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 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 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...

Did You Know … Week of October 6, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week BC Electoral Reform Referendum   New video explaining the three systems The BC Conservative Party comes out on the side of clarity and honest discourse Here’s an absolutely stellar video from Justin Greenwood, Deputy Leader of the BC Conservative Party. Greenwood calls out the BC Liberals and their leader, Andrew Wilkinson, for the fear tactics they are using to defeat proportional representation. Greenwood goes through the ballot, demonstrating how simple it is, and he ends with a call for honest debate and discussion on the issue rather than the negative campaign the No side is waging. …meanwhile, PR opponents are now in full-blown fear-mongering mode Read more. Democracy in 2018 In this CBC Ideas program, Michael Enright explores the state and practice of democracy in 2018. Among others he interviews Christopher Cochrane, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto. Cochrane proposes that what we need to do is to actually put forward policies that aren’t necessarily deeply ideological but that take seriously our commitment to making people’s lives better. Understanding the referendum – information nights DATE/TIME: October 13, 4-6 pm LOCATION:   United Church, Cumberland (at Penrith & First) 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 Each of these information nights includes the “Would You Rather” exercise, which will help you discover what matters to YOU - what YOU value - in a voting system. Of course attending in person and participating in the exercise is best, but now you can also do the same exercise...

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