Bill 8 - Mass Virtual Privatization of BC’s forests
This week in the B.C. Legislature, the government is tabling Bill 8. The bill’s Section 24 would hand over our remaining public forests (Timber Supply Areas) to private forestry corporations in perpetuity. Once handed over (converted into Tree Farm Licenses), tenure over this land is considered an asset of these corporations. They can then sue British Columbia for compensation if anything threatens their profits. This privatization, being planned without consultation or fanfare, is a radical move and one that threatens the opportunity of the province to responsibly manage our forest lands. Furthermore, we have no control over who owns these corporations. For more info, click here. See also valuable work by Independent MLA Bob Simpson on his site here.
Many biologists and foresters do not feel this is a wise move. it compromises our ability to make science-based decisions about BC forests.
If you are concerned, please make your feelings known IMMEDIATELY by emailing and if possible tweeting:
Sign the Avaaz campaign letter.
Send the BC Liberal party this one-sentence email (or add whatever you like):
I value BC’s public forests and I demand that you remove Section 24 of Bill 8.
Forests Minister Steve Thomson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister Mike de Jong: email@example.com
Minister Pat Bell: firstname.lastname@example.org
Premier Christy Clark: email@example.com
BC Liberals email addresses in one line:
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Optional CC: Bill 8’s sole critic, Independent MLA Bob Simpson firstname.lastname@example.org
NDP: You can also choose to write a separate letter to the NDP who have been disturbingly quiet on this issue and may be complicit: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tweet this: I value BC’s forests and I demand that you remove Section 24 of Bill 8
Hashtags: #stopbill8 #bcpoli - or or just find some tweets to re-tweet on our Twitter.
BC Government backgrounder on forestry and TFLs (pdf)
Tyee: Sweeping Forests Bill Gathers Foes
Sun: Tree Farm License Rollover Has No Public Benefit
A public and transparent online Proxy Voting system is set up through Elections Canada over the course of several years. This system is open to all Canadians for participation. All the votes and online discussions are public by nature.
Here’s the novelty that I really like:
The title “senator” -rather than being a guarded few lifelong participants- is now something that anyone can be. It’s voluntary to participate, and it has a testing and ID issuing system like Driver’s Licensing. After becoming a senator, you get a card with a picture of you that you can use in liquor stores or when buying pornography or cigarettes or going gambling and so on- that says YOUR NAME — SENATOR.
All you have to do is take a test to prove something like:
a) You can match the names of parties to their basic ideological backgrounds
b) You can do some basic/intermediate mathematics with a calculator.
c) You can answer multiple choice questions about Canadian History in and open book test format when provided an encyclopedia.
d) You can do IQ test style mind puzzles.
Testing is going to be a contentious part of this idea (whose idea of right and wrong are we talking about? whose version of history are we being tested on? etc.) There are chances of folly or fraud but the same goes for any democratic system.
The fact is, if I may use a driver’s license metaphor, that it is dangerous to let some people behind the wheel of a car. I am not suggesting we take away anyone’s right to vote. I am suggesting an expansion of the amount of senators, not a reduction of the amount of voters. I admit there are potential pratfalls in this idea, that is why like all ideas collaboration is needed at all levels of realizing it. The incredible potential that it has as a somewhat pragmatic large step towards real participatory democracy is something that I believe is well worth the risks involved.
The Canadian Senate is an equal body to the House of Commons and it carries many of the same rights. With direct collaboration between our elected representatives and our most informed and engaged citizens, we will build a better country. This is a suitable step in that direction.
The problem with the United States Congress. What kind of corruption is it, and how does it work?
America’s Debt to Journalist Gary Webb
Gary Webb on C.I.A. Trafficking of Cocaine
Investigative Reporter Gary Webb Who Linked CIA to Crack Sales Found Dead of Apparent Suicide
Jean Paul Getty, Founder of the Getty Oil Company, The Richest Living American in 1957, and notorious miser.
Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.
US President Woodrow Wilson, on the alleged whole-hog conspiracy
Is Shephard Fairey’s command to “OBEY” ironic or not? I could never tell.