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Cowichan Conversations: Injunction Sought: SIA Attempt to Muzzle Shawnigan Folk Hero ‘Shemama’ Shelagh Bell Irving



SIA and ‘Shemama’ Shelagh Bell-Irving-A Study In Contrasts


The South Island Aggregates (SIA) outfit is a classic example of greed driven capitalists without conscience. They have little if any concern for their

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Cowichan Conversations: Dr. Valorie Masuda –“If We Feel (Hospice House) Is Important, We Have To Build It,”


By Peter W. Rusland

Peter Rusland-Contributor

Tears and heartfelt memories followed Cowichan Valley Hospice’s passionate plea for the regional board to help local folks die with dignity in a purpose-built palliative-care facility.


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Cowichan Conversations: Joan Baez-I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night!

Cowichan Conversations: Malahat LNG: When “Getting Things Right” Goes Wrong.

Steelhead LNG officials said all the right things during the press conference announcing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project at Bamberton in the Saanich Inlet. Their intention is to build respectful, relationships with their

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Cowichan Conversations: The CVRD is trying raise the Electoral Area ‘E’ financial contribution to the Aquatic Center by 313 percent.

The following is a ‘Guest Post’ from Loren Duncan, a longtime CVRD Director who represented Glenora-Sahtlam-Cowichan Station.

Director Loren Duncan warns that the taxpayers are watching.

Notice to electors within electoral area “E”: An

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Cowichan Conversations: Steelhead LNG-Malahat Nation Plans Proceed While The Chief Michael Harry And Council Have Resigned!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

We may be in the throes of a Federal Election and trying to enjoy the last few weeks of summer but the Steelhead LNG-Malahat Nation proposal to establish a floating LNG

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Cowichan Conversations: Rafe Mair’s ‘State of the Union’ on Canadian environmental politics


Rafe Mair’s take on the state of Canada today is compelling, instructive and a reality check for those of us following the federal elections through the lens of the sad sack tattered media.

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Cowichan Conversations: Malahat Nation and Steelhead LNG to Announce an LNG project.

Cowichan Conversations broke the story of an impending LNG Project announcement August 9th.

Today the announcement has been scheduled for Thursday, August 20th 2015 at 10AM.

On Thursday, August 20th, 10 am, the Malahat Nation

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Cowichan Conversations: North Cowichan Prepare To Empty And Then Refill Their Massive Aquatic Centre Pool During Drought

CHEK TV and CBC News ran stories about the Island Savings Aquatic Centre (The Cowichan Community Centre Pool)- being drained and then refilled.

North Cowichan Mayor Jon Lefebure

This is outrageous when residents and

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Cowichan Conversations: A glimpse into the unexplainable and unwarranted CVRD firing of Bob McDonald

Originally published in the South Cowichan Echo. Posted with Peter Rusland’s permission

By Peter W. Rusland

Peter Rusland

A veil of legal secrecy concerning severance of several Cowichan region staffers was lifted in documents

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Cowichan Conversations: Opinion: Will future of food be an election plank?

This piece comes from the Edmonton Journal and applies to all of Western Canada, very much including our Cowichan Valley. We can look back and see significant increases in our food production and array of

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Cowichan Conversations: The CVRD Has Amended Their Petition Over Bylaws To Halt SIA’s Contaminated Site Facility

Here is the CVRD’s late Friday release. In communications circles late Fridays are the time to deliver unpleasant news, firings, and the like.

I spoke with CAO Brian Carruthers and he confirmed that the change

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Cowichan Conversations: Steves–BC Doesn’t Need Site C Dam

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

It is incredible that our BC Liberal government, prodded along by the foreign owned LNG corporations, are still pushing ahead with building a massive Site C Dam.

We do not need

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Cowichan Conversations: Who Killed The Cowichan News Leader Pictorial?

Cowichan Conversations: *Big Idea No.2: Anchor Institutions*–Rob Douglas-Roger Hart On Local Economic Development in the Cowichan Region.

Rob Douglas and Roger Hart have rolled up their sleeves and prepared economic development options for Cowichan that are a refreshing alternative that makes a good deal of sense. Well worth the read and your

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Cowichan Conversations: You Can Change The World- Pied Pumkin-Joe Mock-Rick Scott & Sherri Ulrich- A Timely Classic

Cowichan Conversations: Should political parties get inside information on whether you voted or not? – Part 1 By Peter Ewart

Peter Ewart


Peter Ewart offers thoughtful well researched and reasoned posts on

This 4 part series takes a look at issue of identifying those voters who cast ballots and that information is

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Cowichan Conversations: This Alberta Election Is Actually Exciting! Will A Shift to the NDP Hold?

Rachel Notley setting the pace

We are living in tumultuous times and shifts can, in such circumstances, turn into tidal waves sweeping out the old and embracing the new. But new as in New

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Cowichan Conversations: Harper, BC Tory MPs have oil on their hands from English Bay spill

Richard Hughes-Cowichan Conversations

It is when events like the recent bunker oil spill in English Bay take place that the value of independent writers, thinkers, and bloggers like Rafe Mair display their real value.

Here is Rafe’s take on this mess in English Bay that has spread around the harbour.

It is a disgusting, but only a drop in the bucket to what lies ahead if we do not put a halt to the insane notion of shipping oil, refined or compressed from Tar sands products, through our coast and harbour.

Whether it be by water or rail the certain accidents will (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Artificial Turf Controversy Fuels Dispute Over Health Concerns In North Cowichan

Don Maroc

Michelle Hutton-Marinier, in a letter to the Cowichan Citizen newspaper, voices her disappointment n North Cowichan Council’s decision to delay for a couple of weeks signing a contract to install an artificial turf field to replace one of the grass soccer pitches on Sherman Road.

Her son plays for the U13 team in the Cowichan Valley Soccer Association. She downplays the possible health concerns of using some artificial turf, noting only the dangers of suffering concussions.

When North Cowichan Councillor Robert Douglas requested taking a short timeout to study the health consequences for players, especially young children, using (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Charlie Smith’s Memo to Keith Baldrey: Democracy is Already Imperilled

Richard Hughes-Just another Political Blogger

MSM legislative Global TV guy Keith Baldrey is a master on Twitter. He is not without a developed sense of distortion, as is clear in this provocative deviation from reality highlighted in Charlie Smith’s memo below.

In truth, the blogosphere is multi dimensional in its coverage, much of it well researched and penetrating, going places where the MSN would be strangers.

Bloggers seldom need to pander to government or corporate advertisers. Certainly in my case as I do not carry ads, few do.

Here is a partial list of alternate sites and blogs for readers to peruse at their (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Time to Regulate the News Media

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

The Tyee’s Associate Editor Shannon Rupp wrote this thorough analysis regarding the state of the media, published in August 2014.

It seems timely to post it once again when on Vancouver Island we could soon be facing Black Press papers from one end to another.

In the Cowichan Valley where two papers the Cowichan Citizen and the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial competed, more for advertising that news coverage, we could soon see Black owning both papers.

He may fold one, probably the News Leader where the staff have been on strike for over 100 days. Represented by Unifor, (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: A Look Back To Loren Duncan’s Stated Concerns About Runaway Senior Staff Salaries

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Longtime CVRD Director Loren Duncan put his concerns about CVRD senior staff salaries on record in June 2013. As a semi recovering politician I have an appreciation for not only his insight but for stating it publicly.

The group or table dynamics are such that it is difficult to break ranks, but it is essential that elected officials remember and speak for the citizen residents who they were elected to represent. Loren did that often and for those who think that is easy, I assure you that it is not.

Loren Duncan’s Letter June 2013

By Loren (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Naomi Klein- ‘The Economic System We Have Created Global Warming’

Naomi Klein

I am beginning to detect a growing trend towards changing the capitalist economic model from one in which profit is the only priority to one in which wellness is the priority, and profit must be made within that paradigm.

The fact that this interview should appear in one of the most prestigious and influential German publications just as the European powers are meeting to address climate change, should not go unremarked.

Can we still stop global warming? Only if we radically change our capitalist system, argues author Naomi Klein. In an interview with SPIEGEL, she explains why the (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Will Maroc and Wallener Find Common Hi Tech Ground In Cowichan?

Don Maroc

by Don Maroc

Damir Wallener is a charming guy, he’s hip to high-tech, understands high-risk financing, and is currently busy pushing Silicon Valley type development for the Cowichan Valley.

No one in the Cowichan area would disagree with him about finding ways to keep our kids near to home after they complete secondary school.

We may have trouble competing with educational institutions like Stamford, Cal Tech, UC Berkeley, and hyper-high-tech jobs like those at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab but UVic, VIU, and Camosun could give it their best shot.

Like Damir, most everyone would like to see our (Read more…)