Category: Environment

News from the Environment Committee or related to the environment and posted by another group

Pipelines, Brunette River and ME/WE by Catherine Hembling

Pipelines, Brunette River and ME/WE…
I think there’s a song that goes something like that!

These past months along the Brunette have brought great resolve and activity to the lives of many activists, many of them seniors. I feel invigorated by my involvement in something so much bigger than I am. As well, I walk in beauty, at least once a week, along the Brunette as part of my “work”.

I am a member the Prayer Circle, in turn part of PPSTMX (Protect the Planet Stop TransMountain Expansion). There are legal fees to pay, there is soup to be delivered, there are people to meet!

We are publicly and peacefully defending the Brunette’s Salmon runs, riparian zones, trees, water quality, environment. As well, we actively support the courageous tree sit which has been going on since Dec. 21/20 with little Press coverage. By doing so we hope to increase the public’s resolve to speak out against this urban pipeline construction. We hold PM Trudeau to his assertion that there has to be community support for TMX.

This salmon run is a particular treasure, one of very few urban salmon streams in the world. It has been restored from open dumping site by volunteers, starting in the late 1970’s. A public Greenway full of birds and wildlife now runs almost the full length of the river and its tributary creeks, under the administration of Metro Vancouver.

Long term could the Brunette be re-restored? Maybe, …..but not the Climate. Climate changes are happening already. More oil burned is more CO2 in the atmosphere. Climate changes can only get worse before they get better. We think to the future. Overall, time is on the side of protesters. Each delay to construction gives the market and economic facts of the project a better chance to be understood by the public. Green job creation brings prosperity to many more workers than pipeline construction. Politicians will always want to be elected and then re-elected. That is our lever.

Electorates are powerful if ME/WE choose to be involved!

Roots and Wings : Eco-Spirituality Conference in Prague


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Roots and Wings
Finding Our Story Within
Eco-Spirituality

Presentation by Rev Lara Cowtan at the UUE EcoSpirituality Conference in Prague,
September 15th, 2018
Čapek Hall, Anenská 5, Prague 1 (in the Old Town)

Ecology and Spirituality
A Vision for Unitarianism and Unitarian Universalism
in the 21st Century!


Old City in Prague

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Jake’s avatar and Neytiri

Robin Wall Kimmerer

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David Suzuki

Rethinking Reconciliation


A Playlist of Recent UCV Podcasts on
Unitarianism and Indigenous People

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A fundamental rethink is needed to save Canada’s reconciliation project from being an on-going massive failure

— Bruce McIvor


UCV Podcasts

Rethinking Reconciliation

* The Podcasts in this Playlist were sponsored by the Reconciliation Working Group (a sub-committee of the Social Justice Committee.) This illustrates how issues embraced by different Committees at UCV are interconnected. Certainly, reconciliation cannot be separated from land title, land protection and water protection.

Speakers

Bruce McIvor
is a proud Métis from the Red River in Manitoba. He holds a law degree, a doctorate in Aboriginal and environmental history, is a Fulbright Scholar and adjunct professor at the UBC Allard School of Law

Cole Harris
is a Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia and an internationally renowned historical geographer. His academic field is colonialism and the native land question in British Columbia, and patterns of early Canadian settlement

Aline LaFlamme
Her name means the light (Aline) and the flame (LaFlamme.) She also carries the name Many Buffalo Running. Aline is a grandmother and Metis from Alberta. Among her many gifts she leads a drumming circle called Daughters of the Drum

Nan Gregory
is a professional storyteller, artist and award-winning author. Born in Boston Massachusetts, she grew up in Victoria British Columbia, and now makes her home in Vancouver. Nan pleaded guilty to criminal contempt for protesting TMX

Bruce McIvor

Cole Harris

Aline LaFlamme

Nan Gregory


Buy Nothing Groups are now all over Vancouver

Buy Nothing Groups are now in every neighbourhood in Vancouver.

And many areas beyond the city as well.

They’ve been growing both in membership and number of groups since March 2020, many doubling in size in six months from the start of the pandemic.

Cayla introduced Mary to Buy Nothing Project in early 2019, after meeting at the womens’ gathering.
Both are now administrators on their neighbourhood Buy Nothing Groups – Marpole and Kitsilano North East respectively.
These are facebook groups where people give stuff away and ask for what they need. And, importantly, express their gratitude. The third kind of post is what keeps the community building part in the forefront.

In 2019, CityTV visited a Buy Nothing “free store” that Mary coordinated. Watch the video here:

Kitsilano is the largest group in Vancouver and has recently helped to mentor volunteers and promote new groups in West Point Grey and Dunbar/Kerrisdale.

Do you want to declutter without contributing to the landfill?

If you’ve every frequented (or have ever fantasized about) a “free store” – here’s a way to try it out.

Find a group in BC by going to http://tinyurl.com/bnpmapbc

A Victory in the Discovery Islands for Wild Salmon

Contact the Enviro Team | Join the Enviro Email Group


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Above: Drummers lead by Eddie Gardner from the Wild Salmon Defenders Alliance joined with the UCV Wild Salmon Action Team to engage in street theatre outside the offices of the DFO in downtown Vancouver. They were part of a broader province-wide coalition, this September, calling for the end to fish farms in the Discovery Islands.

A victory for wild salmon. Trudeau government to phase out fish farms in the Discovery Islands by June 2022

On December 17, 2020, the UCV Wild Salmon Action Team (WSAT) celebrated the federal government’s announcement of their decision to remove fish farms from the Discovery Islands.

The Discovery Islands channels is an area known to be a bottleneck area for migrating wild salmon and one of the worst places to put open-net pen salmon farms with their increasingly poor control over lice infestations and virus infections. The Cohen commission had been set up in 2012 when the Fraser River sockeye return fell to 3 million. In 2020 that number plummeted to less than 300,000 which resulted in unprecedented solidarity from over 100 First Nations, sport and commercial fishermen, tourism operators, and several environmental organizations calling for the total removal of the Discovery Island fish farms. On December 17, the government agreed.

The WSAT can claim a small part of that decision, perhaps by being an annoying sliver in the feet of the decision makers, (WSAT had been meeting and petitioning MPs and MLAs for months,) or by adding our bodies and loonies to support other wild salmon protection groups. The day before the December announcement, WSAT met with MP Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and even though they knew the decision had already been made, added their voice to the chorus of demands for change. As well, they submitted information for the 2021 consultation meetings listing their demands that the remaining 100+ fish farms be taken out of all West Coast waters and be put on land, that scientists with research that disagreed with Industry publications be heard, and that Indigenous groups from the top of Vancouver Island to the headwaters of the Fraser River lead the planning and management of the wild salmon stocks.

WSAT is mulling over future actions which include public education, divestment campaigns, and working with Indigenous and local groups.


When fish farms are removed we find healthy juvenile salmon and a chance for wild salmon to rebound.

In April 2020, biologist Alexandra Morton found juvenile salmon free of sea lice leaving the Broughton Archipelago less than a year after just two fish farms in the area were removed by First Nations.


Below: April 2020, healthy juvenile salmon in the Broughton Archipelago

Below: Juvenile chum salmon in Nootka Sound infected with sea lice

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Below: Sea lice infected juvenile salmon collected near the Discovery Islands in May and June of 2020

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Photo credit: Tavish Campbell — Tavish is a colleague of biologist Alexandra Morton. His film Blood Water, an exposé on the dumping of blood from farmed Atlantic salmon into Discovery Passage and Clayquot Sound, sparked a CBC investigation and a BC government audit of 28 fish processing plants.

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Action Evenings

Learn Together, Act Together! 

On Wednesday evenings 7 – 8 pm via Zoom, we reflect together on significant issues of our times. Topics are curated and prepared in advance with videos, speakers, slideshows, and discussion points. This meeting offers a chance for shared learning, thoughtful dialogue, and the potential for collaboration for taking action.

All members and friends of UCV are welcome!

How to Join and What to Expect

Log in to our Zoom room ucv.im/action early from 6:45pm on Wednesday evenings as we start right at 7. 

After 8, you are welcome to stay for a while to chat about the topic and exchange ideas for action.

You are not required to have any prior knowledge of the topic.

Upcoming Events

No Events

Past Event Recordings on YouTube

Click to see AE playlist
Click on YouTube to see Action Evening Recordings

 

Past Events

Wed, Feb 24, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Who’s Afraid of Antiracism ..and Why? Who’s Afraid of Antiracism ..and Why?
Wed, Feb 17, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening R&R- Music as Restoration! Action Evening R&R- Music as Restoration!
Wed, Feb 10, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Are Refugees Good for Canada? Are Refugees Good for Canada?
Wed, Feb 3, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening - Whales, and the Revolution They Inspired to Protect Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound Action Evening - Whales, and the Revolution They Inspired to Protect Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound
Wed, Jan 27, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Migrant Workers' Rights Migrant Workers' Rights
Wed, Jan 20, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Moving to Deeper Honesty in Housing and Homelessness Moving to Deeper Honesty in Housing and Homelessness
Wed, Jan 13, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Irreparable Harm? Irreparable Harm?
Wed, Jan 6, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action "R&R" Evening Action "R&R" Evening
Wed, Dec 16, 2020
7:00 pm
Action Evenings - Activist R&R - Adapting to a Covid Christmas Action Evenings - Activist R&R - Adapting to a Covid Christmas
Wed, Dec 9, 2020
7:00 pm
Action Evenings - Amnesty International's "Write for Rights" Campaign Action Evenings - Amnesty International's "Write for Rights" Campaign
Wed, Dec 2, 2020
7:00 pm
Action Evenings - “Eco Friendly Endings: The Green New Deal of Deathcare” Action Evenings - “Eco Friendly Endings: The Green New Deal of Deathcare”
Wed, Nov 25, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening - Genderfluid Book Reading Action Evening - Genderfluid Book Reading
Wed, Nov 18, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evenings - All Genders Welcome with Morgane Oger Action Evenings - All Genders Welcome with Morgane Oger
Wed, Nov 11, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Let Peace Be Their Memorial
Wed, Nov 4, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evenings - Permaculture and Compost Action Evenings - Permaculture and Compost
Wed, Oct 28, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evenings - Is Canada on the Verge of Developing the Political Will to End Homelessness? Action Evenings - Is Canada on the Verge of Developing the Political Will to End Homelessness?
Wed, Oct 14, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening - What Can We Do About Robert's Bank Terminal 2? Action Evening - What Can We Do About Robert's Bank Terminal 2?
Wed, Oct 7, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening - Saving the Salmon-Nourished Ecosystem of Our Coast
Wed, Sep 30, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening - Reconciliation is a Massive Failure
Wed, Sep 23, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening - Evolving Pathways of Nonviolence Action Evening - Evolving Pathways of Nonviolence
Wed, Sep 16, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evening - Changing From Food Charity to Food Dignity Action Evening - Changing From Food Charity to Food Dignity
Wed, Sep 9, 2020
6:45 pm - 8:00 pm
Action Evenings: What’s This About Tree Sitters?

 

Sign-Up for Updates and Reminders!

If you would like to sign-up to receive email reminders, meeting links, and updates about this recurring event, please sign up for the Action Evenings Updates below:

Zero Waste Holidays 1 – Gift-giving tips

Our annual zero waste event will be Wednesday December 16. I’ll be posting some blog posts prior to that to get you in the mood. Your contributions are very welcome on the zoom call or in advance. I can post here.

This post is by Vivian Davidson who will be one of the speakers on December 16th.

by Vivian Davidson

The holidays are often a season filled with gift-giving and consumerism and our wallets, the environment and emotional wellbeing take a huge hit. This does not need to be the case.  I and my family have long espoused the spirit of the holidays over the consumerist ethos that has overtaken what is supposed be festive occasions.  As such I have developed very sustainable practices when thinking about what and how I give.  Below are some examples that I hope will help you in your ethical gift giving journey 😊 after all there is no reason not to spread joy and love whilst conserving our environment, sanity and creating beautiful memories and experiences.  

For starters, whatever physical gifts I give I prioritize local and sustainable.  I research companies in Vancouver that are committed to sustainable materials and processes so I forgo the ubiquitous big-name online shopping companies that mostly do not provide these choices. 

 will then wrap said gifts in things like newspaper or cool ads/pages from magazines that might be colourful to add some art to the wrapping.  Also, I tend to prefer what I have called “moments over tokens” which is to give experience-based items over ‘stuff’; for example, buying tickets for art events like theatre shows or art exhibits or a festival especially now to support local shops and the Arts and artists as much as possible. So, focusing on experiences rather than items. On that vein, I also like to get gift cards to local restaurants to support local businesses which again, is even more meaningful now.

I also like to find out people’s spirit animal or a favourite animal or flower or tree and sketch that for them along with a poem or short write-up about them and my relationship with them and what I treasure about knowing them.

Something not many people do which I highly encourage they do, is to give themselves a treat; some people call it a ‘guilty pleasure’ yet I like to call it ‘self care’, something we tend to overlook in our hyped and busy lives. So, for my ‘self care’ treat I like to gift myself a massage or anything body care related as during the year I really ask a lot of my body and giving back to it is something I never regret 😊 

So, hopefully I have given you some inspiration and a way to give to others, to yourself and to mother Nature this holiday season and well, hopefully throughout the year as well 😀 stay calm, safe and happy everyone 😊 

What are your zero waste tips?

Join our facebook group and share.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/zerowasteunitarian

UCV Statement of Solidarity with the Mi’kmaq

In accordance with the commitment in our Territorial Acknowledgement to shifting the colonial default, the Board has ratified Tamiko Suzuki’s eloquent letter to the Prime Minister voicing UCV’s pledge of solidarity with the  Mi’kmaq fishers in Nova Scotia fighting for their treaty rights and urging the Federal government to actively support these rights. The letter also denounces both the racist violence by non-Indigenous rioters and the hands-off stance of the RCMP.

UCV Statement of Solidarity with the Mi’kmaq:

The Unitarian Church of Vancouver pledges solidarity with the  Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia, who are fighting for their treaty protected right to catch and sell fish for a moderate livelihood. This right was written in the Peace and Friendship Treaties of 1760/61, and reaffirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada with the Marshall decision in 1999. We urge the Federal Government to actively support this treaty right.

We denounce both the racist violence  by non-Indigenous rioters and the hands-off stance of the RCMP. We strongly urge the RCMP to protect Mi’kmaq communities from any further mob violence or personal threats. 


Wild Salmon Rallies and Street Theatre — Sept 2020

Contact the Enviro Team | Join the Enviro Email Group

Above: Rally and street theatre outside the offices of the DFO in downtown Vancouver calling for an end to fish farms in the Discovery Islands

From the constituency office of Liberal MP Terry Beech, to a Wild Salmon Die-in outside the DFO, the Wild Salmon Action Team joined a call by one hundred and one BC First Nations to remove fish farms in the Discovery Islands

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Forest Walk – September 2020

Pacific Spirit Park, Sept 12, 2020 | The haze in this photo is not a typical West Coast mist or fog in early Fall. But rather smoke from forest fires burning in Washington State. While California is experiencing its worst forest fire season ever. Reminding us of the looming climate crisis and the need for climate action.

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