Must Reads from Last Week

BC Electoral Reform Referendum


An information night on proportional representation

Feeling confused about the systems on offer in this referendum? Join Barb Berger of Fair Vote Comox Valley and Jamie Deith for what promises to be an interesting and enlightening evening. Jamie Deith has devised an exercise that he will conduct with the audience, an exercise that will clarify what values are most important to YOU in a voting system. You won’t want to miss this event!

DATE/TIME:  September 12, 7-9 pm
LOCATION:    Comox United Church, Beach Ave., Comox

Meet the big business lobbyists desperately fighting to stop BC’s electoral reform referendum

This is what the Independent Business Contractors Association of BC is putting on their Facebook page:

This is an important article to help you understand what we’re fighting for in BC. These groups are bringing out the big guns. For anyone to be this hysterical about improving our voting system, you know there’s got to be big money at stake! Read more.

Six reasons why electoral reform in B.C. would be good for the climate

First Past The Post is a winner-takes-all system that allows a minority of the electorate to empower leaders who disregard existing climate policy, public will, and the burning reality of “Hot House Earth.” Read more.

Word of the week: Whiplash 
/ˈ(h)wipˌlaSH/The feeling in your neck from years of watching hard-fought climate policieselectoral reform promises and international agreements drop to the cutting room floor for political expediency, while court decisions overrule what seemed like inevitable political outcomes.  From The Narwhal



Rise for climate action

Events took place outside Nicholas Simons’ office, 4675 Marine Drive, Powell River and at Parksville Community Park.

Watch this video on the Rise for the Climate. 

Also hundreds of people were on the lawn of the B.C. Legislature. And check out some of the actions globally.

 Stand for the Peace

The monthly rally in front of Ronna-Rae Leonard’s MLA office in Courtenay:

DATE/TIME: Tuesday, September 11, 12:30 - 1:30
LOCATION:   In front of MLA’s office, 436-5th Street, Courtenay

If you haven’t yet signed the Pledge as a Witness for the Peace, do so here.

IMPORTANT! This rally will demonstrate solidarity with Moberley Lake & Prophet River First Nations in their court case to protect the Peace River Valley. Bring a sign, bring a letter.  Bring your outrage after reading this article by Sarah Cox on the government’s secretive Site C dam oversight board. Rally sponsored by Islanders for the Peace
Click here to sign the pledge to register support for the First Nations’ court case.

Oil’s Deep State - Kevin Taft on the capture of our democracy



DATE/TIME:  September 13, 2018; 7 pm (Doors 6:30)
LOCATION:   Native Sons Hall, Upper Level
TICKETS:      Student price $15. Everyone else $20

Don’t miss the Kevin Taft Tour! Kevin will be speaking in Courtenay, about the deep tentacles that Big Oil has woven into the tapestry of government decision making.

5 cities, one question: “Who is really in charge?” To find out more and get your tickets, please visit our website at (But hurry, seats are limited) Then spread the word. Because it matters, to all of us.

Even after the Federal Court of Appeal gave a stunning rebuke to Justin Trudeau and Rachel Notley for playing to the tune of the petroleum producers, that tune has not changed. As we mentioned before, Kevin reflected on these developments in a recent op-ed piece in the National Observer. Now other media outlets are starting to pay attention. Kevin will be on Steven Quinn’s Early Edition on CBC Vancouver, Monday at 7:10am. He is also Mark Brennae’s guest on C-FAX talk radio in Victoria on Monday between 4pm and 5pm.

If you haven’t yet, please sign Elizabeth May’s Parliamentary petition opposing KM pipeline expansion & buyout: There are only 14,238 signatures thus far. The petition closes September 28, 2018, at 4:22 p.m. EDT. Please note that when you sign a Parliamentary petition, you have to wait for the email asking you to confirm your signature. Don’t miss that step.

…and talking about corporate intervention in democracy

Did you see the full-page ad against Dogwood in the Comox Valley Record on Thursday, September 6, 2018? There’s a great letter to the editor from September 8 in response. The Comox Valley Taxpayers Alliance are a shadowy bunch of very rich people who attempted to interfere in Courtenay’s elections last time around as well. Take note that on September 16, they are bringing Vivian Krause back (she was here this past spring) to expound at great length on the evils of Dogwood. If you do a Google search on Krause, you’ll find many in the oil industry have distanced themselves from her and have publicly denounced her as being untruthful.

Second Sustainability Forum

DATE/TIME:  Wednesday, September 19, 7 pm
LOCATION:    K’omoks Band Hall
Registration is required, though tickets are free.

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. Five speakers will present information on a range of issues ranging from public health and local economic development to climate change and infrastructure. The Forum will address what is currently taking place in the Valley and how we can strengthen our commitment to build a more sustainable community. Read more.

Sonia Furstenau: A Campbell River community forum

DATE/TIME:  Sept. 20, 7-9 pm
LOCATION:    Museum at Campbell River
                        470 Island Hwy. at 5th Ave.

Check it out here.



One Wave Gathering 2018

DATE/TIME:  September 15, 12-8 pm
LOCATION:    Centennial Square, Victoria

Program highlights include North and South Pacific presentations, art, food, as well as opportunities to explore social and environmental causes pertinent to the region. Join us for a day of dance, song, and celebration; You can enjoy some authentic indigenous cuisine with the Songhees Seafood and Steam food truck, and browse the village of local artisans, artists, and NGOs working on Pacific issues. Read more and check out their Facebook page.

Site C: 

Part 1: “We aren’t opposed to the creation of the energy, what we’re opposed to is the destruction of this valley.” - Chief Roland Willson

Part 2: Treaty power or power politics? A great video to watch. “If you’re a Canadian person, you’re a treaty person.” “This development project represents the largest cumulative violation of democracy in the colonial history of this country.”

Check out this powerful video: Site C - Treaty Power or Power Politics? - extremelineproductions..

Part 3: Daily updates on the #SiteCinjunction hearings.

Part 4: Journey to the sacrifice zone of site C. This is a great blog post from Laila Yuile. It contains a number of terrific videos.

Trans Mountain pipeline expansion


Part 1:  CBC is still repeating the notion that there are First Nations who support the pipeline. They’re confusing signing Memorandums of Understanding or Benefit Agreements with support. Here’s a June article from Huffington Post on why two of those Chiefs signed.

Excerpt: “At the end of the day, we are not really in favour of any pipeline, but we believe it’s going to go through anyway,” Joseph said. “They will not listen to anybody and that’s the history of consultation with First Nations people … They consult and go ahead and do what they were going to do anyways.”

What’s interesting about this is that this is exactly a reason the court decision the other day was so shocking: These Indigenous groups - and all Indigenous groups who are fighting in any province or territory - must be feeling a tremendous affirmation that the Court recognized there had been no meaningful consultation. Of course, Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Morneau are still insisting that the pipeline will get built, so that begs the question of how a foregone conclusion like that allows any space for “meaningful” consultation now!

Part 2:  The death of TransMountain pipeline signals future of Indigenous rights

“I had prepared myself for a decision that would not come down in our favour and so, when I heard it, I was kind of shocked. The language was pretty powerful and made you realize the magnitude of this decision,” Phillip said, describing waves of energy and elation rippling through Indigenous communities. “Governments and industry should now change their ways of doing business instead of coming up with another bogus consultation process and, despite the federal government’s insistence that the Trans Mountain project will go forward, it is time to bury it, [Grand Chief Stewart] Phillip said. The article goes on to speculate that many other Indigenous-led court cases, like Site C, may turn out very differently now. Read more.

Part 3:  Without changes the government’s strategic assessment on climate change is woefully inadequate, says Elizabeth May Read more.

TIFF premiere: Sgaawaay K’uuna, the first feature film about the Haida people

Edge of the Knife was a result of a community planning process students had been involved in at Skidegate a year earlier, a year of community engagement and envisioning Haida hopes and dreams. Watch this video about the making of this film.

Creative, sustainable agriculture

Two young farmers making a living on a small patch of land. Read more.


The Green Party of Canada Biennial Convention is getting close

September 28-30, 2018. Read more.  Convention 2018 is Sept 28-30 in Vancouver! Join us and help us build for success in 2019. Check out the list of speakers so far.  An outline of the Convention schedule is available on the GPC website.  Info and registration here

“We will accomplish the impossible because it’s simply not acceptable to allow ourselves to accept only those things that seem possible.”
~ Elizabeth May, October 19, 2015

The 2019 Federal election

Part 1: Never mind talking to people about issues; all we need to do is get them to promise to vote?!

This very interesting article is saying we can change behaviour more easily than “hearts and minds.” The author is saying many people who would define themselves as environmentalists don’t vote. So if we canvass and get them to commit to voting, we increase the chances for progressive candidates – like Greens. One method they suggest is simple – ask the person to sign a postcard committing to vote, and then tell them you’ll send it to them before the election as a reminder to go and vote. Read more.

Part 2:  Migration, racism and how they intersect in politics: Canadian politicians are playing a dangerous game on migration

We can see foreshadowing of some of the narrative that will infect the 2019 Federal election. Maxime Bernier, Michelle Rempel, Doug Ford, and Donald Trump all have voiced pretty extreme views on immigration. The uptick in xenophobia in the U.S. is infecting/affecting Canadian political discourse as well. We in the Green Party will have to think about these issues carefully and have responses to inevitable questions that reflect an anti-migrant, anti-refugee position. Globally, there are more and more refugees. The reasons are many and varied, but climate change will be a universal one in the coming years, perhaps much sooner than we think. As the consequences of climate change become worse, as we step into the minefield of those consequences brought about by global inaction, more and more people will be displaced. Canada will not be immune and our political leaders have a responsibility to not pander to the basest self-interest in exchange for votes. Read more.

Part 3:  …and more on the big Parties’ focus on migrants and ignoring the coming global catastrophe Read more.

‘We have fussed for years about the present trickle of brown and black migrants, without thinking for a moment about what induced them to leave their homes, cultures and languages.’ Photo, Australian government, Creative Commons licensed.

Manitoba Indigenous peoples ignored and bullied in Manitoba Hydro process

B.C. may have Site C and TransMountain, but the story is repeated all across the country. Indigenous people continue having treaties violated and their land stolen whenever the colonial settler governments feel it is in the dominant culture’s interest. “Indigenous people continue to suffer from racism connected to hydroelectric development in northern Manitoba, the grand chief for the area said two weeks after a review found abuse and violence dating back to the 1960s.” Read more. We can only hope that the ground-breaking #TransMountainDecision will give hope and energy to Indigenous groups all across the country who are fighting federal, provincial, and territorial governments.

Why do we listen to oil execs when they talk about jobs?

This article is an important look at oil and gas sector jobs from a different perspective. While the sector claims to be creating jobs and appears to “worry” about how many jobs will be lost when governments begin to develop more green energy solutions, we forget that the oil and gas sector is busy “de-manning” as many jobs as possible in order to enhance profits.

Petro Politics and Trudeau’s sordid pipeline deal

Following from the preceding link, here is Andrew Nikiforuk’s latest piece in the Tyee, which carries on the theme of the disinformation campaigns waged by the fossil fuel industry. Nikiforuk lays out some of the important issues that concerned citizens should now be contemplating in the wake of the historic decision.

Excerpt: “The power of oil to construct narratives that bear little or no relation to the truth is a global phenomenon and, in Canada, a new boreal specialty. You can’t find a more entitled political player than a petroleum exporter.”

Net neutrality

This blog has previously reported on the issue of net neutrality. Bell is lobbying universities in Canada to support FairPlay Canada, which would allow blocking (i.e. censorship) of websites and an end to net neutrality. “…in the event that the CRTC accepts FairPlay Canada’s application, net neutrality may be eroded in Canada by allowing Internet content blocking and censorship” — ETHI committee report

Read more at Bell allegedly lobbied Ryerson University to support FairPlay website-blocking coalition

Conservation groups take ministers to court to protect endangered killer whales

Lawsuit launched recently by David Suzuki FoundationGeorgia Strait AllianceNRDCRaincoast Conservation Foundation and WWF-Canada takes ministers to court over emergency protections for 75 endangered southern resident killer whales. Ecojustice lawyers ask the Federal Court to review the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister of Environment and Climate Change’s failure to recommend an emergency order to protect the orcas under the Species at Risk Act.

Read the Press Release and an article in National Observer.



Woman warrior: The Swedish 15-year-old who’s cutting classes to fight the climate crisis

Following Sweden’s hottest summer ever, Greta Thunberg decided to go on school strike at the parliament to get politicians to act. Read more.

Excerpt: “I have my books here,” she says in flawless English. “But also I am thinking: what am I missing? What am I going to learn in school? Facts don’t matter any more, politicians aren’t listening to the scientists, so why should I learn?”

New restrictions on shipping traffic in the Bering Sea

“Historically low ice levels in the Bering Sea have brought new and increasing shipping traffic, while Arctic residents — including indigenous communities of Alaska and Russia who have depended on the region’s natural bounty for their livelihoods for millennia — are experiencing these and other effects of a fast-warming Arctic first-hand.” Read more.

First Nations connect globally

This week, Mandy Gull, Deputy Grand Chief of the Cree Nation Government; Kaitlynn Hester-Moses, Youth Grand Chief of the Cree Nation Government; Clayton Thomas-Muller, climate justice activist and member of Mathias Colomb (Pukatawagan) Cree Nation; and myself, Philippa, Forest campaigner at Greenpeace Canada landed in Finland. The Sámi Indigenous People of the Finnish boreal forest are hoping to stop a railway linking Finland to the Arctic Ocean in Norway, which would impact their tranditional lands and threaten their reindeer-herding way of life. The purpose of the railway? To attract industries based on heavy natural resource extraction to the north of Finland – including mining, chemical industry, and to create a new export route for pulp and paper products. Read more.

Murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls

The U.S. has its own version of MMIWG, of course. “No one knows precisely how many there are because some cases go unreported, others aren’t documented thoroughly and there isn’t a specific government database tracking these cases. But one U.S. senator with victims in her home state calls this an epidemic, a long-standing problem linked to inadequate resources, outright indifference and a confusing jurisdictional maze.

Now, in the era of #MeToo, this issue is gaining political traction as an expanding activist movement focuses on Native women — a population known to experience some of the nation’s highest rates of murder, sexual violence and domestic abuse.

“Just the fact we’re making policymakers acknowledge this is an issue that requires government response, that’s progress in itself,” says Annita Lucchesi, a cartographer and descendant of the Cheyenne who is building a database of missing and murdered indigenous women in the U.S. and Canada — a list of some 2,700 names so far.” Read more.

Thought of the day:

“you tell me to quiet down cause my opinions make me less beautiful but i was not made with a fire in my belly so i could be put out i was not made with a lightness on my tongue so i could be easy to swallow i was made heavy half blade and half silk difficult to forget and not easy for the mind to follow”
― Rupi KaurMilk and Honey

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