When Justice Douglas Thompson refused to extend an injunction against old-growth defenders blocking a logging road at Fairy Creek on Vancouver Island, his decision made headlines around the world.
Justice Thompson referred explicitly in his decision to “enforcement […] carried out by police officers rendered anonymous to the protesters, many of those police officers wearing ‘thin blue line’ badges.” The significance of this language may not be clear to every reader; but the judge’s reasoning was important — to more than just the struggle over the fate of the pathetic remnants (one or two percent) of BC’s old-growth forests.
Continue reading Fairy Creek and Lyell Island: Policing Then & Now
On January 26th 2021, Currents reported on continuing friction between the SRD Board and our elected representative Noba Anderson. Readers may recall that SRD had filed a petition against Anderson and her land partners after a bylaw compliance complaint against their Cortes Island property. Legal documents pertaining to this case are now publicly available, and Currents is able to report in further detail.
Why should Cortes Islanders care about a private legal dispute? Because this litigation has implications and consequences for all Area B residents. If SRD succeeds in court, it could set a precedent instantly rendering many Cortes properties non-compliant which have previously been legal. SRD has re-interpreted the language of the zoning bylaw in a new way, outside the traditional understanding of the community and of SRD’s own planners.
Continue reading SRD vs Anderson: Zoning Compliance Issue
For many people, their first awareness of a social media phenomenon called “QAnon” came with news coverage of a failed autogolpe in the US, on January 6th of this year. On that date, an organised mob invaded the US Capitol building in an attempt to derail the election process and prevent the inauguration of newly-elected President Joe Biden. Their mission was to keep the defeated incumbent Donald Trump in power.
Among the banners and signage carried by the insurgents, onlookers saw many variants on the letter Q and slogans like “Where We Go One We Go All,” “The Great Awakening,” “Trust the Plan,” “Save the Children,” etc. For those who had been observing the QAnon phenomenon during the years leading up to the insurrection, all these slogans and symbols were familiar indicators of a deeply troubling development in both US history and social media culture.
Among those worried observers were Darshan Stevens and Alex Hornby of Cortes island. When we discovered our mutual interest in the topic (cults in general and QAnon in particular), I suggested an interview for Currents. The result became a four-part special feature, airing the week of May 10th 2021.
Continue reading QAnon, Cults, & Conspirituality
In March 2021 I had the opportunity to interview Tanya Henck and James Foster about the work they are both doing in support of women on Cortes Island. This article presents some highlights from that interview. (For a more complete story, listen to the radio version.)
Tanya is the founder and coordinator of the Cortes Island Women’s Resource Centre; readers/listeners may remember her from a previous interview in April of 2020. At that time, official acknowledgement of the Covid-19 pandemic was just ramping up. Almost a year later — and what a year! — I asked Tanya how her work had been affected by the pandemic. Did the Centre have to shut down?
Continue reading Women’s Resource Centre Update
[OPINION/EDITORIAL/RESEARCH, the audio of which will be broadcast over Cortes Radio as the first part of a special of Fish Farms – Sat, Feb 13, and repeated on Wed, Feb 17, 2021, Click here to access the other part of this special]
The “fish farm” issue simmering for decades on the BC Coast has boiled over again, in the controversy over DFO’s recent decision to close down open-net Atlantic salmon “farms” in the Discovery Islands and Broughton Archipelago areas. Locally, the issue is mostly being discussed in terms of First Nations sovereignty vs employment, though debate continues over the scale and impact of externalities like sea lice infestations, chemical and biohazard effluent, etc.
I’d like to back up a bit and try to put this local conflict into a larger perspective. “Fish farming” is a global issue, with a long history. Canada is only one minor player in the international Great Game of Atlantic salmon feedlots. This is such a big subject that it can’t be fully covered in a readable article; I’ve compiled a brief bibliography (of links) by topic, at the end. There are also many links and footnotes throughout the text, so readers can dig deeper.
Continue reading The Helicopter View: Fish Farms Around the World