Off to the races (August 15, 2021)

Good Sunday Morning!

And we are off to the races… How appropriate that the metaphor is “off to the races.”  We still operate under the completely perverse First Past the Post (FPTP) voting system based on old rules for horses and jockeys. Of course, our telegenic prime minister famously promised that 2015 would be the last election under FPTP.  If only… If he had kept his promise, we would not be in another election.  If not for this anti-democratic voting system, the cynical Liberal backrooms would not be motivated to shed the fairer and more collaborative minority parliament for one where 39% of the vote delivers 100% of the power.

Admittedly, as I write this on Saturday, there is always the slim chance that we are not off to the races.

Maybe Justin Trudeau woke up this morning and thought about the fourth wave of COVID and pondered why an election campaign was a good idea… or maybe he suddenly realized we are in a climate emergency and he ought to call his cabinet together to establish new marching orders – to cancel TMX and ban fracking and mobilize resources to help fight wild fires and keep people safe in heat domes.

Or maybe, early this morning, our new Governor General decided the case for dropping the writ did not make the cut under our confidence conventions.

But the strong likelihood is that, as you read this, the campaign is underway. And also likely is that it will be the shortest campaign period since 1900. The speculation is that Trudeau will request the legal minimum number of days before we vote – 36 days – putting election day on September 20.

If we are in a campaign, and you live in Saanich-Gulf Islands, please finish your coffee and head out to join me in our first campaign sign waving.

TODAY-SUNDAY I will be at the following locations at these times-:

  • 10:30-11:30 AM – Beacon and Pat Bay
  • Noon – 1 PM – McKenzie and Shelbourne
  • 2 pm – Brentwood Bay – SE corner of West Saanich and Wallace

If you have never come out to a wave, please join me at one of these spots. Wear Green. We will have extra signs.  It is a great way to let voters know, “Yes! We have a campaign!”  And “No, I have not retired!” Rumours do get around…. I will have to be careful in this campaign because of my knee replacement, so expect to see me with my walker and trying to stay off my feet as much as possible.   Having friends join me will mean a lot!

If you live near Nanaimo, please help me give Paul Manly and his team a great campaign launch.   I will be driving to Nanaimo with a friend in her EV. We are gathering at 5 pm at the Maffeo Sutton Park (100 Comox Road), Nanaimo.  We have some real treats in store  –  Bob Bossin will be performing and other special guests will join (by zoom) to endorse Paul as the best possible MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith.  Honestly, Paul Manly is a remarkable MP. It is such an honour to work with him in Parliament.

Monday morning, August 16th, is our SGI campaign launch!  We will be gathering tomorrow in Sidney at 10:30 AM – with some outdoor mingling (trying to keep our social distancing rules) at Beacon Park. At 11 AM, we hope a lot of media show up for our campaign launch press conference at the bandshell in Beacon Park.  Having a lot of friends and supporters gathered for the launch will be so encouraging.

Since last week’s Good Sunday Morning letter, the IPCC report from working group 1 was released.  As I wrote last week, the scientists are increasingly alarmed, although their language stays rather boring.  UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres described the report, it is “Code Red for humanity.” I wrote about it here:

Less than a week later, news sites of Canada’s mainstream press are back to the latest bad news – Taliban advancing in Afghanistan, brutal verdicts against Canadians in the People’s Republic of China, a devastating earthquake in Haiti – and, of course, election news.  So much of the daily news is climate crisis news, only rarely described as such – the wildfires in Siberia, Italy and British Columbia, the punishing drought hitting Prairie farmers,  floods in Turkey, record-breaking temperatures globally in July.

On-going citizen efforts to protect our natural world get very little attention.  The police brutality against non-violent defenders of old growth at Fairy Creek is nearly absent in the mainstream news.  So too is the one year long effort at tree-sitting to stop the TMX pipeline construction in Burnaby.  Thank you to those brave defenders.  These issues – pipelines and old growth and our salmon collapsing in rivers that are too hot, these are issues that underscore how much of the current crisis is irreversible.

But we do know that with real leadership, commitment and courage, we still can save our hospitable biosphere – our sacred orb in an otherwise lifeless solar system.  Over the next few weeks, wherever you are and however you usually vote, please press all candidates to commit to real climate action.  The promises from the Liberals and NDP are far below the minimum requirement to meet “Code Red for humanity.”  Only Green policy comes close in calling for a 60% cut in GHGs against 2005 levels by 2030. We have wonderful candidates stepping up to run – Dr. Devyani Singh in Vancouver Quadra, Prof. Maureen Curran, tree-sitting TMX blockader for Burnaby South, Dr. Leigh Hunsinger in Prince George, Iain Currie in Kamloops, Nicole Bellay for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, Haida actor Adeana Young in Skeena-Bulkley Valley –  and so many more across BC and in every electoral district across Canada.

PLEASE help locally wherever you can.  Think Globally. Vote Locally!

Thanks to all.  This should be – must be – the Climate Emergency election.


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