Must Reads from Last Week

BC Electoral Reform Referendum


Fair Vote Canada/BC is buying some major newspaper ad space

Monday October 23: We’re buying the front page of the Province - it’s a wrapper like Jim Shepard did so we get the inside page, too. (We were hoping for a day a bit later than that but were told it was all booked - maybe the Liberals have their pictures of Nazis and party hacks on the other days, who knows). 

Wed or Friday Oct 24 and 26: We will have a 4 page insert in 39 local papers across interior/northern BC. 

These things cost more money than FVC has ever spent on anything. But we just couldn’t say NO to reaching that many people in their communitiesClick here and donate to this hugely important effort from Fair Vote Canada/BC, or donate to some other pro-PR group in BC. It’s getting down to the wire and groups across BC are working incredibly hard to reach all possible voters.

Andrew Coyne in Vancouver: Why Pro Rep won’t turn BC into a dystopian hellhole

DATE/TIME: October 25, 7-8:30 pm
LOCATION:   SFU Harbour Centre Campus, Vancouver 

…and it will be live streamed on Facebook. If you’ve never listened to Andrew Coyne on proportional representation, now is a good time. He’s an incredible advocate.

Understanding the referendum – information sessions


DATE/TIME: October 27, 1:30-3:30
LOCATION:   Rotary Room, Florence Filberg Centre

DATE/TIME: November 12, 4:30 pm
LOCATION:   Courtenay Public Library

DATE/TIME: November 15, 2:30 pm
LOCATION:   Courtenay Public Library

 DATE/TIME: November 17, 2:30 pm
LOCATION:   Courtenay Public Library

Campbell River

DATE/TIME: October 25, 7-9 pm
LOCATION:   Campbell River Museum



Witness the raising of Welcome Poles in Courtenay

The Comox Valley Art Gallery, in partnership with the K’ómoks First Nation and City of Courtenay, hosts a Welcome Pole Raising Ceremony, Saturday, Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. to noon at 580 Duncan Ave. Read more.

Open house on homelessness, housing

How does health influence housing? How does housing influence health? The Comox Valley Community Health Network and Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness are collaborating to host drop-in open houses for people to learn more.

DATE/TIME: October 25, 2018, 9-11 a.m.
LOCATION:   Comox Rec Centre lobby, Noel & Church St., Comox

Tsolum River agricultural watershed plan – Survey & Open House

The Tsolum Agricultural Watershed Plan - please take a few minutes to complete and circulate to anyone else you think might be interested.  Water is an important/timely topic in the Valley right now; let’s help support this call for community input!!  Please note the end date of the survey October 31, 2018.

The Comox Valley Regional District is inviting input in the development of a Tsolum River Agricultural Watershed plan, to understand and meet the water needs of community members and agricultural producers.  Your feedback is very valuable. Feedback is being requested in two ways:

  1. Respond to a survey. This survey typically takes 5 - 10 minutes to complete and will be available until October 31, 2018. The survey link is:–Water-Uses-and-Needs.aspx
  2. Attend the project open house: Monday, October 29 from 6:00-7:30 pm, at the Rotary Room in the Florence Filberg Centre. The event will begin with a 30-minute presentation and be followed by an informal opportunity for community members to browse informative displays, provide input, and ask questions of project representatives.

For more information on the Tsolum River watershed and this project, visit Also see this article in the Comox Valley Record.



Gay Pride

BC School Board candidate condemns petition that calls for a ban on ‘Gay Conversion Therapy’

Last week’s Must Reads had a link to a story about ‘Gay Conversion Therapy.’ Well, it’s alive and well in BC. The former televangelist, Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson, believes that banning ‘conversion therapy’ would be bad for children! Hopefully the people of Burnaby know the difference between a healthy discussion of gender identification and pseudo-science. Read more.

Site C: 

Part 1: Feast for the Peace
DATE/TIME: Saturday, Nov 3rd, 5:30 to 7:30 pm
LOCATION:   Notional Space, 1523 East Pender Street in Vancouver
Doors open at 5pm

A time to gather and discuss the court’s decision regarding an injunction to halt BC Hydro’s construction of the Site C dam. This is a potluck Feast, so bring some food to share! (Finger foods, appetizers, or anything else that is easy to share.)

This is also a fundraiser so bring your chequebooks and/or cash and check out the silent auction! (All proceeds to support the court fees incurred by West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations.)

Part 2:  Letter-writing campaign: At the stand at Ronna-Rae’s office on October 11 we decided that we would organize a letter-writing event where anyone who wishes can come and write a letter to politicians, press, other organizations, on the need to stop the Site C dam. If you are able, come join us at the Courtenay Library between 10 a.m. and noon on Wednesday, October 24 in the meeting room. We will have information and addresses for those you would like to write to.

BC Greens have been working on an economic plan in the face of catastrophic global warming

Read more.

Crisis, Passion and Action: The Climate Crisis Needs You!

The climate crisis is getting starker and more dangerous every year. Our response, therefore, needs to become bolder and more courageous. The timing is good for pressure on the federal and provincial governments to address the crisis not with more oil and LNG but with policies and commitments that are not timid but bold and courageous. The meeting will include action.

The host, Guy Dauncey, has worked in the climate trenches for 20+ years. He is founder of the BC Sustainable Energy Association and the author of two books on climate solutions, including The Climate Challenge: 101 Solutions to Global Warming.

If you can, please read Guy’s recent Tyee article on “BC’s Climate Intentions Papers: A Timid Response and the Twelve Solutions We Really Need.”

DATE/TIME: October 26, 1:30-3 pm
LOCATION:   St. John the Divine Anglican Church
1611 Quadra St., Victoria, British Columbia V8W 2L5

Stream of Consciousness online conversations

October 24, 7-8 pm The Narwhal 2020 Vision

Oil pipelines and other natural resource projects have been at the centre of some of Canada’s most heated public debates in the past decade. But beyond the headlines are the less visible systems that are meant to determine what’s in the public interest. How should Canada go about reviewing major resource projects? What information should be considered? How do we ensure Indigenous rights are respected in the process? And who should make the final decisions? Join Emma Gilchrist of The Narwhal for an evening of engaging conversation with some of the country’s brightest minds on environmental decision-making and hear from experts with insider knowledge on how to improve Canada’s environmental assessment processes.

November 7, 4-6:30 pm Indigenous Perspectives Society: Perspectives to Action: Indigenous Perspectives Society is pleased to bring together speakers, performance artists, and screen a short film to explore key efforts in response to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We are fortunate to host “Perspectives To Action” on the traditional territories of the Lekwungen peoples.

Urgent, strategic intervention needed to protect BC’s wild salmon

Read more.

Excerpt: “The report released Thursday says while it’s difficult to pinpoint the state of salmon in the province, it’s clear that across all regions and species, overall abundance has declined since the 1950s. The report says poor marine survival rates, changing ocean conditions, habitat loss and inadequate water quality are all taking a toll on salmon.”



October 18 - Persons Day: The day (some) women achieved equality in Canada

As the headline indicates, only some women were granted the right to vote. “Only in 1940 would the women of Québec be able to cast a vote in their own province. Racial exclusions against Chinese and Indo-Canadians were lifted in 1947. Japanese-Canadians had to wait another year. The last Canadians to be afforded the right to vote were its first inhabitants. The right to vote was extended unconditionally to First Nations people in 1960 (for federal elections). Their provincial suffrage was only recognized a decade later — notably in Alberta (1967) and Québec (1969).” Read more.

CBC has a new weekly newsletter on climate change

*What on Earth?* This new weekly newsletter is written by CBC journalists about the environment and how to build a more sustainable world. Last week’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change drove home the urgency of how Earth’s climate is changing, and the dire consequences of inaction.  The newsletter will include stories on how Canadians and others are finding solutions. The first issue is out later today and will be delivered to your email inbox every Thursday afternoon. You can sign up here.

UN climate change report spurs emergency debate in House of Commons

The Green Party and the NDP have joined a Liberal backbench MP’s call for an emergency debate to address what Canada can do to avoid catastrophic climate change. Read more. This debate happened on October 15, at 4 pm PST.

Woman Warrior: Listen to Elizabeth May’s speech in the House of Commons on October 16, 2018

More women warriors: Canadians need to know more about historically significant women

“An Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Historica Canada posed a dozen true or false questions about Canadian women’s history…Historica says 55 per cent of those who took the quiz failed, with only three per cent answering well enough to score an A. Read more.

PEI Green Party is now leading in the polls

At least, as of early September. Read more. This follows from March of 2017 when Peter Bevan-Baker was the first choice for premier of one-third of Prince Edward Islanders. It must be that some dentists really are likeable!

Ontario’s basic income trial gets the backing of nearly 100 CEOs

It’s nice to see some corporate advocacy rather than corporate capture at work. Read more.

Excerpt: “In a letter addressed to Ford and Children, Community and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod, the business leaders call the basic income “a business-friendly approach to address the increasing financial precarity of our citizens and revitalize the economy… The CEOs’ letter argues that a confluence of trends — automation, offshoring of jobs and the shift to part-time and gig work, among other things — are all threatening to upend the prospects of middle-income workers.”

The 2019 Federal election

Justin Trudeau’s most recently kept promise may give him the most grief

“With a year remaining in the Liberals’ mandate, we are in effect entering a permanent campaign.” Read more.

The TrudeauMeter is a non-partisan collaborative citizen initiative that tracks his performance with regards to his electoral platform.

New genetic research shows the legacy of fish farm escapees

A study suggests that escaped farm salmon are breeding in Newfoundland’s rivers – with dire consequences for wild fish. Read more.



Why did YOU join the Green Party?

Rashid Nix is running for Deputy Leader of the Greens in the UK. The Greens’ role is to fill the political vacuum that exists. We’re the party pushing the boundaries. We’re the party talking to people in a common language. Watch his YouTube video.

Corporate Capture: Just 100 companies responsible for 71% of global emissions, study says

Excerpt: “The Carbon Majors Report (pdf) “pinpoints how a relatively small set of fossil fuel producers may hold the key to systemic change on carbon emissions,” says Pedro Faria, technical director at environmental non-profit CDP, which published the report in collaboration with the Climate Accountability Institute.” Read more.

Corporate Capture: Who is the we in ‘We are causing climate change’?

This article probably isn’t news to those of us reading this blog, but it nonetheless really lays out the fallacy of how regular people are the ones who must respond to climate change when so much of the government/corporate control is out of our hands. Read more.

Excerpt: “The fossil-fuel economy, for the moment, provides the structure for what people do on this planet. In its inclusions and exclusions, its laying out the conditions of possibility for human action, it seems totalizing, especially from a middle-class American vantage point. But it’s not totalizing. And it’s certainly not eternal. It requires active reproduction at every moment in time: through subsidies, through construction and repair of its infrastructure, through court cases that uphold its laws, through protection of its “assets” by the military, through Instagram photos that pretend its benefits will bring you joy, and on and on.

Instead of thinking of climate change as something we are doing, always remember that there are millions, possibly billions, of people on this planet who would rather preserve civilization than destroy it with climate change, who would rather have the fossil-fuel economy end than continue. Those people are not all mobilized, by any means, but they are there. Most people are good.

But remember, too, that there are others, some of them running the world, who seem to be willing to destroy civilization and let millions of people die in order that the fossil-fuel economy to continue now. We know who those people are. We are not those people.”

Corporate Capture: The mega oilsands pipeline you’ve never heard of

As Canada fights over Trans Mountain, Enbridge’s most expensive project – Line 3 – inches towards completion. Read more.

Big Fail:  The internet hasn’t helped democracy

Part 1: “…as British historian Mark Mazower notes, the near-monopoly over attention online by Facebook and other large sites threatens democracy by constraining conversation in terms of “profits not politics. The large portals encourage “instant gratification, when democracy presupposes a capacity for frustration and patience.” As Mazower writes: “Populism is the natural condition of democratic politics in the age of Twitter.”” Read more.

Part 2: Then readTwitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest” by Zeynep Tufekci. It’s “a riveting firsthand account and incisive analysis of modern protest, revealing internet-fueled social movements’ greatest strengths and frequent challenges.” We keep hearing how social media is essential to any political campaign. Perhaps it’s time to rethink the approach and focus on actual face-to-face, human contact.

Part 3: And then there’s Andrew Nikiforuk’s recent article in The Tyee about how “we’ve been caught in technology’s nightmarish hold.” What could possibly go wrong? Nikiforuk’s piece makes for very interesting reading and somewhat disturbed sleeping.

Excerpt: “Facebook and other social media have undermined what’s left of the illusion of democracy, while smartphones damage young brains and erode the nature of discourse in the family. Meanwhile computers and other gadgets have diminished our attention spans along with our ever-failing connection to reality. The Foundation for Responsible Robotics recently created a small stir by asking if “sexual intimacy with robots could lead to greater social isolation… In many respects technology has hypernormalized a technological society in which citizens exercise less and less control over their lives every day and can’t imagine anything different.”

Thought of the day:

Stories are where we find ourselves, where we find the others who are like us. Gather enough stories and soon you’re not alone; you are an army. (Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller, p. 224)

…and… To change the world, you must tell a story: a story of hope and transformation that tells us who we are. (Out of the Wreckage, George Monbiot, p. 41)

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