Went up to Shawnigan Lake's Save Our Water Rally. Here's the nub of it from Bruce Fraser's site, www.fraserforshawnigan.ca
Well over 200 Shawnigan residents gathered on March 25th to show their disapproval of the South Island Aggregates proposal to reclaim their rock quarry, located in the headwaters of the Shawnigan watershed, with contaminated soil. What they witnessed was one of the rarest political events ever seen in British Columbia.
The sitting NDP MLA for Cowichan, the nominated candidates of the Liberals, Conservatives and Greens, the elected Area Director for Shawnigan and the Regional District Board are now on public record as rejecting the SIA proposal. This remarkable consensus is made more stunning because it has been crafted on the eve of a provincial election in which the four provincial candidates will be squaring off over the many hot issues that separate their party platforms. All have declared that the threat to the Shawnigan Watershed is a non-partisan issue, a matter of common environmental concern.
What is truly perplexing is that the current provincial government is persisting with formalizing the offending permit, now in draft form, but soon to be allocated in final form. All who have submitted comments to the Ministry of Environment have been given three short weeks to review the conditions of the complex permit but the ministry has indicated that the permit itself is not in question. The Minister of Environment has made it clear that the ministry has a legal obligation to review the SIA application and that he will defer to the technical judgment of staff. The Shawnigan community cannot believe that this also means an obligation to actually allow a contaminated soil facility to be placed in a major drinking water source against universal opposition. They certainly cannot understand how the most senior elected leadership in the province can avoid acting to protect such a crucial resource, clearly the most central responsibility of a Ministry of Environment.
The big story of the SIA project is surely about allowing a corporation to take the lucrative risk of contaminating a community watershed with a brew of industrial chemicals. It is also about dropping such a bomb a few short weeks before a provincial election when a government dissolves and elected leadership lapses. It is most certainly about the rejection of the consensus of every elected and aspiring leader of the Shawnigan community, The Cowichan Regional District and Cowichan provincial riding. This is about to become a spectacular miscarriage of democracy that should make the blood run cold in communities throughout the province. It is a situation that desperately needs to be corrected immediately by the Premier and her Cabinet before the opportunity is lost to create a truly inspiring and creative democratic response to a vulnerable community.
Madame Premier, carpe diem, do the right thing.
Between 100-150 Victorians came out Sunday to voice their opposition to the unilateraly imposed installation of so-called 'Smart Meters' by the publicly owned power utility, BC Hydro. The meters are a hot-button issue with health, privacy, and government accountability activists, and the evidence backing the objections of these disparate groups grows stronger by the day. That may be the reason Hydro is moving at break-neck speeds to have the, estimated, $750 million project. Irksome too, this program was slid in by the governing BC Liberal party with minimal public consultation, and excluded oversight by the BC Utilities Commission, whose function is to hold the Crown corporation to account.
With municipal elections looming, and a provincial poll predicated by law before next summer, this could be a paradigm-shifting issue for British Columbia.
Resistance to the so-called Smart Meter project foisted upon the citizens of British Columbia without the benefit of public input, and through a special disqualification of the B.C. Utilities Commission, the governmental body that would normally oversee such a broad project, is spreading. Activists have taken their objections to municipal bodies, asking that they ask the provincial government exercise the Precautionary Principle, and heed their local jurisdictional duty to protect the health of the polity.
We leave the usual show format for today's special look back at the year that has been in this country, and take a peak at a few things we might expect for the coming year. There will be music and blatherskyting, and Victoria Street Newz publisher and CFUV broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will drop by too.
You needn't be a soothsayer to see; Canada as we know it today has changed mightily since joining America and its "International Community" declaration of war against all the Peoples living either above, or along the transport routes of, coveted mineral wealth. It is a necessarily perpetual war, or at least, one that will last until either that mineral wealth is depleted, or the expense of taking and defending it militarily breaks the economic back of the new Imperium.
Hope that any kind of American moral renaissance might change its martial course abroad, or amend its ruthless economic policies at home under Barack Obama's administration, has withered in the bare light of the Democrats' complete corruption, and revelations of their leader's intransigent pragmatism.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, 104.3 cable, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://GorillaRadioBlog.blogspot.com
This Week: Damien Gillis is an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker, environment defender, indefatigable investigator, and a deep thorn in the side of any who would threaten the survival of his native Pacific coast. Damien has just released his latest film, 'Oil in Eden: The Battle to Protect Canada's Pacific Coast.' Common Sense Canadian, Damien Gillis in the first half.
Ken O'Keefe was here in Victoria speaking of his vision for a just resolution to the Israeli occupation of Gaza, and of his experience aboard the Turkish flagged cruise ship, the Mavi Marmara which was stormed by Israeli commandos May 31st of this year. That unprovoked attack resulted in the murder of nine peace activists, at least four of them executed as they lay wounded on the decks of the ill-fated ship. Ken O'Keefe and a survivor's tale in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher and CFUV broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us newz of Victoria's street community giving thanks, and more. But first, Damien Gillis and 'Oil in Eden: The Battle to Protect Canada's Pacific Coast.'
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, 104.3 cable, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, www.pacificfreepress.com.
Check out the GR blog at: http://GorillaRadioBlog.blogspot.com
G-Radio is dedicated to social justice, the environment, community, and providing a forum for people and issues not covered in corporate and state media. Gorilla Radio airs live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 102FM, 104.3 cable, and on t