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[Raven] Mine is a hole owned by liars: Twain PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 12 April 2015 17:24

By Arthur Caldicott / Alberni Valley Times 

April 9, 2015 12:00 AM

 
Victoria - In 2009 Compliance Energy Corp. included a timeline for the Raven Underground Coal Project in its promotional materials.
 
The timeline showed milestones for the months that followed, ending with the mine in operation by the middle of 2012.
 
Anyone following the Raven project knows how that turned out: every milestone was missed.
 
The mine is no closer to being in operation today than it was in 2009.
Read more...
 
Three Decades and Counting: How B.C. Has Failed to Investigate Alternatives to Site C Dam PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 30 March 2015 07:51

By EMMA GilchristTue, 2014-06-03 09:57

http://www.desmog.ca/2014/06/03/three-decades-and-counting-how-bc-has-failed-investigate-alternatives-site-c-dam

 

 

 

Thirty-one years ago, when the Site C dam in B.C.’s Peace Valley was rejected for the first time, BC Hydro was told to investigate alternatives sources of energy, specifically geothermal energy, by the B.C.Utilities Commission.

 

But the Crown corporation has utterly failed to do so, according to the report of the joint review panel on the Site C project, released last month.

Read more...
 
Petition against B.C.'s wolf cull garners more than 173K signatures PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 26 February 2015 12:14

BY THE CANADIAN PRESS FEBRUARY 25, 2015

http://www.theprovince.com/technology/Anti+wolf+cull+petition+garners+more+than+173K+signatures/10842291/story.html

 
 
 
Petition against B.C.'s wolf cull garners more than 173K signatures
 

The government has said it plans to have hunters shoot as many as 184 wolves from helicopters this year.

Photograph by: Gary Kramer , THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

VICTORIA — A coalition of 60 environmental groups has sent the B.C. government an open letter supporting a petition that demands it stop killing wolves.

More than 173,000 people from all over the world signed the online plea saying that shooting wolves in two regions in B.C.’s Interior — one in the northeast and one along its border with Idaho — will not protect shrinking caribou herds.

The government has said it plans to have hunters shoot as many as 184 wolves from helicopters this year.

Petition backers and letter signatories Pacific Wild and The Valhalla Wilderness Society argue that caribou are threatened by human encroachment, not by wolves.

They say limits to mining, snowmobiling and backcountry skiing would be a better way to allow herds to increase.

The provincial government plans to continue culling wolves by sterilizing and shooting them for four more years.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 February 2015 12:20
 
BC goverment's Commitment to abide by the Caracas Declaration PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 12 February 2015 11:55

by Joan Russow

Global Compliance Research Project

Excerpt from a submission against the Silverspray development

2000

 

In a letter dated  March, 1992, from both the Provincial Ministry of Forests and the Provincial Ministry of Environment is the following commitment

                              

As we, in BC Parks and BC Forest Service begin to work on implementing our components of B.C.'s protected areas under the aegis of the Commission on Resources and Environment, we will be mindful of this Declaration [Parks Protected Areas and the Human Future: the Caracas Declaration] and its implications. Our objective will be to have a system of protected areas which we are proud to present to the world.

 

Through this intention to be "mindful of this Declaration" the Provincial Government of B.C. through its Ministries of Environment and Forests has recognized the Caracas Declaration and the UN Resolution 37/7 (1982) World Charter for Nature.

 

B.C. has failed to fulfill a commitment made through B.C 's endorsement of the Caracas Convention (Parks Protected Areas and the Human Future: the Caracas Declaration, February 1992) and in its participation in the Caracas Congress to "move from logging old growth to second growth" (Report on implementation requirements of the Caracas Declaration, Mar. 1992)

 

 has failed to adhere to recommendations by the Caracas Congress on means to fulfill the Caracas Declaration

 

Obligations under the "Parks, Protected Areas and the Human Future: The Caracas Declaration" (February, 1992), and under recommendations by the Caracas Congress (CHECK Ref.).

 

            The Caracas Declaration was adopted by over fifteen hundred leaders and participants at the Fourth World Congress on national parks and Protected Areas. (Feb. 1992).

 

3.2. Conserving Biodiversity

 

The congress urgently requested that all countries urgently undertake surveys to identify additional sites of critical importance for conservation of biological diversity, and wherever possible, accord total protection to them.  Harvesting should be relocated from primary to secondary forests and tree plantations in previously deforested areas; or - where this is not possible ­ sustainable forest harvesting systems which favour natural species diversity should be developed and introduced. p 8

 

3.3. Conservation on a regional scale

 

Protected areas have sometimes been seen as islands of nature and tranquillity, surrounded by incompatible land uses. But the congress made it clear that such an "island mentality" is fatal in the long run. The congress recognized that it is unlikely that protected areas will be able to conserve biodiversity if they are surrounded by degraded habitats that limit gene-flow alter nutrient and water cycles and produce regional and global climate change that may lead to the final disappearance of these "island parks".  Protected areas, therefore, need to be part of broader regional approaches to land management. The term bioregion was used to describe extensive areas of land and water which include protected areas and surrounding lands, preferably including complete watersheds, where all agencies and interested parties have agreed to collaborative management.

 

recommendation 3

Global efforts to conserve biological diversity.

 

"the loss of biodiversity has reached crisis proportion and if present trends continue up to 25 % of the world's species may be sentenced to extinction or suffer sever genetic depletion in the next several decades, accompanied by equally significant and alarming degradation of habitats and ecosystems. This loss of biological diversity is impoverishing the world of its genetic resources, its species, habitats and ecosystems.

All species deserve respect, regardless of their usefulness to humanity. This Principle was endorsed by the UN Assembly when it adopted the World Charter for nature in 1982.  The loss of the living richness of the planet is dangerous, because of the environmental systems of the world support all life, and we do not know which are the key components in maintaining their essential functions.

 

the IVth World Congress on national Parks and Protected Areas recommends that:

 

a) governments make the protection of biological diversity, including species and habitat richness, representativeness and scarcity, a fundamental principle for  the identification, establishment, management and public enjoyment of national parts and other protected areas;

b) all countries urgently undertake surveys to identify additional sites of critical importance for conservation of biological diversity and wherever possible, accord total protection to them Harvesting should be relocated from primary to secondary forests and tree plantations in previous deforested areas; or — where  this is not possible — sustainable forest harvesting systems which favour natural species diversity should be developed and introduced: p. 30

 

Recommendation 4:

entitled legal regimes for protected areas.

 

Protected areas require a mutually reinforcing system of international and national environmental law for their establishment, maintenance and management. International treaties establish a harmonized set of obligations with regard to areas within national jurisdictions and activities having effect beyond national jurisdictional boundaries.  These obligations must be reflected in national legislation; otherwise, the treaties cannot be implemented.  In turn, innovative national legislation provides a basis and impetus for further international law. The dynamic interaction between the two levels is thus conducive to further progress.  p. 31

 

The Caracas Congress which is responsible for interpreting the Declaration made the following recommendations that have been ignored by B.C.:

 

B.C. has failed to move from harvesting primary to secondary forests as recommended by the Caracas Congress

 

The congress urgently requested that all countries urgently undertake surveys to identify additional sites of critical importance for conservation of biological diversity, and wherever possible, accord total protection to them. Harvesting should be relocated from primary to secondary forests .... p 8

 

116.     B.C. has failed to ensure sustainable forest harvesting systems which favour natural species diversity should be developed and introduced: p. 30

 

117.     B.C. has failed to prevent incompatible land use. as recommended by the Caracas Congress

 

Protected areas have sometimes been seen as islands of nature and tranquillity, surrounded by incompatible land uses. But the congress made it clear that such an "island mentality" is fatal in the long run. The congress recognized that it is unlikely that protected areas will be able to conserve biodiversity if they are surrounded by degraded habitats that limit gene-flow alter nutrient and water cycles and produce regional and global climate change that may lead to the final disappearance of these "island parks".

 

118.     The Congress also addressed the urgency and the need for global efforts to

Global efforts to conserve biological diversity.

 

"the loss of biodiversity has reached crisis proportion and if present trends continue up to 25 % of the world's species may be sentenced to extinction or suffer sever genetic depletion in the next several decades, accompanied by equally significant and alarming degradation of habitats and ecosystems. This loss of biological diversity is impoverishing the world of its genetic resources, its species, habitats and ecosystems.

 

All species deserve respect, regardless of their usefulness to humanity. This Principle was endorsed by the UN Assembly when it adopted the UN Resolution 37/7 (1982) World Charter of Nature. The loss of the living richness of the planet is dangerous , because of the environmental systems of the world support all life, and we do not know which are the key components in maintaining their essential functions.

 

 

In a letter dated  March, 1992, from both the Provincial Ministry of Forests and the Provincial Ministry of Environment (sent to members of the public presumably from a government mail-out list), the following intention is imputed:

 

As we, in BC Parks and BC Forest Service begin to work on implementing our components of B.C.'s protected areas under the aegis of the Commission on Resources and Environment, we will be mindful of this Declaration [Parks Protected Areas and the Human Future: the Caracas Declaration] and its implications. Our objective will be to have a system of protected areas which we are proud to present to the world.

 

Through this intention to be "mindful of this Declaration" the Provincial Government  of B.C. through its Ministries of Environment and Forests has recognized the Caracas Declaration and the UN Resolution 37/7 (1982) World Charter for Nature.

 

B.C. has failed to fulfill a commitment made through B.C 's endorsement of the Caracas Convention (Parks Protected Areas and the Human Future: the Caracas Declaration, February 1992) and in its participation in the Caracas Congress to "move from logging old growth to second growth" (Report on implementation requirements of the Caracas Declaration, Mar. 1992)

 

 It will be contended in the Appeal that not only has B.C. not complied with commitments made to the international conference on Parks at Caracas, but also B.C., through its actions in Clayoquot Sound, has failed to adhere to recommendations by the Caracas Congress on means to fulfill the Caracas Declaration

 

 

Through this declaration the Provincial government has  recognized that

 

• nature has intrinsic worth and warrants respect regardless of its usefulness to humanity

 

• this natural wealth is being eroded at an unprecedented rate, because of the rapid growth in human numbers, the uneven and often excessive consumption of natural resources, mistaken and socially harmful styles of development, global pollution and defective economic regimes, so that the future of humanity is now threatened;

 

• many people must modify their styles of living and the world community must adopt new and equitable styles of development, based on the care and sustainable use of the environment, and the safeguarding of global life-supporting systems (CD)

 

ACCORDINGLY, and bearing in mind the message of Caring for the Earth: A strategy for Sustainable Living, The Global Biodiversity Strategy.  launched at this Congress, and the earlier messages of the World Conservation /Strategy, the World Charter for Nature and the World Commission on Environment and Development, WE, the

 

From the Commitment in the Caracas Declaration, it would appear that the Provincial government has also reaffirmed Canada's commitment to UN Resolution 37/7 (1982), the World Charter of Nature, which states that the UN Assembly is

 

14. The principles set forth in the present Charter shall be reflected in the law and practice of each State, as well as a that international level.

 

Convinced that:

(a) Every form of life is unique, warranting respect regardless of its worth to man, and to accord other organisms such recognition's, man must be guided by a moral code of action,

Persuaded that:

(a) Lasting benefits from nature depend upon the maintenance of essential ecological processes and life support systems, and upon the diversity of life forms, which are jeopardized through excessive exploitation and habitat destruction by man

Persuaded that:

(a) Lasting benefits from nature depend upon the maintenance of essential ecological processes and life support systems, and upon the diversity of life forms, which are jeopardized through excessive exploitation and habitat destruction by man

3. all areas of the earth, both land and sea, shall be subject to these principles of conservation; special protection shall be given to unique areas, to representative samples of all the different types of ecosystems and to the habitats of rare or endangered species.

(a) Living resources shall not be utilized in excess of their natural capacity for regeneration;

(b) Activities which are likely to pose a significant risk to nature shall be preceded by an exhaustive examination; their proponents shall demonstrate that expected benefits outweigh potential damage to nature, and where potential adverse effect are not fully understood, the activities should not proceed;

 

 

This section appears to suggest that there is the intention to shift the burden of proof from the opponents of an intervention having to demonstrate harm to the proponents of the intervention having to demonstrate the expected benefits. If this were applied to the injunction it would be the responsibility of industry to have to demonstrate that the expected benefits [jobs]  outweigh the potential damage to nature.

 

(e) Areas degraded by human activities shall be rehabilitated for purposes in accord with their natural potential and compatible with the well-being of affected populations 16. All planning shall include, among its essential elements, the formulation of strategies for the conservation of nature, the establishment of inventories of ecosystems and assessments of the effects on nature of proposed policies and activities; all of these elements shall be disclosed to the public by appropriate means in time to permit effective consultation and participation.

 

19. The status of natural  processes, ecosystems and species shall be closely monitored to enable early detection of degradation or threat, ensure timely intervention and facilitate the evaluation of conservation policies and methods.

 

Exhibit C. is a letter from the Ombudsman's office indicating the findings of the Ombudsman's office related to the  Russow/Gage  inquiry into the way the B.C. government will be fulfilling international commitments.

 

2Compliance with International Agreements.

Direct personal discussions were held with Mr. Cheston, Assistant Deputy Minister of Operations Division, Ministry of Forests, and Mr. Owen, Commissioner on Resources and Environment.  Both Mr. Cheston's and Mr Owen's responsibilities reflect the government's priority for those issues of concern to you...

               

From these meetings, as well as from additional discussions with senior staff from the Ministry of Forests and the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, we have determined that BC intends to comply with the agreements signed at the UNCED in June 1992.

 

Undoubtedly, to comply with the principles from UNCED such as those stated above  it would require a moratorium on the logging of Old Growth until an environmental assessment review of the forest practices that could have a significant impact on biodiversity could be assessed; until the full life cycle analysis and true environmental accounting could be carried out; until indigenous rights have been settled; and until non-destructive use values, examined.  It would appear to be against all principles of equity that the research into impacts on biodiversity should be carried out after much of the biodiversity  has been altered. If the precautionary principle, life cycle analysis principle, environmental impact assessment principle, and the positive duty  to indigenous people are to be fulfilled, there should be an injunction preventing all activity which could be irreversible, irreparable harm.

 

ADDITIONAL REGIONAL PRINCIPLES AND REGULATIONS  RELATED TO DEVELOPMENT AND REAL ESTATE

 

Unfortunately the development community is following the adage “Buy land they’re not making it any more” rather than a new adage,  “Protect  land for  cultural and ecological, agricultural heritage of the community”.

 

Regulations need to  be   in place to prevent the following:

 

• Demolition by neglect

Establish measures and policies to reverse the trend of developers - especially absentee owners - allowing their  heritage properties to deteriorate to the point where demolition may be the only option

 

• Eradication of significant environmental features

Ensure that the Environmental Assessment Review Act prevents the practice where developers request information about the environmental features that could trigger an EAR and then proceed to destroy these features

 

• Impositional rather than empathetic design

Encourage house design to follow natural features rather than destroy natural features to accommodate preconceived design

 

•  Shortage of land enticing exploitation using foreign organization

Propose measures to raise awareness about the implications of  property rights groups such as USA Liberty Matters forming associations such as the Association of BC Landowners to prey and profit on the immediate and pending land squeeze in B.C.

 

Regional Growth strategy is not in place to limit land speculation

Propose that Oak Bay municipality play a more proactive role in the Regional Growth Strategy so as to contribute to the development of regulations and bylaws to limit land speculation.

 

• Misuse of RRSPs

Propose measures to curb the use of RRSPS for land speculation

 

• Pooling of resources to enable large scale land speculation and diversification

Propose measures to address the practice of pooling resources to enable large scale land speculation including  the establishing of extensive portfolios that increase control over development

 

• Targeting urban reserve areas for future residential expansion.

Propose information packages about the strategies of speculators to target urban land reserve areas

 

• Benefiting  from tax-free compounding

Propose the ending of the tax benefit scheme that allows  for the compounding of land value through the current practice where tax free benefits on land continue until the land is sold

 

• Allurement of ‘trade-ups’

Propose information packages about the seduction of “trade-ups” in influencing community attitude towards development projects

 

• Waiting in the wings for piggy-backing

Propose information packages about the strategies of land speculators to buy adjacent properties to development rezoning proposals and  to benefit from the change of zoning of the proposals

 

• Municipalities compromising principle to balance budgets

Propose that municipalities end the practice of sacrificing principles of heritage preservation and ecological preservation for the sake of short term financial gain

 

• Device of using rezoning process as means of increasing profit of land

Propose information packages about the device of using time and energy of municipal councils and citizens opposing development to apply for rezoning and thus benefiting from each successful stage which contributes to increased value of the property.

 

• Failure to recognize that the Convention on Biological Diversity also applies to private land

Support the application of the Convention on private land to prevent developers from profiting from logging and thus destroying biodiversity in ecological sensitive areas

 

• Strategic law Suits Against Public Participation (SLAPP)

Propose legislation to prevent further SLAP suits against citizens or elected officials that oppose development

 

• Strategic prevention of community participation

Propose legislation to prevent developers from suing individuals for legitimate protest and then arguing that because the individuals are under investigation the individuals should not be able to vote on issues involving the developers who has sued them

 

•Inappropriate development adjacent to protected areas

 Ensure compliance with the Caracas Declaration: the BC Ministry of Forests and Environment endorsed the Caracas Declaration in 1992, and in this declaration signatories undertook to prevent the “island mentality”— a protected area surrounded by inappropriate development

strive for a standard of highest tenable principles

 

• Stack public meetings with vested economic interest

Discourage  the practice of stacking the meeting with persons with vested economic interest in the development and thus manipulating the political process so that those who ordinarily would not be involved never the less are given a vote

 

• Lowest common denominator for economic gain

Propose the institution of  extensive quality regulations and controls  and the precautionary principle to prevent costly rectification of errors such as in the leaky condo situation

 

• Intimidation of  Heritage Commissions through claims of economic impossibility

• Propose that decisions should be made independently of any intimidation from developers  who, to justify demolition, raise economic impossibility of other alternatives.

 

• Incomplete information about potential forced heritage designation

 • Propose that all real estate agents provide full information to developers who purchase potentially designable heritage property about the possibility of forced heritage designation and about the obligation to maintain the property

 

• Economic growth at any cost

Ensure that there are general principles in place that will prevent urban sprawl, megabusiness container box stores the detriment of socially equitable and environmentally sound community development , and to labour rights

 

Incomplete application of international law

Ensure compliance with the Biodiversity Convention whose purpose is to conserve biodiversity on both private and public lands

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 February 2015 12:11
 
MOUNT POLLEY TAILINGS STORAGE FACILITY PERIMETER EMBANKMENT COLLAPSE RE: REPORT ON MOUNT POLLEY TAILINGS STORAGE FACILITY BREACH: , PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 08 February 2015 17:43

Assessment, Review and Evaluation by Glenda Ferris:: January 30, 2015

 

       Independent Expert Engineering Investigation and Review Panel

 

 February 2015

THE REPORT

I found the report to be well-written and at the same time quite obstructive. The words and language are easily accessible and the presentation allows all of us to read the obvious contradictory statements. In fact, the Panel Report reads like a Chinese puzzle box; it is filled with dead-ends, hidden levers, false leads and so many contradictory statements that a solution of this puzzle is daunting. There is also the obvious problem of professional engineers commenting upon public policy and regulatory systems. The Panel process and their thinking are transparent; their lines of enquiry are listed. Several aspects of compelling need are revealed:

·         The Minister’s requirement for a “simple” answer.

·         The mining industry’s necessity for self-regulation to continue.

·         The general public’s demand for an “answer”….with an understanding that when experts “answer”, that is the end of inquiry.

·         That the Panel was compelled, that Panel members had no alternative, except to provide an “answer”; they could have provided a listing of probable causes instead of “certainty”.

Last Updated on Sunday, 08 February 2015 17:48
Read more...
 
Mount Polley Mine’s Headquarters Raided Six Months After Massive Spill PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 08 February 2015 17:20
February 6, 2015

By Sarah Berman

 

alt

 

 

Hazeltine Creek on the ground. Photo courtesy Kieran Oudshoorn

On February 3, law enforcement raided the headquarters of Imperial Metals, the mining company responsible for a massive mining waste spill in British Columbia's central interior. The search could potentially lead to millions of dollars in fines and even jail time.

By volume Imperial Metals' Mount Polley spill ranks among the largest mining leaks in the world. A tailings pond dam holding back 25 million cubic metres of waste collapsed on August 4, 2014, sending an avalanche of toxic sludge containing lead, mercury, arsenic, and selenium into salmon-bearing waterways.

Read more...
 
JACK KNOX: A VOICE FROM WILDERNESS DEFENDS OAK BAY’S DEER PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 24 January 2015 21:03
By Jack  Knox Times Colonist
 
 

Kelly Carson works the bullhorn during an anti-deer cull protest in Oak Bay Village.   Photograph By ADRIAN LAM, Times Colonist

The knock on opponents of Oak Bay’s urban-deer cull is that they themselves are urban animals — latté-sucking city dwellers with a Disneyfied view of nature.

Which, for the anti-cull crowd’s most familiar face, is as far from reality as the isolated lighthouses in which she grew up.

Last Updated on Saturday, 24 January 2015 21:15
Read more...
 
Stripping the Life Off BC's Beaches, While Cashing In on Seaweed PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 20 January 2015 22:44

by Andy Sinats 

JANUARY 20, 2015

REPOSTED FROM http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/2015/01/stripping-life-off-bcs-beaches-while.html

 

 

A year and a half after the BC MoA issued the first licenses for seaweed removal on Vancouver Island, beginning with 5,000 tonnes of Mazaella Japonica at Deep Bay, Bowser, all the seaweed, that herring and sand lance rely upon for spawning, is gone. The beaches are empty.

 

There is no other herring spawning area historically as important on BC coast.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 January 2015 23:21
Read more...
 
Joan Russow is running for Councillor in Oak Bay PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 30 August 2014 05:59

alt
photo by Janine Bancroft from the rally

SEE UPDATE AT http://pejnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9940:vote-joan-russow-nov-15th-oak-bay-council&catid=84:vi-pej-events&Itemid=232

 

"Why am I running? 25/10/2014

 

 

I am committed to helping implement the Oak Bay Official Community Plan to reflect social equity and sound environmental and heritage values.

 I am concerned, however about how some sections might be interpreted and implemented.  

 Such as "There are some challenges related to infill housing in established neighbourhoods. One of these is the potential loss of vegetation and tree canopy associated with additional housing on a property." Page 74

 

While I have run in a couple of Federal Elections,  I have spent most of my political life  lobbying for compliance with international  law  

 I feel, however, that  Oak Bay is at a crossroads:

 Will Oak Bay chose to amalgamate and lose its character and identity.

and rather than protect heritage buildings allow them to be demolished or moved elsewhere?

And  will densification take precedence over the natural  environment?

 Or  will Oak Bay become a "green leader" in integrating  ecology, heritage, affordable housing, and a vibrant local economy within existing footprints as much as possible?  I  will work for the latter vision. And  I would  support the proposal that the CRD seek the designation of a UN  Biosphere Reserve and become worthy of this designation." (Joan Russow" This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

 

 

Joan Russow  

1230 ST Patrick Street

She has lived in Oak Bay since 1982

 

Joan is a widow with two sons and two daughters, and six grandaughters and a seventh to arrive in April.

 

She is internationally known for her efforts to achieve peace, and environmental and social justice,  through compliance with international law.  She feels it is time to curtail her international pursuits and focus on local issues. Her international experience, however, will be invaluable to a Council in need of a deeper understanding of our connections with the world at large.

alt
photo by Janine Bancroft from the rally for teachers

 

Joan  regrets that she will not be in Oak Bay for the full election period,  she returned jet-lagged at 6pm October 23  just before the Oak Bay All Candidates Forum . She had prior obligations to participate in The Hague at a Peace Symposium on the De-legitimization of War, and in Geneva on a panel related to the 20th Anniversary of the Beijing Conference on Women.  She can be contacted by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Marion Cumming ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) has agreed to be her official agent.

 

Education

 

Joan has a BA in Art History and studied architecture and art in Rome, Seville and Paris, and an MA in Curriculum Development in Education. Both degrees are from UBC.  She developed a method of teaching human rights, linked  to peace, social justice and the environment, within a framework of international law. She has a doctorate from University of Victoria in interdisciplinary studies, and for several years, she was a sessional lecturer in Global Issues in Sustainable Development in the Environmental Studies Programme at the University of Victoria. From 1997 to 2001 she was the National Leader of the Green Party of Canada. She has since rejoined the NDP, and values the strong environmental values she has encountered in both parties.  At the same time she is aware that cooperation with Council colleagues ought to take precedence over strict political stands.

 

                                                                                                             

International  Experience in brief

 

Joan has represented the Ecological Rights Association at a number of international conferences on the environment. In 1995, she founded the Global Compliance Research project and wrote a 350 page book about obligations incurred, and commitments made by member states of the United Nations.  This book was officially distributed in French and English to all state delegations, at the Beijing Conference on Women, to remind governments of their legal agreements. Since 1996, she has participated, on behalf of Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, and an ECOSOC participant at various international conferences.

 

She believes that the most pressing challenges internationally, nationally and locally are  (i) that the political will necessary to promote the public trust has given way to vested economic interests to the detriment of the health and welfare of the community and the environment; and (ii) that the presumption that uncontrolled unregulated economic growth is the solution to national and local problems.

 

ENCOURAGING INCREASED RESPECT FOR CITIZENS

PARTICIPATION IN THE DECISION MAKING PROCESS  MAKING

 

Years of “consultative” panels, working groups, roundtables etc. before which citizens make well founded submissions and presentations that have fallen on deaf ears have alienated citizens. There must be a meaningful consultation process drawing upon citizens with a range of expertise and experience and occurring within a framework of overarching principles.

 

COUNTERING IMPACT OF TRADE AGREEMENTS ON LOCAL DECISION MAKING

 

 Ever since the MAI (Multiple Agreement on Investments) in 1997, when she lobbied Oak Bay Council to oppose the MAI Joan has opposed the signing and ratifying of  trade agreements at the international and federal level, not only because of adverse impacts at the national, regional and local levels, but also because most trade agreements lead to deregulation and violation of international peremptory norms affecting human and ecological rights, (including civil and political rights, social, economic and cultural rights,  labour rights, and indigenous rights).

According to the Vienna Convention on the law of treaties, a treaty is null and void if it violates international peremptory norms.

 

IMPLEMENTING THE PARTS OF THE OFFICIAL COMMUNITY PLAN THAT ARE REFLECTIVE OF SOCIAL JUSTICE AN ENVIRONMENTAL AND HERITAGE VALUES

 

Oak Bay’s rich heritage ought to be protected, yet diversity promoted.  Some neighbourhoods are worthy of consideration as Heritage Conservation Areas.  Since Oak Bay is recognized as a mature, built-out community, development ought to be confined as much as possible to existing footprints in order to conserve precious greenspace. To conserve biodiversity, our urban forest should flourish and a stronger tree bylaw be implemented. The 100 year plan for restoration of Bowker Creek can be speeded up. When ageing apartment buildings and condos are replaced, in exchange for the granting of variances, as a community benefit there needs to be a percentage of units categorized as affordable housing.  Parking must be addressed in situations where duplexes, triplexes, laneway housing and garden or in-house suites are concerned.  Permeable paving ought to be incorporated on some sites, and where adequate parking space does not exist, enforceable covenants precluding vehicle ownership must be signed.  

 

STRENGTHENING OF PESTICIDE REGULATIONS

 

The Oak Bay bylaw on pesticides with the word “generally” creates a loophole. Some of the main common pesticides that are not “generally”allowed for use- contain the following synthetic chemicals 

  • Glphosate as found in products such as Round-up, Sidekick.
  •  2,4-D such as weed n feed , Killex, etc
  •   Malathion 
  •  Carbaryl such as Sevin
  •  Diazinon

In addition, pesticides such as the neonicotinoids should be banned because of the proven deleterious impact on the bee population.

 

PROMOTING FOOD SECURITY

 

Since the 1960s, Joan has been a supporter of organic pesticide-free, agriculture. And she was part of the group that opposed the spraying, of Foray 48B, to kill Gypsy moths because of the impact on human health, the environment and local agriculture. In 1997 when she was leader of the Green Party of Canada she called for the banning of genetically engineered food and crops, along with the instituting of a fair and just transition for farmers and communities into organic agriculture. She participated in a conference organized by Vandana Shiva, and drafted a call for a global ban on genetically engineered crops. She supports the grassroots municipal GE-free campaign, and the resolution that was passed at the AGM of BC municipalities.

 

Joan is  a keen supporter of urban agriulture and of proposals to link those who wish to grow edibles with those who have land to share.

She supports farmland protection and expansion, and opposes the current weakening of the Agricultural Land Reserve.

 

PROMOTING A SEWAGE TREATMENT THAT IS ECOLOGICALLY SOUND

 

She has  been involved in dealing with sewage issues since the 1970s  in Kelowna where she was active in lobbying for tertiary treatment in Okanagan Lake. In the early 1980’s, she was part of an Oak Bay Citizen’s group lobbying against an inappropriate pumping station and proposing  real treatment - tertiary treatment. In the late 1980’s, citizens of the CRD were given three choices, one of which was to do nothing, and have faced the consequences ever since. In 1992, she examined all the Rio documents on water, including statements against dumping deleterious substances into the sea, the basis of her strong presentation to the Water District.

 

SUPPORTING CONSERVATION OF BEACH ECOSYSTEMS

 

There appears to be no mention in the Community Plan of coastal ecosystem preservation.

 

ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE AT THE LOCAL LEVEL AND LOBBYING AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL

 

She attended the Climate Change conferences in Copenhagen.   Canada agreed to a reduction of 17 % below 2005 levels of carbon dioxide while the European Union was willing to agree to 30% below 1990 levels. Twenty years after the Rio Conference, Canada along with the US, deleted the Precautionary Principle, and Canada lobbied to remove any commitment to end subsidies to fossil fuel companies.  Oak Bay can address this issue from a local perspective as outlined in the Official Community Plan. In addition Oak Bay Council could raise concerns about the federal government’s failure to lead the way. in significantly mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. And point out that at the Rio +20, It was the municipalities that were demanding the significant measures that had to be taken to address the urgency of climate change.  She is opposed to pipelines from the tar sands and supports the concerns raised at the Union of BC Municipalities AGM.

 

PROMOTING CULTURAL AND NATURAL HERITAGE

 

She actively promotes the legally binding Convention on the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage and encourage their implementation federally, provincially and locally.  She supports the many proposals in the Official Community plan to preserve natural and cultural heritage. She was concerned by a decision reached at a heritage meeting in 1999.  A heritage building was preserved but  removed from its location in Oak Bay. She believes that this trend must be addressed because too many heritage buildings have already left the community through relocation and demolition.

She supports the proposal, by a number of groups, to apply for the designation, for the CRD, of UN Biosphere Reserve. This would encourage Oak Bay to live up to the expectations in the designaion.

 

ADVOCATING THE INCLUSION AND EXPANDING OF ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND THE ABIDING WITH THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE

 

SUPPORTING SENIORS RIGHTS AND INTERGENERATIONAL RIGHTS

 

Not only must the senior population be assured of their basic rights of universal health care, housing, food, and social security, but also of their continued relevance and importance in society. There should be more intergenerational cooperative programs where the wealth of knowledge and experience of seniors can be shared. In addition, a specific program linking retired academics with a recording, teaching and publishing experience with students who apply for research funding, could maintain the intellectual relevance of the seniors and assist the students with their careers.  This can be carried out with the approval and cooperation of the resourceful Oak Bay Archives.

 

PROMOTING HOME SHARE – HOME CARE PROGRAMME

 

She supports an innovative proposal that could help more seniors remain in their homes. Home Share/Home Care would be a Registry of seniors and others in need of some form of assistance at home. They would provide background information related to their needs and their interests. Companionable tenants with harmonizing interests could live in at an affordable rent.  In exchange, they could help fulfill needs related to house and garden maintenance, meal preparation, errands, etc. An Affordable Housing Organization set up by Oak Bay could explore and help implement such an initiative. Home care through family reunification ought also to be encouraged.  The empty Easter Seal House on Granite Street ought to provide affordable housig

 

LAUNCHING A PROPOSAL OF A PROGRAMME OF CARE GIVER EXCHANGE

 

Familiy unification being granted when sons and daughters living in another contry are willing to come too Cannada to care for their elderly parents and a reciprocal arrangement with other statesw for Canadian sons and daughters are willing to go toother countries to care for their elderly parents.

 

 

 

PROMOTING PUBLIC TRANSIT

 

Because large buses are inefficient on many routes, apart from the ones leading to UVic, smaller demand-responsive buses are needed.  Scheduling needs improvement, including evening hours.

She supports many of the recommendations in the Oak Bay Community Plan  for ways of moving away from car dependency.  She hopes that serious consideration will be given to designating one Sunday a month as voluntary Car-Free Day so citizens of all ages can experience the community without unnecessary cars.

 

ADVOCATING CO-EXISTENCE WITH THE DEER

 

Oak Bay should not be a guinea pig. Local citizens have taken many measures to find ways of co-existing with deer and we ought to continue with creative, compassionate measures. The speed  limit in deer crossing areas like Cadboro Bay Road and Lansdowne alongside Uplands Golf Course, where most deer fatalities have occurred, should be reduced to 40 miles an hour. More well placed deer crossing signs ought to be erected in vulnerable areas. In the future after all reasonable measures have been taken in Oak Bay, if a deer count warrants deer population reduction, contraception ought to be implemented as a Pilot Project instead of proposals to kill the deer year after year. Oak Bay Council and the CRD should actively seek ways of promoting contraception.

 

OPPOSING AMALGAMATION

It is quite clear from the experience of Toronto and smaller cities that amalgamation would not benefit Oak Bay.  Important services that logically cross borders ought to be shared.

 

PROMOTING TRUE SECURITY WHICH  INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING OBJECTIVES:

  • to achieve a state of peace and disarmament through   reallocation of military expenses and delegitimization of  war
     
  • to create a global structure that respects the rule of law and the International Court of Justice;
     
  • to enable socially equitable and environmentally sound employment, and ensure the right to development and social justice;
     
  • to promote and fully guarantee respect for human rights including labour rights, women’s rights civil and political rights, indigenous rights, social and cultural rights – rights to food, rights to housing, rights to safe drinking water and sewage, rights to education and rights to a universally accessible, not for profit health care system.
     
  • to ensure the preservation and protection of the environment, the respect for the inherent worth of nature beyond human purpose, the reduction of our ecological footprint, rejection of the current model of unsustainable consumption

 

photo by Janine Bancroft from the rally for teachers and

Marion Cumming This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it is her official Agent

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 November 2014 08:43
 
Large Dams Just Aren’t Worth the Cost PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 06:30
 
By JACQUES LESLIE

AUG. 22, 2014

 
 
Photo
alt
An aerial view of the Kariba Dam between Zambia and Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, circa 1965. Credit Paul Popper/Popperfoto — Getty Images

THAYER SCUDDER, the world’s leading authority on the impact of dams on poor people, has changed his mind about dams.

A frequent consultant on large dam projects, Mr. Scudder held out hope through most of his 58-year career that the poverty relief delivered by a properly constructed and managed dam would outweigh the social and environmental damage it caused. Now, at age 84, he has concluded that large dams not only aren’t worth their cost, but that many currently under construction “will have disastrous environmental and socio-economic consequences,” as he wrote in a recent email.

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