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Cowichan Conversations: North Cowichan Councillor Jennifer Woike Is Suddenly Flush With Creative Ideas

Don Maroc – Cowichan Conversations Contributor

NC Councillor Woike wants amalgamation with Duncan and to do away with the CVRD

North Cowichan Councillor Jennifer Woike is suddenly flush with creative ideas meant to save money for municipal taxpayers.

First she wants to amalgamate North Cowichan and Duncan as the first step toward a unified regional government.

On a different tack she wants to study the use of Public-Private-Partnerships (P3) for municipal infrastructure projects in general and building a new Cowichan Community Centre (now known as the Island Savings Centre) in particular.

Woike’s efforts to get a non-binding amalgamation referendum on the (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: North Cowichan Councillor Jennifer Woike Is Suddenly Flush With Creative Ideas

Cowichan Conversations: BC Environment Ministry Bully Local Government

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Earlier this week the CVRD held ’Public Meeting’ of sorts to hear response from locals regarding efforts by Fisher Road Recycling to expand their operation to sync with the compost facilities capacity.

The elected officials were unable to weigh in this a land use issue that is very much a part of their responsibility as elected representatives. They were limited by Bylaw 2570.

Locally regulations were first tweaked through Bylaw 2570 to deal with illegal operations with a local waste hauler, since departed.

It is important for taxpayers to know that once again our BC Liberal government has (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: The Threat We Face From Coastal Tar Sands (Videos)

These videos, and Richard Boyce’s commentary are exceptional capturing the rugged beauty of the British Columbia Central Coast and the route chosen by Enbridge to ship bitumen from Kitimat through some of the most dangerous water channels in the world.

The risks are undeniable, the breathtaking beauty under threat incomprehensible.

Layla Zoe singing ‘Our Native Land’is haunting and impacting.

View these most amazing and beautiful videos from Coastal Tar Sands

Cowichan Conversations: The BC NDP Leadership Race Is Rigged To Protect Status Quo

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

I just Facebook liked Lana Popham for BC NDP Leader. Now before you assess my support for her, it is beyond that.

The BC NDP needs a flat out gloves off brawl over the abandonment of anything remotely left of centre.

The inner circle has rigged the leadership race by requiring 25 Grand from candidates to enter. Even if you manage to scrape that together the spending limit has been raised to $350,000.00

This stullifys any chance of renewal by blocking a much needed broad based wide open contest that could produce ideas and a call (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: The Regina Manifesto (1933) Is A Look Back Forward Today?

Richard ‘Hub’ Hughes- Political Blogger

There has been a fair amount of chatter in the comments section following recent posts about the NDP.

Rob Douglas wondered if it was time to look southward, not to the US but to South America, where bold social and economic changes have taken place in Venezuela, Equador, Bolivia and Uruguay for example.

He also queried as to whether it was perhaps time to take a look back to a forward looking document the 1933 CCF Regina Manifesto.

I cannot help but wonder what Canada would be like today if the CCF had been elected (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Christy Clark’s Flatulent Gas Projections Leave Bad Odour

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Cruising through my daily blog watch I came across this interesting piece from the Common Sense Canadian.

Damien Gilles featured Mark Hume’s story from the Globe and Mail that casts doubt on the future surplus of LNG in BC.


Here is the full report from David Hughes an independent geo scientist without ties to government or industry via the Watershed Sentinel.

This underlines the importance of maintaining a strong responsible community of scientists and their knowledge. The sort of science that Steve Harper is trying to kill!



. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Christy Clark’s Flatulent Gas Projections Leave Bad Odour

Cowichan Conversations: Rafe Mair Took A Spill Downstairs and Broke His Neck-But Not His Spirit!

Richard Hughes Political Blogger

Yes, it has been sometime since we heard from one of BC’s frontline voices and advocates but Rafe took a spill downstairs and broke his neck.

He has been in hospital until a few days ago and is now back at home and on the mend.

Rafe is a fighter and although he will never celebrate his 80th or 81st birthdays again he will continue as best as he can as an, in denial, 82 year old.

Let’s hope that perhaps in spring we will be able to once again be reading his thoughts and insights (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Harper Invitation Only Meeting In Mill Bay Met With Significant Opposition

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Word of PM Stephen Harper speaking at a ‘Invitation Only’ meeting at Brentwood College in Mill Bay travelled quickly throughout the Cowichan Valley.

Up to 200 protesters representing a real cross-section of the community from young to seniors, trade unionists, environmentalists and strong colourful representation from the Native community made it clear that opposition to Harper’s push to ram Enbridge through and risk our coast was not on with this crowd.

Organized by Peter Nix’s ‘Carbon Busters’ protesters arrived prepared to ride out the weather and made sure that their message was seen and heard.

PM Harper (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Here Comes Steve! Harper at Brentwood College-Mill Bay Noon-1PM

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

It seems that PM Stephen Harper is visiting BC this week and will grace our Island tomorrow January 7th.

A protest has been planned by ‘Cowichan Carbon Busters’ and all concerned residents are encouraged to send him a message, with the greatest of respect of course.

Should be a good turn out and it will be good to see the many progressive concerned citizens who will be there at Brentwood College Main Entrance Gates to welcome our Prime Minister.


The Hon.Stephen Harper- Prime Minister of Canada

Cowichan Carbon Busters Citizen Rally on Jan 7

(Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Here Comes Steve! Harper at Brentwood College-Mill Bay Noon-1PM

Cowichan Conversations: Robyn Allan-“Pipelines and oil tankers: Economic cost and environmental risk.”

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Well respected Economist Robyn Allan has once again delivered the real story and has broken down the Enbridge Pipeline proposal for us.

Peter Ewart, blogger and journalist sent this link by email to be shared far and wide.

The cream is rising to the top over the battles present and future.

The calibre and dedication of opponents like Robyn Allan will be a large part of the battles and victories ahead.

This is very much a must see video. Watch broken down in bite size chapters or watch it straight through, but please watch it.


Cowichan Conversations: Save our BC Farmland-Kindred Spirits Speak Out!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Political life and involvement has its’ ups and downs , but between the garbage and the flowers I have been fortunate meeting and being inspired by ‘fellow travellers’ of many dimensions and persuasions.

I am grateful for these kindred spirits whose paths I have crossed and was reminded of the common thread that unites so many of us when reading Corky’s latest call to speak up over the looming threat to our once sacrosanct Agricultural Land Reserve.

Don Maroc Cowichan Conversations Contributor

Don Maroc sent me the You Tube link below featuring Harold Steves and I could (Read more…)

Song of the Watermelon: Vancouver Sun Letter

A few days ago, former BC NDP premier Dan Miller had an op-ed in The Vancouver Sun in which he criticized his party’s insufficient enthusiasm on resource development. As regular readers of this blog may be aware, I take a slightly different point of view. Please see here for my response letter in today’s Sun, in which I briefly discuss the environment and the economy.

Filed under: BC Politics, Environment Tagged: Dan Miller, NDP, Vancouver Sun

. . . → Read More: Song of the Watermelon: Vancouver Sun Letter

Song of the Watermelon: Referendums on Pipelines?

The longstanding “will they or won’t they” dynamic existing between BC premier Christy Clark and Alberta premier Alison Redford took a turn for the depressing recently when they announced they had come to a framework agreement on pipelines. While short on specifics and not making any firm pledges, the deal appears intended to bring Enbridge’s controversial Northern Gateway project, which seeks to transport diluted bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to BC’s North Coast for export, one step closer to fruition.

With Enbridge and its prospective pipeline gaining momentum, opposition to the plan is not far behind, and proposals abound (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: BC NDP at the Fracking Crossroad!

Kevin Logan-Cowichan Conversations Contributor

This weekend is a pivotal weekend for the future of British Columbia.

The stars seemed to have aligned as overlapping events occur simultaneously all of which pivot around the future of oil and gas for which our dear leader has tied our fortunes.

Another Round of secretive oil and gas meeting

First up PNWR is occurring against the scenic backdrop of Banff Alberta. PNWER is a secretive regional gathering that has a long history of forging political , legislative and economic leadership agendas.

At the top of this weekends agenda is an update on BC LNG, (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Nathan Cullen Will Not Seek BC NDP Leadership

Nathan Cullen NDP MP Skeena

Dear friends,

This is an open letter to supporters and allies who have been involved in some way in my decision regarding the BC NDP leadership race. I have decided to continue with my work as MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley and the larger work of realizing Jack’s dream to form the first NDP federal government in Canada in 2015. Tom Mulcair is continuing in those footsteps and proving that a determined and effective opposition can inspire Canadians.

I have made this decision with a greater depth and breadth of consultation and personal reflection than almost (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Our Cowichan Valley Medical System Needs a Shake-up!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Recently I visited the doctor about unexplained weight loss and was directed to have full blood tests which resulted in a positive reading.

I was told that this could indicate anything from minor bleeding to cancer.

An appointment with a specialist has been set for November 13th, nothing sooner and then I was told up to a two month wait for surgery.

Ten days ago, feeling poorly, I went to Cowichan District Hospital Emergency where I was examined and had X-Rays taken.

The results arrived at my Doctor’s office yesterday afternoon. Nine days to transmit 20 km. I could (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: There is going to be a “Revolution!” It’s going to happen!- Russell Brand

Richard HughesPolitical Blogger

In the last British Columbia election about half of the eligible voters did not bother to vote.

Russell Brand was not among them, but understands the thoughts of those who did not bother.

He was over in Britain sowing seeds of revolution and issuing a challenge to the same old-same old political machine that brought us to this point.

Here he is being interviewed and engaging in debate with Jeremy Paxman on the British TV program Newsnight.

Feeling a tad disconnected and estranged from the current state of affairs?

Check out this video, and ummm relax (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: BC’s Troubled Waters-Wilderness Committee Video Tells The Story

Cowichan Conversations: 2013 Cowichan Local Government ‘Stupid Awards’

Richard HughesPolitical Blogger

In an attempt to win back some of accolades and spotlight from the CVRD, North Cowichan Council has seen the CVRD’s mishandling of the contaminated soil issue, by convincingly raising them with a far reaching plan to situate important public services and building in the Somenos Marsh floodplan.

The judges are still processing this challenge through their state of the art ‘Stupid Machine’ but it hissed, bells rang, smoke started bellowing out and then it just died.

Is Shawnigan’s Director Bruce Fraser still in the lead?

Well, don’t bet on it. In spite of his focused (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: A Little Common Sense Goes A Long Way!

Richard ‘Hub’ Hughes-Political Blogger

Our friends over at the Common Sense Canadian, Rafe Mair and Damien Gillis are putting out some of the best journalism available in Canada today.

Running independent blogs helps keep the MSM and our politicians at all levels on their toes. It is important to all of us.

Rafe, Damien and a talented pool of contributors shine a light where there is often only darkness.

They provide the public with valuable information through posts, videos and interviews that are simply not otherwise available.

I support the Common Sense Canadian and I urge you to kick it what you (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Women Go Topless-Men Wear Bra’s

Women throughout the world participated in the 6th International ‘Go Topless Day.’

In downtown Vancouver crowds gathered some gawking, taking pictures, and of course many in support. There is something about women’s bare breasts that creates a wide range of reactions.

Many women see it has pure hypocrisy and are boldly challenging the laws and the customs

Videos and coverage can be seen here.

Cowichan Conversations: Fraser Institute Faces Ridicule Over Child Rearing Cost Study

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

The Fraser Institute lives to conduct self serving, right wing studies, analysis and such, generally designed to be instructive to the ears of right wing politicians and the eager and uninformed, while still being reassuring to the economically well to do set.

The MSM often suck it up as if it is the, ahem, business like posture that they are always quick to empower and validate, even when they are wrong.

Of course, much, if not most of the time, the Fraser Institute is full of it, and sometimes they are actually, other-worldly, so disconnected from working and middle (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: ‘Nobody Understands’ Spills at Alberta’s Cold Lake Tar Sands Operation

Richard Hub Hughes-Political Blogger

The pollution in Northern Alberta attributable to ‘Fracking’ and Tar Sands’ Operations is out of control.

The latest seemingly unstoppable spill of significance is devastating wildlife and the environment. They cannot stop it.

Nothing is being done and it seems obvious that the politicians first concern is to serve the industry, while lying their asses off to cover or minimize the damage to the local inhabitants, wildlife, farmland, rivers, lakes and streams.

Oil spills at a tar sands operation are situated on the traditional territory of the Beaver Lake Cree First Nation. The spill has been going (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Loren Duncan Explains How CVRD Directors Made Decisions on Salaries

CVRD Director Loren Duncan explains CVRD Salaries and Increases


Loren Duncan is a seasoned veteran of the CVRD Board Table who has been there through the changeover that followed the retirement of long time administrator Frank Raimondo.

In the past there were lively debates and the clash of ideas and values often produced a more in touch and accountable CVRD Board. Loren was often in the centre of those debated but not so much in recent years.

Director Ian Morrison has called for the provincial government to step in appoint an auditor to review salaries and such.

If such an (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: It is Time for the BC NDP to Clean House. No More Reviews are Needed.

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

I have been a member of the BC NDP since the early 70′s. Like so many others I have been on a full tour of duty including a ‘Mission Impossible’ run to be the Malahat Juan de Fuca MLA back in 2001.

Today we face yet another leadership crisis following the mind numbing loss on May 14th. Truly, Adrian Dix rescued defeat from the jaws of victory.

Few NDP leaders seem to know when it is time to leave.

The BC NDP, if it is to survive to become a meaningful political force again must shake the (Read more…)