Good Sunday Morning! And Happy Thanksgiving!
It is my daily practice to count my blessings. Best lesson ever from The Tao according to Pooh:
“Do you really want to be happy? You can begin by being appreciative of who you are and what you’ve got. Do you want to be really miserable? You can by being disconnected.”
― Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh
This holiday, for all of its mythology and weirdness of an invented meal with Indigenous people to help the settlers get established to steal their land, is a great moment to pause to count our blessings. I am still amazed that I can count the blessing of being alive as a real and felt thing every day since having that unexpected stroke. I am so grateful for my husband John Kidder and my family. Everyone, whether related genetically or chosen and pulled into “real” family, including a lot of the Greens family… like so many of you who read this letter faithfully and send me notes of encouragement. I am so grateful.
I hope to see many of you at three big Green events coming up over the next month! On October 14, I will be celebrating with BC Greens at Inn at Laurel Point, details here.
And October 22 is our Saanich Gulf Islands Green AGM at the Seniors Centre at Brentwood Bay – details here.
Mark your calendar for a really big fun event November 4 at Charlie White Theatre at Mary Winspear in Sidney for the 40th birthday of the Green Party of Canada with music and speakers and a grand launch for my re-election campaign (6:30 doors open, 7pm-9:30 pm)!
As I wrote last Sunday I did run to be Speaker of the House and gave my speech Tuesday morning. Apologies that my CBC radio interview was moved to Wednesday (my phone line was wonky on the Tuesday so Gregor Craigie kindly rescheduled). I was very happy with the results of the Speaker’s election and with the reception from news media and colleagues in the House to my “pitch” to be speaker:
Elizabeth delivers speech for her candidacy in the election of the House Speaker – YouTube
The week in the House was, of course, busy with many issues. Both Mike and I had a chance to advance our work for electoral reform and a citizens assembly:
As I did last week I once again tried to force the Liberals to account for the shameful decision to push through the Transmountain pipeline expansion through the most sacred area of the territory of the Stk’emlúpsemc Te Secwépemc Nation (SSN). I was able to connect with the SSN leadership this week and verify that the Canadian Energy Regulator has not yet published its reasons for siding with TMX approving the violation of this critical commitment. The SSN would never have agreed to allow TMX on their territory if TMX had not promised it would use micro tunnelling to avoid damaging the critical area, the “Pipsell.” I learned about the Pipsell back in 2016 through Greens in Kamloops joining them to work against a proposed open pit mine, the Ajax mine. After speaking at a public meeting in Kamloops I was invited by the First Nation to visit the Pipsell. It is incredibly significant culturally and spiritually for the Stk’emlúpsemc Te Secwépemc Nation. The Creation stories involve the Trout children who emerged from the Pipsell. The Stk’emlúpsemc Te Secwépemc Nation did their own environmental assessment of the Ajax mine proposal and ruled against it. So too did Kamloops City Council and ultimately both the BC and Canadian government turned down the Polish company that wanted to mine for copper in an open pit mine. I am in such deep shock that the TMX pipeline is going to be allowed to do open trench construction in this sacred area – especially since TMX promised, by contract, that they would not. And they started the construction on Monday last week – the statutory holiday for reconciliation. Here is what happened on Friday. It is so hard to get my question on this issue expressed in 35 seconds, the absolute limit in QP. And the parliamentary secretary’s answer proclaiming how great the Liberals are because they passed UNDRIP into law is so maddening.
Please help raise awareness of this issue. It has received nearly zero media coverage so letters to the editor and sharing the Youtube will help!
Lastly going back to October 4. It was the Feast day of Sr. Francis of Assisi, chosen by the Pope who chose the name Francis in honour of this ascetic who lived in harmony with Creation and loved all of it. On October 4 the Pope released his latest letter on the climate crisis. It is a blistering attack on our lifestyle in the rich industrialized world.
The Pope blasts the fossil fuel lobby and the lies it tells: “The world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point.”
The Pope still has hope that COP28 can be a turning point. As unlikely as that may be given the host country is Dubai. The Pope reflects on when we have made progress – such as on ozone. We must not despair. “Despite the many negotiations and agreements, global emissions continue to increase. Certainly, it could be said that, without those agreements, they would have increased even more. Still, in other themes related to the environment, when there was a will, very significant results were obtained, as was the case with the protection of the ozone layer. Yet, the necessary transition towards clean energy sources such as wind and solar energy, and the abandonment of fossil fuels, is not progressing at the necessary speed. Consequently, whatever is being done risks being seen only as a ploy to distract attention.”
And lastly I am so happy that Wab Kinew won in Manitoba. The lesson I hope will sink in with political strategists across party lines is that the Manitoba Conservatives likely lost because they ran an ad campaign against searching the landfill. The nastiness of their negativity doomed their campaign and that is worth celebrating as is Canada’s first Indigenous premier. Let’s hope that the lesson lasts into the next federal election.
And much love,