberland for the event.  Read more.

…And more Site C

Andrew Nikiforuk will be speaking at the Campbell River Museum on March 10, from 1-2:30; tickets $7/person.  Read more.

Kinder Morgan

Trudeau is challenged to provide the science behind his assertions that Kinder Morgan is necessary. Read more.


David beats Goliath:  Tiny Canada town defeats oil firm in court fight over drinking water

Amazing story!  I watch CBC’s The National every night, and this didn’t make the national news.  Why on earth not, I ask.  But it made The Guardian.  This township of 157 people, with a tax base of 84 people, according to the article, has more moral fortitude than our governments.  Read more

Rethinking thinking

The future is theirs. Here are young people taking control of their lives. Read more.  And the Youth Political Commons.  Read more.

Women in Politics

Part 1:  This blog has talked in previous issues about the pervasive, systemic hatred women in politics face (see this on sexual harassment, and this on an Abacus poll). In their March 2018 issues, Maclean’s Magazine is charging men and women different prices for the issue, in an effort to highlight the pay equity discrepancy between men and women in Canada.  A novel approach, we think.  This effort was sparked by “a group of students at the University of Queensland in Australia put on a bake sale. They called it the Gender Pay Gap Bake Sale, and they priced their cupcakes higher for men than women to illustrate Australia’s pay equity gap. The fierce social media backlash (“Kill all women” and “Females are f–king scum, they should be put down as babies” and “I want to rape these feminist c–ts with their f–king baked goods”) was so horrific it made international headlines. When we discussed the story during our Maclean’s news meeting at the time, we wondered what would happen if we tried it here in Canada.”  There was a follow-up story in the Brisbane Times about the hatred of women that was spewed as a result of the bake sale and its recognition of the gender pay gaps that exist.

Part 2:  In November 2017, Amnesty International reported on a survey conducted across the world looking into the abuse women suffer online.

Excerpt:  “Amnesty International polled women describing themselves as moderate to active internet users about their experiences of online abuse and harassment.
Across all countries, just under half (46%) of women responding to the survey who had experienced online abuse or harassment said it was misogynistic or sexist in nature.
Between one-fifth (19% in Italy) and one-quarter of women who had experienced abuse or harassment said it had included threats of physical or sexual assault.
58% of survey participants across all countries who had experienced abuse or harassment said it had included racism, sexism, homophobia or transphobia.
26% of women who’d experienced abuse or harassment across all countries surveyed said personal or identifying details of them had been shared online (also known as “doxxing”).
Over half (59%) of women who’d experienced abuse or harassment online said it came from complete strangers.
Around a quarter (24%) of women surveyed who said that they had experienced abuse said that it had made them fear for their family’s safety.”  Read more.

In what universe is this acceptable?!  We in the Green Party want to recruit more women politicians.  Do our political parties take into account the abuse women will be forced to face if they become public figures?


 Gender (in)equality

The number of stories on this issue would be too many to even begin to include. However, amidst all the talk on equality and governments’ theoretical commitment to it, one story from International Women’s Day stood out. The French government is actually proposing legislation that would fine companies who discriminate against women in terms of pay. Read more and more and more.

International Women’s Day

Part 1:  ABC news did a roundup of International Women’s Day news and activities around the world, including Kosovo, Poland, Pakistan, Uganda, and many more. Read more.

Part 2:  Back in February, the website One had a piece on sexism and poverty. Under the hashtag #poverty is sexist, they state: “Nowhere on earth do women have as many opportunities as men. Nowhere. But the gender gap is wider for women living in extreme poverty. We won’t end extreme poverty until we break down the barriers holding girls and women back.” They have an open letter to world leaders which everyone can sign.

Thought of the day:

What keeps me going is the sense that there’s so much hope. I think about all of my sisters who I fight alongside, who I kiki and laugh and giggle and gossip alongside. When I see their joy in the face of so many insurmountable hurdles and obstacles, that they can still go, with their underfunded movements and try to create change, try to run for government, try to do all of these things. Who am I to not be compelled to go and do this work and to link arms unabashedly, unapologetically, and fiercely alongside them?  (Janet Mock, Activist and Author)

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