Did You Know … Week of December 15, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week The Must Reads is going into hiatus over the holiday period. The NIPR Greens wish you all a wonderful year end. Get ready for the 2019 election! Locally   Greens of North Island-Powell River December 2018 gathering Left to right: Doug Cowell, Carol Thatcher, Mark de Bruijn, Blair Cusack, Jay van Oostdam, Megan Ardyche, Mark Tapper (Photo by Pieter Vorster) About 40 Green supporters gathered at the Comox Golf Club to eat, drink and get reconnected. The next gathering will be NIPR’s candidate nomination meeting sometime in January or early February 2019. Provincially   The BC referendum on proportional representation We know that the Liberals and the anti-PR campaign are now focused on delegitimizing the outcome of the voting referendum even before the results have been announced.  Watch this video to find what they’re doing and how you can block their obvious moves against democracy in action. Municipal leaders vote in favour of a new watershed governance model In September, this blog reported on the push for this resolution at the Union of BC Municipalities upcoming meeting. “In essence, the resolution is a transfer of resources and a sharing of responsibilities (from Province to Municipal) to allow for local governments, in partnership with First Nations and local watershed entities, to have the power to address community water needs and concerns locally.” Read more. Now you can also test your River IQ. You can play this game over and over; each time you will get different rivers to choose from, and brief information about that river. Site C: Parks Canada shirks UN request for review...

Did You Know … Week of December 8, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week Locally   Cumberland council looking to ban water bottling Read more. The November 3, 2018, edition of this blog carried a similar article in which the Strathcona Regional District also took a stand against water bottling, and the July 7, 2018, edition carried various stories pertaining to water protection. Communities all over the world are fighting global corporate companies like Nestle, but also local business that want to profit from profiting from what is essentially a commons and should be a human right, since it is essential to sustain all life on Earth. As global warming increases and weather patterns change, droughts will occur in more areas and water will increasingly become a flashpoint. (For more on water, see the story of selenium pollution in the Elk Valley below.) Most Canadian cities are totally unprepared for climate change At the Union of BC Municipalities annual meeting this year, a resolution came to the floor which proposed municipalities start holding fossil fuel companies and other industries financially liable for the costs of damages and clean-up their activities result in, and which municipalities bear the brunt of the costs of. Climate change consequences and mitigation are part of that equation. Sadly, the resolution was voted down, and apparently many of the speeches against were from people who denied climate change was real. Read more. Excerpt: “[Jason] Thistlethwaite and his colleagues measured the plans against 46 indicators that include baseline information, goals, implementation, evaluation and public participation. Almost all plans failed to include an assessment of the municipality’s vulnerability to specific climate change impacts,” the paper says. Only...

Did You Know … Week of December 1, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week BC Electoral Reform Referendum   Youth reject big media disinformation on PR Referendum Throughout this referendum, “big media has been able to sow considerable confusion, but what has been the effect on the younger generation?  According to a recent poll, despite all the big media disinformation over the last year, 53 per cent of youth between the ages of 18 and 34 are likely to vote for proportional representation while only 22 per cent say they will likely vote for the existing First Past the Post (FPTP) system. Whatever the eventual outcome of the referendum, this is a stunning repudiation of big media, as well as the No side.” Read more. LOCALLY Campbell River – Drinking water protection The Campbell River Environmental Committee (CREC) started a change.org petition to BC NDP Minister George Heyman, calling on the government to “legislate enforceable and mandatory landfill siting restrictions in the Environmental Management Act.” This petition is regarding Upland Excavating Ltd’s Application to deposit Non-Hazardous solid waste and contaminated soil and treat the leachate, across from McIvor Lake, Campbell River’s drinking water. Please sign the petition and share with friends. Merville – Water protection Many of you are aware of the Merville Water Guardians and the fight to stop a request for rezoning in order to bottle and sell water from the local aquifer. The Merville Water Guardians have now started a Leadnow petition to the BC government to protect BC groundwater from commercial interests. Read and sign here. Can green innovations stop polluted stormwater from killing our waters? “…every time it rains after a dry period,...

Did You Know… Week of November 24, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week BC Electoral Reform Referendum – OMG! It’s going on longer??    The deadline for getting ballots in has been extended to 4:30 p.m., December 7, 2018, due to rotating mail strikes. Here is the link. More important news from Elections BC: There are some conditions under which a voter can request a replacement package between November 24 and November 30: if they lost or damaged the voting package they received, if they made a mistake on their ballot or certification envelope before sending it in, if their name is incorrect or misspelled on their certification envelope (e.g. former surname), or if they applied for a voting package from Elections BC before midnight on November 23 and they haven’t received it. To request a replacement package, call 1-800-661-8683 or visit a Referendum Service Office or Service BC Centre (locations are listed at elections.bc.ca/rso). Locally   Oyster River hermit priest explains decision to preserve land in will The driveway up to his home, looking back towards the main road. Photo by James Wood/98.9 The Goat/Vista Radio Excerpt: “We’re facing, right now, global warming,” said [Father] Brandt. And every tree, decreases global warming, takes out of the atmosphere certain pollutants that create global warming. So, that’s a value to everyone, to have a number of trees standing, and plants they can come and see, look at birds and animals.” Read more. Provincially   Kwispaa LNG project moves ahead The $18 billion project for the West coast of Vancouver Island submits project description to environmental assessment agencies. Read more. Navigable Waters Parliamentary petition E-1601 Nathan Cullen sponsored this petition...

Did You Know … Week of November 17, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week BC Electoral Reform Referendum Quote pick of the day, from York University professor, Dennis Pilon: “There’s lots of arguments in favour of our current system - it’s just they’re not democratic ones. They’re great for dictatorships.” Fair Vote Comox Valley and Fair Vote Campbell River are both out talking to voters at events this weekend. Elections BC reported, as of Friday, that 18% of ballots have been returned. Please ask all your friends and family in BC to send in their ballots. Or better yet, drop them off at their local Service BC centre, due to the rotating mail strikes. Provincially   The growing pains of BC water law An excellent article by Gavin MacRae of the Watershed Sentinel, special to Decafnation. Excerpt: “BC’s original Water Act was a relic, drafted when Vancouver was still a fledgling city and before Canada’s first airplane took to the skies. It would govern water use in the province for over a century, until in 2016, a long overdue replacement arrived: the Water Sustainability Act (WSA). Conceived after a long period of public consultation, the WSA aims to “address the new challenges of the 21st century, including climate change, population growth and increasing pressure on water resources.” … and so, the POLIS Water Sustainability Project is very important “Anybody, I would challenge them, name me something you think is important, whether you think it’s the economy, or local livability (sic), or food systems, or good health — all of it ties back to water. So as a society we better get our water management and water governance right....

Did You Know … November 10, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week BC Electoral Reform Referendum   Top B.C. court rejects group’s attempt to stop electoral reform referendum Remember the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association? “The lobby group representing over 2,000 companies wanted a suspension of a cabinet order-in-council on the referendum and an order prohibiting the counting of ballots while it challenges the referendum process in court. [B.C. Appeal Court Justice Gregory] Fitch disagreed that the lower court erred in not recognizing that the association’s claims of irreparable harm would result from a limit on third-party advertising during the referendum (emphasis added) and that public confidence in the democratic process would be eroded.” Read more. Just to refresh your memory of how responsibly the ICBA is engaging in the referendum debate, here are some of the images from their Facebook page: You can tell by the numbering that there are seven more images in a similar vein…and no, they’re not trying to be funny. As of Nov. 9, 3.7 per cent of referendum ballots returned so far According to Elections BC, the Courtenay-Comox riding has returned 11% of the 121,888 ballots received by Elections BC to date. This is a tie with the Boundary-Similkameen riding. North Island has returned 8.7%. Powell River-Sunshine Coast riding has returned 6.5% of the ballots received. It looks like ridings where Fair Vote groups have been most active are getting a good return of ballots. Of course, we don’t know what the votes in those ballots are, but just that level of participation is encouraging. I think Elections BC is updating that website daily.  Understanding the referendum – final FVCV...

Did You Know … Week of November 3, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week   BC Electoral Reform Referendum   Proportional Representation lawn signs Members of Fair Vote Comox Valley are getting a lot of questions about why there aren’t pro-PR signs around the Valley. The No side has lots of signs – and a lot of very large signs – and supporters of PR are getting upset that the Yes side isn’t putting out signs. So, here’s the answer: Fair Vote Comox Valley HAS been putting out signs, and they are being stolen. As far as we know, signs in people’s yards are being left alone, but virtually all the pro-PR signs on public land have been removed. I say “removed,” but really I mean stolen. Barb Berger of FV Comox Valley has a letter to the editor in the Comox Valley Record. What is astonishing is a comment in the online version from Darryl Pippin, who is involved with WiseVoteBC, which is directly connected to Bill Tieleman and Suzanne Anton’s official opponent group. Pippin accuses Barb Berger of “making widely (sic) inappropriate accusations without some backup.” He then proceeds to make WiseVoteBC the victim by talking about how one of their signs was defaced. He then proceeds to threaten RCMP investigation – of the defacement of their sign, NOT of the theft of FV signs. Lest you think this referendum is an interesting side-show and you don’t really need to get involved, watch the video on the goose-stepping soldiers. Read this article about how wealthy BC Liberal donors are bankrolling the opposition to proportional representation. Remember that the Independent Contractors of Businesses Association of BC actually went...

Did You Know … Week of October 27, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week BC Electoral Reform Referendum   Understanding the referendum – information sessions Courtenay 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 The death of governing whiplash “Imagine, if you will, elected officials from one party cooperating with the elected officials of another party in order to develop long-lasting legislative priorities that stand the test of time. And then imagine, if you will, how many taxpayer dollars are wisely spent if legislative priorities are developed based on the best ideas from all parties.” Read more. “Thanks but no thanks” to a challenge to Fair Vote Kamloops to publish articles in support of first past the post This is a great rebuttal to the accusation that Fair Vote Canada/BC is ‘biased’ and ‘partisan’ because it doesn’t publish the perspective of the opponents of proportional representation. Read more. This could be the most progressive country on earth New Zealand uses proportional representation to elect their politicians. Now they’re setting a great example of how politics can be done differently. Read more. Excerpt: “Watched by her partner and their then 4-month-old daughter, [Prime Minister] Ardern pledged New Zealand would be “a kind and equitable nation where children thrive, and success is measured not only by the nation’s GDP but by better lives lived by its people.” Locally   The air we breathe The SAGE (Sustainability Action Group for the Environment) cordially invites you to join us for an informational evening. Our guest speaker will be Jennell Ellis of Breathe Clean Air...

Did You Know … Week of October 20, 2018

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 communities! Click 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 Courtenay 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...

Did You Know … Week of October 13, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week BC Electoral Reform Referendum Understanding the referendum – upcoming information sessions DATE/TIME: October 15, 7-9 pm LOCATION:   Fanny Bay Hall, 7793 Old Island Hwy 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 Jamie Deith, a systems designer, extremely knowledge on electoral systems, has created a quiz which leads you through an enlightening questionnaire to help determine what you value in a voting system, and identifies if you lean toward FPTP or PR. If you lean toward PR, this quiz will identify which of the three proportional systems in this referendum most resonates with your values. Be forewarned, you will have to do a simple math equation to prove you are human before you can access the site. This is because the opponents to proportional representation seem to be attacking proponent sites. Sample ballots for PR systems If you would like to check out sample ballots for the three PR systems in BC’s referendum, check them out here. Fact checker for proportional representation Check out myths, misconceptions and untruths at this fact checker. This site was hacked twice, shortly after it first went up in June and again in September; check out that article here. How first-past-the-post distorted New Brunswick’s election results One journalist’s take on the New Brunswick election outcome. …but hopes are dashed for another minority government No deal: Green Party won’t formally side with Liberals or PCs in N.B. Read more. Locally   Women...

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