Author: The Activist

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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Expanding the Organic Farming Discussion

Hi Norm, I read with interest your recent “Growing a Better Farm and a Healthier World” article on the Tidechange.ca website. I would like to thank you for contributing your boundless energy towards one of the issues that will define the character of the Comox Valley in future decades. You asked for other perspectives on this important issue, so allow me to share my two cents’ worth. I moved to the Comox Valley a few years ago and purchased a few acres of land in a wonderful forested spot near Seal Bay Park. I feel I am in heaven. The only drawback is that the soil is basically alluvial till with a lot of sand, rocks and very little topsoil. This is not uncommon in a few areas of the Valley. The solutions suggested in your article will therefore work well in farms with good top soil, but will not quite be enough for people who have little or no topsoil. For anyone trying to grow crops for personal use or for sale under these circumstances, the options will require bringing in substantial amounts of topsoil that will then need to be deposited in raised beds with wood or cinder block perimeters. Others will also do this but will add a very large greenhouse on top so that they can grow tomatoes and other crops that can’t handle a...

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Tell Trudeau: Welcome Those Fleeing Violence and Deportation Under Trump

Dear Friends I just signed the petition: Tell Trudeau: Welcome Those Fleeing Violence and Deportation Under Trump It would mean a lot to me if you took a moment to add your name because: After just a few days in office, President Trump is already beginning to implement his racist, anti-immigrant agenda. He’s about to launch a major effort to hunt down and deport millions of undocumented people and asylum seekers in the US. Many went to the US to escape violence, and they could be persecuted or killed if they’re sent back to their countries of origin. Shockingly, if an asylum seeker currently in the US showed up at the Canadian border trying to escape deportation to an unsafe country — Canada would turn them away. Canada doesn’t accept any asylum seekers who come to Canada via the US, because of an outdated law called the “Safe Third Country Agreement”.  This law prevents most people fleeing violence or persecution from seeking refuge in Canada if they land in the US — deemed a “safe country” under the law —  first.[1] Except remaining in Trump’s America is unsafe — particularly for poor and racialized people. For many people, deportation may also be a death sentence. The Safe Third Country Agreement is the reason refugees put their lives at risk trying to cross the US-Canada border secretly rather than going...

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Upcoming Events

May
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Wed
4:00 pm 6th Annual Elevate Arts Festival @ Downtown Courtenay
6th Annual Elevate Arts Festival @ Downtown Courtenay
May 31 @ 4:00 pm – Jun 3 @ 11:59 pm
A FREE festival of art, culture and ideas that takes to the streets May 31-June 3 2017 in the <3 of the Comox Valley! Celebrating 6 years of breaking down barriers between culture producers and[...]
5:00 pm Let’s Elevate the Economy! LIFT ...
Let’s Elevate the Economy! LIFT ...
May 31 @ 5:00 pm – 9:20 pm
FMI see http://WeAreYQQParty.ca 5pm LIFT Trade Show at Courtenay Legion 6:30pm Community Voices II 8pm #WeAreYQQ Party at Gladstone Brewing with DJ Adil, fun and games with #WeAreYQQPartyCrew led by Leanne, beer prizes by Gladstone.[...]
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9:00 am Comox Valley Farmers’ Market
Comox Valley Farmers’ Market
Jun 3 @ 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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