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  1. Today
  2. Excellent article by David Broadland drawing attention to the deceitful way in which Teal Cedar tries to draw attention away from its main products by emphasizing its production of guitar tonewood. Readers might also be interested in looking at the website and blog of Big Country Cedar Distribution, based in Washington State, which distributes cedar shakes and shingles across the US. The company states that “Our Cedar shingles and shakes are manufactured from fine, old growth timber from the West Coast” and “Due to the higher abundance of old growth cedar trees to the North, the quality of timber Teal harvests is superior to what most US manufacturers can get.” Cedar shakes and shingles may look nice, but are not necessary and are also a fire hazard unless treated with potentially toxic fire retardants. We should not allow BC’s magnificent ancient red cedars to be cut up into small pieces that have no justifiable use.
  3. Yesterday
  4. I trust that our government will handle this "mink crisis" in the same robust fashion as it handled Site "C"....? As an aside, Leslie, the very first letter to the editor I had posted some 60 years ago was in Maclean's Magazine - and was on this very topic of fur "farming". The essence of the letter said it wasn't needed then, and (if anything) it sure isn't needed now!
  5. Last week
  6. New cases of COVID-19 have been found on another mink farm—and government is taking action. Here's the government press release just in (bolding mine): Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries INFORMATION BULLETIN Mink test positive for SARS-CoV-2 ABBOTSFORD - Two mink have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans, on a farm under quarantine after it had mink test positive in May 2021. Five additional mink samples from the same farm have initially tested positive at the B.C. Animal Health Lab, with final results pending from The National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease in Winnipeg. The two positive mink were identified through a co-ordinated wildlife surveillance project led by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, in co-operation with the One Health Working Group. One of the main objectives is to assess the potential for virus transmission to free-ranging animals from an infected premise. In this instance, four mink had escaped their cages and were captured on-farm. As a result of the latest infections, a provincial health officer's order has also been issued to all mink-farm operators in the province, placing a moratorium on any new mink farms in B.C. and capping existing mink farms at their current numbers. The order is effective immediately. Each farm is required to report the total number of mink, both breeding stock and non-breeding mink, to the provincial health officer and the medical health officer in their health authority. The Province is conducting a review of its policies and regulations with respect to fur farms, while ensuring the recommended mitigation measures are in place and enforced to protect both public and animal health. Three B.C. mink farms have had mink test positive for SARS-CoV-2 since December 2020. All three remain under quarantine, with no mink being moved to or from the properties. Fraser Health, WorkSafeBC and the Province continue to ensure biosecurity measures are in place to protect workers and families on mink farms, as well as making sure each farm is taking all necessary precautions to reduce the risk of spreading SARS-CoV-through human-to-animal or animal-to-human transmission. The nine B.C. mink farms, all located in the Fraser Valley, employ approximately 150 workers. The exact locations of mink farms are not being released as per Section 16.1 of the Animal Health Act, which prohibits the disclosure of information that would identify a specific place where an animal is located. Learn More: Provincial health officer's order on mink farms: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/covid-19/covid-19-pho-order-mink-farms.pdf
  7. Rainforest Flying Squad Also Concerned with Cutting of Trees July 25, 2021: Like RCMP Chief Supt. John Brewer, protestors at Ada’itsx / Fairy Creek are also gravely concerned about the felling of trees. In fact, this concern is the reason they have been blockading Fairy Creek and other areas in the Port Renfrew region, on Pacheedaht traditional territory, for nearly one year now. Although Premier Horgan deferred logging in June for two years, at Fairy Creek and in the central Walbran, forest defenders say this was no victory. Deferrals are not protection. Meanwhile, our last fragments of old-growth forests continue to disappear at the rate of 30 soccer fields per day on Vancouver Island alone. And BC Timber Sales is auctioning cutblocks at an even greater rate than previously.. Despite its promises last year to fulfill the Old Growth Strategic Review recommendations, the NDP government still has not protected these precious and irreplaceable forests. Elder Bill Jones, the Pacheedaht elder who welcomed the Rainforest Flying Squad to his territory to protect the old growth, said he does not disapprove of protestors cutting down small second-growth trees in order to protect the old growth. (See his statement, below.) “I express my support to the young people to hang in there to protect and care for the old growth,” he said. Elder Bill emphasized that the greater concern is the protection of the old growth forest. These ancient forests have been proven by science to provide countless benefits to humanity and the planet, from providing oxygen, filtering water, retaining moisture, cooling and cleaning the air, to providing rich habitat for countless species – far more than any second-growth forest can do. Retaining old-growth forests is also considered one of the best ways to mitigate climate change. So we are very glad to hear that the RCMP share our concern. Protestors said they did cut some small trees down on Saturday to block a road near Waterfall Camp at Fairy Creek. Their action slowed the RCMP from reaching forest defenders who were chained into structures. In fact, it enabled the group to take back 1.5 km of ground that was previously lost to RCMP at Waterfall Camp, and helped protect nearby camps.. “Yeah, cutting trees is awful, and that’s why we’re here,” said one. Another added that if the blockades were to fall, all those trees and many more would either be cut down or considered weed species and killed with pesticides by the logging company. While RFS works to halt the logging of old-growth trees, it does support continued second-growth logging. RCMP also accused protestors of risking forest fires with the use of chainsaws and because one person was seen smoking a cigarette as he sat on a tripod on a gravel road. Elder Bill had instructed protestors not to smoke outside of cars, and that has been re-emphasized. RFS members instituted a strict fire safety protocol last month. When they need to cut wood, they use hand saws or battery operated chainsaws to reduce fire risk. However, protestors note that RCMP have been using angle grinders, which create sparks, during extractions, and have also used chainsaws themselves to clear the road. RCMP have also cut down trees themselves at Waterfall Camp when they moved the excavator off-road to get past protestors who are chained into “hard blockades.” Despite the extreme fire risk, loggers are still felling trees just 10 km away for road-building in the Bugaboo area. Among the thousands of people who have demanded that BC halt the logging of old-growth forests are the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, more than 100 well-known Canadians such as Bryan Adams, Neil Young, Adrienne Clarkson, and Brian Mulroney, as well as Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, UBC professor Suzanne Simard, scientist and author Diana Beresford-Kroeger, countless citizen petitions, 223 international scientists, and numerous municipal councils, including Cumberland, Courtenay, Lantzville, Comox Valley Regional District, Metchosin, Powell River, Port Moody, Saanich, Nanaimo, Victoria, and the Local Government Association of BC. Solidarity rallies and protests have been held regularly in Victoria, Nanaimo, Vancouver, Squamish, Tofino, Prince George and even Toronto. Last month, the Sierra Club of BC released the results of a survey that found 85% of British Columbians want old growth forests protected. Clearly, we and the RCMP are not alone in our concern for trees. Elder Bill Jones’ statement: “They’re only cutting on the right-of-way, which will be cut again anyway. That’s common practice.” He said loggers refer to the young trees at the sides of roads as “dog hair”, and when they get in the way of logging trucks they are mowed down or uprooted and put to the side. “It’s not really something to make a mountain out of. It’s not a threat to the ecology. It’s okay with me. It’s not an offence to me, or anyone.There’s miles and miles of second growth on rights-of-way that’s simply mowed down. “I don’t pretend that the Pacheedaht or any mankind owns the old growth. I feel the old growth belongs to the Great Mother and it’s our duty -- and all our duty -- to protect and care for it. Whereas the company and the loggers are using every little excuse to impair and deface our intentions of saving the old growth. “They seek to embarrass us, and they’re using every means possible that they can create to harm our honest intentions, of caring for our old growth. Whereas they have the grim intention of cutting it down. “I express my support to the young people to hang in there to protect and care for the old growth. My grandfather said the forest doesn’t belong to anybody; the forest is the forest’s. It’s a separate energy that includes us in its growth. Grandpa said we’re not owners of the forest, and we have to ask what the forest gives us. “In order to respect the forest we have to protect and care for the last of the old growth. Essentially, the kids are actually doing that, by using what they feel our Great Mother lets them use to help our Great Mother protect and care for the last of her old growth. My assertion here isn’t so much economic or legal, it’s a spiritual assertion that the old growth are spiritual energies in themselves that nurture and care for us, and give us direction. “The usage there is for the sake and for the protection of the old growth. “I congratulate them. They don’t mean harm.”
  8. How many people though, would vote Green, if neither the NDP nor Liberals can do the job?
  9. I erred in the above quote. It was Ecojustice that initiated the complaint. Anthony Britneff, and five others, signed on as one of the complainants.
  10. I agree with Sally Two-Feathers in that whites were not welcome here. It is time for all indigenous tribes to get together and create a process to begin taking back lands and removing whites from Canada. Forcibly if necessary. Remove all racist and self-entitled Caucasians to where they came from, or at least push them into America where they might feel more at home. However, I ask all indigenous First Nations to let blacks and Asians stay in your traditional lands. As someone original from occupied Aztlan, I did not feel right in Canada and left. To quote Dr. Kamau Kambon, "The problem is white people." https://youtu.be/Hb0fYWl5b48 Sincerely, A Mestizo product of Spanish raping Nahua/Aztec women.
  11. Forestry in BC has never been sustainable and with leaders like Premier Horgan and Forest Minister Conroy it is unlikely it ever will be. Not only are we not sustaining forest ecosystems but we are also cutting more timber than the forest can provide. And have been doing this year after year after year. A serious timber supply crunch is coming. David Broadland has done a fine job of explaining this: Thanks to Hans Tammemagi for this article and also Anthony Britneff for initiating the complaint to the federal Competition Bureau. An additional point I would like to make has to do with the idea that forest companies are planting monocultures. As much as I dislike the way our forests are "managed" in BC, I can not criticize the forest companies for planting monocultures. They actually plant a mix of species that are best suited to the ecological parameters of the site. Also, in many areas of BC, nature has provided monocultures - it is not necessarily a bad thing.
  12. This letter would be awesome to send with lots of signatures.
  13. until
    Kimberly Kiel brings to life the vivid colours and energy of Fall in her signature style of impasto painting. “The crunch of leaves underfoot, the sound of water nearby... elements I can never get enough of and love to capture in paint.’ – Kimberly Kiel The Avenue Gallery 2184 Oak Bay Avenue Monday - Saturday: 10am - 5pm, Sunday 11am - 4:30pm
  14. Excellent, and damn the RCMP yet again. I fear that they have no concern for their future image though- it certainly didn't matter to them back when they were stealing indigenous children from their mothers!
  15. That, is an understatement! This piece of crap, and I am being polite, which the City is entertaining for Harris-Green cannot be underestimated as soul sucking. I watched this as it happened in Vancouver as a 20 year resident of Strathcona/Chinatown, yes the reknowned DES (with a hiatus as an arts administrator here in Victoria for eight years at the turn of the century) and it was disappointing to watch developers and engineers, not architects, destroy Vancouver: views, natural landscape, human-proportioned architecture, Modernist history of its recent past and its soul. It will happen here due to inexpensive land compared to T.O. and Vancouver. It is coming and politicians can be bought. Not necessarily with money, but kowtowed into joining with the developers to bring the city so-called 'tax dollars' that will never appear because of back room deals. Stop it now!
  16. Switch from sustainable degenerative logging to sustainable regenerative logging. Say No to deforestation. Say Yes to proforestation. NOW.
  17. "We thought your purpose is to serve and protect Canadians. Instead, you have used your paramilitary force of trained personnel, helicopters, tracking dogs, threats and intimidation with increasing brutality and harshness." See the Open Letter to the RCMP from the Rainforest Flying Squad, and it's lengthy, disturbing rapsheet.
  18. July 22, 2021 Dear RCMP: Remember the letter the Rainforest Flying Squad sent you back in mid-May just as the RCMP enforcement at our camps began? Remember how we asked you to mind the lessons of your past, at both Wet’suwet’en and TMX, and how we pledged ourselves to uphold our commitment to non-violence? How we asked you not to target Indigenous members and to respect our right to peaceful protest? We kept our promise. You didn’t. Here we are now into our third month of enforcement still face to face with your paramilitary CIRG unit and the list of your infractions is long. In an astoundingly short period of time, you have amassed quite the rap sheet that includes, but is not limited to: Deliberate targeting of Indigenous youth in exclusion zones and subjecting them to rough treatment and intimidation during arrests. The use of exclusion zones despite the RCMP Commissioner’s direction that these zones are illegal. The use of personal searches despite the RCMP Commissioner’s direction that these practices are illegal. The use of access checkpoints despite the RCMP Commissioner’s direction that these practices are illegal. Denial of media access to enforcement zones. Refusal to allow RFS legal observers and police liaisons to do their jobs. Catch and release programs designed to intimidate people for such offences as refusing to abide by your imaginary exclusion zones. The use of threats of rubber bullets, tear gas and arrest to intimidate Indigenous and non-Indigenous defenders. Dangerous use of excavators while extracting human beings from sleeping dragons, causing one head injury and putting people’s lives at extreme risk. Refusal to provide safety helmets to defenders during these dangerous extraction practices. Dangerous use of grinders, cutting a woman’s finger. Illegal towing of private citizens’ vehicles on public roads far from the camps. Illegal practices of giving personal vehicles to Teal Jones to be held for unreasonable towing fees, along with personal items. Illegal stoppage of buses and legitimate tour operators. Deliberate failure to heed the enforcement order of Justice Verhoeven that allows public protest in the enforcement area. Confiscation of donations meant for camp defenders. And perhaps one of the worst offences: dragging a man by a bandana around his neck until he lost consciousness and kicking him in the head – this after the BC Supreme Court rendered the decision about your illegal actions. Surely, inflicting harm or death on peaceful protesters is against the law and your ethics. We thought your purpose is to serve and protect Canadians. Instead, you have used your paramilitary force of trained personnel, helicopters, tracking dogs, threats and intimidation with increasing brutality and harshness. We have noted the presence of officers previously engaged in harmful practices. We remind you that we are Canadian citizens, entitled to conduct peaceful acts of civil disobedience and bound by a Code of Conduct we take to heart and employ every day to protect our forests. On July 20, 2021, the BC Supreme Court confirmed the illegality of some of your actions, stating that the public has the right to access the Fairy Creek area, and that your geographically extensive exclusion zones and checkpoints are not justified. Also on this day, the BC Supreme Court ruled you cannot deny media the right to access the enforcement areas. To deny the media is to deny their ability to bear witness and document events in an impartial manner, one of the very foundational rights of our democracy. And just so we are perfectly clear, we will continue our peaceful protests as citizens, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, of this country. In this time of increasing government and corporate partnerships that fail the public interest, we, as Canadian citizens, have a duty and a right to defend our forests. We remind you that we are standing for the old-growth forests on your behalf as well as that of your children. We ask you to think about how you wish to be remembered in the coming years. Regards, The Rainforest Flying Squad
  19. Great article Stephen. It seems that we are all waiting for the great government in the sky to bring down edicts that will result in the mitigation of global warming. Of course we will then rebel because “no one wants to be told what to do.” We must all do as much as possible, each one of us. Last year we installed a heat pump to replace an oil furnace. It feels good and also saves us a lot of money. This year our plan is to replace our car with EV or Hybrid.
  20. The last two sentences in this comment should be taken to heart!
  21. Thank you Gene, you are right on as usual. Frankly I think we have the worst new architecture in the world here. It’s completely uninspired and lifeless. There are marvellous new and creative buildings being put up in other cities all over the world. Clearly no developer, architect or City Council member has ever had the curiosity to explore what is being done elsewhere.
  22. until
    Join this outdoor event in Oak Bay, on the Bowker Creek walkway between Hampshire Road and Armstrong Avenue. Enjoy meeting artists at work, music, a BBQ fundraiser and the Recreation Oak Bay kids’ art tent.
  23. I certainly love the way Mr Miller stirs the pot of our collective sensitivities. Such is the stuff of good journalism. Bravo Focus magazine. Like Gene, I have been in Victoria more than 40 years after seeking respite from the social and industrial 'ugliness' of a different city. I feel the squeeze of the shrinking middle class and the misfortunes of those who have completely fallen through the social safety net (whatever that is). Everything changes and while I have no right to a private garden city oasis, it did feel very much like that here for a very long time... so there is loss of course. What can be done to accommodate the wealthy and not-so-wealthy Canadians and Internationals who (naturally) want to be here with us? In short, leadership with integrity and the highest level of city planning . I agree with Gene that we fell down harshly on the planning account. The citizenry that voted for and represented leadership groups over the years are all complicit. So here we are. There is loss and damage and social inequity. What to do? Well it's never too late for quality leadership on many fronts. What could that deliver to a city and its culture? I like to reference Rome where the best thing about the Vatican is that it was deemed early on that no building could be taller that St. Peters Cathedral. The result is 3 million people living together without those cold square towers full of micro apartments. Rome remains one of the most visited and charming cities on Earth. In Victoria we still have a chance. The park, the harbor, the green spaces and plazas provide the great bones. The skeleton no longer in the closet however and staring us in the face is the social inequity debacle. Unfortunately or not, wealthy Victorians hold the keys to the kingdom that could be. It has to be private money held and managed in a sustainable trust to provide the disadvantaged what they need, period. No easy task, but the money is there if there is the leadership and willingness. Tax dollars alone are severely restricted by infrastructure needs. As Gene has mentioned before, developers must be taxed to supply the necessary sustenance of beauty mixed with at least a modicum of affordability. It could happen. What would allow leaders to step up?
  24. “methane—it’s the largest component of natural gas and it’s 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. ” It is actually a little over 80 times as effective on the human time scale relevant to us now. In the atmosphere methane reacts slowly with OH, the hydroxyl radical, in a series of reactions, to form carbon dioxide and water; this takes decades; it is after this that the 25 figure is appropriate. For reasons unknown, Natural Resources Canada has been using the 25 figure - this is not appropriate.
  25. Drove through Saanich yesterday - obligatory look at Sidney - and charmed by the open fields and thick forest groves. Who knew that all this beauty is under such threat? The threat is the same old devil that's driven a stake into livable cities everywhere - greed.
  26. How about "pulling the wool over a generally disinterested public's eyes"? Doesn't "roll off the tongue" especially well, bit I consider it accurate...
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