Must Reads from Last Week

BC Electoral Reform Referendum

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

What a great event this was. Elizabeth May, Rachel Blaney, Sheldon Falk and Barb Berger were the speakers. We got some background from May about the Federal committee on electoral reform and Trudeau’s decision to renege on his campaign promises. Blaney talked about her town halls and survey on electoral reform in the North Island-Powell River riding. Falk talked about youth voices, and Berger gave some background on the BC Alliance in this effort and also on the three main systems that would work for BC. It sounds like it would be kind of boring, doesn’t it? But it wasn’t boring at all!

There were 180+ people at the Stan Hagen Theatre, and they were obviously listening closely, if the questions during the Q&A were anything to go by. The evening ended with a personal story on the positive impact people-centred government policies can have in people’s lives. That personal story bookended what all the speakers emphasized – that values are at the heart of this referendum debate - the values we all cherish and which governments under a first-past-the-post system don’t reflect.

Fair Vote Comox Valley has been out canvassing 3 times already. What we’ve found is that at least half of the people we’ve spoken to don’t know about the referendum at all. Our focus at this point is to make sure people know about this important vote, and that they know it will be a mail-in ballot. The vast majority of the people we’ve spoken to, even if they didn’t know about the referendum already, are in favour of a fair voting system that will better represent the voters.


BC government study of regulations to safeguard waterways

Interestingly, the March 15 edition of the Comox Valley Record has a little blurb in the Courtenay Council notes that “Council approved a resolution from Councillor Rebecca Lennox to request the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) to endorse the efforts of the B.C. government to introduce regulations to safeguard coastal communities and waterways from harm caused by oil spills.” This is great news!


BC Green Party Annual General Meeting/Convention

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

Site C – Is it a Done Deal?


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)
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.

Kinder Morgan

Of course you all know about the HUGE gathering on Burnaby Mountain last week, an estimated 5000 people. One of NIPR’s members was interviewed and explained why he thought it was important he be there on his 70th birthday!

This CBC News piece is essentially a transcript of Elizabeth May’s interview on The Early Edition on March 13, 2018. Elizabeth talks about being the ONLY MP presenting arguments to the National Energy Board about Kinder Morgan’s ‘evidence.’ This is a great interview.

Catherine McKenna saying Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will make the BC coast safer because marine safety will be improved, beggars belief. We expect our Canadian politicians to NOT engage in this kind of doublespeak.


Green Party of Canada Biennial General Meeting

This year’s BGM is now open for registration.  Read more.

Date:           September 28-30, 2018
Location:    Westin Bayshore Hotel, Vancouver
Early bird registration deadline:  April 30, 2018

Proposal/motion submission:  There are changes to the decision-making and motion process this year. Proposals will be prioritized, for example. Many of these changes were membership-driven through the Committee for Motion Development (referenced in NIPR’s December 2017 newsletter).


National Geographic Admits to Racist Coverage

National Geographic is doing “The Race Issue” to “explore how race defines, separates, and unites us.” Read more.

Making a Difference One Person at a Time

In this case, it’s making a difference one man at a time. PBS ran a profile of Christopher Schafer, a Baltimore clothier who makes bespoke (custom) suits. In 2011, he started recycling designer suits men brought in – recycling in the sense that he made them available to men who could otherwise never afford a good suit. Men who were going to job interviews. They see their mission as being to “bridge a critical gap between job development programs that provide training … needed to be considered for and obtain employment.” Read more.

Thought of the day:

In today’s highly interdependent world, individuals and nations can no longer resolve many of their problems by themselves. We need one another. We must therefore develop a sense of universal responsibility … It is our collective and individual responsibility to protect and nurture the global family, to support its weaker members, and to preserve and tend to the environment in which we all live.  (The Dalai Lama)

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