Your Values, Your Choice, Your Guide to the Referendum

COMOX VALLEY, BC –Do you want more information about BC’s referendum that will be coming to your mailbox this fall? Do you want to clarify your own position about the choices? Or are you just plain confused?

Here’s your opportunity to clear up all the buzz around this electoral reform referendum, scheduled between Oct. 22 and Nov. 30. Barb Berger, chair of Fair Vote Comox Valley will be presenting an information session on the referendum and the reasons why there is a push for change. The single most important question will be whether to keep our existing electoral system, known as First Past The Post (FPTP) or change to a system of Proportional Representation. The presentation will also involve a closer examination of the voting systems that will be on the ballot.

On the bill as well is Jamie Deith, who has a background in systems design. He has had direct involvement with past referendums and is extremely knowledgeable about electoral systems. Deith has devised a questionnaire that allows participants to clarify whether they support FPTP or PR and rank the choices according to their answers.

As has been quoted by everyone on the spectrum of this debate, “Proportional Representation would be a fundamental change to our democracy.” What kind of democracy do you want to see?

The evening will be held at the United Church, 250 Beach Drive in Comox, on Wednesday, September 12, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

The United Church expects a full house at the first-come first-seated presentation. Admission is by donation and baked goods will be available for purchase.

ACTION FOR OUR AQUIFERS

new- action for our aquifers

We currently manage groundwater with a blindfold on. We lack a full understanding of how much we have or how withdrawals affect the health of our surface rivers, lakes and streams. And yet, much like a bank account, we have to manage our groundwater wisely: we can’t withdraw more than what goes in. Otherwise, we could become the next California or Cape Town.

The community of Merville in Comox Valley on Vancouver Island relies on an aquifer for their drinking water. Impacts of climate change are already being felt by residents as water shortages become more common during summer droughts. Yet, a conditional water licence has been issued by the Province of BC to allow the extraction of up to 10,000 litres of freshwater per day for a commercial bottling operation. We wouldn’t make daily withdrawals from a bank account without knowing the balance. Why do this with our most precious asset, our freshwater?

K’ómoks First Nation (KFN) expressed disappointment that the Province did not properly consult, and has come out in strong opposition to the water extraction licence. Community members are concerned that cumulative impacts to the aquifer and surface water flows are not adequately known, or accounted for as part of the licensing process. Residents haven’t had access to an aquifer study that was done in support of the Province’s approval.

It is time for British Columbia to take the lead in showing transparency and accountability in protecting our aquifers, rivers and lakes. Send your letter below to show you stand in solidarity with the community of Merville and K’ómoks First Nations. Together we have the power to defend our shared waters.

Please consider visiting the Our Water BC website for information on sending a letter to the Honourable Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development here.

Send a letter today!