Must Reads from Last Week
BC Electoral Reform Referendum
Part 1: The Make Every Voter Count (MEVC) is getting its campaign together. Their website has options to Join the Campaign, Spread the Word, and Take the Survey.
Part 2: Fair Vote Comox Valley (FVCV) has been out canvassing a number of times now, and the canvassers are finding that more than 50% of people talked to don’t yet know about the referendum. This represents a HUGE opportunity for the Yes to PR side. We have the opportunity to set the narrative, to make sure people hear how a proportional voting system would benefit them, would give them a greater voice in government.
CALL TO ACTION: This referendum campaign needs many “boots on the ground” to get the word out before the No side starts spending thousands of dollars on TV and newspaper ads. Foot canvassing, phone canvassing and tabling are all opportunities to inform people. Contact a Fair Vote chapter near you, or form a chapter. There is a Fair Vote Powell River chapter, a Fair Vote Sunshine Coast chapter, and a Fair Vote Canada-Mid Vancouver Island chapter.
FVCV is offering fun, safe, non-threatening training sessions on talking about PR, focusing on questions canvassers may be faced with. The focus of the canvassing right now is to inform people of the referendum and let them know that a vote for Yes to PR will benefit all voters, not parties. Liberal, Conservative, NDP and Green voters alike will benefit from a more proportional system.
If you’d like to attend one of the FVCV training sessions, contact Megan Ardyche, FVCV Volunteer Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Part 3: A short but revealing look at the research around the effects of proportional representation governments and environmental policies. Read more.
Part 4: Though this article is from March 6, 2018, the National Observer has a great primer on why we need proportional representation in BC and in Canada. The author, Warren Bell, lays out the strengths and benefit of PR and also debunks the myths of the anti-PR folks, pointing out that they don’t engage in reasoned debate on the merits of either first-past-the-post or proportional systems, but rather rely on stoking fear and divisiveness. As Bell puts it, “Little substance. Lots of slurs.”
Excerpt: At his victory speech as the new leader of the BC Liberals, Andrew Wilkinson “vowed to go up against the NDP with everything he had, hoping to “make their skin crawl”, and promising to hound the Green/NDP leaders and “drive the wedge between them and make sure they are more and more uncomfortable with each other…”
Excerpt: “Proportional representation is a better way of electing governments, because it does just that: it encourages hope and hard work, and emphasizes not so much winning elections as finding solutions.”
Greens of Courtenay-Alberni Fireside chats
The Courtenay-Alberni EDA are holding a series of Fireside chats during April. The first one is April 5, 5-7 p.m. and the topic is “How Cruise Tourism is Changing the Arctic.” These chats are posted on Greens of North Island-Powell River’s Facebook page as a courtesy to the Courtenay-Alberni Greens.
BC Green Party Annual General Meeting/Convention
June 1-3, Kamloops. Read more.
BC Greens and AggregateIQ (AIQ)
You’ve probably seen the companies Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ in the news. The BC Greens have been transparent in sending out a notice of a review they did on a brief relationship they had with AIQ in 2016, in light of allegations of what AIQ did with personal data.
GOOD NEWS: How a First Nation Bargained to Build B.C.’s Largest Solar Farm
“We have to move into the future,” explained Chief Harvey McLeod. “Water is getting more scarce, there’s going to be less of it. We have to look at alternatives [to hydro] and at the same time protect our environment.” Read more.
Part 1: Rachel Notley is declaring a win. Not so fast, says Elizabeth May. Read more.
Part 2: The fight to defend B.C. from Kinder Morgan’s pipeline and tanker project is heating on many fronts. Join Dogwood supporters, friends and neighbours for a World Community presentation of Directly Affected — a film exploring what the expansion of heavy oil transport means to residents of the B.C. coast. Catch the preview of Zack Embree’s “Directly Affected” here. Admission is by donation. Bring your questions. RSVP here.
Who Backs Canada’s Politicians? Follow the Money
To hold politicians to account for gifts large and small, reporter Zane Schwartz chased down over six million records from across the country and developed the first centralized, searchable database of contributions made at both the federal level and in 13 provinces and territories. You can search by donor or recipient. Read more.
Elizabeth May with Guy Dauncey
Check out Elizabeth’s relatively wide-ranging interview with Guy Dauncey on his “Change the World.” Elizabeth May has an astounding breadth of knowledge. Her call to action is for the citizens of Canada to become engaged and hold our Federal government to account in their babble-speak that increasing fossil fuels will help us reach our climate targets.
Federal Government’s Climate Change Policies Fall Short
An audit done by Canada’s federal environment commissioner has found that “Canada talks the talk, but fails to walk the walk on climate change [and that there is little] likelihood of Canada meeting any of its targets.” Read more.
CBC Radio: Ideas series
The April series of Ideas has some interesting episodes. Check it out.
If you want to offset your carbon footprint, here is one option. Anyone who has some experience with this company, NIPR would be interested to get feedback. Go to the Newsletter section of our website and add your comments.
Anti-pipeline campaigners found not guilty by judge because ‘protest against climate change crisis’ was legal ‘necessity’?
RECAP: World Water Day, March 22, 2018
Part 1: On March 22, World Water Day, Council of Canadians supporters and chapter activists held film screenings, town halls, media interviews and more in support of clean, safe, water for local communities and Indigenous nations. The Council also debuted a new short film by the Story of Stuff about Nestlé’s relentless pursuit of water sources for its multi-billion dollar water bottling operations, including here in Canada. There are few things more important than clean, safe water, but damaging and polluting industries, the lack of strong federal government protections, and water privatization efforts are putting many water sources at risk.
Part 2: Internationally, Meera Karunananthan of the Blue Planet Project was in Brazil marching with other water justice activists to demand an end to water privatization.
It’s Easter Weekend – What about all that chocolate?
The rabbit’s got the scoop. Our passion for chocolate is resulting in deforestation in many countries.
Excerpt: “After our report in the fall of 2017, 24 leading chocolate companies joined the governments of Ghana and Ivory Coast to commit to No New Deforestation, reforestation, and traceability in West Africa. These companies and the governments have much to do to fulfil these promises. But only a handful of companies have made a global commitment to deforestation-free cocoa. It’s time for the rest of the chocolate industry to do the same.” Read more.