No. 139 - Serving the Vision of a Sustainable Vancouver Island
A DREAM OF NEW GOVERNMENT
So, an election! The chance to elect a new
government, and a leader who will steer Canada away from the
global ecological meltdown we’re heading towards. Now what did
I hear in that party political broadcast last night? Or was it
a dream? Ah yes, it’s all coming back to me….
"My friends, and fellow Canadians, this is
truly a crucial moment in the history of our world. I know that
many of you are concerned about issues such as the price of gas,
and the state of our healthcare system, but there is a much greater
peril that faces us, not just in Canada, but throughout the world.
I do not refer to the threat of terrorism, though
this is connected. Nor do I refer to the crisis of AIDS, and the
poverty that can be the breeding ground for both AIDS and terrorism.
No, I am referring to something which threatens
the very core of our civilization, and the natural world that surrounds
us. I am referring to the grave global consequences that are resulting
from the very means we use to grow our economies and build our
In the early days of the industrial age, there
seemed to be no harm in fishing the oceans, and felling the forests.
It seemed like a great adventure, from which all would benefit.
As a civilization, we were enthralled with the power we could obtain
from fossil fuels, which could power our industries, heat our homes,
and give us the freedom to travel so widely. We were enthralled
by the products that modern chemistry could create, from plastics
But we must be ruthlessly honest, if this great
adventure is to continue. Most of the great forests of the world
are no more. We are exhausting the oceans. We are filling our bodies
and the bodies of our children with unwanted chemicals, many of
which contribute to cancer and other disorders, causing our health
care costs to soar.
We are harvesting food from the world’s soils
without rebuilding their fertility, consuming the world’s freshwater
without replenishing our aquifers, and pushing our developments
into the habitat of other species without regard for their future,
or possible extinction.
Perhaps most dangerously of all, our use of fossil
fuels is pushing the global climate into dangerous instability,
threatening enormous physical, personal and economic disruption.
The world’s climate scientists are almost unanimous in their expressions
As I stand here seeking your support to lead the
government of this great country, I feel in awe at the immensity
of the challenge we face, and yet confident that as Canadians,
we have both the ability and the willpower to turn our civilization
around, and build new foundations for the businesses and industries
we depend on, based on the principles of nature, instead of the
old-fashioned principles we have been following, which I might
summarize, perhaps brutally, as "grab it while you can".
This is a challenge we must all embrace, to build
a new eco-industrial civilization in which all waste becomes food
for more creation, all toxic emissions are either converted or
eliminated, all energy comes from sustainable sources, and every
footprint that we make upon this Earth adds to the diversity and
strength of Nature, instead of depleting it.
If you choose to elect me as your next Prime Minister,
my party will begin immediately to tax the burden of pollution,
toxins, and other unwanted "bads", using the income to
reduce your personal taxes and pension contributions. We will replace
the GST with a Carbon Sales tax. For very investment you make that
improves the efficiency of your home or business, we will give
you a 100% tax credit. For every bicycle or transit pass you buy,
we will do the same.
For every dollar of additional income that the
government receives from the increasing price of gas, we will return
it to you as a rebate on the purchase of an efficient vehicle.
The world’s oil supply will not last forever, and all indications
are that it will soon start to become scarce, and become much more
In future, all federal funds that we dispense
will be conditional on clear indications of progress towards social,
ecological and economic sustainability, whether by cities, businesses,
or individuals. This will be the defining principle of our government.
We will close Canada’s offshore banking loopholes.
We will commit 1% of our revenues to ensure that every Canadian
has an affordable home. We will work with the provinces to apply
5% of all healthcare spending towards prevention.
We will change our voting system so that every
vote counts through a system of mixed member proportional representation.
We will give the vote to every 16 year old, since they are our
We will take these same principles to the world,
and work with other nations to change the very foundations of the
If we do these things, future generations will
praise us. If we do not, they will curse us….. and there the
monthly newsletter, funded by your donations, that dreams of
blessed by the harmony of nature, the pleasures of community, & the
joys of personal fulfillment, protected and guided by active citizenship.
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A big thankyou to
Mike Boyd, Lois Marcoux, Katey Bloomfield, Doreen Hind, Norah
Forrest, Daphne Wheeler, Peter Schofield, Jim Bohlen, Johan
Grolle, Diane Mothersill, Colin Graham, T. Macmurchie, Mel
McDonald, Brian Pinch, & Baron Fowler.
This issue was paid for
in Memory of Maureen Hosier Fowler (née Smith), 1920-2003.
Born in London, England, trained as secretary and drafted
into the Royal Air Force during the war. Married a Canadian
bomber navigator. Emigrated to Edmonton in 1945, saw
the Leduc No.1 oil well 'blow in' from the front window
in 1947. Mother, grandmother, war veteran with a medal
to prove it, wizard secretary, excommunicated the Catholic
Church at 18 and never set foot in one again. Voted Green
in the last Provincial election. Yelled across the fence
at her Scots pal, "That Campbell is a bad lot! You
should have voted for the Greens!". Survived breast
cancer for 23 years. Finally succumbed to liver cancer
at 84 after a terrific life. The most sophisticated person
her second son ever met; only took him 53 years to figure
this out. Prevention is the only cancer solution that
will work in the long run.
$5/line (non-profits, low-income free)
1" box $40, $2" box $70. Insert $180
* For Sale. 5 acre lot, Duncan area. Pastoral
and mountain view, 2 old growth Douglas fir, many beautiful maple,
cedar and young fir. 8 gpm well, approved septic. Choice building
sites, #195,000. 250-743-4453
* Wanted: Occasional female housesitter.
Call 479-9491 for details.
* Volunteers wanted to help the Green Party
Campaign. 587 Johnson. 381-2737
Healing and Celebrating All Life
Marianne Sämann-Wyss, Core-Shamanic Practitioner & Wholistic
Energy Work with People, Animals, and Places
THE DYING SALMON
Alexandra Morton writes from Echo Bay, B.C.: "Over
the past several years I have felt on occasion that events in the
Broughton Archipelago must be witnessed widely. Today is one of
those times. Since 2001 I have been studying an unprecedented appearance
of sea lice on wild juvenile salmon in these heavily salmon farmed
waters. After identifying the epidemic in 2001, a cohort of authors
and I looked at pink and chum fry coastwide and found sea lice
only on young salmon near salmon farms. Last year 11 salmon farms
were fallowed in the Broughton and sea lice numbers fell dramatically.
This year the farm salmon are back in the pens and the lice are
back with a vengeance. The relationship is undeniable.
In an act of ruthless negotiation, Stolt was given
another site in exchange for fallowing one of their sites for a
few months last year, and now they have both sites stocked. The
DFO did a study at a cost of $1.2 million last year, during the
fallow, and held a press conference in mid-May [saying] that I
am wrong, there is no problem here, in fact juvenile salmon with
lice were more robust than those without lice. The scientific community
at large finds this ridiculous. The salmon farming industry is
slated to expand upcoast into even more productive wild salmon
I know the temptation must be great to disregard
my work and warnings, but I am certain I am measuring the local
extinction of the odd year cycle Area 12 Mainland pink salmon.
I have been absolutely correct for two years now on the size of
this stock's collapse … not because I am great scientist, but because
the damage is so great to any who will see. The number of infected
fish accurately predicts how many pink salmon will not return to
This fall we will see a good pink salmon return
to the Broughton Archipelago because these will be the fish who
went to sea during the salmon farm fallow. But if their offspring
have to swim through a sea of sea lice as this spring's generation
is right now, a 5 million strong population of pink salmon will
cease to exist. This scenario has replayed world wide, wherever
salmon farms enter wild salmon waters. Norwegian scientists do
not react to my work as DFO does. They say they expected this to
happen to us. DFO has not offered their research to international
Tribune Channel is a long narrow channel dotted
by four Stolt salmon farms, and at the end sits a large Heritage
site. Millions of tiny pink salmon entered the east end of Tribune,
but almost none are swimming out the west end. Every morning I
pick up the dying from a short stretch of Tribune. Listless, emaciated,
so stunned they do not hear my boat or see my hand reaching for
them, these fish will never go to sea. Entire schools are only
a few days or hours behind these dying fish, allowing me to stop
and stare at their ruined bodies. Some tilt and sink, wiggle briefly
then sink again. As a young graduate student here tells me every
evening, "It's carnage out there."
I am not alone in studying this anymore; a tiny
army of young non-government scientists are in the field with or
without adequate funding. The outlook offered by DFO will be found
wrong. See here for recent photos: www.raincoastresearch.org/witness.htm
Salmon farms do not need to make lice to farm
salmon. All that is required here is separation between the farms
and the very small wild salmon. There are communities that would
welcome land-based salmon farms [which] could continue to offer
employment while allowing wild salmon … to thrive. A large public
resource is being annihilated by sheer sloppiness.
The salmon farms must be removed from Tribune
Channel and the Burdwood Islands by the end of this year for wild
salmon to continue to exist in the Broughton. In the near future
science will pinpoint the farms’ responsibility for the loss of
wild salmon. The only question is what will be left.
I hope the farmers will take this last opportunity
to avoid the legal implications and ruination of their industry
and try something new and brilliant. Denial of a problem this obvious
is not the intelligent move. Please do what you can to stop this
reckless, senseless carnage of a fish so abundant and generous
it should be held sacred and passed to the next generation."
Say it after me: "2-butoxy-ethanol".
And now this: "Etho-xylated-nonyl-phenol". They’re not
very friendly words; not quite the same as "rosemary" or "lemon",
eh? They’re in regular household products, however. The first is
a reproductive toxin which is present in CLR Calcium Lime and Rust
Remover, Fantastic Lemon Scent Cleaner, and Tilex Total Bathroom
Multipurpose Cleaner. So when you see those feisty CLR adverts
on TV, remind yourself that the US Agency for Toxic Substances
and Disease Registry says 2-butoxy-ethanol can cause reproductive
effects and birth defects in animals.
So how can you tell which laundry detergent,
oven cleaner, or flea powder is safe, and which might give you
an unexpected dose of carcinogens? It’s tough, since the manufacturers
don’t have to indicate the ingredients.
But now to the rescue comes The CancerSmart Consumer
Guide. Produced by the Labour Environmental Alliance Society in
Vancouver, it’s an easy to follow booklet that lists many common
pesticides, household cleaners and food contaminants, and tells
you which contain chemicals that could sit in your body before
going off in 20 years as a cancer-contributing time-bomb.
And here’s a shocker: cancer is now the second
leading cause of death in children, after accidents. Pregnancy
is probably the most vulnerable stage in a child’s life, so please
buy a copy for any woman you know who’s pregnant, and every young
couple. To order, send $5 to Labour Environmental Alliance Society,
1203–207 West Hastings, Vancouver V6B 1H7. ($4 for 5 – 100 copies;
$3.50 for 101+). www.leas.ca
The Glenairley Centre for Earth and Spirit in
Sooke is a new addition to the geography of hope on Vancouver Island.
As a non-profit ecological learning centre, run in partnership
with the Sisters of St Ann on their historic 23 acre waterfront
property, the Centre’s mission is to nurture a contemporary ecological
spirituality, offering an experience and a celebration of belonging
to the sacred web of life to all who want to embrace the call to
personal and global transformation. They have a full summer programme
(see Diary), and everyone is invited to their Summer Solstice Celebration
on Sunday June 20th. "I believe that in this critical
time of ecological and spiritual crisis, Earth calls us to recognize
and reclaim our kinship, and to honour all as sacred." Maureen
THE GARDEN PATH NURSERY
Organic Plants & Seeds
Specializing In Heritage, Rare &Unusual
Plants. 40 Varieties Heirloom Tomatoes
Open Daily 10am – 5:30pm until July 3rd
395 Conway Rd, West Saanich
Carolyn Herriot (250) 881-1555
LEARNING ON THE FRASER
Brenda said, "It was definitely the trip
of lifetime." Patrick said he was "blown away with the
Fraser’s diverse landscapes." Nathan added, "It was like
cramming an entire university semester of learning into three weeks." They
are talking about the Sustainable Living Leadership Program, offered
by the Rivershed Society of BC. For this year (July 24-Aug 15),
the society is looking for 8 young leaders, 19 or older, who have
a passion for stewardship and a desire to live sustainably. Last
summer, participants met in Mount Robson Provincial Park, and 23
days later they arrived by water in Vancouver’s False Creek, having
experienced pristine riversheds in the Upper Fraser, and urbanized
riversheds in the Lower Fraser. Interested? Call (604) 941-5937. www.rivershed.com
Remember the EcoNews cover story about The Bank
that Ran into RAN? Now the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has
chalked up another victory. The Bank of America Group, the No 2
US bank, has agreed not to fund any more projects that involve
oil and gas exploration, mining or logging in oldgrowth tropical
rainforests, or any logging operations in "intact" forests
which support many species. They’ve agreed not to finance companies
or projects that collude with illegal logging operations, or projects
in sensitive forests where indigenous people have unresolved land
claims. They have also set specific goals and a timetable to reduce
the direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions that result from
their financing activities. Don’t ever think it’s all hopeless!
RAN shows what can be achieved with well-organized persistence. www.ran.org
SING, GRANNIES, SING!
"Once, we were invisible. Like all older
women, we were expected to fade into the background along with
our looks, our health, our income, and our importance to society.
But not any more." And so begins this wonderful, colourful
story of a few Victoria women who took their political passions
to the streets back in 1987, and gave birth to a movement. There
are now 60 Raging Grannies groups around the world, chasing off
nuclear weapons and nuclear powered ships, opposing the arms trade
and the wars on Iraq, getting arrested to stop clearcutting, showing
their udder distaste for hormone laden milk, protesting the MAI
(remember that?) and the WTO, crying out loud against health care
cuts, while never losing their faith and their humour. Now they’ve
spilled the beans in a book, Off Our Rockers and Into
Trouble by Alison Acker and Betty Brightwell (TouchWood Editions
$19.95) that tells the whole story. Read, enjoy, and get singspired!
MINING IN THE PARKS
Here’s one for the Grannies: "If you go down
to the woods tomorrow, you may never believe your eyes. (Repeat).
For here and there, maybe everywhere, with trucks and flags and
guys with jacks, the miners and the loggers are having a party!" Yes,
it’s true. In the 72,000 hectare South Chilcotin Mountains Protected
Area, 100 km north of Whistler, the BC Liberal government, under
the leadership of Gordon Campbell, is poised to roll back the park
boundaries by as much as 20%. Teck Cominco, BC’s biggest mining
company, is backing the BC Mining Association’s lobbying efforts
to open it up. In 2001, they gave $56,590 to the BC Liberal Party;
but that was just kindness. The mining community also has its eyes
on the Tatshenshini, up by Alaska. See www.saveourparks.ca and www.wildernesscommittee.org
ACTION OF THE MONTH
THE FEDERAL ELECTION
Action: There is one crisis that overshadows
all others, which is not being much talked about: global climate
change. So in this election, become a "Climate Ranger",
and take every chance at the public meetings to ask the candidates: "What
will your party do to reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions?" Then
note the result, and pass the word around.
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