Author: The Activist

Conversations for a Better World

“The internet and the e-culture it anchors masks and drowns out the subtle and vital information contact with the real world once provided. There are lessons, enormous lessons, lessons that may be crucial to the planet’s persistence as a green and diverse place and also to the happiness of its inhabitants-that real, visceral connection with other people and nature teaches and the internet can’t.” ― Bill McKibben, lightly paraphrased “We need to create a different experience of time where we live life in slower, more reflective ways, savoring our lives and recapturing exuberance and laughter.”            — Cecil Andrews, lightly paraphrased Over the years I have attended a long list of workshops but-out of all of them-only two stand out in my memory. One week-long workshop I took many years ago titled “Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill,” was based on Jungian dream interpretation. It gave me insights to myself and my connection to all of life that I will never forget. The other workshop/seminar that continues to inform my life after many years was by Cecil Andrews and titled Slow life—good life. It was based on Cecil’s book Slow is Beautiful. It sticks in my memory partly because of the story she began the seminar with—a story about how she shops at a small grocery store where she examines the food she is buying carefully and appreciatively calling...

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Growing a sustaining and sustainable local food system

Strategies to enhance a sustaining and sustainable local food system submitted by David Wicklund After having spent most of my life involved in agriculture from operating a conventional 1600 acre Saskatchewan farm to two degrees in Agriculture including a Master’s in Regenerative Agriculture, to lead hand at Comox Valley’s Pattison Certified Organic Farm, I have become convinced that small scale organic vegetable farming is the key to producing healthy food, a healthy local economy and a more mutually sustaining relationship with our Earth. Scale For a moment I want to set aside the larger argument for organic farming and focus on the associated idea of small scale. Scale (small) is key to farming that is sustaining, sustainable AND doable. Small scale farming is the only way the large majority of perspective young farmers can make a reality of their dreams of supporting a family while living their dream of producing healthy food in a sustainable way. The idea of the family farm is facing serious challenges due to the aging farming population with limited interest in extending the family connection to farming.  I regularly meet young people who are enthused about farming, especially organic, but the cost of purchasing an existing conventional farming operation is significant/very often prohibitive. Even when land is available, the cost of machinery to run a conventional farm can be as limiting as land costs....

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Sometimes you get so much more than you deserve

 This week I want to set aside all level of politics and even my passion for the path to a more just and sustainable world, and—for this one post—tell a few stories about what sustains me. I have, for the past twenty years, been involved as an instructor in what was once the Vancouver Island Skiing for the Disabled Society and has recently been renamed the Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports Association (VISAS). Established on Mt Washington in 1992, VISAS was nurtured and guided by the dream of the legendary Comox Valley sports advocate Herb Bradley who believed that making skiing available to people who couldn’t ski due to physical or cognitive challenges could be a very delightful and even transformative experience–people who would otherwise never know the exhilarating body-joy of drifting/dancing down the mountain; free like a bird playing in a rising current of air. VISAS today is an organization of over ninety volunteer instructors who adapt the teaching methodologies of the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance to the particular needs and abilities of people with an incredible array of physical and cognitive challenges including amputees, blind, disabling diseases like MS and arthritis, as well as cognitive challenges like autism, attention/memory loss, etc. In addition to providing instructors/facilitators, VISAS provides clients with the free use of adaptive equipment like sit skis (skis on a seat) and discounted lift...

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Trudeau Lies!

I am angry, broken-hearted and deeply worried about the consequences of  Prime Minister Trudeau’s decision to abandon his unequivocal, often repeated 2015 election promise that the 2015 Canadian election would be the last one under the democracy defying first past the post voting system where a small block of voters can elect a majority government. The gutting of any semblance of reasonable governance, social decency or the common good that is going on in the United States under the results of a presidential electoral system that undermines the popular vote underscores my belief that a prime minister committed to any semblance of a just, sustaining and sustainable Canada would have to be committed to bringing in the kind of electoral reform that ensures our parliament represents the will of, at least, the majority of Canadians. Under our first past the post electoral system the Conservative Party’s 30% base, a base that stuck with them even under Harper, could easily be expanded to another 39% Canadian Conservative Party “majority” government with its Trump-wan-a-be fear mongering, e-hate, attacks on minorities and its corporatist right-wing agenda. Trudeau talks of a lack of consensus on electoral reform citing differing preferences among Canadian political parties. One has to wonder, about what other issues the Prime Minister is waiting for consensus among the parties on. In fact there is a clear consensus among the parties—they...

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As always–in your corner

My youngest son runs a very successful business teaching boxing in downtown Vancouver. What interests me today is not the business plan, nor the teaching strategy, not even the occasional appearance of Prime Minister Trudeau for a jabbing lesson in how to keep your opposition off balance; what I find utterly fascinating and widely applicable to understanding what is going on in our world is his simple, encompassing tagline: Always in Your Corner. Looking at the recent presidential election in the United States, Always in Your Corner provides an understanding of how the Democrats failed against a Republican candidate—and legislators, who otherwise would not have attracted a respectable sized audience at the circus. Clearly American voters could not bring themselves to believe that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or the Democrats generally were, by any stretch, in their corner. What on Earth were the Democrats thinking? Did they not see the massive civil resistance to these “Free Trade” agreements whose obvious goal was the entrenchment of corporate greed over the interests of citizens?  How long did they think it would take for citizens to wake up to implications of these agreements giving corporations the right to imagine money they would like to make—regardless of the impact on wages, environmental safeguards, and the provision of public services for the public good—and sue governments (our public treasury)to convert these greedy imaginations into...

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Upcoming Events

Apr
21
Fri
10:00 pm In-con Family Gaming Covention 2017 @ Florence Filberg Centre
In-con Family Gaming Covention 2017 @ Florence Filberg Centre
Apr 21 @ 10:00 pm – Apr 23 @ 1:00 am
A trip all the way to the north end of Vancouver island! I’m glad to be part of this fantastic convention once again! I’ll be hanging out and helping run the kids play zone for[...]
Apr
26
Wed
11:30 am Chamber 2017 AGM @ Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community
Chamber 2017 AGM @ Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community
Apr 26 @ 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Join the Chamber for the Annual General Meeting at Crown Isle Resort with keynote speaker Val Litwin, BC Chamber CEO. Come and welcome our new Board members and thank those who are stepping down from[...]
Apr
27
Thu
7:00 pm 6th Annual Campagnolo Lecture – ... @ Sid Williams Theatre
6th Annual Campagnolo Lecture – ... @ Sid Williams Theatre
Apr 27 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Part of the Sid Williams Theatre Society’s Centre Stage Event series Co-presented with Comox Valley Community Justice Centre Find out more about the event here: http://www.sidwilliamstheatre.com/events/campagnolo-lecture-a-duet-on-justice/ https://www.facebook.com/events/150573102119611/

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