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Guy Dauncey, Editor
395 Conway Road, Victoria, BC
Tel (250) 881-1304

Executive director of The Solutions Project


Newsletter No. 92 - Serving the Vision of a Sustainable Vancouver Island - Mar. 2000


A new premier. How naïve do I have to be to banish the hope that this time – just possibly – it might be different ?

I’m probably a hopeless case, to believe that the government could achieve any kind of environmental turnaround. But faced with the thought of a Liberal government borrowing values and policies from Ontario and Alberta, it’s probably instinctive. Even a condemned man hopes for a last-minute reprieve.

So what might it look like, if the ghosts of Randy Stoltmann & Grant Copeland* were to drop in for a bedside chat with Premier Dosanjh?

"Look, Ujjal, we know you want to govern wisely, and you’ve acknowledged that your government has alienated most environmental and social activists. But hey – miracles do happen ! Fancy a few words of advice ?"

"What is this ? Did I eat some bad curry for supper ?"

"No – but your predecessor was happy turning oldgrowth forest into pulpmill curry. If you want our support, we suggest you start your year in office by turning the Stoltmann Wilderness and the Great Bear Rainforest into parks. That would save some important pieces of oldgrowth forest – and signal an important change of heart."

"Yes, and alienate my friends in the IWA by taking away their jobs."

"Well, our next advice is that you commit all crown forest to eco-certification and eco-system based management. The State of New York is ecocertifying its 700,000 acres, so why can’t we ? For long-term jobs in the forests, it’s the best way to go. Combine it with the transfer of licenses to community-based corporations. Shift people’s minds away from instant profits towards long-term stewardship of the forest for all values – ecosystem protection and ecotourism, as well as stumpage fees. And by the way – can you lay off the bears? They’ve been bugging us to get you to ban bear hunting."

"Who are you, coming at me at this time of the night ? They never told me I’d have to do policy seminars with ghosts when I ran for the job. Did you folks visit Glen, as well ?"

"Sure – but he used to share his bed with Jack Munro, so we never got a very good reception. While we’ve got your attention, can you do something to legislate eco-system-based forestry standards for logging on private land ? It’s terrible what’s happening on Denman, Horne Lake and Salt Spring. And make sure you legislate against SLAPP suits, as you said you would."

"You ghosts have got quite an agenda, haven’t you ?"

"Well, we’ve got a lot of time to think about things, haven’t we ? We get to share heaven with all the animal spirits and the ancestors, too: that puts quite a spin on our discussions. We can tell you this - there’s a lot of unhappy chicken spirits up there !"

"Oh dear. Are they going to come and haunt me, too ? I do like my chicken curry."

"Who would you rather be haunted by – a bunch of dead eco-freaks and a few unhappy animals, or Gordon Campbell and his band of merry liberals ?"

"OK, OK ! Just tell me what you want, and I’ll listen."

"We suggest that the wisest thing you could do for the NDP and the province as a whole would be to bring in some kind of proportional representational voting. Put an end to the battle of ideologies, allow the minority parties a voice."

"You mean the Green Party, right ? You and Vander Zalm."

"Well, it would be more democratic. It might also get the greens voting for you at the next election. Right now they’ve written you off - they’ve got their eyes set on 2 or 3 seats in opposition. You do understand that a party can simply disappear off the map ….?"

"Don’t haunt me !"

"It’s either us or Gordon…."

"OK ! OK ! So what else ?"

"Well, if you want to address the real issue, we’ve got to talk sustainability. No point growing the economy if it eats the ecosystem it depends on. In our ghostly opinion, we suggest adopting The Natural Step as a process. Did you know that Governor John Kitzhaber was planning to do just this for Oregon, requiring the state government to conduct all of its business in an environmentally sustainable manner? We’d recommend some serious tax-shifting too, taxing pollution and resource-use instead of jobs and income. How about a North-Western Eco-Summit, to share these thoughts with your colleagues south of the border?"

"Can you put this in writing ? It’s a bit dark in here."

"No problem – it’s in your hands. And by the way, Ujjal – congratulations on your election ! Got to run now – we’ve got to visit Al Gore; pretty urgent. Thanks for the visit. Bye !"

Guy Dauncey

* Randy Stoltmann died a few years ago. Grant Copeland died on Jan 8th, 2000. They both lived lives of deep dedication.

Please note:  the Green Diary has moved, click here to view.


Published as a monthly service, nourishing the vision of an Island blessed by the harmony of nature and community, funded by your donations.AG00119_.gif (2913 bytes)

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Many thanks to Wally du Temple, Alison LeDuc, Jill Swartz, Seachange Marine Conservation Society, Martha McMahon, Peter Gardner, Birgit Bateman, Heather Page, Cheryl Taves, Laura Acton, FM Smythe, Don Poole, Wes Gietz, Anna Galon, Mary June Pettyfer, Janice Turner, Roger Colwill, and Katey Bloomfield.

* Donations can be made to EcoNews, 395 Conway Rd, Victoria V8X 3X1. For receipt, include a stamped addressed envelope.

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* Volunteers wanted - hands-on stream restoration & trail-building, interpretation work with children, at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary. Call Joan 479-0211.

* Greenways Grants for conservation of natural features, linking green areas. Deadline March 31st. Dianne McLauchlan, Provincial Capital Commission, 953-8800.

* Drinking Water Stewardship Award, includes stewardship of watershed lands. Nominations until March 31st. Details CRD 360-3228. Know anyone ?

* Help wanted : Environmentally ill Fairfield woman needs unscented worker(s) who neither use fabric softener nor share laundry facilities with other users. Duties : housework, errands; laundry at worker’s home ? Call 920-0036.

* Can you help me to draw up a list of local GM-free foods? Pauline, 656-2430.

* Thrifty Foods gift certificates for sale at face value ($5, $20, etc), no expiry date, to support local volunteers in overseas grassroots sustainable development. (See also Diary, 25th). 642-7978 or 382-5196.

* Any land out there ? Would like to rent 1 acre for organic farming. Caren, 384-1906

* Share mobile home at Wildwood with non-smoking vegetarian on Merve Wilkinson’s property 70 acre forest on lake, near ocean. Call (250) 722-2292

* Wanted: Single, quiet, environmentally conscious person to buy (or maybe rent) bright 2BR upper duplex in character home in Oaklands neighbourhood. 595-5600

* Sublet available for non-smoking vegetarian, Fairfield. Leave msg 261-1975


Councillor Denise Savoie reports : I've been on Council for 3 months now, and it's quite a learning curve. I'll be responsible for Parks and Recreation, and working with Councillor Jane Lunt on Transportation. We successfully stopped commercialization of Beacon Hill Park, and we’ll soon embark on a public planning process to consider the future of this jewel. I'm also working with the Engineering Dept to find safer ways to bring cyclists and pedestrians across the Johnson Street Bridge (complicated by the many jurisdictions – Via Rail, E&N, Rail America, City, feds).

Along with councillors from Saanich, Esquimalt and View Royal, plus scientific and legal advisors, I will be on the Board of the Veins of Life Society, which has been working so hard to clean up the harbour and Gorge Waterway. Over the years, the fractured governance of the waterway has led to some bad decisions: contamination of the water from industry, homes and sewer-stormwater cross-connections; changes to the shoreline due to fill and retaining walls; the proliferation of docks; development right up to the shoreline, etc. We will be considering the questions of private moorage, and whether to establish a Development Permit area to give the Gorge more protection. I'd also like to see a stormwater by-law with more teeth.

Regionally, I serve on the CRD Regional Planning and Environment Committees, and chair the Round Table on the Environment. A regional planning summit will be held in June at Royal Roads to discuss four alternatives, and to recommend the preferred option to direct growth, protect green space and improve public transportation. The Environment Committee will be putting out fact sheets on our liquid waste management options - I believe our first investments must be in source control to prevent individuals and businesses from pouring chemicals down the drain, and in our 80-90 year-old sewer and stormwater infrastructure that causes much of the outfall contamination. The Round Table will be publishing a report on positive and negative environmental regional trends - for a presentation, call Ron Kirstein, 360-3133

Clearly, effecting environmental and social change is the task of the whole community. Those of us who were elected in November need your ideas and support. The City of Victoria has a survey on its website, based on the past few years’ priorities. If issues that are important to you don't show up, this is a good time to tell Council (by March 7th). You can also contact me directly at

Oak and Orca

Bioregional School

Empowering children to build more fulfilling and ecologically sustainable communities.

Now accepting applications

K – 6 multi-aged class, Sept 2000

Call 383-6609


There is a conflict developing on Salt Spring Island which is engaging every islander. It has its origins in 16th century Europe, when Salt Spring was known only to the native Salish people, and entirely covered with oldgrowth forest. It is a story of two conflicting sets of values. Around 1490, Franz von Thurn und Taxis was granted a monopoly to manage the communications system for the expanding Hapsburg Empire, running horse-drawn relays across Europe. The family did well and married into royalty, becoming one of the richest families in Europe. During World War Two, Prince Albert was a staunch opponent of Hitler, and they lost many of their lands, but they recovered, and Albert’s son Johannes invested in land in North America – including 4,816 acres on Salt Spring (1/10th of the island) which he managed in a slow European way, varying from single tree selection to patch cuts. Then Johannes married an impoverished German countess, Gloria von Schonburg-Glauchau, 34 years his younger, and they led prominent lives in the international jet-set, with extravagant partying. Johannes died in 1991, and the family faced death duties and huge debts. Gloria started cashing in, and sold the Salt Spring lands to the Texada Land Corporation, which consists of two Vancouver developers, Rob MacDonald and Derek Trethewey, via $20 - $50 million financing from the Manulife Financial Corporation in Toronto. According to documents revealed by investigative research analyst Adrian du Plessis, Trethewey has $270,000 in debts including gambling debts to Caesar’s Palace and debts from a proposed logging operation in Belize. The forest in question lies on the slopes of the Fulford Valley, Mount Maxwell and Mount Tuam, much loved for their visual beauty, and include a large part of the Mount Maxwell watershed, which supplies much of the island’s water supply. 90% of the lands containing sensitive, rare or endangered ecosystems. From the day the land was bought, last November, Saltspringers have been frantically organizing community meetings, reviewing the logging plans with the owners, arguing for slower and more sensitive logging, monitoring the operations, blockading the logging trucks – and starting the enormous task of raising up to $30 million to buy the lands. The owners are estimated to be clearcutting (or patchcutting) 4 - 5 acres a day. On the one hand, the owners have produced a Code of Principles and hired Julian Dunster, a well-reputed ecoforester who has set up and run locally controlled community forests; on the other hand, the cutting is estimated to be 15 - 20 times the sustainable harvest rate. There is no legislation at present which governs forestry on private land. Right now, the islanders need all the help they can get. To find out more, visit their superb website at, or call Elizabeth White at (250) 537-2616. The same developers also bought 5,000 acres from the Thurn und taxis family at Horne Lake, near Courtenay, which they are logging at a speed which is causing alarm and concern. The von Thurn und taxis family, by the way, is listed as 249th in the Forbes List of the World’s Richest people, worth $2 billion.


Salt Spring is not the only Gulf Island suffering from the excesses of private logging. On Denman, in 1997, Mike Jenks and his company, 4064, bought a third of the island, which he started logging at high speed. In response to the islanders’ desperation, in May 1999 the Islands Trust (which has the objective of protecting and preserving the islands’ ecology) passed the Sustainable Forest Land-Use Bylaw, which prohibits clearcutting, which allowing sustainable harvesting. But now Mike Jenks has found a loophole in Agricultural Land Reserve and the Right to Farm Act which allows land clearing for a ‘normal farm practice’, which will allow his logging trucks back in. He has applied for 7 permits to clear 1,346 acres (10% of the island) "to develop a Christmas tree farm by natural regeneration". The province has laid charges against 4064 that it has violated the new sustainable forestry bylaws, and 4064 is suing the Islands Trust alleging that the Bylaws are beyond the authority of the Trust. Please write to the Minister of Agriculture (tel 387-1023, fax 387-1522), asking him to close this "Christmas tree" loophole. For more information, see


"Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

Gatherer’s Garden

Edible and Natural Landscaping

Garden design, set-up & maintenance

Fruit trees, berry bushes, heirloom veggies and native plants

Call 598-0797


Following Home Depot’s announcement that they will not be selling any timber that has not been eco-certified by the Forest Stewardship Council after January 2003, the Swedish giant IKEA has announced that from September 2000, it will ensure that it does not use any solid wood from ancient forests unless it has been similarly eco-certified. Two more companies, HomeBase and Wickes Lumber, have said that they will end such sales by 2001. These successes are the result of a relentless two-year campaign by the Rainforest Action Network (, targeting the "Foolish Five", hightlighting the importance of certification as a way of protecting the world’s forests. Industry groups have come up with their own system of certification, however, under ISO, so the politics is quite hot. There is a major BC Forest Certification Forum happening in Victoria March 30th – April 1st, when a lot of the key players will be present. For details, see Diary, and

Coming up….

Earth Week 2000, April 21st – 30th

What are you doing for Earth Week ?

Let the world know by sending your info for the 11th Annual Earth Week Calendar.

Deadline March 31st. Call Doug, 383-5765

8 week course in

Bodywork & Massage

April 5th – May 24th

Acupressure First Aid & Healing the Body

April 3rd – May 31st

With Ronski Koski, 384-1411



Car Sharing in Victoria since 1997

Contact us for a free info package !

Tel 995-0265



Chris Tollefson writes :

We have been hearing a lot about SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) lately. SLAPPs permit wealthy and powerful people to abuse democracy and our democratic rights through the court system. The courts can do little to curb this abuse, since the court rules generally allow the person filing a lawsuit to decide how and when their case proceeds. While SLAPP targets can recover some of their costs when the case is eventually thrown out, this usually takes years. Meanwhile, the SLAPP filer has often won the political battle that prompted the suit in the first place. SLAPPs makes activism a very risky business. Targets never escape without paying a steep price for speaking out, financially, reputationally and emotionally. And the chilling effect of the pervasive threat of SLAPP suits hurts us all. During the 1990s, B.C. has become infamous as Canada’s SLAPP-incubator, as SLAPP targets on Galiano and Salt Spring Islands, in the Walbran, in Victoria’s Cedar Hill neighbourhood and most recently in East Sooke (Silver Spray) attest. For over six years, the B.C. government has been lobbied to address the problem by passing anti-SLAPP legislation of the type on the books in over a dozen U.S. states. Finally, we have a breakthrough. During his leadership bid, Premier Dosanjh committed to introduce Canada’s first anti-SLAPP law this Spring. Not only would this be a critical legacy for activists in BC, it would be a landmark precedent for activists nationwide. We need to ensure Premier Dosanjh honours this commitment as a key priority for democracy and for the environmental community.

Action : Write to Premier Dosanjh, Legislative Assembly, Victoria V8V 1X4. Fax 387-0087, Tel 387-1715. Ask him to priorize the legislation, and get your friends to sign your letter. One small step for democracy.

Check out the Victoria Green Pages !

Deadline for February 2000: February 24th

The Green Diary has moved!  Click HERE to see whats happening!



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EcoNews, Guy Dauncey
395 Conway Road, Victoria V8X 3X1
Tel/Fax (250) 881-1304

Sustainable Communities Consultancy

Author of 'After the Crash : The Emergence of the Rainbow Economy'
(Greenprint, London, 1988. 3rd edition 1997)

Now Available!
'Earthfuture : Stories from a Sustainable World'
(New Society Publishers, November 1999)
An ecofictional novel

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