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Guy Dauncey, Editor
395 Conway Road, Victoria, BC
CANADA V9E 2B9
Tel (250) 881-1304
www.earthfuture.com

Executive director of The Solutions Project

 

Newsletter No. 105 - Promoting the Vision of a Sustainable Vancouver Island - May 2001


VOTING GREEN

On Wednesday, May 16th, I shall be voting for the Green Party, to the distress of my friends who believe that the NDP deserves another chance, or that it at least deserves to win seats as the official opposition.

The Green Party will not win the election – but it may win some seats, and it is time for a new voice in BC politics. Green Parties are in coalition governments around the world in France, Germany, New Zealand and several other countries, and doing a perfectly competent job.

There appear to be three visions of what "The Good Life" entails in Canada today. The first is inspired by dreams of greater economic growth and increased prosperity. Reduced taxation will produce more economic effort, which will pay for health care, education, and environmental protection (within limits, so as not to upset the corporations, who like this vision). This is represented by the BC Liberals (www.bcliberals.com), who are well funded by those who stand to gain from their approach to government. Here are their top funders:

1. Weyerhaeuser Canada $73,600
2. Weldwood of Canada $60,320
3. Teck Corporation $58,050
4. Goepel McDermid Inc. $57,500
5. Inwest Investments $57,500
6. Riverside Forest Products $57,500
7. Cominco Ltd. $53,000
8. Jim Pattison Industries $50,000
9. Wesbild Holdings Ltd. $38,354
10. Canaccord Capital Corp $38,000
11. Global Coin Corp $37,350
12. Canadian Forest Product $32,400

For the full details of the Liberals' funding, see

www.bcfed.com/bcfed/liberal_funders.html

The second vision calls for the restoration of older, more traditional values. It wants to protect the family, get tough on crime, restore the importance of religion, expand freedom from government interference, but limit freedoms such as individual sexual preferences, or a woman’s rght to choose whether she wants an abortion or not. This vision is represented by the Alliance Party, and its BC equivalent, the Unity Party (www.unityparty.bc.ca). We’re not sure who is funding them.

The third vision calls for an advance to a more sustainable way of living, in which we use our intelligence to build a society and way of life which brings genuine progress, not just economic progress, and in which we live in proper harmony with our forests, soil, atmosphere, oceans, and with our own neighbours, rebuilding a stronger sense of community and cooperation. Just getting richer and having more toys is not what it’s all about. This vision is represented by the Green Party. (www.greenparty.bc.ca), which has barely any funding at all.

The New Democratic Party (www.bc.ndp.ca) was born of the unemployment crisis of the 1930s, and represents the important vision of a fair deal for working people. They make friendly noises about the environment, but don’t really seem to understand what sustainability is all about, so they get caught in all sorts of contradictions, such as calling Greenpeace members ‘enemies of the people’, and encouraging more use of natural gas, which is a prime climate change fossil fuel. Here are their top funders:

1. BC Federationof Labour $134,350
2. Stuart McLeod $47,858
3. Telus $10,500
4. United Food & Commercial Workers, Local 1518 $9,510
5. Health Employees Union, Local 180 $7,225

We are facing a global crisis of climate change, growing poverty, inequality and unemployment, accompanied by a staggering loss of biodiversity. Meanwhile, the global corporations, who were so well represented in Quebec City (it’s a Free Corporations Agreement, not a Free Trade Agreement) are running off with the planet, stashing the proceeds in off-shore tax-havens.

Such a crisis needs a strong, clear voice to confront it, and provide us with solid, workable solutions. This is why it is so important to bring the Greens onto the stage at this moment in history, both globally and in BC.

Every historical crisis produces its own response, and right now, politically, the Greens are that response. All around the world, not just in the wealthy north, people are realizing that "progress" is a doubled edged sword when it brings an atmosphere that is losing its equilibrium under its burden of pollutants, an increase in cancers due to chemical pollution, the loss of nature, the loss of quiet, and the loss of the precious invisible threads that bind us together, as humans, neighbours, nature and the Earth.

Very few people believe that "things are getting better" – so why vote for the parties that got us into the mess? We really need a new voice - and the Green Party is that voice. Our whole future depends on it.

Guy Dauncey


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


ECONEWS

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

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Donations can be sent to EcoNews, 395 Conway Rd, Victoria V9E 2B9. For a receipt, send stamped addressed envelope.


THE ECO-CORNER

$5 a line (free to non-profits & low-income). 1" box ad $30, $2" $55.

* Wanted: Home support worker, few hours per month, by environmentally ill Fairfield woman. Housework, errands, helping me get through life. Successful candidate leads an unscented life, never uses fabric softener or shares laundry with others, or uses clothing of unknown laundry origin (2nd hand clothes). Call 920-0036, afternoons.

* Wanted: Medical scooter from an environment free of smoke, pesticide and fabric softener. For long-legged rider. Call 920-0036, afternoons.

* For sale: Quality hard-plastic laundry tub, metal legs, CSA approved, never used. $140. Call 920-0036, afternoons.

* Would you like to learn to grow your own food organically? If you live in the Western Communities or Sooke, and are a low income person or family, 2 gardening sites in Sooke, Colwood offer free space, seeds, supplies, workshops and training, starting in mid-May. People on income assistance are eligible for transportation and daycare subsidies. Seeds of Progress - David Stott, Jackie Robson, 478-1122.


ZERO WASTE

Ricoh Electronics Inc, with facilities in California, Georgia and Mexico, is part of the Ricoh Group, an $11 billion diversified automated office, electronics and photographic equipment company, one of the world's largest manufacturers of multi-function digital office automation equipment. In April, Ricoh announced that it had eliminated 100% of its waste that used to go to the landfill, by refusing, reducing, re-using and recycling, including food, paper, plastic, glass, office supplies and production by-products. The company announced its intention to achieve Zero Waste in 1998, and reached its target a year ahead of schedule. Ricoh also has a green procurement program, practices environmental accounting, has rainforest and waterfall environments in its buildings, and has developed re-writable compact discs that can be re-recorded up to 1,000 times. If they can do it, why not every company? Which will be BC’s first Zero-Waste company? (Earth Vision). For the big picture, see www.zerowaste.org and www.targetzerocanada.org.


CLIMATE CARAVAN & ‘THE BET’

This summer, from May 7th to Sept 20th, 40 young people from all across Canada are will be engaged in a self-propelled, fossil-fuel-free movement (ie cycling) across Canada, accompanied by a bio-fueled bus. The project was started by a group of students at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. Their aim is to get Canadians thinking about the science and the impacts of climate change, and demonstrate practical ways in which people can reduce their personal greenhouse gas emissions. They are starting in Tofino, and reaching Victoria on May 10th (see Diary), where


THE GARDEN PATH

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Bring in this ad for a 10% discount (Print it, don't bring your computer!!)


FARMERS’ MARKETS

The Moss Street Market is open for the season. If you’ve not been before, check out the corner of Moss and Fairfield on Saturday mornings this summer, and you’ll find fresh, locally grown organic produce, crafts, food, music, market-day chit-chat, and special events, such as Bike to Market Day. Farmers’ Markets are making a big come-back. In Britain, Hampshire County Council organized three pilot markets in Winchester in 1999, which were so successful that they have scheduled 68 markets around the county for 2001. In Winchester (pop’n 100,000), each of last year’s markets had an average 80 stallholders and 8,500 customers, and growers took in an average of $1125 per market. The market rules, similar to those on Moss St, are that all produce must be grown or produced within the county by the stall-holder, and be free of genetically modified food. A Farmers’ Market Training Program is provided to help farmers improve their retail, marketing and presentation skills. Local councils help finance of the markets, which are to be financially self-sufficient from 2002. (This year’s markets have been suspended until the Foot and Mouth disease is over).


RAIN, RAIN……BUT NOT ENOUGH

It may seem to be raining every day, but we are in a serious water shortage. Our winter rainfall from September to April was 53% below average, and the Sooke and Goldstream reservoirs are 73% full, instead of 99% as they were this time last year. With the dry season approaching, we are heading for trouble. Locally reduced rainfall is in the cards because of global climate change: another low rainfall winter, and we’ll be scraping the bottom of the reservoir. A third, and we’ll be emigrating to Lake Cowichan. In a future issue, we’ll look at long-term solutions. Meanwhile, we must conserve!

* If everyone flushed the toilet four times less per day we’d save 3.4 million gallons a day. When it’s yellow, let it mellow, When it’s brown, flush it down.

* Upgrade your toilets to 6-litre flush models & change your shower-heads to efficient, aerated models, helped by a $75 CRD rebate. Call 474-9600 for details.

* Place a water-filled 2 litre milk carton in your toilet, with a rock in the bottom.

* Turn tap off when brushing teeth!

* Catch cold water in a bucket to water your plants when waiting for it to run hot

* Bath and shower with a friend!

* Don’t cut your lawn until it is 6-8cm long; only cut it to 1/3rd of its length. If you use a mulch mower, the droppings will add compost to your lawn.

* Don’t stop growing local food! Hand-watering is allowed; install rainbarrels to store the rain while it’s here.

* Call City Green (381-9995) and ask for a home visit. For $50, they will set you up for energy efficiency, water efficiency and other good green household habits.


THANKYOU, NDP

In the last few months, the NDP government has done some excellent work. They placed a moratorium on grizzly bear hunting; helped finance the purchase of critical lands in the Sooke Hills and Gulf Islands; passed important legislation that protects city councillors and citizens from being hit with SLAPP suits; created a Sustainable Development Commissioner for BC; announced plans for mandatory labeling for GM food (if re-elected); protected 71,000 hectares of wilderness surrounding the famous Spruce Lake in the South Chilcotin, 600,000+ hectares of the Great Bear Rainforest, and outstanding areas in the Stikine/Spatsizi and the northern Rockies; sustained the moratorium on coastal oil and gas exploration; and scrapped the ‘Working Forests’ plan to give away 95% of the public forest lands to private corporations. But why only now, after ten years in office? Would any of this have happened, we have to wonder, without the Green Party lining up to woo new voters?


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GREENS IN GOVERNMENT

What do the Greens stand for? Here are some more of their policies. For the full Platform, see www.greenparty.bc.ca.

Forestry: Reduce the cut to ecologically sustainable levels; establish competitive log markets and eliminate government subsidies by raising stumpage fees to fair market value. Prohibit the export of raw logs; provide assistance to companies seeking eco-certification; help market BC eco-certified wood. Provide low-interest start-up loans for small, labour intensive ecoforestry companies. Replace the Forest Practices Code and the AAC calculation with watershed-by-watershed ecological management plans, and a cut-rate based on sustained-yield forestry. Reform the tenure system over time, taking back 50% of the cut allocated to the major licensees, and re-allocating it to community and First Nations forest licenses, woodlot operators and small business. Replace Forest Renewal BC with community-based First Nations and locally elected Ecosystem Management Boards, with a mandate to manage their forests for all values. Ban the use of chemical herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers in forestry. Develop transition strategies and retraining programs to assist forest workers to adjust.

Fisheries: Replace the licensing system with first priority to small-scale local fishers, using selective and terminal fisheries. Create First Nations and locally-elected Ecosystem Management Boards to cooperatively manage local marine ecosystems for all values. Phase out open ocean salmon fish farms. Work with Fisheries & Oceans to re-allocate fisheries to small operators; implement stream-by-stream plans to rejuvenate wild salmon; phase out less selective seine and gillnet fishing; designate no-take marine protected areas; close all bottom-trawl fisheries, and all herring fisheries for five years; bring in transition plans for affected workers and First Nations communities.

Agriculture: Provide incentives to farmers to move to organic agriculture, financed by a tax on chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. Support community garden projects; expand animal cruelty laws to cover all farming operations. Create incentives for the local purchase of BC produce. Ban the import of products that contain GMOs; help groups of growers and growers coops to own and farm organically on ALR lands.

Energy: Require 100% of all new energy in BC to come from renewable energy sources and conservation; oppose the deregulation or privatization of BC Hydro or BC Gas; provide rebates and incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy production; phase in carbon taxes and phase out subsidies on fossil fuels; oppose the Georgia Strait gas pipeline; meet and exceed the Kyoto Protocol commitment to a 6% reduction in greenhouse gases below 1990 by 2010.

Transport: Implement tax-shifting, and use the revenues to support public transit, bicycles, car-sharing, hybrid vehicles, passenger-only ferries, & mini-buses. Direct elections for regional transit boards; least-cost planning for all transport projects, with programs to reduce demand.

Housing: Use 1% of the provincial budget to support new, affordable, non-profit and coop housing units. Help tenants to own their own homes; provide tax incentives for the provision of rental housing, and no-interest loans for energy efficient and alternative energy retrofits.

Environment: Ban logging and other harmful activities in drinking watersheds; ban bulk water exports; ban the use of all persistent organic pollutants, and chlorine in pulp bleaching; enact a BC Species at Risk Protection Act. End the use of leg-hold traps, continue the ban on grizzly bear hunting. And much more.


GREENS CAMPAIGNING

If you would like to help the local Green Party candidates with their campaigns, from door-knocking or distributing flyers to making signs, here are the people to call. They would love your help!

Esquimalt–Metchosin: Marilyn Sundeen 642-0760, supergreen@telus.net

Mahahat-Juan de Fuca: Stephen Bradley c/o 382-8378 bcgreens@islandnet.com

North Saanich & Islands: Andrew Lewis 653-477 baronfowler@yahoo.com

Oak Bay-Gordon Head: TBA 382-8378 bcgreens@islandnet.com

South Saanich: Gracie MacDonald, 652-4668 gab@island.net

Victoria-Beacon Hill: Walter Meyer zu Erpen 381-8683 votegreen@islandnet.com

Victoria–Hillside: Stuart Hertzog 381-5226 stuart_hertzog@telus.ca


ORNAMENTUM FURNITURE

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FSC accredited certification means that the forest is managed according to strict environmental,
social and economic standards. Chain of custody certified by Silva Forest Foundation.

SFF-COC-005 www.ornamentum.bc.ca

FSC trademark © Forest Stewardship Council A.C.


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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