Author: Admin2017

Protect Old Growth Forests – Letter Writing Materials

Mythical, awe-inspiring, ecologically rich, and endangered – old growth forests are unprotected by legislation! Andrea Inness, a forest campaigner with Ancient Forest Alliance, was the guest speaker for the Environment Team’s forum on May 5th.  The Environment Team urges you to write a letter to Minister Donaldson to support strong action to benefit BC’s forests and communities. Sample Letter to Minister Donaldson

Please keep reading to see how you can help protect Old Growth Forests in BC.

B.C.’s old-growth and communities are in crisis. Raw log exports are at a record high and mills are closing. Climate change and massive forest fires are here to stay. But we are still clearcutting our most resilient and carbon rich forests at an alarming rate.


WHAT WE’RE CALLING FOR

The science is clear: to sustainably manage coastal rainforests we must stop clearcutting endangered old-growth. B.C. needs a provincial Old-Growth Protection Act using elements of the celebrated Great Bear Rainforest Agreements combined with strong support for First Nations and good long term forestry jobs.

We also need an immediate halt to logging in critical intact old-growth hotspots. This will protect magnificent areas like the Central Walbran that are immediately threatened with destruction.

Taking these steps will help us to:
Protect globally rare ecosystems, wildlife, water and climate
Strengthen First Nations’ governance and community well-being
Transition from old-growth logging to sustainable second-growth forestry

BC’s coastal temperate rainforests are among the rarest ecosystems on the planet, but today only 10% of Vancouver Island’s biggest old-growth trees are left. Because of climate change, these forests will never grow back as we knew them—if we cut them, they’ll be gone forever.

Using logging data and age class information Sierra Club BC estimates the total number of hectares of old-growth logged on Vancouver Island at about 1,708,000 hectares (without including original forests lost to deforestation, e.g. urban areas). More than 10,000 hectares of old-growth got logged in the last 12 months alone, equivalent to more than 3 square meters per second. Today, the vast majority of the remaining old-growth on the Island belongs to ecosystems with smaller trees not targeted for logging (for example along the outer coast or in higher elevations). Only about 10 percent of the biggest trees remain standing. For more information, check out our backgrounder (https://sierraclub.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/South-Coast-Backgrounder_March-2016.pdf).

The NDP’s 2017 election platform included a commitment to act for old-growth, promising to take “an evidence-based scientific approach and use the ecosystem-based management of the Great Bear Rainforest as a model.” But so far the BC government has not yet taken any meaningful steps to protect endangered coastal and inland oldgrowth ecosystems outside the Great Bear Rainforest.

 

Please tell Forests Minister Doug Donaldson you support strong action to benefit BC’s forests and communities. Please refer to sample letter below for ideas.

Sample Letter to Minister Donaldson

Bill C-262 rally supported by UCV members

The Canadian Unitarian Council was a co-sponsor of the pass Bill C-262 rally on Saturday, April 6th. Representatives of all 4 Greater Vancouver Unitarian congregations spoke including Leslie Kemp from UCV.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has called Canada to adopt and implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Bill C-262 will ensure that Canada’s laws are in harmony with the Declaration.

Please sign this online petition to urge the Senate to pass this bill without delay.

From Colonization to Reconciliation (?) – Resources and Future Plans

Ryan McMahon, the Anishinaabe activist, challenged us to read and engage with our foundational laws, treaties, Acts, and official Commission reports and recommendations. “Let’s use pre-existing documents, studies, inquests, etc. that have done ALL the heavy lifting for us,” he said. “It’s not too late to look back at where we’ve been, determine what went and is wrong, and fix things on a go forward basis.”

Our reading and discussion group met on Wednesday evenings in February and March. About 20 people participated in our lively discussions.

Steven will announce plans for further discussions in the coming months.

Truth and Reconciliation Resources

Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report Executive Summary

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action

Beyond 94 – Truth and Reconciliation in Canada

The Indian Act

The White Paper

Highlights from the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples

Citizens Plus/Red Paper 1970 response to the White Paper

Kelowna Accord

UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

UCV Directory of Small Groups and Committees

NEW Updated  2019-2020 UCV Directory of Small Groups and Committees

Wanting to get involved with a group but not sure what’s available?  Our newly updated Directory will help you navigate our complex Unitarian community. You can find hard copies on the Welcome Tables or in the office.  If you’d like an electronic version, please contact Sheila at sresels@gmail.com

UCV Neighbourhood Groups – Update

UCV NEIGHBOURHOOD GROUPS:

Building Bridges Registration Deadline is March 8th

This event takes place at UCV on March 30 and  is co-sponsored by the UCV Social Justice Committee and the Vancouver Quakers. The facilitator is Kathi Camilleri.

During this experiential workshop we will explore our personal role in supporting the revival of the values that worked so beautifully in Indigenous villages for thousands of years. We will also explore in-depth the affects of Residential Schools and Canada’s Policy of Assimilation.

This workshop is geared to solutions rather than recrimination and is a great forum in which to ask questions. The workshop is done from a non-blame and non-shame perspective and invites all participants to become a part of the healing that IS already happening.

Kathi’s work has been inspired by Jann Derrick’s teachings of Jann Derrick’s “The Circle and The Box” and by many Elders’ teachings.

Please register by March 8th: Click here for EventBrite registration page

Cost:   Suggested donation $20 per person

Lunch  (soup and bannock) and other light refreshments will be provided.

Time: Saturday, March 30 9:30 am to 4:00 pm

Additional info: www.villageworkshopseries.com

 

UCV Members March in Support of the Unist’ot’en

Many UCV members came to listen to and march with Indigenous supporters of the Wet’suwet’en people who are defending their land by opposing construction of a gas pipeline by TransCanada Coastal GasLink.

The Solidarity Action with Wet’suwet’en took place on Tuesday Jan 8, 11:30 in Vancouver. Similar rallies and marches took place locally, nationally and internationally.

Supporters followed the Indigenous led march from the Provincial Courts Building to Victory Square.





24 UCV Members Participate in Write for Rights 2018

We grouped letters going to the same person and mailed 17 big envelopes.

December 10th, 2018, marked the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by world leaders at the United Nations.

On December 9th, 24 UCV members met in the Fireside Room to write letters for for priority cases identified by Amnesty International that need global attention.

A total of 88 letters were mailed!

Write more!

Amnesty International Group 52 meets the second Tuesday of every month except August at 7 p.m. in Hewett Hall.

Contact: momus1@hotmail.com or wadej@shaw.ca or colleenandwendy@gmail.com

David Buchanan, Chair of our Library Committee, also invites your questions, comments and interest. davidfbuchanan@gmail.com

Reconciliation Ideas Table

The Social Justice Committee will be hosting a monthly ideas/information table.  Please stop by to browse through books  by indigenous authors, pick up free copies of articles and give us your thoughts about what Reconciliation means to you.

Books may be checked out for one month.  Please leave your name and email address on the book check-out sheet.

Here are some ways to be involved:

1. Donate to Raven Trust

RAVEN sees the inequity in accessing the justice system and is supporting those First Nations willing to take actionable steps to achieve parity.  Read more about Raven Trust.

2. Support Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s efforts to Protect the Inlet
by writing a letter to Premier Horgan and your MLA

3. Read and share: ACTION ALERT – Application for Injunction Served to Unist’ot’en Camp

4. Read: Resources on Allyship and Solidarity

From Colonization to Reconciliation (?) A Reading and Discussion Group

February 20 to April 3 2019, Wednesdays 7-9 pm in the Fireside Room

To begin to effect truth and reconciliation between settler Canada and First Nations peoples, Ryan McMahon, the Anishinaabe activist, challenged us to read and engage with our foundational laws, treaties, Acts, and  official Commission reports and recommendations.  “Let’s use pre-existing documents, studies, inquests, etc. that have done ALL the heavy lifting for us,” he said.  “It’s not too late to look back at where we’ve been, determine what went and is wrong, and fix things on a go forward basis.”

At the Unitarian Church of Vancouver (UCV), we’re going to try and take up Mr. McMahon’s invitation.

Together, we will read the The Indian Act, The White Paper, relevant portions of the  Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, the Kelowna Accord,  the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Summary Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

Click on links in previous paragraph to see full text of most of these documents. Click here for an overview of Indian Act and other documents

No prior knowledge or expertise is expected (it’s a journey we’re taking together).  Just a willingness to read, discuss, listen, learn and be changed.

Reading materials to be provided, with help to cover copying costs appreciated.