Author: The Activist

Welcome Home Canada!

My first inkling that big change in Canadian politics was afoot came Thanksgiving day, Oct 12 around 4 o’clock in the afternoon. My wife and I had trundled off to the advance poll at the Lewis Centre assuming that very few people would line up at the polls when the turkey was just about to come out of the oven. Big mistake! We waited in line for an hour and a half to vote amid rumours that we were lucky—in Atlantic Canada voters were waiting –in a patient Canadian kind of way—three hours and more to cast their ballot. It seemed that something big was happening. I was longing for change, but– having been wrong before– I was hesitant about believing that all this meant the change I so desired was underway. Then, October 19 I showed up at the Royston polling station to act as an NDP volunteer to find that the line up to vote had begun before the polling station opened at 7 am. Inside the line up went on and on—not so much at the ballot box but at the new voter registration desk. Big change was, indeed, afoot! By the time the polling stations closed a record 17,559,353 Canadians had voted—a record number; the highest percentage since 1993; three million more ballots than in the 2011 election that had given Harper his opportunity to...

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Cycling lanes in Lilliput-or was it Courtenay?

Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels eerily reminds us of what our human activities might look like to someone not intimately embedded in affairs human. For instance, first of all read over the bickering at Courtenay Council about whether there should be a bike lane on Willemar Avenue, Piercy Avenue, or Tull Avenue. And should this lane be painted or raised? No one seems to get around to asking what is the bike path for? Where are cyclists to get on? Or get off? How will anyone be served by a bike lane that begins nowhere and ends a few blocks down from nowhere? Sort of like the shortest bike lane in the world that runs for a block and a half along 5th St. by the Apple Tree Market Then read the section in Gulliver’s Travels about the raging conflict between Lilliput and Blefuscu over whether one should break the large end or the small end of an egg first. Eleven thousand people chose death rather than submit to a law requiring the untraditional breaking of an egg from the small end first. It seems every where Gulliver goes in this land of tiny would be giants, he finds activities that remind him painfully of home. When I read Gulliver’s travels I can’t help relating the chicanery of Lilliputians to the bombast at Courtenay Council these days. As someone who...

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Courtenay Resident Designs cost effective DIY solar hot water system

Inexpensive, easy to install Comox Valley designed Solar Super Saver reduces hot water cost to less than a dollar a month! Three years ago Courtenay resident Stewart McIntosh, struggling to find a project to absorb the excess thinking capacity generated by a traumatic brain injury, designed and built a Solar Super Saver hot water system so efficient it dropped his energy use for his home’s hot water needs down to $0.75 for a month. Stewart’s solar heated hot water system is inexpensive –less than $1,000 for materials-is made of durable, safe, easy to install–three days!, simple to maintain, readily/locally available materials and for eight months a year generates enough hot water for normal living needs like showering, dishwasher and laundry. The system saves energy and money as well as reducing the pollution involved in generating and transporting gas and electricity — at 75 cents of energy used to run a house’s hot water system for a whole month it is very good for the pocket book. Stewart’s Solar Super Saver can be built and installed without any need for special tools or equipment for under $1,000. Savings on generating household hot water with the SSS have paid for the entire cost of installation in six years. The materials used are rated for 30 years (+), and the system is operational for about 8.5 months of the year, from the...

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The Activist–Courtenay resident designs cost effective DIY solar hot water system

Inexpensive, easy to install Comox Valley designed Solar Super Saver reduces hot water cost to less than a dollar a month! Three years ago Courtenay resident Stewart McIntosh, struggling to find a project to absorb the excess thinking capacity generated by a traumatic brain injury, designed and built a Solar Super Saver hot water system so efficient it dropped his energy use for his home’s hot water needs down to $0.75 for a month. Stewart’s solar heated hot water system is inexpensive –less than $1,000 for materials-is made of durable, safe, easy to install–three days!, simple to maintain, readily/locally available materials and for eight months a year generates enough hot water for normal living needs like showering, dishwasher and laundry. The system saves energy and money as well as reducing the pollution involved in generating and transporting gas and electricity — at 75 cents of energy used to run a house’s hot water system for a whole month it is very good for the pocket book. Stewart’s Solar Super Saver can be built and installed without any need for special tools or equipment for under $1,000. Savings on generating household hot water with the SSS have paid for the entire cost of installation in six years. The materials used are rated for 30 years (+), and the system is operational for about 8.5 months of the year, from the...

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The Activist–Ode to a Disgruntled Friend

“You old fool!” These tirades begin the same way every time-a bright smile, a slap on the back; but a tremulous shadow taunts uneasily at the strings of the blithely chiding face; and the words convey more than just a greeting. “Life, my friend, is no oversized chess game where you can see the end from the beginning, or design strategies, or even take advantage of long, well-contemplated moves. Life, you shall see, (another slap on the back and, for him, a breath grabbing pause); life is the Amazon River in flood, and we are only confused ants caught on a dislodged tree drifting inexorable to the sea. Just because the rest of us keep burrowing in the wood and building nests, quarreling with the colony at the other end of the log; in general, living fairly normal lives-you think we don’t know what’s happening. ‘Help! Help!’ you keep shouting and talking about swimming lessons and pointing across to the banks we can’t even see anymore. (Another long breath and a forceful hand on my shoulder) You think we’ve forgotten, but we haven’t. No one forgets the dry earth homes, the territories our ancestors scouted and held for generations, the rich succulent jungle vegetation. There’s no one here that hasn’t guessed the fate waiting for us ants in the sea. But you, you old fool, (having seized on the...

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Upcoming Events

Aug
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9:00 am Comox Valley Farmers’ Market
Comox Valley Farmers’ Market
Aug 26 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Each Saturday features a delicious recipe from the North Island Chefs Association – and of course all of the wonderful local producers of vegetables, meats, baking, preserves, fish and more! See you at the Native[...]
Aug
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5:00 am Salt Water Showdown @ Comox
Salt Water Showdown @ Comox
Aug 27 @ 5:00 am – 7:00 pm
First Annual “Salt Water Show Down” Fishing Derby When: Sunday, August 27th 2017 Registration: Early bird June 1st-Aug 15th $150 per boat, LATE** Aug 16th – Aug 26th $200 per boat Register at Investors Group[...]
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9:00 am Comox Valley Farmers’ Market
Comox Valley Farmers’ Market
Sep 2 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Each Saturday features a delicious recipe from the North Island Chefs Association – and of course all of the wonderful local producers of vegetables, meats, baking, preserves, fish and more! See you at the Native[...]

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