Friday, October 26, 2012

One Cowichan

Tonight I attended an event at the Quw'utsun' Cultural Centre in Duncan BC to address the flow "management" of the historic Cowichan River. The intent was to bring together all the stake-holders and officials from all levels of government to explore everyone's wishes and try to find common ground.

These stake-holders included:
- a pulp and paper corporation with a 1960's licence to use water from the river for industrial purposes
- First Nations people who have lived on the river for thousands of years and have cultural ties to the salmon that spawn there
- cottagers who's "enjoyment" of their property may be impacted by fluctuating levels of the lake that feeds the river
- recreational anglers
Lots of luck with that!

As those in the crowd whispered revolutionary ideas like, "If we had left the trees, the lake and the river alone it would all have managed itself", the government bureaucrats showed slides of graphs and statistics and when that failed, un-furled a paper scroll with more axes and coloured lines . . . . . then fell silent.

The stake-holders voiced their disparate talking points, sometimes politely, sometime not so. Thankfully, no one mentioned the cultural significance of roasting marshmallows on the beach . . . . . then we all went home.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Canadian Sovereignty For Sale to Fuel Power and Money Addiction

Am I seeing this correctly? Could this possibly be happening to my country, Canada? Are we giving away our right to act as a sovereign nation to satisfy the greed of the filthy rich of our own country and an odd collection of others?

Despite the sham of reviewing the Nexen - China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) deal against our newly neutered laws, we know that the Harper Government will discard any opposition in secret and endorse the deal. This will give a "corporation" owned by the Chinese government the right to extract and process tarsand into diluted bitumen.

At the same time, Harper has secretly signed an agreement in Vladivostock with the Chinese president Hu Jintao to enact a "trade agreement" which will prevent Canada (the country he was supposed to be leading) from doing anything that could cause a loss of anticipated profit for CNOOC on their tarsand operations.

As a result of the above, the Government of China would be able to authorise the building of pipelines and ports to handle their tarsand products wherever in Canada they wished, and authorise the operation of whatever kind of tankers they wanted to use wherever they said on the Canadian coast. The Government of Canada, on the other hand, would not be able to exercise any control over these works and operations as doing so would impede the making of profits by the Chinese "corporations" thereby contravening the provisions of the so-called "trade agreement".

Please tell me I am missing something here. Please tell me that the air, water, food, land and other resources that my grandchildren will need to survive will not be under the control of foreign governments seeking nothing but control over Canadian resources and the money that comes from destroying them.

If I am completely out of whack with my assessment of this situation, please point me to a genuine and believable alternate assessment that leaves control over these resources and their use in the hands of the Canadian people and I will do my best to distribute it as widely as possible. But spare me the bullshit about how our national security and my country and our environment and various species (including my own) will be capably looked after by the "honourable" members of the Harper Government. I can't think of a single reason for them to start looking after anything for the benefit of the ordinary citizens of Canada at this point.

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