What a week!

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It's been another exhilarating, suspenseful, dramatic week in the evolving soap opera of BC politics.  After a nerve wracking thirteen days of waiting, Monday ushered in the exciting news that the Green Party has agreed to support the NDP in a minority government.   Details of the cooperation agreement, released on Tuesday, include "employing every tool available" to stop Kinder Morgan, sending Site C to the BC Utilities Commission, banning big money in politics, and ordering a referendum on proportional representation.  Here's a link to the original agreement and a Globe and Mail article that breaks it down to the basics.  

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Pull Together Highlights

As the Pull Together organizer with Force of Nature, I’ve been working with groups, businesses and organizations across the Lower Mainland and beyond to raise critical funds for the Squamish, Coldwater, and Tsleil Waututh challenges to Kinder Morgan.  

The creativity, strength, knowledge and unique skills donated to this campaign astounded me, while impossible to capture the vast array of involvement from volunteers and passionate organizers, here are a few of my favourites:

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A beautiful day for cooperation


We did it!

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Last autumn, I attended a gathering where a handful of community organizers were chatting about the then-far-away provincial election.  The discussion was an open-ended one and was characterized by more questions than answers - but a couple of ideas emerged which really hit a chord with me and feel very relevant today given the events of this week.  


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Vote Kinder Morgan Out of Our Communities

When the BC Liberals issued the environmental certificate for Kinder Morgan way back in January, Force of Nature launched our most intensive campaign so far.  We hit the pavements in neighbourhoods along the pipeline route and began canvassing our way through rain, sleet and snow.  Since then, our hardcore organizers have made thousands of phone calls every single week, hosted potluck gatherings in community centres and homes, and slowly built up a small army of supporters, leaders, and volunteers that are ready to vote Kinder Morgan out of our neighbourhoods this Tuesday May 9th.

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A Green Party Rising

Among decided voters, the BC Green Party is polling at 19% in British Columbia... that's almost double the 8.13% of votes the Greens took in the 2013 provincial election, and according to the latest Mainstreet research poll, "if the election were called today, the result would be a minority government." 

The battleground ridings where the Greens have the greatest potential to gain serious ground are all located on Vancouver Island - where some pollsters have found overall Green support even higher than the NDP.  Here's a look at how things are playing out - and some thoughts on how environmentalists in politics can set their sights on a greener future.  

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Big oil, dirty money & high stakes

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Massive corporate contributions, illegal donations, corruption, law suits, police investigations... the stories about big money make BC politics sound like a soap opera, or as one New York Times reporter put it, "The Wild West of Political Cash."  If you've been having trouble keeping the stories straight, here's the 101 on big money and its influence on our electoral system and political decision making in BC.  

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What are we going to do about Kinder Morgan?

Justin Trudeau has just approved the Kinder Morgan pipeline.  The decision means we are helping the world experience a 2 degree temperature increase - at least.  It officially marks Canada's failure to implement its Paris climate commitments, seals a death sentence for our last pod of Southern Resident killer whales, and sets our prime minister firmly at odds with Indigenous Peoples, communities, environmental groups and municipalities.  



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Ready to Flip? Six pathways to meeting our Paris targets

 The Lower Mainland of British Columbia is beautifully positioned to step up to become the first region meet Canada's commitment to 1.5 degrees, and Force of Nature's Ready to Flip Campaign is about making sure we get there.  Here are our top six priorities for affecting our shift to a clean energy economy with lots of information and suggestions about how to help get the ball rolling on any of these solutions.  

 

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Stopping Fossil Fuels and Implementing Solutions: Two Sides of the Same Coin

How much damage will the Kinder Morgan pipeline cause to our climate?  Well, the "upstream" climate impact of producing and transporting the bitumen to our coast is 8.8 mega tonnes per year, or about the equivalent of 2.2 million cars, and that's what the government is taking into account when they assess this pipeline for its climate impact.  Here is a report prepared for the City of Vancouver's NEB submission that backs those numbers up.  

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