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Comox Valley chapter opposes pay-for-plasma clinics, P3 for local wastewater system, the TPP

Village Market Day in Cumberland

The Council of Canadians Comox Valley chapter highlighted key issues of concern at Village Market Day in Cumberland on May 21.

A local website notes, “This annual street market and spring celebration is a fantastic venue for local merchants, artists, artisans, crafters and creators, community groups, home based businesses, musicians & performers of all sorts to share their wares, show off their goods or tell their stories! Live music and hands on art projects are all part of the fun! Community non profits receive a special rate to share their stories and projects. A special invitation is extended to artists, experimentors and community organizations to bring an Elevate vibe to the Village streets.”

A Comox Valley chapter blog notes three key issues they highlighted that day:

1- “Interested passers-by signed up for the Chapter’s monthly e-newsletter and signed BC Health Coalition letters to Health Minister Terry Lake asking him to ban pay-for-plasma clinics in BC. There were also letter writing tips and contact information for those who were interested in writing their own letters to the Minister.”

24 Hours has reported, “Opposition to the pay-for-plasma model has sprung up in response to private enterprise Canadian Plasma Resources announcing its desire to expand into B.C. It operates one clinic in Saskatoon, paying donors who provide plasma and using it to produce pharmaceutical products.” Global News adds, “In March, Health Minister Terry Lake said he was open to allowing a pay-for-plasma clinic in British Columbia.” And News 1130 notes, “The federal NDP has also called on Ottawa to ban private, for-profit plasma clinics, citing safety concerns.”

2- “In collaboration with CUPE, information flyers were distributed encouraging residents to vote no to a 30 year contract with an unknown private corporation in an upcoming referendum on a much needed local wastewater system. Information was provided on the concerns around corporate control of wastewater systems, as well as options that could be considered.”

The Comox Valley Record notes, “A referendum for the south sewer project will be held June 18, as approved by the regional district board. The multi-phase project includes construction of a new centralized wastewater (sewer) collection system and water resource recovery facility…” That newspaper has also noted there is a pending commitment from P3 Canada of $13.3 million for the project. A regional district backgrounder further explains, “In the interest of finding the most cost-effective option for the development of this infrastructure, the south sewer project team has identified a partnership with the private sector (public-private partnership) as a means of making this project affordable to property owners.”

3- “In a joint campaign with the Dogwood Initiative, contact information was collected from people who want to be reminded to attend a public meeting and to complete an online survey as part of the public input component of a new tree by-law being drafted by the City of Courtenay.”

The Dogwood Initiative has previously noted, “On [February 15], Dogwood Courtenay will ask our local council to act – to put climate change mitigation front and centre. We will ask the council to support our planning department in crafting an ambitious tree protection by-law. Its a small, but significant signal that this council is willing to do its part, and its one with lots of benefits for the way our community handles growth.” The groups are asking that the City set a 45 per cent canopy target for the region, but Courtenay Mayor Larry Jangula says the City already has a strong tree bylaw.

The chapter adds, “Later in the day, members of the Chapter carried the Council of Canadians banner in the Comox Valley March Against Monsanto.”

This global day of action, which sees protests in more than 400 cities around the world, expresses opposition to the transnational corporation’s toxic herbicide glyphosate, their genetically engineered ‘Roundup Ready’ seeds (designed to be resistant to glyphosate), and their Bovine Growth Hormone (which is injected into cows to increase their milk production).

And on May 11 the chapter also held its first “Chapter Chat”.

The chapter notes, “About 30 people attended to find out more about the campaigns the Chapter is involved in – and why they are important to our lives as citizens of the Comox Valley, British Columbia, Canada, and of the world. Members of the Health Care, Corporate Rights (“trade”) Agreements and Electoral Reform teams outlined the work being done by the Chapter in these areas, followed by small group discussions. Letters were written on the TPP and banning pay-for-plasma clinics in BC. We plan to hold Chapter Chats several times a year and hope you will come to the next one.”