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Dixon, Walia, and other events

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Dear Friends of SJS,

  a reminder to join us tomorrow for Chris Dixon and on Monday for Harsha Walia. See below for more information on these and other events happening on campus and in the community.  

Read more: Dixon, Walia, and other events

Oct 28 Webinar: Solar Sauce and Zero-Carbon Coffee - How BC's Food & Beverage Industry Can Save Money and Reduce Its Climate I

BCSEA Webinar: Solar Sauce and Zero-Carbon Coffee - How BC's Food and Beverage Industry Can Save Money and Reduce Its Climate Impact

Join us for a free BCSEA Webinar on Tuesday October 28 at noon PDT (3:00 PM EDT)

    Reserve your free Webinar seat now at: Carbon Report Cover Page

Climate Smart has identified $100 million in potential savings by 2020 for B.C. food & beverage businesses that reduce energy costs and carbon emissions.

A 5% annual reduction in carbon emissions from B.C.’s food and beverage sector would reduce the province’s greenhouse gas emissions by 250,000 tonnes.

Christine VanDerwill, Client Relations Manager, leads the business engagement team at Climate Smart Business, a Vancouver-based social enterprise. Climate Smart offers a comprehensive, group-based training program, certification and tools for small/medium enterprises (SMEs) to measure and profitably reduce their carbon emissions associated with energy, transport, and waste. Christine helps local government and corporate partners develop strategic campaigns to engage value chains, suppliers and stakeholders in carbon, (greenhouse gas) management and leverage market drivers to accelerate climate action.

Read more: Oct 28 Webinar: Solar Sauce and Zero-Carbon Coffee - How BC's Food & Beverage Industry Can Save...

Glen Greenwald: Why privacy matters

Glenn Greenwald was one of the first reporters to see — and write about — the Edward Snowden files, with their revelations about the United States' extensive surveillance of private citizens. In this searing talk, Greenwald makes the case for why you need to care about privacy, even if you’re “not doing anything you need to hide."

Read more: Glen Greenwald: Why privacy matters





Inside Vancouvers Oppenheimer Park homeless camp

City's growing homeless population speaks out against inadequate housing and official neglect

Police make their way through the maze of tents.Police make their way through the maze of tents.

ust after noon on Wednesday, Oct. 8, the 400-plus homeless residents of Oppenheimer Park – a makeshift tent city established in July to highlight the acute need for affordable housing in Vancouver – were given notice that the B.C. Supreme Court had granted an injunction to have them removed. In her ruling, Justice Jennifer Duncan told leaders of the camp that they had until 10 p.m. on Oct. 15 to rid the park of all shelters and possessions. The Vancouver Police Department and Vancouver Park Board, who had argued that the encampment was becoming a source of violence and a public health concern, lauded the ruling.

But campers were less than jubilant – and as the deadline to vacate the park came and went, many shelters remained. On Thursday, police moved in to stand watch as the camp was dismantled by city workers. A singing circle was formed to mourn the loss of a place as unifying as it was, at times, incongruous. And then, to no one’s great surprise, the first arrests were made.

Campers mingle on a sunny day at Oppenheimer Park.

Campers mingle on a sunny day at Oppenheimer Park.

By now, most observers will no doubt have formed their own opinions of the camp, varying in tone from sympathetic to chastising. But to campers at Oppenheimer Park, the impetus remained simple: in Vancouver’s over-priced real-estate climate, there is simply nowhere else to go.

“Throw me in jail? That’s three meals a day, a bed, a roof. That’s be a step up from anywhere else I can call home,” one camper told me as we sat under the awning of his patchwork shelter.

In an area of the city where 70 per cent of residents are low-income, roughing it in Oppenheimer Park was seen by most as a step up from the squalid conditions of available housing. The predicament is one which Scott Bonnyman, originally from Newfoundland, understands well. Wheelchair-bound and battling cancer, his health problems have prevented him from finding accessible housing in existing shelters and single-room occupancies.

“No one will take me. Even if they did, I can’t get up the stairs in most places,” Bonnyman told me. “The beds they give you are just a mat on the floor… I’ve got cancer in my leg so I can’t get up once I’m on that bed. So either I live in this park or I don’t live anywhere at all.”

Scott Bonnyman lifts his pant leg to reveal a cancerous lesion – one of the many mobility issues which limit his access to housing.

Scott Bonnyman lifts his pant leg to reveal a cancerous lesion – one of the many mobility issues which limit his access to housing.

Those with mental health issues face an even bleaker situation. Now that campers have been forced to leave the park, which many say promoted a sense of community and safety-in-numbers, pre-existing conditions are likely to become exacerbated by the alienation, uncertainty, and destitution which define life on the streets of the Downtown Eastside.

Swampy Cree, a member of the Musqueam First Nation and one of the camp’s de facto leaders, stressed that despite many attempts to contact city officials, including the mayor, Oppenheimer’s campers felt completely ignored – that is, until the city was granted its eviction order.

“I pleaded to get [Mayor Gregor Robertson] or the health people to come in: student nurses, people on holidays, or retired doctors and nurses… Not one person came. Maybe it takes one of their relatives being spotted at the camp, one of their relatives making an appeal for better housing before they’re willing to meet with us.”

Not one person came.
–Swampy Cree

Jeffery Dean Caldwell, a long-time resident of the area, agreed: “We all have our hurts, habits, and hang-ups… but just because I’m homeless, for whatever the reasons may be, I still have the right and dignity to be proud of where I live, to not be ashamed of where I live, to not have to share my spaces with the cockroaches – who don’t pay rent.”

Of course, this is nothing new. Back in 2008, when Gregor Robertson was first elected mayor of Vancouver, the starry-eyed newcomer made headlines by pledging to end street homelessness by 2015. While the city has taken meagre steps toward that end – including recently opening a low barrier shelter with 40 beds and adding 157 new units of interim housing at a Quality Inn slated for demolition – the number of visibly homeless people in Vancouver has steadily risen, seeing a 249 per cent increase since the last regional count in 2011.

A cook stirs rice over a small camp-stove. A handful of volunteers, some with formal culinary training, managed a well-stocked kitchen area.

A cook stirs rice over a small camp-stove. A handful of volunteers, some with formal culinary training, managed a well-stocked kitchen area.

Unfortunately, the dismantling of Oppenheimer Park has demonstrated that instead of acknowledging the severity of Vancouver’s housing crisis, the City is content to merely evict the un-evictable, and to evade responsibility for its perpetual failure to address the issue at its source.

With the municipal election slated for Nov. 15, every candidate is no doubt feeling the need to look their Sunday-best. But for now, providing a substantive answer to where the region’s growing homeless population is expected to sleep seems a less pressing matter than keeping up appearances.

Read more: Inside Vancouvers Oppenheimer Park homeless camp



[evoz] In Dignity: A Workshop with Allan Wade. Register by this Friday for Early-bird Price!

WORKSHOP WITH ALLAN WADE: Early-bird deadline is this Friday! Space is limited! r33

Join us for this half day gathering, where Allan will present some ideas for working...

Read more: [evoz] In Dignity: A Workshop with Allan Wade. Register by this Friday for Early-bird Price!

Rolling Forward on Climate Forum – Wed. Oct. 29

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Read more: Rolling Forward on Climate Forum – Wed. Oct. 29

[evoz] honouring our elders

CASC honoured our elders and long-time activists for solidarity at September’s cafe. John Hillian thanked Andree Scott for years of service on our board, translation and hospitality; Bev Wood for many years of working and organizing volunteers & refreshments at Cafe; Bill and Gudrun Doherty for their unflagging quiet work, hospitality and generosity. John presented them with lovely scrolls made by Nancy and then Andree cut the cake for all.
Recently Bill & Gudrun have moved into the Cridge Centre and they welcome visors to their new home there. They donated the proceeds of their moving sale on Saturday to CASC, many of us were able to help at the sale & many CASC supporters bought some of Doherty’s treasures. The proceeds were more than $1000 and we again thank them for their generosity and support.

Read more: [evoz] honouring our elders

[Uvic-sustainability] News and Events for week of Oct 20th



The winners of UVic's first Sustainability Photo Contest have been announced! Students, staff and faculty were asked to submit campus photos under one of the following themes: Wonders, Challenges and Solutions. Photos were narrowed down to four finalists in each category by a group of judges. These photos were placed on the Martlet website for open voting by the campus community. Our winners are:

Wonders Category:

Winner – Don Fleming for “Morning Pause”

Runner Up – Amanda Bluck for “Leaf in Drainage Pond” 

Challenges Category:

Winner – Megan Nell for “Share the Air Bench” 

Runner Up – Dave Norwell for “Butts”

Solutions Category:

Winner – Asa Bluck for “Transportation”

Runner Up – Elizabeth Stevenson for “One Choice”

Photos can be viewed on our Facebook page.


And the winner of the new bike is first year student Elise Pullar! Elise...

Read more: [Uvic-sustainability] News and Events for week of Oct 20th

[evoz] Cafe Oct. 24

CASC Cafe Simpatico this month is in cooperation with the Mining Justice Action Committee presenting Communities in Resistance and the Art of Solidarity Spoken word/music evening and art reception in front gallery October 24, 2014 7:30 pm music sung-along followed by music and spoken words with special guest Victoria Poet Laureate Janet Rogers Art show  October 16 – November 6, 2014 Both at Little Fernwood Gallery/Hall 1923 Fernwood Road, Victoria, BC Refreshments & fair trade coffee as always For more information: or image

Oct. 27 Palestine event

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CAIA Active Members Committee

[evoz] garage sale

Bill & Gudrun Doherty have moved from their home into the Cridge Centre. They have kindly donated the proceeds of their house-garage sale to CASC. So all CASC supporters and urged to come & buy Saturday Oct. 18 from 10 am to 2 pm at 2745 5th St. off Hillside just east of Quadra. This is a wonderful gift to CASC and a chance to own some of their lovely things. We wish them well in their new home & we will continue to see them at Cafe Simpatico.

A free pass for the fracking industry to BC

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Read more: A free pass for the fracking industry to BC

BCSEA E-News: Cowichan Solar Group Achieves Astonishing Price Breakthrough

BCSEA E-News | Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Cowichan Solar Group Achieves Astonishing Price Breakthrough: The Power of Cooperative Bulk Buying
By Guy Dauncey, BCSEA Founder and Communication Director

Peter Nix (right) and Viridian's Don Skerik with a solar PV panel. Andrea Rondeau, Cowichan CitizenIt’s known as “the warm land”, and as soon as you get off the highway Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley certainly has the feeling of pleasant summer warmth, filled with agricultural fecundity. It was the Coast Salish Cowichan people who gave it the name - that’s what cowichan means in the Hul’q’umi’num language.

So solar energy lies deep in the heritage of the valley, and maybe its appropriate that British Columbia’s first solar bulk buy has sprung unto life here, and is pioneering a new approach to solar installations.

Peter Nix—who calls himself a Cowichan carbon-buster—started pondering the possibility in May, so he was ready to leap when the opportunity arose to place a bulk order for 720 solar panels, totaling 200 kilowatts. A large project had fallen through, and the panels were available at 72 cents a watt, much less than the market norm of $1.00 a watt for solar PV of this quality.

Peter is a biologist who used to work—for his sins—in the Alberta Tar Sands, helping Suncor reclaim its ravaged lands. When he submitted a mine-closure report laying out the many difficulties of achieving this goal, only to see it edited with the statement that “the reclamation of oil sands lands will succeed,” which he knew to be unprovable using science, Peter knew he could no longer be a team player, and it was time to quit.


Since becoming a carbon-buster, driven by a passionate anger about the climate emergency and what it will mean for his children and grandchildren, Peter has been arrested when he and thirteen others stopped a coal train exporting US coal through British Columbia; lobbied the US Senate and Congress for a carbon fee and dividend in Washington DC with the Citizens Climate Lobby; organized a solar hot water bulk buy; and joined the People’s Climate March in New York in September.

With the promise of 720 cut-price solar panels, Peter got on the phone to his carbon-buster network and within a week 30 people had given him $125,000 in cheques. He had no formal organization, no treasurer, and no idea where he could even store the panels when they arrived, but he was working with good people.

The panels were ordered by the Viridian Energy Cooperative, a workers’ coop of five licensed plumbers, electricians and engineers based in the Cowichan Valley who offer a renewable energy design and consulting service, whose vision is “to contribute to a world where clean, renewable energy is the established method for powering energy efficient, environmentally friendly, healthy and resilient communities.”

Read more: BCSEA E-News: Cowichan Solar Group Achieves Astonishing Price Breakthrough

Provost's Advocacy and Activism Awards

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Dear Friends of SJS,
The University of Victoria presents the Provost’s Advocacy and Activism Award(s) in Equity and Diversity (nomination form attached)
DescriptionThe University of Victoria acknowledges the presence of dedicated advocates and activists within our community. These individuals address systemic or institutionalized barriers as champions for others. Recognition from others, including the provision of resources, is crucial to fostering an environment that supports and nurtures these individuals or groups and their activism. These awards provide unique opportunities for community engagement with both on- and off-campus groups.
These awards recognize the achievements of individuals or groups in the University community (current students, faculty, or staff, and alumni) who demonstrate dedication to the advancement of social equity through advocacy and activism. These skills may be expressed through strong leadership, community-based projects, or collective action. Successful nominees must enact positive social justice goals through outreach, education, and community building. These initiatives...

Read more: Provost's Advocacy and Activism Awards

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