Author: The Activist

Election perspective you won’t hear anywhere else

In my next post to The Activist I will examine the subtle impacts of the more obvious influences on the 2015 federal election, but for this post I want to share a story few have heard about one of the most powerful, behind the scenes influences on the dramatic October 19 outcome. Did the Liberals have an astonishingly clever campaign? Did Mulcair stumble when he should of been dashing? Did the Conservatives pull down the pillars of their own governance structure with the sudden and devastating foray into the realm of hate literature? All of the above? There is no end to the stories you will hear from pundits about the vagarities of this gruelling 78 day election campaign, and much of it with its own valid perspective, but here is a story you will likely not hear about what may well be the most pervasive impact on the stunning defeat for the New Democrat and Conservative parties and the sweeping victory for the Liberals. A little over half way through the campaign I was out canvassing for Gord Johns in Courtenay when I ran into another Gord Johns canvasser pounding the pavement in the district adjacent to mine. He had an interesting tale to tell about being harassed by a belligerent supporter of another party. But the really fascinating thing he had to tell me was about his...

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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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Upcoming Events

Feb
20
Tue
7:00 pm CLT’s Event Night: Looking by N...
CLT’s Event Night: Looking by N...
Feb 20 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
A staged reading of this endearing Norm Foster play, directed by Alana Gowdy.
Feb
21
Wed
6:30 pm LIFT BizOnDeck workshop series (...
LIFT BizOnDeck workshop series (...
Feb 21 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
#WeAreYQQ Meetup: Comox Valley Entrepreneurs & Creatives Wednesday, September 20 at 6:30 PM 2x monthly collaborative workshop for entrepreneurs working on growing or developing businesses, business ideas, or projects. Part of the LIFT Comox Valley[...]

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