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Renewal of Fish-farm Tenures

The Musgamagw Dzawda’enuxw, Namgis and Kwikwasutinuxw Haxwamis First Nations, in opposition to the possible renewal of fish farm tenure licences in their traditional territory, are currently occupying two foreign-owned salmon farms in the Broughton Archipelago.

You can help by writing letters urging the federal government to revoke the company’s in-ocean fish farm licences, and the provincial government not to renew their sea floor tenure licences.

Letters to the editor of the Record, the Times Colonist and the Vancouver Sun would help increase public awareness of this situation.

Points to emphasize:

– The First Nations community never agreed to having fish farms in their traditional territories.

– They have opposed the industry since it was introduced 30-years ago, never signing an agreement with any company operating in its traditional territories.

– The provincial and federal government has disregarded the First Nation opposition when issuing these permits.  “We want the fish farms removed from our territory and the licences of occupation revoked and suspended immediately.” Chief Ernest Alfred from the Nagmis, Lawit’sis and Mamalilikala nations.

– A true act of reconciliation would recognize the First Nation opposition and withdraw the licences.

-The provincial salmon farm tenures are due to expire in June 2018. During the spring election campaign, Hon. Claire Travena, MLA North Island, promised to remove fish farms from the area when she spoke in the Big House in Alert Bay

-The northern Vancouver Island wild fish population is no longer healthy enough to provide these First Nations communities with the food they have relied upon for millennia

-Wild salmon are the backbone of the coast and all life relies on the health of the salmon. They feed the trees that make the oxygen we breath, that in turn stabilizes our environment. They feed (declining numbers are making this harder) the whales, larger mammals and eagles that are indigenous to, and iconic on, this coast

-In-ocean fish farms are feed-lots that concentrate diseases and parasites that are dangerous to the wild salmon stock

-There is real danger of large-scale wild salmon disease that could cause their extinction on our coast

Here is a sample letter:

Hon. Lana Popham, BC Minister of Agriculture
Hon. Claire Trevena, MLA, North Island
Ronna Rae Leonard, MLA, Courtenay Comox
Nicholas Simons, MLA, Sunshine Coast

Hon. Dominic LeBlanc, Fisheries & Oceans Canada
Hon. Doug Donaldson, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Rachel Blaney, MP, North Island – Powell River
Gord Johns, MP, Courtenay – Alberni

Re: No renewals of fish farm licences

We call on you as our representatives in both provincial and federal governments to act in cooperation to not renew fish farm sea floor tenure and fishing licences on the British Columbia coast, particularly in the Broughton Archipelago territories where the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw nation has not consented to their operation.

The health of communities, the aquaculture and our relations with First Nations are all at risk. There is enough scientific evidence and experience with open net farming to show that it is a considerable danger. We should not wait for a full-on crisis to stop the expansion of this form of the industry.

Please keep us and members of our community informed about your government’s action on this issue.

In the spirit of reconciliation with First Nations, and with respect for the wild salmon and all its dependents on this coast,
(signed ……)

For more information:
“Tensions Rising in Fish Farm Occupations“, Andrew Nikiforuk, The Tyee, 21 Sept, 2017
“BC First Nations occupy a second fish farm as company raises safety concerns” .Laura Kane, The Canadian Press Posted: Sep 02, 2017 5:18 PM.
• Watch “Salmon Confidential”  Also, see Alexandra Morton’s website 
• “Cohen Report Card”, Watershed Watch. The $37 million Cohen Commission was the most comprehensive review of Pacific salmon management in Canada. It focusses on the Fraser River, and made 75 recommendations, including limitations on fish farm licences. This site summarizes and tracks the 75 recommendations made in the 2012 report.
• For a deeper dive into the scientific evidence of harm to wild stocks, here is a 2011 bibliography put together by the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform.

 

Community Action Award 2017

Each year at our Holiday Potluck Dinner, the Comox Valley Chapter presents the Community Action Award to a person or group in the Valley.

We would like to receive your nomination for this award. Include a short paragraph that gives:

  • the length of time the group or individual has been active
  • the Canadian values that have been demonstrated
  • the progressive action in the community

Send your nomination by November 10 to cvcouncilofcanadians@gmail.com

Past recipients of the Community Action Award are:
2007 – Valley Greens
2008 –Citizens for Quality Health Care
2009 – Food Not Bombs
2010 – Coal Watch
2011 – Water Watch
2012 – CV Seed Savers
2013 – Dawn to Dawn
2014 – Gwyn Frayne
2015 – Walking with Our Sisters K’ómoks
2016 – Janet Fairbanks and Wayne Bradley

 

 

Trade/Corporate Power Agreements Update

1. North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

The Council of Canadians is calling for the removal of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions in NAFTA. NAFTA’s Chapter 11 grants private investors from one country the right to sue the government of another country if it introduces new laws, regulations or practices – be they environmental, health or human rights – that might cause corporations to lose their anticipated profits.

To the best of our knowledge financial services are not being negotiated in NAFTA, and financial institutions will not have access to ISDS claims under NAFTA, but the special ISDS power of large corporations to challenge our government’s policies is of great concern.

2. Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Financial services ARE part of the TPP package that continue to be discussed by Canada and the remaining TPP countries (the United States has withdrawn). The TPP would make it possible for the finance industry to challenge laws that could prevent another financial crisis. The TPP would:
• Require TPP governments to allow new financial products and services to enter their economies if these services are permitted in other TPP countries
• Constrain governments’ ability to ban risky financial products – including those not yet invented!
• Empower financial institutions to launch ISDS claims against governments.

3. Trade in Services Agreement (TISA)

The draft of TISA’s Financial Services chapter sets out rules that would assist the expansion of financial multi-nationals into other nations by preventing regulatory barriers. The US has been particularly keen on boosting cross-border data flow, which would allow uninhibited exchange of personal and financial data.

 

Beyond Banksters – What You Can Do!!

Organize, raise awareness, make these issues part of the national conversation!

Join forces with groups that are working to oppose privatization and corporate rights deals, promote public services (like postal banking), and raise awareness of financial alternatives: Council of Canadians, Friends of Public Services, Canadian Bank Reformers, COMER, the Public Banking Institute, LEAP manifesto… and many more…

Form a reading/discussion/action group for Beyond Banksters. Watershed Sentinel can will connect you with others in your area who are also interested.

Ask for a copy of Banksters at your public library or university/college library, or order your own to donate to friends/family/libraries.

Follow Beyond Banksters on Twitter and the Watershed Sentinel on Facebook to get and share news of the book and related issues.

Learn more & spread the word: Do your own research. Check out CUPW’s cool resources on Postal Banking – including great animated videos that you can share to explain how postal banking works and why we need it.

Sign the Council of Canadian’s NAFTA petition to the Prime Minister demanding that the government:

• Protect water by explicitly removing it as a tradable good, service or investment. We cannot leave our water vulnerable to bulk exports or privatization.
• Eliminate Chapter 11 investment provisions that allow corporations to sue governments over public interest laws or policies that hurt future corporate profits.
• Free Canada from the energy proportionality clause that locks us into supplying the U.S. with oil quotas that are destroying our environment and restricting real action on climate change.

Beyond Banksters Book Tour

newfeudalismJoyce Nelson, an award-winning author and researcher, is touring the Pacific Coast to discuss her latest book, Beyond Banksters: Resisting the New Feudalism. In Courtenay, she will be speaking at the Stan Hagen Theatre at North Island College on September 27 at 7 pm.

“Drawing on years of investigative journalism, Nelson weaves together a huge breadth of information,” said Delores Broten, publisher of Beyond Banksters. “She provides examples of effective resistance to the corporate power structure along with an acute diagnosis of its ills.”

Nelson will explore the ways corporations and private banks work together to expand the privatization of public infrastructure and services. Politicians have supported this process through laws, regulations and “trade” deals that benefit the global elite and their interests, while at the same time undermining the ability of citizens to challenge these trends.

As the billionaire class becomes more powerful, Canada’s ability to legislate in the interests of its citizens and of the environment becomes more limited.

“The neoliberal economic playbook continues to ruin our country, our planet, and our lives,” says Nelson. “ After 40 years, it’s pretty obvious that only beneficiaries are the super-rich Overlords. It’s up to us to change that.”

Nelson will highlight examples of resistance against this new state of feudalism, and will be reading excerpts from her new book, a sequel to Beyond Banksters, to be called Bypassing Dystopia.

Nelson is a regular contributor to The Watershed Sentinel, western Canada’s award-winning environmental news magazine, published here in the Comox Valley.

The Comox Valley Council of Canadians and Watershed Sentinel invite you to join us in what promises to be a fascinating glimpse of the major players who are working to privatize and control the world and what we might do to resist.

There will be an opportunity for questions after the presentation. Everyone is welcome.

Nelson’s book, Beyond Banksters will be available for purchase at the event for $20.

Doors open at 6:30 pm Event starts at 7:00 pm at the Stan Hagen Theatre, North Island College, Sept 27.

Donations are accepted at the door. FMI: Kathie at 250-334-4608

Details for each stop on the seven city tour are included below:

Victoria
September 25th @ 7:00 pm
University of Victoria, David Turpin Building (DTB) A104
Co-sponsored by University of Victoria Social Justice Studies
For more info: barbaramp60@gmail.com

Duncan
September 26th @ 7:00 pm
Mesachie Room, Island Savings Centre,
2687 James St., Duncan
For more info: dcameron@seaside.net

Comox Valley
September 27th @ 7:00 pm
Stan Hagen Theatre at North Island College
2300 Ryan Road, Courtenay
For more info: cvcouncilofcanadians@gmail.com

Powell River
September 28th @ 2:00 pm
Powell River Public Library
6975 Alberni St, Suite 100
For more info: pcocksedge@telus.net

Richmond
September 30th @ 7:00 pm
Ralph Fisher Auditorium at Richmond Hospital
7000 Westminster Highway
For more info: lynnbea@gmail.com

Chilliwack
October 2nd @ 7:00 pm
Sardis Library, 5819 Tyson Road
For more info: chwkcouncilofcanadians@gmail.com

Kelowna
October 3rd @ 7:00 pm
702 Bernard Ave (& Richter)
For more info: kareneh@uniserve.com

Book Tour for Joyce Nelson’s “Beyond Banksters”

“Always cutting edge, writer Joyce Nelson has penned a chilling dissection of the hidden-in-plain-view takeover of Canada by a global economic elite and their Banksters… Unfortunately, this is not fiction but reality, the sober blunt truth that politicians and the mainstream media spin and hide.“ John Stauber, author of Toxic Sludge is Good for You

The BC/Yukon Council of Canadians is excited to be organizing a book tour for the end of September with Joyce Nelson, author of Beyond Banksters: Resisting the New Feudalism.

In support of this highly anticipated tour, the Chapters need your assistance purchasing the airplane ticket from Ontario. Should you have Airmiles you would like to donate for this purpose, please contact the Comox Valley Chapter: cvcouncilofcanadians@gmail.com or call Kathie Woodley: (250) 334-4608.

There is exciting news regarding the book tour. In addition to Nelson discussing her recent publication, Beyond Banksters, she will be reading exclusive excerpts from her upcoming book slated for release this winter, in which she provides an update on the resistance around the world to issues outlined in Beyond Banksters.

Published by Watershed Sentinel Books in the Comox Valley, copies of Beyond Banksters can be ordered at here. There is also a short video about the book.

Author Joyce Nelson will be in the Comox Valley on Wednesday, September 27 – 7 pm at the Stan Hagen Theatre.

Meeting with MP Gord Johns

On July 7, 2017, the Comox Valley Chapter met with MP Gord Johns, Courtenay – Alberni, to present him with a copy of Maude Barlow’s “Boiling Point” and to discuss the Navigation Protection Act. We were fortunate to have him joined by MP Guy Caron, Rimouski-Neigette-Témiscouata-Les Basques, and leadership candidate for the federal NDP.

Both MPs were concerned about the disappointing recommendations from the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities on the Navigable Waters Act. They promised that their party would critique the government’s response, and that they would be certain that their critic Robert Aubin (Standing Committee Co-Chair) knew about our meeting.

MP Johns already had the book, told us that he was a “fan” of Maude’s and had been to a number of her events in Ottawa. MP Caron is a past staff member of the Council of Canadians, was very familiar with our materials, and said he was pleased to receive a copy of the book.

Caron suggested that Johns could consider preparing a private members bill (PMB) that would bring all the waters in the riding into the Navigable Waters Act. While a PMB may not actually get on the legislative agenda, it would make it possible for Johns to receive petitions about it and to raise awareness of the issue in Ottawa. The NDP apparently has a template for a PMB for the Navigable Waters Act. MP Johns asked that we and other Council supporters in this riding assist him in preparing this legislation.

Johns also asked that we support a Bill he is developing that would begin to regulate plastics dumping and clean up the oceans. He is working on legislation that would require a fee be levied at each harbour on all tankers carrying plastics, and then direct that fee to a program for ocean and shore clean up. He has asked that we be part of a consultation he intends to hold in the fall.

What a Night!

“What was declared as Canada’s national sport by our first Prime Minister, Sir John A MacDonald?

Just one of the 60 questions from Quiz Master Michael Walton that had participants scratching their heads and conferencing in whispers at the 11th annual Oh Canada! Team Trivia Night sponsored by the Comox Valley Chapter of the Council of Canadians.

The Chapter would like to thank the local businesses and individuals who generously donated door prizes and raffle prizes for the Comox Valley Council of Canadians’ 11th annual Oh Canada! Team Trivia Night: Quality Foods, Thrifty Foods, Dr. Chris Becir of Cumberland Dental Centre, Cristi Sacht of Elemental Energy Advisors, Comox Golf Club, Natural Pastures Cheese, Sure Copy, Dodge City Cycles, the Waverly Hotel & Pub, The Wandering Moose, Riders Pizza, Cumberland Brewing Company, Dark Side Chocolates,Seeds Food Market, Cumberland Village Bakery, the CV Farmers’ Market, Fiesta Greenhouses, Merville Organics, Tin Town Tacos, As you Like it Products and Catering, Dawn McRae of Custom Gourmet and the Filberg Summer Kitchen, Cori Sandler Pottery, Watershed Sentinel, Marusha Taylor, Jan Bruce and Theresa Mooney. Also to Bill Heidrick and Dan Bowen of Project Watershed for the K’omoks Estuary Walk, Dawn Copeman for the Cumberland walking tour and the Cumberland Museum & Archives. Their support is greatly appreciated!

We would also like to extend our gratitude to the great team at the Florence Filberg Centre who are a pleasure to work with and, as always, ensure every detail is attended to. The 11th Annual Trivia Night could not have happen without all the wonderful volunteers who worked tirelessly to bring the evening together. And lastly but not least, thank you to all the guests who made this fundraising event a great success with your participation, generosity and lightheartedness.

This annual fundraiser supports the Chapter’s work to promote positive social, economic and environmental change.

We look forward to welcoming you to the 12th Annual Oh Canada! Team Trivia Night.

Answer: cricket

 

Trivia Night Celebrates Canada’s 150th Birthday!

UPDATE May 28 – There’s still room for one more table…and individuals are needed by several tables. Registration info below.

Question: An iconic symbol of Canadiana, which animal attained official status as a national emblem on March 24, 1975?

To help get in the spirit of Canada Day and Canada’s 150th birthday celebration, the Comox Valley Council of Canadians is hosting their 11th  annual Oh Canada! Team Trivia Night. This highly anticipated event is taking place Saturday, June 10,  in the Rotary Hall of Courtenay’s Filberg Center – 411 Anderton Road. Doors open 6:00 pm with a 7:00 pm start.

The Oh Canada! Team Trivia Night is the perfect time for lovers of laughter, amusing facts and collectors of Canadian trivia to gather some brilliant (or otherwise) buddies, and prepare for a rousing, action-packed, trivia showdown of Canuck wisdom!

“Quizmaster Michael Walton has been gathering trivia questions that are guaranteed to challenge the wits of our most patriotic Canucks,” says Kathie Woodley, one of the event’s organizers. “We always enjoy an entertaining evening filled with laughter – and a few moans and groans – as we test our knowledge of all things that make us uniquely Canadian.”

The ‘only in Canada’ trivia questions will cover a range of topics, vary in degrees of difficulty, and as always, hold a few surprises. “This is a great opportunity to raise awareness of our country’s diverse history in an entertaining way,” says quizmaster Walton, “while also raising funds for the important work of the CV Council of Canadians.”

The evening also features a 50/50 draw, with proceeds donated to the Comox Bay Care Society Care-a-van, a non-profit, community funded mobile health unit.

A raffle, door prizes, refreshments and a delicious menu that includes Catherine Bell’s famous carrot cake round out the fun and fundraising of the Oh Canada! Team Trivia Night.

Whatever your current level of Canadiana expertise, this is a great chance to test your knowledge and challenge your recollection of Canada’s rich arts, cultural, sports and social history in an exhilarating community event.

Individual quizzers and teams of eight must pre-register by June 2 with Kathie Woodley at: (250) 334-4608 or: cvcouncilofcanadians@gmail.com. $12 per person includes a ticket for a chance to win one of the many door prizes. Saturday, June 10 at the Rotary Hall – Filberg Center, Courtenay – 411 Anderton Road. Door 6 pm, 7 pm start time.

Answer: the beaver

 

Water All-Candidates Forum

In our Valley, water issues are often in the news. Whether it is extreme rain and tides, boiling our drinking water, or dealing with summer shortages, more and more we find that water is something we need to pay attention to.

This is why several local groups have invited our provincial political candidates to an all-candidates forum focused on water. The public is invited to attend and hear what our potential representatives have to say regarding their plans to address water-related challenges in the Valley and province-wide. Attendees will also have the opportunity to ask questions.

The Water All-Candidates Forum will take place on May 2nd from 7:00 pm- 9:00 p.m at the Stan Hagen Theatre at North Island College.

Candidates confirmed to attend are Ronna-Rae Leonard from the BC NDP, Ernie Sellentin of the BC Green Party and Leah McCulloch of the BC Conservative Party. With the provincial election happening on May 9th, this will be the last chance to attend an all-candidates forum.

The event will encourage respectful dialogue. The moderator will be Bob Wells, a City of Courtenay Councillor who also serves on the Comox Valley Regional District Water Services Committee and the Drinking Watershed Advisory Group.

If specific questions are not answered during the main event, the candidates will be available subsequently to chat.

For more information contact info@cvconservationstrategy.org

This event is on Facebook and we welcome you to share it with your Facebook friends.

On behalf of the Comox Valley Conservation Partnership, Watershed Watch Salmon Society, the Canadian Freshwater Alliance, Comox Valley Chapter of the Council of Canadians, and The Watershed Sentinel Magazine

Take Action on Water!

3 petitions you can sign:
Stop Nestles Water Grab https://secure.canadians.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1899&ea.campaign.id=59428

Strengthen the BC Water Sustainability Act – Protect Community Water https://secure.canadians.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1899&ea.campaign.id=46959

Ban Fracking Now https://secure.canadians.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1899&ea.campaign.id=31179

Send your Letter Now: Though the Water Sustainability Act (WSA) delivers some gains and positive steps forward, it falls short of what it must do to put the needs of communities ahead of private interests, corporations and industries, and to protect the health and vitality of our precious BC waters.

The Chapter has put together a list of points to assist you in writing your letter. https://cvcofcanadians.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/a-stronger-water-sustainability-act/

Your Election Guide to Water Issues in B.C. http://canadians.org/blog/your-election-guide-water-issues-bc

Ensure that ALL candidates in your riding are aware of the issues that matter to you. Voters in the Courtenay-Comox Riding should contact:
Ernie.sellentin@greenpartybc.ca                                    Ronnarae.leonard@bcndp.ca
info@leahmcculloch.ca                                                   jim.benninger@bcliberals.com

Voters in the Mid-Island-Pacific Rim Riding should contact:
darren.deluca@bcliberals.com                                      alicia.larue@bcgreens.ca
scott.fraser@bcndp.ca

Write letters to the editor of your local paper: editor@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Be sure to exercise your right to vote!

Water Questions for All Candidates

BC Election May 9, 2017

1. The Water Sustainability Act establishes a legal basis for watershed planning on private and Crown Land, yet these provisions have not been implemented. Is your party prepared to take actions that will ensure that clean water in community watersheds takes priority over other land uses?

Specifically, in 2018 will your party implement:

a) regulations that protect water for nature, i.e. quality and flow(quantity)
b) rigorous and transparent monitoring of water quality and quantity – with a significant funding increase in budget 2018
c) systems to gather and monitor baseline information: map B.C.’s aquifers and watershed ecological and hydrologic formations – with funding in budget 2018
d) a phase out of bottled water takings in B.C and a review of commercial water use pricing
e) immediate, meaningful co-governance with First Nations, local governments, and NGOs
f) effective support for local governance for Comox Valley Watershed planning and conservation.

2. How would you uphold government’s obligation to obtain free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) from Indigenous communities on decisions affecting water under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples?

3. Will you support a moratorium on fossil fuel and coal tanker traffic along the entire West Coast?

4. Will you oppose any measures in trade agreements that promote the privatization of water services: in CETA, the new NAFTA, agreements with China and India?

5. Will you place a moratorium on fracking to protect communities and watersheds from the devastating damage it causes?

6. Will you suspend and stop construction of the Site C Dam? Instead will you invest in the many new, truly clean energy alternatives, such as wind, solar and geothermal that could be built on an as-needed basis and for far less money than Site C?

7. Will you amend or repeal the Private Managed Forest Lands Act to bring regulation of private forests in line with the Act that regulates forestry on Crown Lands?

** Questions compiled from Water Leaders Alliance, Cowichan North Watershed Conservation Group: and the Council of Canadians.