July 27, 2015

“We are determined to protect this land for future generations, and in the process do our bit to shut down the toxic fossil fuel infrastructure that threatens all forms of living life on this planet.” -  Unist’ot’en camp

I recently returned from the 6th Annual Unist’ot’en Camp where a diversity of people came together to participate in and conduct workshops, continue the construction of the Healing Centre, and discuss how we could lend solidarity to the Unist’ot’en people fighting numerous oil and gas pipelines on their territory.

July 24, 2015

In B.C., public and media attention has been focused on water pricing and Nestlé’s water takings. In February, the B.C. government released water rates which ranged from $0.02 to $2.25. The rates, which take effect January 1, 2016 when the new Water Sustainability Act comes into force, are the lowest across any of the provinces in Canada.

There has been an overwhelming amount of public backlash against the low rates, particularly with Nestlé only being required to pay $2.25 per million litres, a total of roughly $600 per year for the 265 million litres they draw from a well in Hope.

(Photo of Fraser River in Hope, B.C.,CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Junichi Ishito modified)

July 24, 2015

(Exhibit A: Fear Mongering and Xenophobia For Votes)


In a ruling Thursday, the federal court ruled that the Charter rights of refugee applicants ( section 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms) are being violated by denying applicants from designated countries of origin (DCO) the right to appeal when their claims are rejected.  This provision of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (subsection 110(2)(d.1)) has been struck down as unconstitutional; the latest in a series of the Conservative government's xenophobic refugee policy overhauls to be refused by the courts. This ruling also means that in the near future there is a higher possibility of additional aspects of the DCO policies to be challenged in the courts.

July 15, 2015

California drought

Published in The Nation, July 15, 2015

For years, Americans dismissed dire water shortages as a problem of the Global South. Now the crisis is coming home.

The United Nations reports that we have 15 years to avert a full-blown water crisis and that, by 2030, demand for water will outstrip supply by 40 percent. Five hundred renowned scientists brought together by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that our collective abuse of water has caused the earth to enter a “new geologic age,” a “planetary transformation” akin to the retreat of the glaciers more than 11,000 years ago. Already, they reported, a majority of the world’s population lives within a 30-mile radius of water sources that are badly stressed or running out.

July 14, 2015

As I stood on the beach and looked out across Vancouver’s English Bay it was an otherwise beautiful view punctuated by a dozen tankers with bright lights polluting the darkening sky. It was the night before the first of 10 democracy town halls the Council of Canadians was about to hold from coast to coast from April 30 to June 24, in partnership with CUPE, Unifor, PSAC, and the Directors Guild of Canada.

The shadows had grown too long as the sun set to see the residue from the oil spill there three weeks earlier. Yet the risks of tar sands expansion and increased tanker traffic coupled with the real costs of cuts to the local coast guard remained all too clear.

In Vancouver, austerity means an oil-soaked coastline, leaving the general public to clean up the mess of nine years of government cuts. This spill is one of a long list of warning signs that highlight why this government is past its best before date. And it’s one of a long list of reasons why people across the country are increasingly saying it’s time for change.