A Conversation With Maude Barlow

When: October 22 from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Where: K’omoks Band Hall, 3320 Comox Rd., Courtenay (Map)
Admission is free – please bring a friend!

Maude Barlow, bestselling author, activist, and Honorary Chair of the Council of Canadians will be with us in the Comox Valley on October 22 to talk about the possible impact of the federal election and re-focus ourselves on the public protection of water.
Whose Water Is It Anyway? book coverMaude is touring the country, introducing communities to her new book “Whose Water Is It, Anyway:  Taking Water Protection into Public Hands”.   In it, she details how communities around the world are responding to the urgent need to protect fresh water.  The book provides an updated road map for communities and organizations to take action on recognizing water and sanitation as human rights, phasing out the sale or use of bottled water, and protecting publicly financed, owned and operated water and wastewater services.

Two Comox Valley Communities – Cumberland and Comox – committed themselves to the protection of water in 2012 by becoming Blue Communities.  Maude will recognize their efforts as being among the first to make this commitment.  They have since been joined by communities that include 15 million people, including Paris, Montreal, Bern, Berlin, Munich, Thessaloniki, the World Council of Churches, and McGill University, among many others.

We recognize that October 22 is the morning after the election, but what better way to spend it than in the company of Maude and others who are concerned about our water?”, says Alice de Wolff, Steering Committee member, Comox Valley Council of Canadians.   Bruce Gibbons of Merville Water Guardians will co-chair the event and provide us with updates on the Union of BC Municipalities resolution to stop the approval of licenses for bottling and sale of groundwater.

About Maude Barlow.
As Naomi Klein says “Maude Barlow is one of our planet’s greatest water defenders”.  She is the international bestselling author of 19 books, including the bestselling Blue Water trilogy. She is the Honorary Chair of both the Council of Canadians and Washington-based Food and Water Watch. She is on the executive committee of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and is a Councillor with the World Future Council. In 2008–09, she served as Senior Adviser on Water to the 63rd President of the UN General Assembly and was a leader in the campaign to have water recognized as a human right by the UN. In 2005, she won the prestigious Right Livelihood Award, which is known as the “alternative Nobel.”

This event is co-hosted by the Comox Valley Chapter of the Council of Canadians. This tour stop is sponsored in part by Laughing Oyster Books.

Our Water Future: Local Water Governance in the Comox Valley

Amazing recreation, the great outdoors and locally grown food are just a few of the reasons why the Comox Valley is an awesome place to live and play.

Water is an essential component to all these things. Rivers and streams give life to the place we call home. Groundwater fuels our farm and food economy. The mighty Comox Lake and the surrounding watershed sustain the growing communities across the Valley. People here understand how water connects to all aspects of the lifestyle we value and enjoy.

The Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, October 10, 7-9 pm at the Florence Filberg Centre, Courtenay, could be the start of a conversation about watersheds and what citizens can do to help establish a model of community governance for our water. If the people who reside in a watershed are more involved in the decision making, we might enjoy better outcomes.

There are many reasons as to why the Comox Valley would be the logical and ideal place to establish such a community governance model. A multi-million dollar water treatment plant is being developed. Summer drought conditions and boil water advisories have become “the new normal”. The licensing by the province to withdraw, bottle and sell water from a local aquifer that supports families, farms and wildlife, despite opposition from the K’omoks First Nation, the CV Regional District and members of the community, indicates a clear disconnect between the province and communities.

Rosie Simms, a Water Law and Policy Research Coordinator with the Polis Project  will discuss how the 2016 Water Sustainability Act (WSA) grants local governments the authority to create Watershed Sustainability Plans, and provides opportunities to implement sustainable governance that would ideally encompass the entire Regional District.

Bruce Gibbons, founder of the Merville Water Guardians, will discuss his ongoing communications with provincial representatives about strengthening the WSA.

A member from the Cowichan Water Board will speak to how their board functions in an advisory capacity to the Cowichan Valley Regional District.

The event is being sponsored by Comox Valley Water Watch, Our Water BC, Watershed Sentinel, Comox Valley Conservation Partnership, Merville Water Guardians and the Comox Valley Council of Canadians.

We hope to hear your voice at this community water forum, October 10th, 7 pm, upstairs at Florence Filberg Centre – 411 Anderton Ave., Courtenay.

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.

Comox Valley Sustainability Forum

In British Columbia, local government decision-making shapes the community it serves, whether that community is a village, town, city or electoral area.

The welfare and interests of the community’s future is promoted with a vision implemented through the adoption of policies and bylaws.

In the Comox Valley, the community and regional visions are reflected in the Official Community Plans and a Regional Growth Strategy.

To meet the challenges of climate change and sustainability, some communities’ short-term decisions are made in a reactive, chop and change manner. In the long run, this approach often fails to protect the municipality’s assets from damage and results in local government missing out on key partnerships and funding opportunities.

On the other hand, proactive municipal decision-making implements a clear, integrated, short and long-term planning strategy, designed specifically to meet the challenges of a community thoughtfully, efficiently and effectively.

BC municipal elections take place October 20, 2018.

On Thursday, May 24, CV Global Awareness Network, the CV Council of Canadians and Imagine Comox Valley invite you to a Sustainability Forum, where voters will have an opportunity to hear more about the possibility of reaching sustainable solutions to current local issues and problems. Continue reading