2017 Community Action Award

The 2017 Community Action Award was presented to Project Watershed at the Comox Valley Council of Canadians AGM.

This award is presented annually to an individual or organization that has demonstrated progressive action in our community and promotes the values endorsed by the Council of Canadians. Recent recipients include Janet Fairbanks and Wayne Bradley, Walking with Our Sisters K’omoks, and activist Gwyn Frayne, posthumously.

A non-profit environmental society, Project Watershed’s mission is to “promote community stewardship of the Comox Valley watersheds through education, information and action”.

“In doing so”, noted Chapter member Linda Safford, “they are protecting our shared environment, our commons, for the public good and future generations.”

Bio-remediation to protect Baynes Sound, salmon studies and enhancement on the Puntledge River, eel grass restoration, salt-marsh construction, and the lagoon breech at the Airpark are a few of the many initiatives Project Watershed has spearheaded over the past 24 years.

Their current undertaking, Kus-kus-sum, is one of the largest, most high-profile initiatives in local conservation history. It is a partnership with the K’omoks First Nation and the City of Courtenay to “unpave paradise” and restore the former Fields sawmill site on the Courtenay River to estuary saltmarsh and riverside forest. The name Kus-kus-sum honours an early First Nations village in that area.

“After more than a century of industrial service and decline in ecological function, we have the chance to live with this section of river in a way that’s better for everyone,” said Chair of Project Watershed Paul Horgen, who accepted the Community Action Award on behalf the organization.

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LINK ARMS WITH US

FISH FARMS OUT From First Nations’ Unceded Territorial Waters

Support the Observers!

In late August, First Nations people of the ‘Namgis, Mamalilikala, Lawit’sis and Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw began observing two Marine Harvest salmon farms on Swanson and Midsummer Islands in their traditional Broughton Archipelago territories. Their actions sound alarms about:
• the collapse of the west coast wild salmon population
• governments’ inaction on the U.N. Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People. They have never given their consent for these farms to operate in their territories. They are calling on governments not to renew Marine Harvest’s licenses.

Donations:
• Swanson Observers: https://www.gofundme.com/maya-xalaxan-sawinakola\
• Cleansing Our Waters: https://donorbox.org/fish-farm-occupation-fund-1
• c/o Alexandra Morton: www.gofundme.com/last-stand-for-wild-salmon

Petition:
“Remove Open Net Fish Farms From Our Waters” You Lead Now Petition.

TAKE ACTION !!

Call on Marine Harvest and governments to drop Marine Harvest’s application for injunction against the observers.

Call on provincial and federal governments to NOT renew Marine Harvest’s licenses on the contested farms.  Sample letter

Do not buy farmed Atlantic salmon.

Who to contact:
• Hon. John Horgan: premier@gov.bc.ca (250) 387-1715
• Hon. Lana Popham,AGR.Minister@gov.bc.ca (250) 479-4154
• Hon. Dominic LeBlanc, Oceans, Fisheries & Coast Guard: dominicleblanc@parl.gc.ca (613) 992-1020
• Ian Roberts, Marine Harvest: communication@marineharvest.com (250) 850-3276

On-going Information:
• Midsummer Island Observers: www.cleansingourwaters.com; www.facebook.com/fishfarmsgetout/
• Swanson Island Observers: www.facebook.com/kwakwabalas
• Alexandra Morton: www.facebook.com/alexandramorton.wildsalmon/
• Comox Valley Supports Cleansing Our Waters: www.facebook.com/groups/512585169103558/
• Comox Valley Council of Canadians: www.facebook.com/ComoxValleyCouncilofCanadians/

 

Chapter Youtube Channel!

The Comox Valley Council of Canadians has launched a YOUTUBE CHANNEL!

The first post, Link Arms With Us, is the inspiring video shot while covering our trip to the Broughton Archipelago. We are standing in solidarity with the First Nation observers at Midsummer Island, who are now facing the next step …. in Courts … as Marine Harvest seeks an injunction to end the peaceful occupation of the fish-farming facility.

“For me it was one of the most powerful actions I have participated in, in my many years of activism,” says Dawn Christian of PDAC.

Please view this powerful video, subscribe and like it at: https://youtu.be/clSAJUl-jLU

Thank you to Clayoquot Action for their great photography and Ed Carswell for editing Link Arms With Us. Together and in gratitude to Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw Cleansing Our Waters and Molina Dawson thank you for standing so strong for all of Canada.

Council of Canadians Stands with Wild Salmon Defenders

The following is a solidarity statement from Maude Barlow, Honorary Chairperson of the Councilof Canadians:

“The Council of Canadians stands in solidarity with the wild salmon defenders, water protectors and observers of the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw and Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nations.

We honour the strength and spirit of those who have been at Midsummer and Swanson Islands since August.

We recognize that these islands in the Broughton Archipelago off the north-eastern tip of Vancouver Island are unceded territories.

We hear the strong voices from these Indigenous communities who are sounding the alarm about the collapse of their food fishery, and the health of wild salmon and the ocean itself. This concerns all peoples and species on this coast, and across the country.

We recognize that the presence of Norwegian-owned Marine Harvest fish farms on these territories is a violation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples(UNDRIP), notably the right to free, prior and informed consent.”

The Council of Canadians will be asking its chapters, members and allies to support the following demands and actions:

* Premier Horgan and Prime Minister Trudeau engage in ‘nation-to-nation’ negotiations with the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw and Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis nations who are united in their legitimate demand to have these Atlantic salmon farms removed from their territories.

* The federal government to support independent scientific reviews on the environmental impacts of farmed Atlantic salmon, to have their promise to implement UNDRIP at the forefront of their engagement in this issue, and to act responsibly within their jurisdiction over fish farms to stop the spread of disease and the impact of sea lice on wild migrating salmon.

* The British Columbia provincial government to respect UNDRIP and not renew the licences for these fish farms when they expire in June 2018.

* Marine Harvest to remove their Atlantic salmon farms from these territories.

* All supporters of indigenous rights and wild salmon to stop purchasing farmed salmon.

We stand united with wild salmon defenders to protect the waters of the Broughton Archipelago and the Fraser River.

Salmon Confidential: Solidarity and Fundraising Event

Salmon farms on the BC coast have catapulted to the top of the political agenda, as increasing controversy and pressure from wild salmon defenders now dominates the news. To support awareness at this critical juncture in BC coastal history, the Comox Valley chapter of the Council of Canadians will host an encore screening of the 2014 documentary Salmon Confidential on Thursday, Nov. 16, 7pm at the Stan Hagen Theatre at North Island College.

The film was produced by Twyla Roscovich, the young BC filmmaker who died earlier this year in Campbell River. Her provocative film follows biologist and coastal icon Alexandra Morton as she tackles the multinational salmon farming industry and contests government science which maintains, despite her evidence to the contrary, that Atlantic salmon farming is safe for the ocean and our food supply.

Continue reading

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 observing 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. Continue reading

Stop Site C

site-cA new poll conducted by Insights West, sponsored by readers of DeSmog Canada, found that 73 per cent of British Columbians support sending the Site C dam for an independent review of both costs and demand, as recommended by the Joint Review Panel in its 2014 report.

Seven in 10 respondents supported pausing construction of Site C to investigate alternatives to meet future power demand.  http://www.desmog.ca/2016/11/16/video-70-british-columbians-support-pausing-site-c-dam-construction-poll

It’s not too late to stop this project!  Use the letter writing points and contact info in the link below to tell the BC and the federal government to put Site C on pause. site-c

LFG Townhall Video

Liquefied Fracked Gas: Risky Economic and Ecological Business. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RE2ND6CTIek&feature=youtu.be

lng-tankerA video of the townhall event with Emma Lui, national water campaigner for the Council of Canadians and Ben Parfitt, policy analyst for Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

The BC government has made extravagant claims about the benefits to British Columbians regarding LNG development – but were they just election promises? Realistically, how many jobs will be created? The lower global prices, an increased supply of natural gas on the market, and a tax and royalty regime that has been roundly criticized for favouring industry, will there be any significant economic benefits for British Columbians? What will the consequences be for our environment and for Canada’s climate change commitments? How does the Site C dam fit into the picture? What are the effects of fracking on our fresh water supplies?

Thanks to Kayla McDonald Video Productions and Chris Smith of Heavyset Media for donating their time, equipment and expertise to the Comox Valley Council of Canadians in the making of this video.

LFG Townhall Update

lfg-768x512The federal Liberal government’s recent approval of the massive Pacific Northwest LNG project poses a grave threat to one of the most important wild salmon habitats in Canada.

Aboriginal groups and SkeenaWild are preparing to launch a series of legal actions against the construction of this liquefaction facility off the Flora Bank where 80-90% of Skeena’s salmon and steelhead have their nurseries.

SkeenaWild and the Skeena Corridor Nations, a powerful group of hereditary leaders from Gitanyow, Lax Kw’alaams, Wet’suwet’en, Gitxsan, Takla, Lake Babine and Haida, are exploring all political and legal options to obtain long-term protection of the Skeena River estuary and the salmon run that forms the economic, social and cultural foundation of life in the area. Continue reading

Liquefied Fracked Gas: Risky Economic and Ecological Business

The recent approval of the massive Pacific Northwest LNG project has intensified debate about BC’s economic and environmental future.

The BC government has made extravagant claims about the benefits to British Columbians regarding LNG development – but were they just election promises?

Realistically, how many jobs will be created?

The lower global prices, an increased supply of natural gas on the market, and a tax and royalty regime that has been roundly criticized for favouring industry, will there be any significant economic benefits for British Columbians?

What will the consequences be for our environment and for Canada’s climate change commitments?

How does the Site C dam fit into the picture?

What are the effects of fracking on our fresh water supplies?

These are some of the questions that will be answered at the Comox Valley Council of Canadians town hall, Liquefied Fracked Gas: Risky Economic and Ecological Business, Thursday, October 27, 7 pm in the Rotary Room of the Florence Filberg Centre. Continue reading

Open letter to Liberal Cabinet on recent push to support tar sands pipelines

This morning Prime Minister Trudeau and Liberal Cabinet members received an open letter endorsed by over 40 Canadian organizations representing hundreds of thousands of people, calling on them to reject the pressure to champion tar sands, or oil sands, pipelines.

Most notably, this pressure has come from both Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

The open letter challenges key myths being used to support the false argument that more pipelines will fix Alberta’s economic woes and emphasizes the very serious risks presented by the projects and the viable alternatives we have.

Click here to read the whole letter and list of endorsers, including the Comox Valley Chapter.