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
Whipping the Vote
This documentary reveals the downside of MLAs’ and MPs’ votes being whipped, and how that undermines democracy. While Mr. Holman’s focus on his blog is transparency of information, his documentary on how votes are whipped in B.C. (and elsewhere in Canada) demonstrates that there really isn’t democracy, there really isn’t transparency, and our MLAs don’t really represent us. They represent the party, and that is exactly what first-past-the-post reinforces – the Party. While there would still be parties in a proportional system, the Party would no longer be the focus. Given that most parties no longer get over 50% of the vote because we have more than two parties, a coalition would be necessary and by its very nature would increase the transparency of government policies and legislation. Whipping the vote and quashing dissent within the ranks would be much harder when there are two parties who have to agree on legislation. So MLAs would be better able to represent their constituents and transparency would be increased under a proportional system. That seems like a good starting point.
Letters to the Editor on PR
“Building a coastal refinery in B.C. is just ‘common sense’.”
This opinion piece appeared in the Comox Valley Record on May 15, 2018. It is by David Black, chairman of Black Press Media. Black Press is viewed as very conservative in many circles, but many of their editorials of late have been surprisingly humane. This particular column, though, was surprising in its well-reasoned argument not to export Canada’s crude oil to be refined elsewhere. To bolster his argument for having a refinery in B.C., Mr. Black has done his homework. He cites the amount of CO2 reduction from a refinery in Kitimat versus refineries elsewhere in the world. He cites the lack of a spill of dilbit in our oceans and itemizes the many risks of dilbit. He suggests the oil industry should be encouraged to use cold solvent catalysts instead of hot steam and water, thereby reducing emissions from the hot-water treatment. His final five paragraphs sum up his arguments, and they’re very interesting. It is refreshing to read such a thoughtful piece from someone who sees value in the oil industry and yet sees the absolute necessity to protect the environment as much as possible. While it’s tempting to say, “But we have to get rid of oil entirely,” I refer you to Elizabeth May and her equally well reasoned statement recently, “An Oilsands Bargain that Actually Makes Sense.”
DATE: Thursday, May 24, 2018, 7-9 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are free but get them here.
LOCATION: Florence Filberg Centre, Rotary Room
The Global Awareness Network, Imagine Comox Valley, BC Council for International Cooperation, and Council of Canadians are holding a sustainability forum.
Thursday, May 24, 2018, from 7-9 p.m. Leading up to the BC Municipal Elections, they are planning a series of events leading up to the elections to enhance community knowledge of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and build their collective commitment to build a more sustainable community. We have organized this initial forum that will offer both candidates and the general public an opportunity to consider the local sustainability frameworks in the context of the SDGs and to explore how we might work collaboratively on a range of issues from housing to food sustainability to transportation. In the weeks leading up to the election we will continue to work with our partners to raise the issue of sustainability in the context of election forums, in the press and on social media
Kus-Kus-Sum Fundraising Luncheon
DATE: May 26, 11:30 a.m.
LOCATION: Locals Restaurant
TICKETS: Get your tickets here. Seating is limited to 60 guests
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some Vancouver Island Farmers Accepting Garbage Rather than Growing Food
“Farms across B.C. are being used as illegal dumps by the construction industry, which is depositing poor-quality dirt and construction waste on land earmarked for agriculture, according to B.C.’s agriculture minister and the independent agency in charge of protecting provincial farmland.” Read more.
Who Will be the Mayor of Vancouver?
Vancouver’s mayoralty race will be interesting. Ian Campbell, a Squamish Hereditary Chief wants to run, Adriane Carr wants to run as a Green, Kennedy Stewart wants to run, plus others. And that’s just on the left-of-centre. It’s possible the centre-left vote will be split enough that it will allow the right-of-centre to coast into the mayor’s office.
Part 1: Okay, I think this qualifies as adding insult to injury. Nestle has apparently reached an agreement with Kinder Morgan to relocate part of the pipeline so that it doesn’t jeopardize Nestle’s operation to extract 300 million litres of water each year from an aquifer in Sto:lo territory in Hope, BC. Chilliwack residents, who use the same aquifer, have been asking for the pipeline route to be changed, as have the Coldwater People (C’eletkwmx First Nation) going back to 2016. Now CBC is reporting that Kinder Morgan has agreed to re-route part of the pipeline to accommodate Nestle’s concerns. A spokesman for Nestle stated “that Trans Mountain agreed to change the route of the pipeline in the area around its Hope property and said the company also agreed to address its concerns around timing and methods of construction.” So…Kinder Morgan is willing to reroute its pipeline to protect another multinational corporation’s profits but not to protect the drinking water of the people who live there.
Just for a little more background on Nestle operations in BC, check out this CBC article from 2015. Nestle, of course, says it abides by the laws of BC regarding water extraction. BC has a Water Sustainability Act that has been found inadequate by Council of Canadians. So, if a law is inadequate, then the justification that a company is abiding by the law is equally inadequate. Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s right.
Part 2: So much for free prior and informed consent. Canada and KM want a First Nation to pay their legal fees. Read more.
Part 3: This about sums up the Liberal/Alberta NDP plan to ‘compensate’ Kinder Morgan for BC’s intransigence. And for more information on taxpayer subsidization of Kinder Morgan already, read this piece by Robyn Allan.
Part 4: Nathan Cullen gave a speech in Parliament about KM and the Federal government’s support of it.
Part 5: Elizabeth May’s column in the Peninsula News Review, aptly titled “Decision-based evidence-making.” Read more.
BC Green Party AGM
DATE: June 1-3, 2018. Read more. Keynotes for Convention 2018 are “The emerging economy”, “Politics in the #MeToo era” and “A 21st-century democracy”.
Indigenous Women’s Art to Appear on 167 Canadian Billboards
Art by Indigenous women is being shown on billboards across Canada. The project is called the Resilience Project. “The project, which includes photographs, paintings, and multimedia pieces, was produced by the Winnipeg centre Mentoring Artist for Women’s Art as a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on residential schools.” Read more.
NIPR’s AGM – SAVE THE DATE
DATE: June 16, 2018.
LOCATION: Campbell River Community Centre, Rm 1, 401-11 Avenue, Campbell River.
GUEST SPEAKER: Sonia Furstenau, BC Greens MLA
Check it out and RSVP!
Elizabeth May’s Week in Review
Elizabeth was in her home riding during this week off from Parliament, and was very busy. She had 13 events in one week, one of which was in Nanaimo to talk about the investor dispute mechanism in NAFTA.
Green Party of Canada Biennial Convention
Corporate Criminals can now Report Themselves
The Federal Liberals have included a proposal into their budget bill which would “delay prosecution” for corporations. “Such agreements are designed to encourage more companies to come forward to self-report corporate crimes and to identify individuals for prosecution. If it lives up to its end of the bargain, the company as a whole would avoid facing serious criminal charges, which could include bribery, corruption and insider trading.” Can’t you just picture all these corporations phoning their local prosecutors and saying, “I’d like to report myself for insider trading.” Read more.
International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia May 17
Tanzania opens up UNESCO World Heritage Site and Game Preserve for Logging and a Hydroelectric Dam
A Comox Valley local Christian school sends its high school students to Tanzania to spread the Gospel. If only they felt the soul of the planet was as worthy of being saved as the souls of its people. Read more. According to South Africa Breaking News, “It is understood that no completed Environmental Impact Study has been finalized prior to the tender, as required by the law, nor was any official notification sent to UNESCO as required by the rules for World Heritage Sites. According to sources within Tanzania, there has been no civil society protest so far and the State protection and park agencies have remained silent.”
Thought of the day:
And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. (Ezekiel 22:30, The Holy Bible)