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…

If you feel we’re taking up too much space on any one topic, or that we’re omitting an essential topic, 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

Voting as Civil War

Here’s an interesting article found totally by accident. The author is comparing first past the post to other adversarial activities – like war. “It is interesting to note that, of the nine most warlike countries in the world, only Estonia has a proportional representation type of government. In the other eight Britian, USA, and France – a FPTP parliamentary democracy and two republics – are right up there at the top. Is this coincidence?” Read more.

Possible Proportional Representation Systems for BC

If you’re among those who want to know more about PR systems that would work for BC, check out this Fair Vote Canada/BC site.

PEI Referendum on PR

The PEI government has introduced some pretty draconian legislation for their referendum. Read more.

One of the Fair Vote PEI folks has this to say about the legislation:

These are three most appalling provisions, with comments:

  1. If you vote in the general election, but not in the simultaneous referendum, it will count as a vote for the status quo electoral system. If less than half of all general election voters participated in the referendum, even if they ALL chose MMP, it would not be considered binding. (See Article 4(1))
  2. The only funds that can be spent influencing the referendum outcome are the public funds - no other contributions can be collected by the advertising organizations. It is absolutely undemocratic for the government to attempt to place a ban on small donations from individual citizens to community-based interest groups. It sets a dangerous precedent. In a democracy, it is fundamental that citizens be free to organize and pool their resources to influence change. And the limit of $75k is not sufficient to run a strong campaign.
  3. The “registration period” during which all of these restrictions apply, is defined as starting on July 1, 2018, and ending on the date of the next General Election. Given that we have a law that says the next general election should take place in April 2020, that means that these restrictions on the promotion of proportional representation can be in place for nearly two years!


Municipal Elections – Public Forums in the Comox Valley

Comox Valley groups are holding two public forums – on May 24 – to “press issues, create voter awareness, and recruit candidates.” Read more.

Comox Valley Sustainability Forum

On Thursday, May 24, CV Global Awareness Network, the CV Council of Canadians and Imagine Comox Valley invite you to a Sustainability Forum, where voters will have an opportunity to hear more about the possibility of reaching sustainable solutions to current local issues and problems.

The evening will begin with an introduction to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, followed with an overview of the goals outlined in the Regional Growth Strategy and Official Community Plans and why these matter to the well-being of our Comox Valley communities. Read more.  For free tickets, click here, or call 778-992-0102.

Elizabeth May and Paul Manly speak in Nanaimo

DATE/TIME:    May 15, 2018; 7 p.m.
WHERE:           Bowen Park Auditorium, 500 Bowen Road, Nanaimo

Did you know… Kinder Morgan could sue the Canadian government for billions of dollars if their pipeline doesn’t get built?

How did our right to decide what is in the best interest of Canadians get traded away? Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May and filmmaker Paul Manly will explain how international trade agreements have put all of us, and our environment, at risk.

The event will also feature the premiere of “Bilcon vs. Canada”, a short documentary that shows how one embattled Nova Scotia community fought against the building of a quarry in an environmentally-sensitive whale habitat, and won – only to find their victory challenged under NAFTA’s Chapter 11.

Clean, Green Energy Symposium, sponsored by Greens on Courtenay-Alberni

WHERE:  Knox United Church, Parksville,
DATE/TIME:  10-4, June 2, 2018

Guest speakers –
* Guy Dauncey, practical utopian
* Micheal Mehta of Sweetspot Solar
* Island Community Solar Coop

On site are Hakaienergy Solutions,Viridian Energy Coop,, Aztec Off Grid Solutions, ArroLectric and other clean energy solutions for you and me.
Open to everyone by your sustainable donations at the door.
Contact Sunshine for further information:


Site C

Did you think we were finished with Site C?  Not a chance.

Part 1: Watch West Moberly Chief Roland Willson’s presentation to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment & Sustainable Development on April 25, 2018.

Part 2: “British Columbia’s Chief Electoral Officer has approved in principle an initiative petition application attempting to stop construction of the $10.7-billion Site C dam, Elections BC announced Thursday.

The petition will be issued to proponent Ion Delsol Moruso, a resident of Duncan, on July 3, according to Elections BC.” There will only be 90 days to collect signatures from 10% of registered voters. Read more.

Part 3:  A new site about the fight for the Peace Valley.  At the bottom of the page, you can add your name to a pledge that you care about Treaty rights in Canada. Read more.

Two Films You May Want to See – Showing in Victoria May 30

This is from Thomas Teuwen’s weekly blog, “Good Sunday Morning.”

On May 30th, the Sea of Life—Winner of the Cinema Verde Film Festival (2017) and of the EnviroFilm Festival (2017)— will be on the big screen. Written and directed by Toronto-based Julia Barnes, this film dives into some of the biggest threats to the oceans and searches for solutions. Oxygen supply for the planet is being disrupted by ocean acidification, and 40 percent of the plankton—that produce the oxygen that we depend on to live—are already gone…

Changes to the ocean are also taking a toll on marine life. Vancouver based journalist and screenwriter Mark Leiren-Young’s award-winning short film about the oldest-known Southern Resident killer whale, named Granny, will inspire you to protect orcas! The Hundred-Year-Old Whale shows footage of this majestic matriarch swimming in the waters of the Strait of Georgia. Watch both these fantastic films in Victoria on May 30th.

BC First Nation Builds Tiny Homes for the Homeless

“In about a month’s time, a cluster of tiny homes in the Nuxalk First Nation in Bella Coola will open its doors to four single men who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.” Read more.

Kinder Morgan

Part 1:  Thomas Teuwen’s weekly blog from last week, “Good Sunday Morning,” lays out a lot of the connections in the Kinder Morgan debacle. Check it out for a great look into the web of lies and deceit.

Part 2:  Climate Convergence Metro Vancouver is holding a march to Stop Kinder Morgan on Saturday, May 12 in Vancouver. Read more.

BC Green Party AGM

June 1-3, 2018. Read more.  Keynotes for Convention 2018 are “The emerging economy”, “Politics in the #MeToo era” and “A 21st-century democracy”.

Young Greens/West Coast Views

Some weeks ago we introduced you to West Coast Views, three Young Greens who are doing podcasts on a wide range of topics. Episode 4 covers recent protests against the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in school curriculum, the effect of toxic masculinity in light of the Toronto attack, and the upcoming proportional representation referendum. These guys are incredible.

Petro-Panic in Alberta

Life just ain’t getting any better for a motley crew of Albertan politicians and leaders from the business, academic, and legal sectors who are apoplectic that David Suzuki, a long-time critic of the environmental and human-rights impacts of the oil sands, is to be recognized by the University of Alberta with an honorary degree. Read more.


Green Party of Canada Working/Collaboration Platform

The GPC is working very hard at connecting GPC members, supporters and volunteers across the whole of Canada. The mobilization team is doing a lot of webinars so if you’d like to connect with other GPC members across the country or across your riding, see the invitation to join Slack below.

The GPC would love for you to join Slack and stay connected. Slack is a super simple tool that allows volunteers to communicate across our vast country and will be a key communication tool for election 2019 and beyond. It helps us be nimble in communicating more often - keeping us united as a team more consistently - without overflowing your email inbox. You can sign up for Slack and join many conversations here.

Finally, please invite your Green friends to join us! Here is the link to the Playing in Slack webinar and SlackChat — feel free to share it. If you know someone who would like to join us, you can let them know about our upcoming “Who We Are” webinar with Elizabeth May. You can access the full schedule here.


DATE:  June 16, 2018.
LOCATION:  Campbell River.
GUEST SPEAKER:  Sonia Furstenau, BC Greens MLA

Keep on the lookout for news!

Elizabeth May’s Week in Review

Read more.  In case you think Elizabeth May is actually taking time off this next week while Parliament isn’t in session, you should see her calendar. She has 13 events scheduled in the next week alone.

Green Party of Canada Biennial Convention

September 28-30, 2018. Read more. T Convention 2018 is Sept 28-30 in Vancouver! Join us and help us build for success in 2019.  Info and registration here(Early bird rates until April 30.)

Violence Against/Hatred For Women

CBC Sunday Scrum on Sunday, May 6, talked about the threats women in politics have received.  This was also covered by CBC during the previous week. And it’s not just women in politics. It’s women journalists – do you remember the TV news reporter who was fatally shot on live television?

[Some] Women Got the Vote 100 Years Ago

On May 24, 1918, women of European descent got the vote in Canada. This event is being marked in Ottawa on May 24, 2018. Of course, our history books gloss over the fact that this was only White women. Chinese, East Indian and Japanese women didn’t get the right to vote until the 1940s. It wasn’t until 1960 that ALL Canadian women, including Indigenous women could vote in Federal elections. It’s good to celebrate the “famous 5” who got White women the right to vote, but let’s not forget the racist history Canada has.

“Smart” Cities

In the January 20, 2018, edition of Did You Know…, we mentioned a company called Sidewalk Labs which is owned by a company called Alphabet. Alphabet also owns Google. Matthew Braga a piece for the CBC’s Technology & Science section on “smart” cities. Sidewalk Labs is partnering with the City of Toronto to develop a waterfront section of the city as a “smart” community. We also had a link to a Guardian article on this issue.

Fast Forward to May 4, 2018. Matthew Braga has a new piece in the CBC’s Technology & Science section. At its second public information session last week, Sidewalk Labs “still offered little in the way of specifics about what exactly it has planned, and those details are not expected until summer at the earliest.” To refresh your memory, this “smart” community will collect data on “everything from intelligent traffic cameras to garbage cans and recycling bins that keep track of when and how often they’re used.” At this public forum, Sidewalk Labs still didn’t have any answers to privacy concerns and were only able to offer “trust us” as a way to allay people’s fears. They assured the public that they would know what they were doing with all the data collected by the time the project was finished at the end of 2018. Hmmm…should a major urban development project plan work that way?

When asked how the company planned to make money off the neighbourhood (i.e. the data collected), they were told that “It’s so early days we haven’t really thought about the specifics of the business model yet.”  One would think after the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica debacle, that Toronto would be much more concerned about its citizens’ privacy than Facebook was.

BP and Canada’s Protection of the Oceans

Recently we told you about BP getting the go-ahead to drill off the coast of Nova Scotia.  Here’s a continuation of that outrage.


What Sustains our Hope? Children Planting Trees

And to celebrate the birth of a girl:

And then there’s

Fracking on Trial and the Rights of Nature

The historic Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal Session on Human Rights, Fracking, and Climate Change will take place this May 14 to 18, cohosted by Spring Creek Project at Oregon State University, Corvallis, and live-streaming online. The upcoming session will focus on the potential human rights violations of unconventional hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and climate change. The Tribunal judges will also be asked to consider the rights of Nature, because the protection of a healthy environment may be a fundamental prerequisite for the protection of human rights.” Read more.

For the schedule of oral presentations, click here.

California will Require Solar Power for New Homes

They have Donald Trump for president and still they find a way to lead. Canada has a self-avowed environmentalist and feminist for prime minister and still we’re going backwards. Read more.

Thought of the day:

“As long as the world shall last, there will be wrongs, and if nobody objected and if nobody rebelled, those wrongs would last forever.” (Clarence Darrow)

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