Environment

Millstream Fishway restoring critical salmon habitat

Millstream Fishway restoring critical salmon habitat

The Millstream Fishway Project is a collaboration led by the Peninsula Streams Society to restore and reconnect critical salmon and cutthroat trout habitat disrupted by a poorly designed culvert under Atkins Road in Langford, BC.  There were many project and funding partners including the local, provincial and federal governments, business...

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For the coast

For the coast

I grew up fishing with my dad in our boat on the Saanich Inlet. Those experiences inspired my work in the legislature on wild salmon policy and over the next four years that work will definitely continue! The BC Green Caucus got wild salmon on the agenda during the last Parliament and what followed was a $142 million investment from both the...

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Olsen debates climate policy with Heyman and Milobar

Olsen debates climate policy with Heyman and Milobar

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYZwZKM1LA4[/embedyt] On Thursday October 8, 2020, I joined BC NDP Environment Minister George Heyman and BC Liberal environment critic (former) Peter Milobar to debate climate policy. The description below is quoted from the Pembina Institute website. If you would like a summary of the 60-minute forum...

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Animal conservation should protect animals not kill them

Animal conservation should protect animals not kill them

The wildlife act should protect animals in British Columbia. Far too often incidents involving the conservation service end with the death of animals. For example many incidents we hear about involving bears could have been avoided all together if there was a much greater focus on preventing human/animal interactions by enforcing wildlife laws...

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The ongoing tragedy of the disappearing salmon

The ongoing tragedy of the disappearing salmon

If you have been following my blog then you might feel this post is just recycling old content. Unfortunately, I am not. The bad news for the wild Pacific salmon is getting worse.This week a CBC reporter asked me to respond to the fact that the Pacific Salmon Commission has downgraded the 2020 Fraser River sockeye salmon forecast from 941,000 to...

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More on forestry and water… we know better

Earlier this summer, I wrote about forestry and watershed protection. It was inspired by a visit to the Comox Valley and a number of meetings with concerned citizens and community organizers about the impact of resource harvesting on the drinking water for all the people living in the valley.I pointed to how costly it is likely going to be should...

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Clearcut

Thousands of people have contacted my constituency office expressing their deep concern about forestry policy and practices in British Columbia.The messages are either generated from a third party service delivering a form email or they are just independent responses to the daily news and social media posts.Recently I received a nice note from...

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Forestry: Learning from the wisdom of our Elders

There has been a lot of chatter in the public about the collapsing British Columbia forestry industry. In every community I visited this summer, forestry issues were central to the concerns of the people I met with. Many people had worked a full career in the forests and they had very little positive to say about the state of the industry and the...

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In Kamloops: Talking salmon, forestry and governance…

In Kamloops: Talking salmon, forestry and governance…

Last weekend I visited Kelowna, Vernon and Kamloops on a whirlwind three day trip that ended with a tour of the Kamloops Fire Centre. While in Kamloops I had a BBQ with the local BC Green riding association. I took the opportunity to provide an update on our work in the Legislature and had the opportunity to meet Alan Forseth. Alan has been...

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Seeking input on single-use plastics plan

Seeking input on single-use plastics plan

Remember when fast food containers were made of styrofoam? Well those days are long gone and public awareness continues to grow with respect to the huge amount of single-use waste collecting in our landfills and recycling depots.In recent times special attention is focussing on the impact of plastic items that are finding their way into our...

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The kind people are thirsty

The kind people are thirsty

A reader's suggestion for a future blog topic was to highlight how climate change is impacting the Saanich Peninsula and the Gulf Islands. The name of this geography, including the ocean in between, is W̱SÁNEĆ. This is the setting of many of my stories.As the request settled into the back of my mind, mixing and churning over, I began paying...

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Defending ancient trees: It’s in our fibre

Defending ancient trees: It’s in our fibre

Tension is growing in the forests across British Columbia so I thought it was appropriate to reflect on my work in the Spring session of the legislature standing up for our most treasured ancient creatures. Fresh images of devastating clearcuts hacked from the valley walls of Schmidt Creek, Naka Creek, Tessium Creek and Upper Tsitika Watersheds...

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Grab a paddle and pull with us!

Grab a paddle and pull with us!

Last weekend we spent a few days in Bamfield. The family weekend on the west coast was a gift from my mom and Tex.It was nice to see my kids, niece and nephews away from their screens and on the dock fishing for piling perch and rock crab. The devices have a way of devouring us these days much the same way as the docks at the Brentwood Inn or...

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The trifecta: Big bears, big fish and big trees

The trifecta: Big bears, big fish and big trees

A few months ago, I wrote on the whiteboard in my office boardroom "big bears, big fish and big trees." Those words have been there ever since. They are three world-famous icons of British Columbia. In a previous post, I said that we are still acting like a resource colony. My critique of our decision-making process is that we have a culture in...

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Speaking to our old-growth forests

The BC Green Caucus is committed to changing the current BC NDP approach to managing old-growth forests. These ancient creatures are the largest and oldest on earth. They are a non-renewable resource and while the Minister of Forests claims that his Ministry is developing a management plan they continue to auction of...

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Opposing LNG tax giveaways at 3rd reading

It is not very often that Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) will stand and continue the debate on a Bill at 3rd reading. It's as unusual for MLA's to vote 14 times on a Bill. By 3rd reading most of the substantive work is done. There is a considerable amount of opportunity to debate legislation at 2nd reading....

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Closing doors better left open

Closing doors better left open

Why do we close doors that are better left open?This question came up in a recent coffee chat with a friend who works at an environmental non-government organization (ENGO). The question was why ENGO's limit their advocacy to only certain political parties? (So much fodder for future posts!)Individuals also do this. We are intensely tribal. We...

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Debating the climate emergency

BC Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver called for an emergency debate in the BC Legislature to respond to the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations (http://www.ipcc.ch/) "on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global...

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Trans Mountain needs another intervention!

Trans Mountain needs another intervention!

Following significant discussion with my BC Green Caucus colleague Andrew Weaver, and our legislative staff, we have decided to intervene in the latest effort of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to expand the Trans Mountain Pipeline. All this, without following through on his promise to ensure the project would be considered by a new National Energy...

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Trans Mountain needs another intervention!

Federal Court of Appeal quashes Trans Mountain approval

I am relieved that the Federal Court of Appeal has quashed the Justin Trudeau Liberal government’s approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project. As an individual intervenor in the National Energy Board review of the proposal, I have been an outspoken critic of their process for the past four years. It was a terribly flawed process on...

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