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

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.

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: 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.

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


Medicare in Crisis

medicare umbrellaOn Thursday, April 16, 7-9 pm, the Comox Valley Council of Canadians presents a screening of Medicare in Crisis. This film, by local videographer Dan Peruzzo, focuses on current threats to Medicare, such as underfunding and the increasing pressure by both the federal and provincial governments to privatize our health care services.
The post-screening discussion will include an update on the court case launched by Brian Day’s for-profit clinic and the possible consequences of this legal action. Continue reading

Another Radical Canadian!

photo1In 2012, when Don Munro heard then Natural Resources Minister, Joe Oliver, slamming “environmental and other radical groups” that were getting in the way of forestry, mining and energy projects, he thought, “That’s me!” He and wife Pam worked with a local store to design an iconic t shirt that quickly sold out.
Coal Watch picked up the idea (that the Munroes were more than happy to share) and sold three more batches to raise funds for the fight against Raven Coal.
Back by popular demand, Comox Valley Council of Canadians is selling these t shirts once again – this time to raise funds for the First Nations who are fighting against the Enbridge pipeline. What a great Christmas present – perfect for wearing every Canada Day…and every other day!
Call Kathie at 250-334-4608 or email
Unisex sizes S, M, L, XL $25