Author: EnvironmentNews

Canada Needs a Green New Deal

The climate crisis is here. Arctic permafrost is melting, forests, towns, and Indigenous territories are burning. States of emergency – declared for once-in-a-century floods – are becoming commonplace, and millions around the world already face dislocation and starvation.But that’s not the only thing keeping us up at night. Many of us are struggling to find an affordable place to live, or a decent job to support our families. Hate crimes and racism are on the rise. And promises to Indigenous peoples have yet to be implemented.

We need an ambitious plan to deal with multiple crises at the same time.

A bold and far reaching plan to cut emissions in half in 11 years in line with Indigenous knowledge and climate science, create more than a million good jobs you can support a family with, and build inclusive communities in the process.

We need a Green New Deal — for everyone. And we need everyone to be a part of building it. Will you join us?

The  UCV Environment Team is hosting a Green New Deal Town Hall  (the first in Vancouver !)

Friday, May 24th 7:30pm

Hewett Hall at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver

949 49 AVE W, Vancouver, BC

This event is one of many Green New Deal town halls being held in communities across the country in May 2019. The conversation is being led from the ground up through town halls bringing together people from all walks of life to discuss our vision for a new economy — one that cuts global warming pollution, sees the full implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Right to Free Prior and Informed Consent, and the TRC recommendations, creates millions of green jobs, and makes sure no one gets left behind. The input from these town halls will be used to inform a vision for a Green New Deal for all.

Please RSVP at:




Intergenerational Dinner a Success!

Prepping for soups and salads

Over 70 participants and volunteers had a great time at last Friday’s  March 15 Intergen gathering.

The evening started with a delicious dinner of appetizers, vegan curry, minestrone soup, spinach salad, organic bread, and  a table’s worth of desserts.

Thanks UBC Sprouts-Community Eats for your donation of produce! A big thanks to the volunteers from the Environment Team and Love Soup who planned and cooked the dinner, and cleaned up.

Dinner over, our stomachs full, we were eager to hear what the evening’s program would bring and we weren’t disappointed. Vivian Davidson emceed the evening  and Tamiko Suzuki explained to the non-Unitarians in the audience about Unitarians having a long history of being loving  **** -disturbers.

Quoc Nguyen from Leadnow, spoke of the mental health benefits of volunteering in these uncertain times. Dr Dave Steele of EarthSave spoke with passion and emotion about animal cruelty in industrial farming.

..and then there was the dessert table…

Dr Tara Cullis, president of the David Suzuki Foundation, spoke of the campaigns with First Nations in the Amazon and up the coast of BC fighting to save their lands from dams, and logging. Lorimer Shenher, writer and ex-member of the Vancouver Police Department, touched on racism, sexism, and mental health in his time working on the Missing Women portfolio in the DTES.

Discussion circle with Lorimer Shenher

After they gave their 15 minute ‘elevator speeches’, the guest speakers spread out in Hewett Hall and the audience was invited to go sit at one of their circles to listen, ask questions or share stories. They could get up and check out another circle whenever they want which kept the energy level high.

(the photos taken of these circles all show people deep in thought or listening intently but there really was movement between the circles).

Discussion circle with Tara. The speakers said they wished they too could have been able to sit in on the other discussion circles as the topics were so varied and fascinating!

The event wrapped up with a group of  Sto’lo and Haida guests who sang a few songs to close out the evening.
Guests were urged to take home some of the produce that hadn’t been used for the dinner; a head of broccoli, a bunch of bananas, or whatever was left in the boxes as a parting gift!

Intergenerational Activists Gathering. What Is This??

On Friday March 15, the UCV Environment Team is hosting another Intergenerational Activists Gathering.

What is this “Intergenerational thingamajig?” you wonder.

We are glad you asked!  Aside from the somewhat unwieldy name, the “Intergen dinner” (short hand title) first arose in 2017 from a chance encounter that UCV member, Tamiko Suzuki, had with a group of young environmental activists in the community. The young women were complaining of burnout, feeling isolated and unheard, and were wondering if their efforts were worth it. Coincidentally, Tamiko had been hearing the same complaints from the UCV Environment Team as veterans of past campaigns such as Clayoquot sound, and the anti-nuclear and anti-war movements wondered who would take up the battle after them.

1st Dinner

She proposed inviting the young activists  to share dinner and stories in Hewett Hall with the Environment Team and the first Intergenerational Activists Gathering was born.  Karl Perrin of the Environment Team, and Anjali Appadurai of West Coast Environmental Law, were the key note speakers.  The E Team put on the dinner, and guests were given a series of questions to discuss at their table and encouraged to ‘be brave’ and share emails.

2nd Dinner

At the second Intergen dinner in the fall of 2018, the definition of ‘activist’ was broadened to include supporters and anyone who cared deeply about the environment.  Millenial speakers from UBC (Andrew Sheroubi, Arman Mottaghi ) and the community (Nada Grocery) were invited who could share their stories of how they were working to solve environmental and social justice issues.  UBC Sprouts-Community Eats, which  focuses on food sustainability and food security issues, provided the food.

3rd Dinner

The third Intergen dinner, which will happen Friday March 15, will be different again, but promises to be just as fun and interesting! This time, four veterans will be speaking:

Dr Tara Cullis, president and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation,

Dr David Steele, vice-president of Earthsave Canada

Quoc Nguyen, organizer, Leadnow and director, Humanity Refugee Society

Lorimer Shenher, acclaimed author and advocate for marginalized people and police reform.

At this evening’s event, to contrast with the previous dinner which was about ‘success stories’, the topic will be “Lessons Learned When Things Went Wrong”  — Failure, near failure, or simply when things don’t turn out as expected, can often teach us more than if everything worked out perfectly.

You won’t be sitting quietly and listening to the speakers all evening, however. During dinner, you will have a chance to meet and chat with your table companions, some of whom will hopefully be of a different generation from your usual friends. After dessert, the keynote speakers will stand up and each give their 10 minute “elevator speech” on the evening’s topic. They will then move to sit at 4 different tables and the audience is invited to circulate among them.  It will be a free flowing hour with everyone encouraged to move about, sit with the speaker for a while, ask questions, and share stories.

Once again UBC Sprouts/Community Eats will provide the food.

Entry is by donation with proceeds to be shared between Community Eats and the Environment Committee Green Fund to further their projects.

To volunteer or if you have questions, contact:

As this event will be very popular, and seating is limited, it is recommended you reserve a seat through Eventbrite.






Get RADICAL! With The Environment Team

At least 80 people braved our snowy Vancouver weather on Friday, Feb. 15 to come watch the incredible movie “The Radicals” – where environmentalism meets action sports. The filmmaker and some of those involved in the film provided commentary and answered questions. Over $1200 was contributed to the three Indigenous groups featured in the film. Another successful event from the Environment Team!

Three Environmental Events Coming to UCV!

Whether you are a longtime environmentalist concerned about oil tankers and other issues, a social justice activist supporting First Nations concerns–or if you know nothing about these topics and feel now is a good time to start learning–the Environment Team is hosting three upcoming events for you!



Sat, Jan 19, 2019 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Location Sanctuary

This is a film screening, a fundraiser and a discussion with Heiltsuk Nation members about their court challenge. They are aiming to enshrine governance of their homelands and waters into law.

With the Unist’ot’en conflict in the news every day, hearing about the Heiltsuk case is relevant and important for us to gain an understanding of Indigenous issues in BC and Canada.
Click here for more information.


The RADICALS by Beyond Boarding

Fri, Feb 15, 2019 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Location Sanctuary

With breathtaking cinematography, The RADICALS is a documentary film that follows four snowboarders and surfers driven to become social and environmental stewards through their connection with the environments in which they play.

Follow them as they show the Tahltan fight for the Sacred Headwaters, BC Hydro’s destruction of salmon waters in Xwísten territory, art as resilience on Haida Gwaii, and a coastal uprising against fish farms off the coast of Vancouver Island. Each Indigenous community teaches the athletes to understand what it means to be  truly Radical.


Intergenerational Activist Dinner

Fri, Mar 15, 2019 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Location Hewett Hall

Following the success of the fall 2018 Inter-generational Dinner, we are holding another gathering and this time the topic is:  Lessons Learned When Things Went Wrong.

Come join us in Hewett Hall for dinner (courtesy once again of UBC Community Eats). We will follow dinner with stories from some seasoned environmental and social justice activists as they talk of lessons learned from past campaigns. This is a great chance to make new connections, share stories, and learn from their experiences.



News from the Environment Team!

The Environment Team, also known as the Environment Committee, met in September to plan activities for the new year. Topics discussed ranged from  pipelines to Sunday lunches, exciting new monthly Forums, another Intergenerational gathering of old and young activists, educational events on Alternative energy sources, a  small appliance repair table, Religious Education workshops on new ways of talking about Climate change and other controversial topics, and brainstorming ideas for Earth Day 2019! We tossed around a lot of ideas for one year  but the Enviro Team is a community with a range of different skills, connections, passions, and experience.

From left to right. Back row: Mary, Cindy, Dianne, Elizabeth, Karl, Hanno. Front row: Olga, Catherine, John, Rob, Tamiko

Keep an eye out for announcements in the Order of Service, on the UCV website, and on posters in Hewett Hall this fall as we put on some highly entertaining and educational events!

One more thing–We are high energy but we are also friendly and welcoming! If you want to join us or just learn about what we are up to, come to our monthly meeting in Biddle room every third Sunday at 12:30 pm.

Meet the Kinder Morgan Arrestees!

Sunday October 7 Forum, 12:35pm
Four UCV members chose to cross the injunction line at the Kinder Morgan site and face arrest, jail time, and fines. One other member faces a lawsuit and potential bankruptcy.  Why did they do this? Hear their personal stories and their experiences with the police and legal system. We will also hear from a lawyer who will speak on the legal implications and potential future developments now that the company has been bought by the Canadian government.
Sponsored by the Environment Team

Fix-it Folks Wanted


Do you have a small household appliance that does’t work? Do you feel bad at the idea of throwing it in the garbage? Do you wonder if it would be possible to repair it?

“Repair Matters” (facebook) Vancouver (B.C.) is an all volunteer service started by four women university students from Simon Fraser and Emily Carr – back around 2015. They have taken a few breaks over time, and have started up again just recently.  Repair Matters invites people to bring their domestic appliances, and related items, (gadget, toys, tools, sport ‘stuff,’ etc.) to their repair events.  They find that with their shared knowledge, and experiences, they are able to repair many of the items brought to them.

“Repair Matters” is looking forward to setting up a repair event at Vancouver Unitarian Church.  We will let you know the time and date for this event when we get our schedules coordinated.

Are you a ‘fix it’ type person who’d enjoy volunteering your time, talent and skills to help members and friends at UCV?

The Environment Team is exploring the idea of creating space for having small household appliances repaired or adjusted. If you have such items hiding out somewhere  that you’d like to have repaired, or if you would like to fix those items (or teach people how to fix them) we’d love to hear from you!

604-733-0370 (leave a message)

email Olga  (subject ‘fix-it’)

Rise for Climate Sept 8 events

Rise for Climate

On Sept. 8th, organized over 900 events around the world to demonstrate our passion for stopping Climate Change.

“…The test for real climate leadership is simple: leave fossil fuels in the ground and commit to 100% renewable energy. With hundreds of creative actions on September 8, the climate movement showed the world that we will not accept anything less.”

One reason for this world wide event was to pressure the Global Climate Action Summit meeting in San Francisco, Sept. 12-14 to co-ordinate climate action.  California Gov. Jerry Brown invited professionals and volunteers to co-ordinate and build renewable energy infrastructure, and divest from fossil fuels.

Locally, religious and environmental groups put on three diverse events on Sept. 8th and UCV members were there at all of them!

1) Reconnect to Life: reflect, renew,rejoice

Multi-Faith Action Society, Be the Change Alliance, and InterSpiritual Centre joined forces at UCV and several UCV members took part.  The keynote speakers were Chief Phil Lane (Four Winds International) and Rabbi Laura Kaplan (Vancouver School of Theology), participant-lead circle dialogues were facilitated by Maureen Jack-LaCroix (Be The Change Earth Alliance); and Aline Laflamme and the Daughters of the Drum closed the event with a powerful song for the Earth and all her children (including the foolish human ones).

2) Build Our Future not a Pipeline

Afterwards, participants headed downtown for the rally organized by Climate Convergence and UBCC 350 to celebrate the recent court ruling stopping the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.  

(photos not available at this time)

3) Suffering Salmon: Climate Change and Pipelines

At least 10 Vancouver Unitarians joined the global Rise for Climate events on Sept. 8 by participating in the Suffering Salmon event hosted by BROKE (Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion) and Protect the Inlet at Kwekwecnewtxw (Watch House) at the Burnaby Mountain tank farm.

It was a very informative and educational event with speakers, videos, live music, and a visit to the local salmon streams that are threatened by the Trans Mountain tank farm. We all came away with renewed appreciation for the resilience of our salmon, for their critical roles in our forest ecosystem, and for the many ways they are threatened by climate change and the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. We celebrated the August 30 decision of the Federal Court of Appeal that quashed the Trudeau government’s approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Project and stopped all ongoing work on the project, while at the same time recognizing that there are many challenges ahead to protect our coast and the cherished salmon.




Rise For Climate-International Day of Action

What:  Rise for Climate is organized world wide by .

When:  September 8, 2018.  

Where:  Different events at different venues.  Go to the link above and type in your city for local events or check out the following events:

  1. At UCV, faith leaders and community from Metro Vancouver will gather for a meaningful, multicultural dialogue on the power of ‘spiritual activism’ to engender global peace, sustainability and harmony in the face of an uncertain future. Sat. Sept 8, 9:30am,-3:30pm.

2) Burnaby: BROKE will have music, speakers, graphics on “Suffering Salmon” in streams on Burnaby Mountain at the Watch House , Sat. Sept 8, 11am-3pm.

3) Downtown Vancouver:  Climate Convergence and UBCC350  are organizing a rally and march at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Sat. Sept. 8, 4 pm

Why:  We need people to step up and let leaders know what we are already doing to prevent climate catastrophe.  The Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, Sept. 12-14 needs to hear from the grass roots: us.  We need to join forces to fight the Kinder Morgan / Trudeau Pipeline Expansion (TMX). “ 

Who:  Everyone who cares about the impacts of Global Warming.

How: RSVP and show up!