Time for change

Posted by: admin  :  Category: B.C., Environment, good news, New Westminster, VOTE

change in the air

Land defenders, Occupy and Activists

Posted by: admin  :  Category: B.C., Environment, water

I started this blog in 2008. Back then it was not as cool as it is now to be an activist.the protester TIME magazine

A few years later the cover of Time magazine’s person of the year in 2011 was The Protester. The civil war in Syria was just under way, the Arab Spring was in full bloom and the Occupy movement was taking hold. Idle no more followed in 2012. Where has all this activism taken us? Have we made any progress? I guess it depends on who you ask and what progress looks like.

The Keystone XL pipeline has been rejected by the United States. Drilling in the Arctic has been halted, the major pipelines proposed on the Canadian west  coast are under extreme scrutiny, super tankers have been banned off the coast of British Columbia, but we still have a long way to go. Even the national energy board has been questioned as to its validity.

The economic down turn in the past five years has resulted in the drop in oil prices along with the global realization that fossil fuels are on the way out. We saw governments choosing other destructive forms of fuel to pursue; the British Columbia government joined in the mad rush for fracked shale gas.  Maybe not the best idea since we live in the some of the most volatile and seismically active areas in the world. We now know that Fracking = Earthquakes!

To realize this unsustainable and dangerous dream the provincial government has illegally started construction on the Site C Dam.  Sold to the public as a “clean energy project” the destructive Site C dam would flood 107 km of the Peace River valley. This land is the traditional hunting and fishing grounds of Treaty 8 First Nation. Activists including B.C. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and environmentalist David Suzuki have been in the news this week to bring attention to Rocky Mountain Camp that is set up there currently defending the rightful “ownership” of this sacred land.

Each of the above movements have something in common; they have  inspired people and taken them  from their comfort zones and into a state of activism.

We are now all called to defend the land; to defend the rights of the first nations people, of the 99%, of the underdog and everyday guy who will, and whose children will pay the price for the corporate greed that rules the day.

We are each responsible for taking action now, we are alive and awake right now for a reason. The reason, as I see it, is for us to come together to stop the madness and help choose a new way forward. More  people will continue to demand answers, we will not be quiet any longer and we need to use all our resources to stand together and hold the governments accountable for their actions.

We must protest, write letters, join committees and groups and never give up! It is time to defend the land for the future, for the rights to clean air, water and land, for the indigenous people to be respected and for all of us to learn how to really care for this earth before we destroy the amazing gift we have been given.

World Water Day & B.C.’s Water Act

Posted by: admin  :  Category: B.C., Environment, green living, Vancouver

Originally published March 22, 2011

Today around the world people will demonstrate, write blog posts, think and talk about the issues surrounding water.  Lack of water, the polluting of it,  bottling  it, public water ways sold  for profit.  Indeed there is a lot of interest in the water in our own backyards.

As another World Water Day  arrives the time has never been better to consider the state of water,  in our taps  and around the world.  In Canada we are flanked by two Oceans and have the most fresh water, and best drinking water in the world.   We also have a pressing need to protect this natural resource that is our heritage and human right.

The Council of Canadians, a group of citizens that supports social action, urges Canadians to protect the water that belongs to all of us. They have  issued an  action alert a call out to British Coloumbians to take notice of the governments plans to modernise the water act.

Alarming propositions like the introduction of a Water Market that  would deregulate controls over who uses the water and for what. Removing any prioritising of water  for the  people of this province.  This is our natural resource. How it will be managed, and who, if anyone, should profit from the use of it needs to be determined.  There is a world water forum being held in Brussels, and also currently under negotiation is a trade agreement, much like NAFTA,  with the EU that would  givve access to the rivers of B.C. as part of the deal as well.

Who should have access to this water? If it is a human right we can not keep it all for ourselves, but surely we realise the absolute need to protect our own access to this water. The water in British Columbia belongs to the people, animals and plants who live here. It is ours and not for sale to the highest bidder.  Protecting this resources is our responsibility. Any government or individuals who would stand to profit from this process does not act in the best interest of it’s citizens.

Fraser River 2010 Sapperton Landing

Fraser River 2010 Sapperton Landing

TAKE ACTION

*A  provincial Water Act was  introduced in 2012.  Tell the BC government that you do not want the introduction of a water market to allocate water under the new Water Act. Ask the government to support an allocation system that provides hierarchy of use prioritizing ecological and social needs.

1) Though the ability for resident’s to engage has be significantly limited in recent months you are able to engage with the process by posting to the ‘Living Water Smart’ blog: (http://blog.gov.bc.ca/livingwatersmart/) or email ian.graeme@gov.bc.ca.

2)  With the political uncertainty surrounding this process, it is extremely important to raise this issue during the leadership races of all the political parties and to demand that candidates make a commitment to preventing a water market from being introduced in any future legislation. Contact your local MLA today and make sure that all leadership candidates make their position clear.

*From the Council of Canadians Website.

Call to action – January 14th 2013

Posted by: admin  :  Category: B.C., Environment

Idle No More – Solidarity -

Posted by: admin  :  Category: B.C., Environment

The Idle No More movement is the most important thing to happen in 2012 and maybe in our lifetime.

Idle No More began as a protest to bill C-45. First Nations People in Canada are taking to the streets, to Parliament buildings, Art Galleries,  and Malls across this nation. They are standing up for their rights. The rights of the land, air and water and the future for All Canadians.

A photo started going around Facebook this week with information about Attiwapiskat Chief Theresa Spenc and her hunger strike. She wants to meet with Prime Minister Steven Harper. She wants the Government of Canada to respect the land rights treaty. She is doing this to draw attention to her issues that are issues for all Canadians. 

Wab Kinew explains the Idle No More protests.

 #IdleNoMore is about the Environment

Idle No More started in part because of outrage that Bill C-45 reduced the number of federally protected waterways. The environment continues to be a regular topic at Idle No More protests. Dr. Pam Palmater, one of the leading voices in the Idle No More conversation, argues this is indigenous environmentalism is significant since the crown has a duty to consult with Aboriginal people before natural resource projects proceed. She says, “First Nations are Canadians’ last, best hope of protecting the land, water, sky and plants and animals for their future generations as well.”

Defend Our Coast – October 22 2012

Posted by: admin  :  Category: B.C., Environment

Defend our Coast was a political action that united  thousands of people.  On October 22 2012  people from across Canada gathered at the Victoria Parliament buildings to send a message.

5000 people risked arrest to say NO to the tar sands in Alberta, the pipeline to our coast, and super tankers off our shores.

Here are some pictures I took there that day;

  

Occupy Vancouver – One year later

Posted by: admin  :  Category: B.C., Environment, Vancouver

I was back at the Vancouver Art Gallery  today on the one year anniversary of Occupy Vancouver. There were a few dozen people, it was raining as usual for an October Monday. I could see there was a tent set up, and as I got closer I saw a camera man filming someone playing a large Cello or other string instrument. I started talking to someone who had some papers to hand out. She was representing a “Working Group” that had formed from the meetings of Occupy Vancouver. It was the Environmental Justice work group. Occupy Vancouver has work groups that meet regularly!

  This video was made about the Movement, and how it started on October 15th 2011.


In the video someone is engaging the crowd and quotes the dearly departed leader of the Opposition, Jack Layton; his words are inspiring and very fitting for the Occupy Movement and a call to action for Canadians and people for change everywhere.

My friends, love is better than anger.

Hope is better than fear.

Optimism is better than despair.

So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.

From Occupy Vancouver October 15th 2011

“if we do nothing it will all be gone”

Posted by: admin  :  Category: B.C., Environment, green living, Vancouver

Shallow Waters

These are the words of Ta’Kaiya Blaney, a ten year old North Vancouver First Nations girl. She, along with her singing coach, wrote this moving song in protest of the proposed Enbridge Pipelines One pipeline would carry 525,000 barrels per day of Alberta tar sands crude oil westward to a new oil tanker port at Kitimat. The other would carry condensate – a lighter petroleum product used to dilute bitumen – eastward for use in transporting the tar sands crude oil.

The Alberta Tar Sands are the world’s dirtiest industrial project. It is also the largest  single source of Greenhouse Gas on the planet. Greenpeace and the environmental activist group Wilderness Committee have spoken up against the plans of mega corporation Enbridge. Bringing hundreds of tankers to the pristine coastal shores of British Columbia has the potential to be devastating. There is no way to ensure the safety of these oil tankers and the billions of dollars of damage, not to mention the loss of animal and marine life would be insurmountable.

Exporting raw crude oil to refineries over seas will lead to a loss of national energy security, and Canadian jobs.

The Coast Salish people have already said they do not approve of this pipeline. Ta’Kaiya’s sings that “if we do nothing it will all be goneShe is referring to our natural heritage, clean water and air, she is right.

The powerful oil industry has its plans, and is responsible to its stock holders first and the environment last. It is up to each of us;  Canadians, Environmentalist around the world, People who care about clean water,air, and marine life, as well as the health of the planet. Now is the time for us to be heard.

Say “no tanks and join with others who want to help create a sustainable future.

One young girl has tried to make a difference. She will inspire others to action. We all have a voice, choose to use it and help stop the pipelines and oil tankers and protect the worlds coasts.

Save Our Earth

Posted by: admin  :  Category: B.C., Environment, Vancouver

 Earth Day 2012 –  Commercial Drive, Vancouver, B.C.

Posted by: admin  :  Category: B.C., Environment, green living

Humankind has not woven the web of life.

We are but one thread within it.

Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.

All things are bound together.

All things connect.

~Chief Seattle, 1855