While California's water shortage continues, Cascadia has been suffering its own drought conditions, to the extent that expanding wildfires have lent the skies of Vancouver, B.C. a Mars-like orange hue.
In recent days, news stories have emerged about a wilderness expedition company, Amaruk, rejecting an applicant due to her religious beliefs and affiliation with a restrictive Christian evangelical school. [more inside]
On June 26, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favour of the Tsilhquot’in people in their title claim to more than 1700 square km of land in British Columbia. The case is a landmark, and was a unanimous decision, supported 8-0 by the justices. The decision, is the first time the Canadian courts have recognized full aboriginal title to a specific tract of land by, and experts in the field expect the ruling to have an impact on future title questions worldwide (from Vancouver Island to New Zealand, or, one might say, from PKOLS to Aotearoa) [more inside]
This fall, why not kayak down a drainage ditch at speeds of 35 mph?
It has been 15 years since the Supreme Court of Canada released their decision in Delgamuukw v. British Columbia. The decision was perhaps the most important Aboriginal rights decision in Canadian history, radically framing the notion of Aboriginal title and creating several legacies in common law. [more inside]
THE VANISHING: 'In the stunning and remote wilderness along northern British Columbia’s Highway 16, at least 18 women—by some estimates, many more—have gone missing over the past four decades. After years of investigation, authorities still don’t know if it’s the work of a serial killer or multiple offenders. BOB FRIEL drives into the darkness for answers.' [more inside]
The British Columbia Supreme Court has struck down a ban on physician-assisted suicide, in a whopping 1415-paragraph decision. [more inside]
The HemLoft is an egg-shaped treehouse that Joel Allen built over three years on an imposing hemlock tree he found on crown (government owned) land near Whistler, British Columbia. Until recently, Allen kept the beautiful, illegally-built structure secret, but now that it's been shared with the world, what will happen to it?
About 13 km (8 miles) north of the US/Canada border is Spotted Lake (Google Maps/streetview), a endorheic basin, or terminal lake. In wetter times, the lake is full, but spots are visible. During the summer months, the water level drops, leaving spots of mineral-rich water. The waters have long been considered therapeutic, and one story cites a truce in a battle to allow both warring tribes to tend to their wounded in the lake. Though a sacred medicine lake of the Okanagan People, the lake and the land around it were privately owned for 40 years. Mineral-rich salts were harvested during World War I for munitions, and decades later, the land owners were looking to mine the mud to sell for use in therapeutic spas. In 2001, the land was finally purchased by the The Indian Affairs Department and the Okanagan Nation Alliance. kłlil'xw is property of the Okanagan Nation once more. [more inside]
Global British Columbia Sports Anchor Barry Deley wins lotto home draw, live on his own TV channel. But it turns out he's got an even more personal connection to the lottery.
Vancouver comedian Guy Earle and the restaurant he was performing at were fined a combined C$22,500 by the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal after a 2007 incident where Earle mocked a member of the audience. [more inside]
30 objects, 40 audio and videocassettes, and 1,425 photographs, among them a Polaroid snapshot of Terry Fox’s artificial leg - Douglas Coupland submits his personal objects to the University of British Columbia. [more inside]
Recumbent cyclist David Cambon shares with us a breathtaking, scary and wry photo diary of his 3224 km (~2000 mile) bike trip from Vancouver, BC to Inuvik, Northwest Territories, with portions along the famous Dempster Highway. [more inside]
Land's End: Photographer and writer Christopher Grabowski documents the fading industrial towns of the British Columbia coast. Interview, and some of his other Photo Essays at Geist Magazine.
It stands as one of the more unusual turning points of the Cold War, thanks mostly to the surprise appearance of several naked middle-aged women. Taking The Cure: How a group of British Columbian anarchists inspired democracy in Russia. [more inside]
The revenue-neutral carbon tax: an idea whose time has come? The British Columbia government has just introduced a carbon tax, starting at $10/tonne in July 2008 and rising to $30/tonne in 2012. All revenues from the tax (close to $2 billion over three years) will be returned to taxpayers in the form of income tax cuts, reducing income and corporate taxes to the lowest levels in Canada. Details from the BC budget. Globe and Mail. [more inside]
This morning in Vancouver, volunteers handed out hundreds of disposable cameras, available free to any low-income resident of the city's Downtown Eastside (DTES) neighbourhood. Pictures in the returned cameras will be entered in this year's "Hope in Shadows" competition, with winners getting prizes and one of 12 spots in next year's calendar. (It will be sold by specially-trained low-income folks, who keep half their profits.) Run by Pivot, a local legal activism group, "Hope in Shadows" is a succesful and "innovative empowerment through art" project and a chance for the residents of the DTES to define their community -- one most often defined by its poverty, addictions, violence and disease.
Previous winners: 2004, 2005  , 2006
Previous winners: 2004, 2005  , 2006
In 2005, the Supreme Court of British Columbia decided that taxing the legal services of the poor "constitutes indirect taxation and is a tax on justice contrary to the Magna Carta and the Rule of Law." Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Canada overturned the decision, rejecting "the respondent’s contention that there is a broad general right to legal counsel as an aspect of, or precondition to, the rule of law." The case was largely the initiative of Dugald Christie, a Vancouver lawyer and political activist who devoted his life to the cause of improving access to the legal system, before dying on a cross-Canada bicycling fundraiser ten months ago. He is well remembered by lawyers and cyclists.
Despite our predominantly post-modern society in Canada, there are still pockets of ignorance and intolerance. The City of Surrey a very suburban suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, is pretty much the capital of Canada when it comes to this. A high school (ages 13-18) was rehearsing to perform "The Laramie Project" - a play about the murder of an American student Matthew Shephard (who was gay) and tolerance when the Surrey School Board pulled the plug on it. The play had recently been performed in a high school in a smaller, but less rednecky suburb, Mission. This is the same school board that tried to ban two excellent books teaching children tolerance for their friends that may have two dads or two mums. The ban was overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada. Perhaps a play of this nature is appropriate for high school students? Whaddya think?
Elections BC (Source: CBC) is having a tough time keeping up with all the bloggers "publishing partisan messages during the current election campaign.". Under current law they are asking all bloggers to register as advertisers, while also going on record as being open to changing the law.
The 'nightmare' fall of Svend Robinson: Canada's first openly gay MP threw his career into doubt yesterday with a shocking revelation that he had stolen a piece of jewellery last weekend.
British Columbia joins Ontario as the second province in Canada to allow gay marriage. Not everyone is happy though.