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Cowichan Conversations: Shawnigan Forestry Rezoning Flies in the Face of The Community Plan — It Should Be Tabled Until After the Election

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Shawnigan’s Advisory Planning Committee unanimously rejected the plan to rezone F-1 Forest Land to Residential allowing the developer to develop 28 lots in exchange for protecting some wetlands that are already protected by the Ministry of Environment.

Outgoing Director Bruce Fraser plans to advance this rezoning at the ‘Special Board Meeting’ this Wednesday.

If the scheduled order of meetings had been maintained then the new board would be dealing with this controversial issue. It will be special alright. Strategically planned to allow time to jam this through and who knows what other surprises await us on (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Transportation After Fossil Fuels: A Decade Away?

Once upon a time, I rode the maglev at the Japan pavilion at Expo 86.

Since then, I’ve come to see that that was the Commodore Vic 20 of high speed travel. What’s the new standard? ET3.

So if you’ve been having a hard time imagining a post-carbon transportation system that would run on the electricity we’d glean from the wind and the sun, and cost about as much as one year of Air Canada’s gross revenue [$12.4 billion in 2013], start grinning when you read the quote at the bottom.

We could even fund it federally with a (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Dig faster!!!

Shorter Greg Rickford: It has come to my attention that after eight years of propagandizing for pipelines and demonizing anybody who points out environmental concerns, nobody considers Conservatives to be even faintly credible in protecting the public interest. But I’m sure we can win people over with my bold new strategy: another year of propagandizing for pipelines while demonizing anybody who points out environmental concerns.

Cowichan Conversations: Balme/Ayr Gravel Pit Proposal Panned-Public Meeting

Davis Indge

By David Indge

After attending Thursday nights meeting on the Balme/Ayr pit proposal, it is clear they have a plan, they just do not know how they are going to execute it and what to do if things go wrong. That bodes ill for the entire community.

Mr. Brian French stated in his PowerPoint there has been a lot of miss-information spread about the Balme/Ayr proposal. As things progressed, we quickly learnt where some of the miss-information was coming from.

Mr. French stated they were derailed by a “legal technicality” which is at best, obfuscation of the facts. (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: How to Spot an Ecology Troll

Start with an oil spill apologist/minimizer. Work with the twisted logic that since all ships and oil tankers don’t crash all the time, any concern over one that might [and our government's pathetic incompetence in prevention and disaster-aversion] is eco-hysteria. Pay any attention to and RT anything Ayn Rand. Then spot allied apologists.

Then follow the timelines:

[Timeliness note: as of 115pm, the third tow line on the Simushir snapped, so nothing's safe yet.]

Here's a real crude tanker, off Victoria Golf Course, carrying Alaska crude so no story #haidagwaii pic.twitter.com/04bOWy5xCo

— Tom Fletcher (@tomfletcherbc) October 18, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Transit Should Be Free; Until Then…

$1/day is a good start to get there.

It’s good for the environment. It reduces commuter stress. It forces governments to increase progressive taxation to cover infrastructure costs. It uses BC’s cheap hydro electricity. It combats rampant zombie consumerism. The post-secondary UPass system has improved commuting incredibly.

So $1/day is a good start to get there:

Mayoral candidate Meena Wong of COPE launched another populist proposal Wednesday, calling for a universal transit program that would cost each of Vancouver’s citizens $1 per day.

– from Universal transit in Vancouver for $1 a day, pitches mayoral candidate July 9, 2014 How (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Balme Ayr Gravel Pit Proposal– Public Meeting Thursday Night 6PM-Cobble Hill Farmers Institute Hall

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

The Balme Ayr Gravel Pit application is turning into an ‘Never Ending Story’ –

Length of proposed operations sent to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) was for 15 years and was approved, but wait a minute, now they tell Energy & Mines that it is for 30 years.

I am sure that the ALC will be interested in learning that.

The names of the applicants have also been changed and one wonders what Energy & Mines is doing processing such a flawed application and why they are slated to appear at the proponents ‘Public Meeting’ this Thursday (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Earth’s magnetic field could flip within a human lifetime

An intriguing possibility was reported on Science Daily this morning: Earth’s last magnetic reversal took place 786,000 years ago and happened very quickly, in less than 100 years — roughly a human lifetime. The rapid flip, much faster than the thousands of years most geologists thought, comes as new measurements show the planet’s magnetic field […]

Cowichan Conversations: Expect Crazy High Fruit and Vegetable Prices Soon in B.C.

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

The drought in California has become a serious threat to their ability to continue to grow the food demanded by their export market.

At the same time fruit and agriculture production has dropped in BC. Many of us grew bumper crops in our own gardens this last summer and it is a good thing for those able to dry, can and freeze their bounty.

Looking at the bigger picture our provincial governments have shunned investment and assistance to farmers and we lack processing facilities that could encourage large, small and even backyard growers lessening our dependence on (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Shawnigan Lake Residents — Idle No More

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Shawnigan is located at the south end of the Cowichan Valley Regional District and for a number of reasons seemed somewhat detached from the local government headquarters in Duncan.

A great many of the residents are Victoria commuters, others were mainly summer time residents and so the blend even with the full time residents results is a somewhat unique duality with ties to both Duncan and Victoria.

A couple of years back a ‘Garbage Transfer & Recycling Drop Off’ aka the ‘Eco Depot’ was thrust upon the buccolic rural Cameron-Taggart neighbourhood and the residents wanted no part (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- The Star criticizes the Harper Cons’ selective interest in international cooperation – with war and oil interests apparently ranking as the only areas where the Cons can be bothered to work with other countries. And Catherine Porter reports that the Cons have demonstrated their actual attitude toward global cooperation and development by making huge cuts to foreign aid.

- Geoff Dembicki interviews Corinne Lepage about France’s rightful resistance to oil lobbyists. But while it’s well and good for individual countries to register their willingness to stand up to the fossil fuel industry, that (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Mr. Harper, listen to the Commish

She’s your commissioner, Mr. Harper, appointed under your watch. She is a former mining industry executive, the kind of credentials you respect. So when she speaks, pay attention. And she recently spoke loud and clear.

As federal Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Julie Gelfand heads her department’s Fall 2014 report, which is not at all pleased with your

Cowichan Conversations: Politics, Hockey, Fall Sitting at the BC Legislature and Local Elections-Game on!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

We are moving into autumn, our glorious climate change driven summer is wrapping up even though our confused tomato plants refuse to stop providing even more ripe tomatoes.

Last night our beloved Vancouver Canucks warmed our hockey deprived souls with a win in the season opener against the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome.

BC NDP Leader John Horgan is determined even as he is smiling.

Our BC Legislature has been a scene of activity featuring accusations and highly partisan posturing in a rare fall legislative session is in gear. NDP’s new leader John Horgan finally has the (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Look at This Landscaping Called Xeriscaping

California is suffering a huge drought due to horrible water use policies and climate change. For some reason people love to have lawns where they naturally shouldn’t exist, this itself leads to massive water wastage and arguably microclimate issues. Thankfully, perhaps people are beginning to understand that their landscaping is a sad attempt to modify their built environment. A better solution than an artificial environment is a natural one. Xeriscaping may be a good solution to reduce water waste. Check out how it can replace lawns with aesthetic and naturally pleasing solutions.

The Canadian Progressive: 70 of Canadians support a national moratorium on fracking: POLL

A new poll commissioned by the Council of Canadians reveals that an overwhelming majority of Canadians oppose fracking, support “a national moratorium on fracking until it is scientifically proven to be safe.”

The post 70 of Canadians support a national moratorium on fracking: POLL appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Eugene Lang discusses the importance of fiscal choice in the lead up to the 2015 federal election. And Don Cayo reminds us that the Cons’ determination to hand free money to the wealthy – most recently through income-splitting and increased TFSA limits – means that everybody else has to pay more for a lesser level of public service.

- Jordan Press reports on the latest conclusions from Canada’s Environment Commissioner, who finds the Harper Cons predictably doing nothing whatsoever to meet greenhouse gas emission targets. And Karl Nerenberg looks at the Environment Commissioner’s (Read more…)

reeves report: NDP propose tough rules for importing Asian carp

On Oct. 1, New Democratic MP Brian Masse from Windsor, Ontario introduced a private member’s bill calling for tougher action and better coordination across Canadian governments in the fight against Asian carp.

The bill would make it illegal to import Asian carp — or “invasive carp,” as Masse calls it in his remarks — into Canada unless the fish is dead. And, to make sure border guards aren’t fooled by fish on ice that later spring to life in water, the fish must be eviscerated. Through a change to the Fisheries Act it would also forbid the inter-provincial transportation of (Read more…)

Larry Hubich's Blog: The Water

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: SaskPower Carbon Capture and Storage Goes Online Late, Over Budget

I must print a “correction” to my piece in April when I reported that the SaskPower CCS plant was on time and online. The plant went online late last month, two seasons after it was scheduled, to deal with an apparently surprise asbestos attack.

While the final costs are still being calculated, Mr. Watson acknowledged the project is over budget. Last fall, that overage was pegged at $115-million, or 9 per cent.

“The project aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by one million tonnes annually, which amounts to about 90 per cent of the emissions from the plant.” (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Linda McQuaig discusses who stands to lose out from a CETA designed to limit its benefits to the corporate elite. And PressProgress points out that Canada’s pay gap between CEOs and workers is higher than that of any other OECD country other than the U.S.

- Meanwhile, all indications are that the Canadian public is more than ready for a change in direction, as EKOS finds a significant shift toward more progressive positions in the past few years even on many of the issues where the Cons have focused the most (Read more…)

ffibs: A clear and present danger

Filed under: Cartoons (Single Panel), Environment, Non political

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Moby Dick, The Manufactured Man, and the Fate of Humankind

“The permanent constitutional condition of the manufactured man … is sordidness.” So says Captain Ahab of Moby Dick. And Melville was right. This is what we are fighting. We are fighting the manufactured condition of man, and attempting to regain our true nature. That is not romanticism by the way, but an expression of the […]

Things Are Good: Norway Pays to Protect Liberia’s Forests

Deforestation is killing the planet and has been linked to the current ebola outbreak. Still, many places (Canada included) cut down hectares of land as if it’s nothing. Norway is apparently sick of tho attitude and has made a deal with Liberia to protect their woodlands.

“We have funded efforts in Indonesia and Brazil, but I think this is the first time we have entered a deal on a country level.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Norway will help Liberia to initially build up the capacity to monitor and police the forests.

Liberia will refrain from issuing any (Read more…)

Susan on the Soapbox: Premier Prentice Fast Tracks Flood Mitigation

It started with another “feel good” press release.

On Wed Sept 24, 2014, Premier Prentice announced that he was proceeding with two flood mitigation projects. He’ll divert the Highwood River to protect High River and create a dry reservoir in the Springbank area to protect Calgary.

Then it all went pear-shaped.

“Don’t Damn Springbank”

The residents, businesses and community organizations in Springbank, Bragg Creek and Redwood Meadows roundly condemned the Springbank dry reservoir project.*

Mr Prentice

They rejected Mr Prentice’s assertion that it was better than the original proposal pointing out that one community should not be destroyed to (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Sunday reading.

- Frances Russell notes that the corporate sector is laughing all the way to the bank (and often an offshore one at that) after fifteen years of constant tax slashing, while Canadian citizens haven’t benefited at all from the trickle-down theory. And Jordan Weissmann points out that a recent survey on CEO pay is just the latest example of Americans both severely underestimating the level of inequality in their country, and still preferring a far more equal distribution of wealth.

- Elisabeth Babcock writes that in addition to providing a reasonable standard of living, (Read more…)