by Meghan Hildebrand
Hello on a beautiful day,
The Powell River Water Watch Coalition formed to advocate for a publicly controlled wastewater treatment facility for our community. Our City has signed an “Agreement in Principle” to pay the mill (a lot of $$) to treat our waste. It seems there may be some “free money” from the province to pursue this, but I don’t believe this is “free money” that we can afford.
The project will be extremely rushed with no room for mistakes, and we are getting into bed with a company with a very uncertain future. Read more at our website:
If this is something that concerns you, please sign the online petition and attend meetings as they arise.
by Nadia Sonriente
On my recent visit to the Recreation Complex, I was shocked to see a large plasma television performing in the hallway before new, leathery sofas.
Plasma screens are not exactly cheap, and it was my understanding that the City, particularly the Complex, is severely strapped for cash lately and looking forward to even less cash this year.
Besides, isn’t the Complex entirely dedicated to the culture of sport, fitness, and the arts? Since when did couch-potato-ing become a designated sport?
I understand that being a hockey dad or mom, or, for that matter, a young hockey player, involves many hours of patient waiting and hanging around. One has to credit hockey families full marks for participation, perseverance, and endurance. On asking about the TV, I was given to understand that it was bought to alleviate their suffering.
Excuse me? Have we forgotten how to read? Play games? Socialise? If we can’t offer the longsuffering public the opportunity of pumping iron while waiting, is it too much to ask that participants prepare for hours of hanging around by bringing along a book, a deck of cards, and a set of good manners?
Anyone who’s kept up with the research on the effects of TV and computers on people, especially kids, knows that (1) the human brain can’t NOT watch TV, because that’s the way our vision is wired, (2) anything more than about half an hour a day is bad for your health, and (3) it’s a huge contributor to ADHD and learning disabilities, worst of all for the little kids. That’s before any discussion of the content of TV, which, if you’ve been away from it awhile, you realise is mostly cultural poison, anyway.
I’ve heard that plasma screens have an enormous carbon footprint, too. Did we citizens buy some carbon credits to make up for it? Read more »
I am sure that we are all capable of picking up a bag of litter a week in our neighborhoods. There have been studies done that show that the cleaner an environment the less likely there is to be a high crime rate. Living in a community we are all so proud of has the ability to be cleaner. The highway is one thing with the trucks going to the Dump from Savory or Lund and garbage flying off the truck. The streets downtown could use a few bending over citizens to pick up. In a city where the streets are clean, it’s more likely that the tourists will leave it that way. It’s so beautiful here in Paradise we owe it to the environment to keep tidying as we go. Read more »
by Corey Matsumoto
The public meeting hosted by the PRSC Limited Partnership on Thursday, November 8, at the Powell River Recreation Complex came as a surprise to many people. The open house, presentation, and meeting was hosted to collect public feedback regarding potential usage of PRSC land holdings, some of which lie within Agricultural Lands Reserves (ALR). The relatively sparse attendance by the general public seemed to indicate that either many people didn’t know about the meeting, or the hundreds of citizens who were so passionate about Powell River’s Agricultural Land Reserves this past summer suddenly turned passive. (Maybe leaflets promoting the event–were there any?–were disregarded as 4-month-old announcements.)
Those who turned out were certainly subject to a strong feeling of deja vu given the familiar display of maps and charts indicating the pertinent information and suggested uses for the land parcels in question. Each map had an accompanying suggestion sheet inviting the public to write down ideas for development.
There was a familiar air of discontent amongst the attendees as they mingled amongst PRSC board members during the open house segment. It seemed that PRSC board members had either forgotten or ignored the suggested uses put forth by the public 4 months ago when the ALR controversy was at its height. The board had no new plan to put forth for discussion aside from vague “suggested uses”. The persistence of the word ‘airport’ as a suggested possible use of a familiar section of land fueled a sentiment that the PRSC Limited Partnership is still intent on pursuing its original plan, using poorly advertised public meetings to bolster a revised ALR exclusion application.
The board faced tough questions from the audience. Some questions, directed at the City’s involvement in PRSC, could not be answered since there were no city officials at the table. Read more »
by Corey Matsumoto
If you can crack the above code you’re much better off than many of us. With a news item so filled with acronyms, it’s no wonder many people are confused with what the heck is going on. Scott Randoph’s presentation at the PRSC Limited Partnership’s public meeting and open house helped to clarify the whole scenario.
In 2003, Norske Canada was approached by the City of Powell River and Sliammon Development Corp (SDC) to purchase waterfront lands near the mill. In 2004, the 3 parties signed a memorandum of understanding. This paved the way for the creation of the PRSC (standing for Powell River, Sliammon, Catalyst) Limited Partnership, collectively owned by the Powell River Waterfront Development Commission (PRWDC -AKA City of Powell River), Tee’skwat Land Holdings (Sliammon), and 0606890 BC Ltd. (Catalyst Paper Corp).
PRSC is managed by PRREDS (Powell River Regional Economic Development Society), headed by Scott Randolph. PRSC bought land parcels totalling about 800 acres from Catalyst. Some of this land is designated as Agricultural Reserve Land (ALR) which means that it must be used for agricultural purposes unless an application to remove the ALR designation is successful. The developer involved in the project was a company named Yrainucep (the word pecuniary, meaning money, spelled backwards), which did little to create public confidence.
Earlier this year, PRSC applied to the Agricultural Land Commisson (ALC) to remove the ALR designation from certain parcels of land in its possession to create a gated community and private jetway. The application was rejected in September. Yrainucep has “withdrawn” from the project, but people still wonder: is PRSC is now positioning itself for another application?
Still confused? Visit: www.prreds.com/prsc.htm for more info on the PRSC Limited Partnership.
by Eva van Loon
When 75 persons turn up, mostly via moccasin telegraph, at a church-basement meeting to discuss a nefarious proposal by City Council to re-vamp the city’s sewage-treatment plant, you know, as one participant said, “Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark.”
To the newcomer, it seems a bit odd. Isn’t it a good thing to upgrade the local sewage-treatment plant? Especially since the population has been rising nicely and presumably every newcomer feels the call of nature daily?
Two issues were well aired at this meeting, ably run by Patricia Aldworth. One: the impact of a sewage-treatment plant on home values, hereinafter called the NIMBY Poo issue (Not In My Back Yard). Two: the lack of public participation in the plan, hereby dubbed the Poo Gate issue.
Unlike the Town Centre Hotel meetings about the Yrainucep and LNG-on-Texada proposals, the sewage meeting was a purely local issue. It was not about fighting off yet another brilliant project from outside to abuse PR’s spectacular resources to provide our beleaguered city with McJobs. Unlike those meetings, the subtext of this one did not require us to consider whether Powell River is to be a community or a commodity.
This meeting was about, well, about our own sh**. Not BS but HS. The smelly human stuff. The stuff every single human community on earth should be thinking seriously about handling in the greenest possible manner, starting yesterday.
Yet the smell of the meeting, pardon the expression, was similar. A complaint that kept bubbling to the surface, like methane gas, was poor communication by, with, and about City Council. Once again, people did not know enough to be at a point where decisions can be made, and they weren’t happy about it.
Does this Council fail to communicate effectively? For neo-PRites, it’s hard to tell and wise to refrain from opinion. But even to newcomers, something in the area of municipal communication is obviously not working well. Read more »
by Pat Parsley
It has become apparent to me recently that there are actually people in our society who believe that it is acceptable to clear cut our forests, pollute our waters, pave every green space in site and consume fossil fuel as fast as they can. Perhaps those individuals do not have time to watch The Nature of Things, or read scientists’ environmental reports as they are too busy working at the mill, driving, flying, racing drag bikes and consuming fuel in other ways. However, as this is a free country, I will defend their right to voice their opinion, no matter how absurd it may be.
Our human species is rapidly approaching extinction due to our own behavior. We have already caused the extinction of other species. Are we now hell-bent on destroying our own?
Our pursuit of comfort and consumption of products, fuel and the desire for monetary profit is the driving force that will end the human race. The glaciers are melting, oceans are rising, green space is rapidly disappearing and yet we continue to consume,
consume, consume. Due to our easy existence, we don’t even complain when large corporations want to speed up this process. Very learned scientists have been telling us for years that this is a disaster that’s fast-approaching. Why aren’t we listening? Are we so spoiled and lazy that we don’t have the energy to listen or change our own behavior?
Climate change is happening. Period. If we don’t start saying no to the large corporations who placate us with comforts, we are contributing to our own demise. Say no to the proposed LNG Plant on Texada and the hazardous waste dump in Wildwood.
by Jerome Desilets
Catalyst has been named to the Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) TSX 200 Climate Disclosure Leadership Index for our work addressing climate change issues.
To honour Catalyst and the other CDLI companies’ efforts, the CDP (in partnership with Deloitte) plans to hold a private dinner that will bring together the CEOs of the 15 CDLI companies and the CEOs of the 32 Canadian-based CDP signatories, as well as any CEOs of Canadian subsidiaries of global CDP signatories.
The CDP provides a coordinating secretariat for institutional investors with a combined $41 trillion of assets under management. On their behalf it seeks information on the business risks and opportunities presented by climate change and greenhouse gas emissions data from the world’s largest companies: 2,400 in 2007. The CDP website is the largest repository of corporate greenhouse gas emissions data in the world.
The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is an independent not-for-profit organization aiming to create a lasting relationship between shareholders and corporations regarding the implications for shareholder value and commercial operations presented by climate change. Its goal is to facilitate a dialogue, supported by quality information, from which a rational response to climate change will emerge.
by Heiz D. Becker
We have three groups of people in Powell River. Group ‘A’ believes there is no limit to economic growth and promotes it at any cost. Never mind the next generation, debt, inflation, environment, or the future. Their mottos is “Let’s live it up “.
Group ‘B’ contains persons who are aware of the limits on how much abuse mother nature tolerates before punishing us. She has chastised us in the past for being ignorant, greedy, overpopulated, etc. She lost some skirmishes but never a war.
Group ‘C’ consists of many little subgroups, the blissfully unaware, the ones who lost confidence in the three levels of government & democracy, the fatalists who hope we muddle through somehow through the wonder drug called technology.
The coming municipal elections will be a battle between group ‘A’ and group ‘B’. Group ‘A’ enjoys the backing of the provincial government, developers (I fear developers more than terrorists), big & small business, recipients of municipal grants and the bunch of assorted sycophants.
Group ‘B’ faces an uphill battle and have to persuade members of group ‘C’ to come out and vote for long-term survival quality of life, self-sufficiency, affordable taxes, maintaining of what we have and more genuine belly laughs.
Our biggest challenge is finding self-actualized persons for the job of guiding our city into the future.
by United Steelworkers
The United Steelworkers are on strike against the Coastal Forest Industry over respect and dignity issues.
One of the main issues in the Coast strike is the unilateral right that the companies have to implement alternate shifts that result in workers working up to 15 – 16 hours per day, all at straight time rates of pay.
In some cases, employers have put workers on punishing shifts, such as 6 days on and 3 days off. Workers on this shift only get 2 weekends out of every 9 weekends off to be with their families. You can well imagine the impact the impact that this has on family life.
These shifts leave workers fatigued and burned out. They are unable to spend quality time with their families or participate in community activities.
Some of the 43 fatalities that occurred in the forest industry in 2005 can be directly attributed to the shifts that the Industry has imposed on its workers.
The callous attitude of some companies toward the safety of their employees is reflected in their refusal to agree to contract language that would allow all of their employees to take off the remainder of the day when a fatality occurs in the operation.
Another of the main issues in this strike is the abysmal treatment of contractors by the major forest companies.
The major forest companies have been squeezing their contractors to the point where it is nearly impossible for them to make a living. Some of the majors want to divide up existing stump-to-dump contracts into smaller and smaller contracts and pit contractor against contractor, leading to a rapid race to the bottom.
Three of the major licensees on the Coast of British Columbia have betrayed their employees, their contractors and the communities. In 2003, they promised to invest $1 billion if they got a concessionary Collective Agreement and Forest Policy changes. They got both. Read more »