Sustainability Forum Presentations – May 2018

With municipal elections coming in October this October, the first Comox Valley Sustainability Forum was designed to inform voters – and prospective candidates – about the creative work being spearheaded by local non-profits to find solutions to a variety of inter-related problems we face as a society, and to offer options for creating a more sustainable community.

All issues covered in the first Forum fall within the mandate of our local municipal councils – be it the Village of Cumberland, the Town of Comox, the city of Courtenay or the three electoral areas.

Click on the links below to access the presentations that were given at the first Sustainability Forum.  As a voter, you can use this information to ask pointed questions of local municipal candidates running for office this October.

If you’re a candidate, consider the thoughtful solutions that have been presented…and get in touch with the organizations for further details.

An Ecological Asset Approach to Sustainability – CV Conservation Partnership

Gleaning and Food Recovery Across the CVRD – Lush Valley

More Food in the Comox Valley – Mid Island Farmers Institute

Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness

Improving Air Quality in the Comox Valley – Breathe Clean Air Comox Valley

BC Energy Step Code, Program Options

Damming the Peace

An Evening with Wendy Holm, Agrologist and Author

The Comox Valley Chapter of the Council of Canadians welcomes agrologist and author Wendy Holm to Courtenay on Wednesday, July 11, to discuss her latest and critically acclaimed book, Damming the Peace – The Hidden Costs of the Site C Dam.

In December 2017, the provincial government, in a decision that shocked many British Columbians, announced they would continue with the construction of Site C. This decision was reached despite the looming, unanswered questions regarding the estimated costs and the dubious long-term, economic viability of the project.

We need the power, of that there’s no mistake – unless you ignore the urgency of the climate crisis. We can find power elsewhere and we can do it without sacrificing nature and wildlife, without sacrificing farmland and without sacrificing the territorial right and cultural wealth of First Nations, writes author Holm.

Damming the Peace – The Hidden Costs of the Site C Dam, includes Holm’s own critical observations and presents the independent voices of citizen experts who, after extensive research, describe the far-reaching impacts of the dam.

The book exposes potential links to the project that range from Site C’s role in Canada’s climate change strategy, natural gas extraction, and fracking, to continental water sharing and the role large projects play in the corruption of governments.

The on-going opposition by landowners, legal challenges by First Nations, cost over-runs and unstable geological conditions all indicate that the future of BC’s most expensive infrastructure project is, and should be, in question.

Site C is an economic white elephant … we do not need the Site C dam. It is time to close the project down, writes Holm in Damming the Peace. To continue will have devastating, irreversible consequences for all of us.

Prominent water activist and Honourary Chair of the Council of Canadians, Maude Barlow says of the book, “The fight to stop Site C is not over. Damming the Peace is our roadmap.”

Holm’s book tour to the Comox Valley, sponsored by the CV Council of Canadians will take place Wed., July 11, at 7:00 pm in the Rotary Hall, Filberg Centre, 411 Anderton Ave, Courtenay. Holm is donating proceeds from the sale of Damming the Peace to the Nun Wa Dee Stewardship Society to support the legal costs of the Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations.

She will be available to sign copies of her book before and after the event. Doors open 6:30 pm.

Wendy Holm is a professional agrologist (retired), an award-winning national columnist, a double Queen’s medalist, a distinguished UBC alumna, past president of the B.C. Institute of Agrologists and B.C. Agrologist of the Year in 2000. She provided expert testimony before the Joint Federal Provincial Panel on the agricultural impact of the Site C project.

Celebrate Our Heritage with the Oh Canada! Team Trivia Night Fundraiser

Just how Canadian are you, eh? Quiz: What is Canada’s official tree?

In the spirit of the Canada Day birthday celebration, the Comox Valley Council of Canadians is hosting their 12th annual Oh Canada! Team Trivia Night Fundraiser. This highly anticipated, Great Canadian Trivia event takes place Saturday, June 16 in the Rotary Hall of Courtenay’s Filberg Center.

This is the perfect time for lovers of laughter, amusing facts and collectors of Canadian trivia to gather some brilliant (or not) buddies, and prepare for a rousing, action-packed, team trivia showdown of Canuck wisdom!

“Quizmaster Michael Walton and trivia-buff partner Marianne Bell have been gathering a series of questions that are guaranteed to challenge the wits of our most patriotic Canucks,” says Kathie Woodley, one of the event’s organizers. “We always enjoy an entertaining evening filled with humour and laughter – along with a few moans and groans – as we test our knowledge of all things that make us uniquely Canadian.

The ‘only in Canada’ trivia questions will cover a range of topics and, as always, hold a few surprises. “This is a great opportunity to raise awareness of our country’s diverse history in an entertaining way,” says Walton, “while also raising funds for the important work of the CV Council of Canadians.” Continue reading

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!