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Stephen Hume

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  1. The greatest risk to our coasts is not oil tankers, but all the other marine vehicles that carry oil—from tugboats to BC Ferries and container ships from China. ENCOUNTER THE DIABOLICAL AFTERMATH of an oil spill and the evil consequences it inflicts upon wild creatures and the sacred spaces they inhabit and you can never forget. It’s three decades now since I retrieved oil-soaked seabirds from the coastline that reaches from Sooke Harbour to the mouth of the San Juan River at Port Renfrew—what’s now the Juan de Fuca trail with its iconic tourist brochure beaches Mystic, Chin
  2. Posted November 27, 2020. Image: The weir on Cowichan Lake A reprieve for the Cowichan River offers a rare good news story. Go to story
  3. A reprieve for the Cowichan River offers a rare good news story. PERHAPS IT’S A GOOD MOMENT to let our attention drift from the pandemic-propelled collapse of the Trumpian snake-oil-sales dystopia to the south and the daily litany of coronavirus woes across Canada to some good news that promises to yield benefits long after our current griefs have receded into gloomy tales for grandchildren. After decades of dithering, hand-wringing, seemingly interminable committee meetings, political buck-passing, corporate two-steps and protests from curmudgeonly self-interest groups, it lo
  4. Posted October 29, 2020 Image: Father Charles Brandt at the hermitage Father Charles Brandt, who died in late October, was a tireless advocate of the idea of nature as a sacramental commons in which all living things, including us, have dignity and place. Go to story
  5. Father Charles Brandt, who died in late October, was a tireless advocate of the idea of nature as a sacramental commons in which all living things, including us, have dignity and place. Father Charles Brandt at the hermitage near the Oyster River THE LAST TIME I went to see Father Charles Brandt, who died of pneumonia in Campbell River on the morning of Sunday, October 25, a stiff southeaster had come blustering up from Seattle and was pushing around a high tide. White-laced rollers hissed over the shallows off the Oyster River estuary, the same shoals on whi
  6. Posted October 27, 2020 Image: This is happening all over BC right now; forest companies are burning half of the forest they just chopped down. Exuberant denialism and magical thinking characterize our response to both emerging viruses and the climate and biodiversity crises—and their root cause. Go to story
  7. Exuberant denialism and magical thinking characterize our response to both emerging viruses and the climate and biodiversity crises—and their root cause. This is happening all over BC: A forest company burns half the public forest it just chopped down, adding to the climate and biodiversity crises, and quite possibly creating conditions from which the next pandemic will emerge. THE PREDICTED SECOND WAVE of the coronavirus pandemic appears to be arriving right on schedule although Vancouver Island has so far won a thankful reprieve. The rest of British Columbia, ho
  8. Posted September 30, 2020 Photo: Washout of the Mt Polley mine tailings pond. A proposal for Indigenous “guardians” to act as the eyes and ears on the land provides a dramatic win-win for resource management. Go to story
  9. A proposal for Indigenous “guardians” to act as the eyes and ears on the land provides a dramatic win-win for resource management. BRITISH COLUMBIA TAXPAYERS are probably on the hook for a $100-million bill to clean up an abandoned copper mine on the northwest coast that for 67 years has been leaching acid runoff into a rich trans-boundary salmon river critical to the Douglas Indian Association of Alaska and the Taku River Tlingit First Nation in BC. And that’s just the start. The public cost of remediating the environmental impact across the province of similar abandoned mine
  10. Posted August 12, 2020 Image: Tubers on the Cowichan River Local residents are outraged by the disruption of wildlife and peace, and fear the introduction of COVID-19 from the revellers. Go to story
  11. Local residents are outraged by the disruption of wildlife and peace, and fear the introduction of COVID-19 from the revellers. RETIRED HOUSEHOLDERS, some of whom have lived on the Cowichan River for half a century, say intoxicated recreational tubers who don’t practice social-distancing are turning their quiet, rural gardens into a rowdy carnival midway from hell. “They seem to think the river is a roller coaster ride on which they can get drunk because it doesn’t hurt to fall off,” says Joe Saysell, a retired logger and fishing guide. “It’s getting really out of hand. They a
  12. Posted August 4, 2020 Photograph: A peaceful demonstration outside the BC Parliament Buildings in 2019, with Queen Victoria nearby. Our province and city were founded by colonizers. Should they be renamed? Go to story
  13. While taking down monuments and renaming sports teams can seem Orwellian, why shouldn’t we rename “British Columbia” and “Victoria” given they were acts of renaming themselves. TWO YEARS AGO, following a full year’s discussion and cogitation, Victoria City council removed a statue of Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, from its prominent place outside City Hall. Sir John A. did represent Victoria as an absentee MP but his connection with the city is actually measured in the few days 134 years ago when he came out to drive the last spike in the now defunct Esq
  14. Posted July 6, 2020 John Innes’ painting of the inauguration of the Crown Colony of British Columbia, and the installation of James Douglas as its first governor As the process of decolonizing gathers momentum—and with BC Day approaching—it’s timely to look back on the origins of the Province of British Columbia. Go to story
  15. Posted July 6, 2020 As the process of decolonizing and renaming our province gathers momentum, we consider the events that led to the founding of the Province of British Columbia. ON AUGUST 2, 1858, the British parliament passed a bill that formally created a government for what’s now the province of British Columbia. In did so by cobbling together several smaller colonies, fur trade administrative regions called New Caledonia, and remnants of the Columbia District and the Oregon Territory that had become American by treaty in 1846. The British legislation referred to “ce
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