First a correction to last week’s letter- thanks to Ian Cameron:
My letter said the Saanich fair has been held in the same location since 1868. Ian gently corrects: “Nope. It moved to the current location in 1993, and I can date that because (a) I was on Central Saanich council at the time and there was a lot of time spent on the re-zoning of the current grounds and on the old grounds (and I still think the developers took everyone concerned for a ride); and (b) I lived across from the new location, on Tomlinson Road, and spent quite a bit of time putting on roofs with the volunteer crews. I wouldn’t bother with that bit of trivia, but I know what a stickler you are for accuracy.” Me too.
And for those of you on Salt Spring Island I hope to see you at the Fall Fair. I will be at the Green booth from around 12:30-4…Friday I was in Vancouver for the Celebration of Life for friend and extraordinary human being Stephen Owen. Yesterday, Saturday I gave the eulogy at the Celebration of Life for Pat Carney, my friend and extraordinary political mentor. We also lost another friend, a kind and compassionate conservative, with the untimely death of former Senator Hugh Segal. It feels like a lot of loss. I know I wrote about Pat Carney in my Sunday letter at the end of July. It is an amazing honour that she left instructions in her will that I should do the eulogy that focused on her parliamentary accomplishments.
I do not think I have shared how much Parliament has changed in terms of the role of women in politics. When Pat was first elected as the Progressive Conservative MP for Vancouver Centre in 1980 (emphasis on Progressive) she was one of very few women in the House of Commons. In her party she had a friend and colleague in fellow Red Tory Flora MacDonald, but the government benches had only one woman minister- Monique Begin. It is no surprise that when the PC party formed government in 1984 the incredibly competent Pat Carney took on tough portfolio after tough portfolio always the first woman to be Minister of Energy, Trade, and President of the Treasury Board and so on.. We all owe Pat a debt of gratitude for her work in stopping clear cut logging of what is now Gwaii Haanas national park reserve …and then she walked away from Cabinet roles choosing not to run again in the 1988 election. Moving to the Senate where she continued to make major changes in policy – from defending a women’s right to safe and legal abortions to protecting heritage lighthouses. I wish we had had more time together.
In our many chats – often with my husband John with whom she also had Yellowknife in common – we would consider writing a shared column for conversation and debate in print. John encouraged us as he found listening to us reminisce about political events for which we had very different perspectives a real education in the life of women in politics! I really miss her.
In shocking news this week I learned about logging company Teal Jones – logger of Fairy Creek area old growth is now suing the BC Government and the Haida nation for $75 million! I had had no idea that Teal Jones ever had leases on Haida Gwaii.
I’m beyond shocked. They paid 4.5 million for unceded territories, logged it since 2008. And now want $75 million. Here is a clear report from The Narwhal.
Meanwhile the climate records continue to be smashed. The World Meteorological Organization has issued a new report that the last three month period Earth had was the hottest on record, with unprecedented sea surface temperatures and much extreme weather.
It is hard to know what more evidence people need to take action. We got some help from more clever Australian satire. This time Juice Media took specific aim at Canada’s record: Enjoy! And share! Honest Canada ad!!!!
One last bit of news – Globe editorial.
“As Green Party Leader Elizabeth May put it in dark and succinct terms, ‘This will be the best summer we can remember for the rest of our lives.’ She made the remark in an August press conference that was supposed to be focused on foreign election interference but turned into an extended meditation on the disastrous effects of climate change, given that the residents of Yellowknife and West Kelowna, B.C., had been driven from their homes by rampaging wildfires.”
There is an ever increasing number of climate marches to “End Fossil Fuels” planned for September 15. The Green Party of Canada will be writing all our members to make sure everyone knows where to join a local march.
Please plan on joining and bringing along friends who may never have marched before…If not now, when?
And also a Day of Action for Old Growth on September 28!
“Dear Friends of Ancient Forests,
As you know, 3 years have passed since the B.C. government committed to work with First Nations to implement a paradigm-shift in forest stewardship, as laid out in the Old Growth Strategic Review (OGSR). Yet unfortunately, the B.C. government has made little progress on their promises. In fact, most old growth, including the most ecologically at-risk, remains on the chopping block. So on September 28, communities from across the province are coming together to rise up for the last remaining old growth. The Day of Action for Old Growth Forests is now officially launched on social media, and on the websites of Sierra Club, STAND.earth, and Wilderness Committee. Check out one of these links for more information.
Your community may already have posted an event on the list, but if not, please sign up for an action, either in front of your MLA’s office, or – if there’s no MLA office in your area, or if it doesn’t seem like a good location – find another place to gather. Your event doesn’t need to be a big one; the more events we can muster, the more pressure we can create to move this NDP government towards protection for the last ancient forests. Here’s where you sign up.
To help you organize your own community event, we’ve developed a toolkit of everything you’ll need to organize an action at your local MLA or Minister’s office – including organizing tips, downloadable posters, talking points, how to reach out to local media and more!
Not able to join in person? Help amplify the events with your networks. We’ve put together this amplification kit filled with graphics, social media ideas and email content. If you have any questions, we’re here to support you. You can reach us at [email protected].
In these hard times, it’s incredibly inspiring to see so many communities pulling together. United, we can create a better, more hopeful future for all. We hope to see you out there in person or in spirit on September 28!
Elders for Ancient Trees, Sierra Club of BC, Stand.earth, Wilderness Committee”
Best wishes for the week ahead.
Love and thanks!
Saanich-Gulf Islands Greens