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A shirt from the past

When I was first dating Claire, she was singing in the band Ad Hoc which played benefit dances for many organizations and movements. The anti-nuclear movement was at its peak in many countries around the world, and feminists were taking nonviolent direct action against the storage of nuclear weapons at the RAF’s base at Greenham Common in Berkshire, England. Large demonstrations were taking place in Vancouver, BC and I joined the Trident Action Group.

Claire singing in Ad Hoc.

I sketched out a shirt design of many hands pushing away bombs, then cut it out of paper with an Xacto knife to make a printable stencil. Back then, I only had one silk screen, one can of deep red oil based ink, and one squeegee, which I used to print about three shirts, one of which I gave to Claire, and another to her sister. Here’s what it looked like:

Recently, while traveling in Japan for a screen print exhibition and awards ceremony (see this post), we visited the peace museums in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The powerful displays provoked many memories from the early 1980s and inspired me to reprint the shirt for Claire.

This time, instead of a fragile paper stencil, I scaled and printed a photo of the original design. After making a few changes with a pencil, I taped a sheet of Rubylith on top and cut out the new design to create a film positive for a more stable photostencil.

Closeup of hand-cut Rubylith film positive.

Here’s the result:

Next step: replace the bombs with an environmental graphic element to better integrate the design with the slogan …

Solidarity with Nicaraguan women political prisoners

“The political women are the great nightmare of Ortega.”
Mildred Largaespada, Nicaraguan journalist.

Marlén Auxiliadora Chow inspired the pico rojo lipstick campaign.

[More on Marlén Chow here, in Spanish.]

Recently Nicaragua’s repressive Ortega-Murillo regime imprisoned many feminists and women leaders who have been protesting the violence of the Nicaraguan government. This Confidencial article covers the subsequent beating of 17 of these women by a large group of hooded men who entered La Esperanza {“the Hope”] prison on the night of October 26. (Some Mexican coverage on this here) The government would not allow staff from MESENI to investigate the condition of the women, and it expelled human rights monitors from CEJIL from the country on the very same day.

The mother of one of the jailed women (Amaya Coppens, whose father is Belgian) speaks out about this in this video.

Rough translation of the audio:
The women are being beaten. It seems to me, as my colleague said here, it is really an act of cowardice. No woman has ever been beaten in my house. So it seems to me that it is totally intolerable that the most basic rights of women are being violated.

I hope that this situation really helps us to question if we want to go on living with our young women being hit. I think we have to think that we have a job ahead with our families and our children. But also here I make a call to the rulers of this country who have set a bad example recently.

I would ask [Vice President] Mrs. Rosario Murillo to to ask who has destroyed her life. It is time to put a stop to this. In other words, we cannot let men mistreat and destroy the future and the lives of our women or our girls.

[There are more video clips about the beatings on the Facebook page of former Sandinista commander Dora María Tellez.]

Environmental lawyer and human rights defender, Mónica López, received death threats in August, as did members of her family. Many other Nica women have been killed, abused, detained and persecuted since April.

What can Canadians do?

Many individuals have written letters or made calls to Chrystia Freeland,
Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. A range of Canadian activists signed this declaration I organized at the end of April, and a few hundred international figures, mostly from the Spanish-speaking world, signed this one. (For some inexplicable reason, the signatories all disappeared within a month or so on its original site, i.e. it may have been hacked).

Our federal government has taken some constructive diplomatic measures since the spring, and the Canadian Federation of Students has spoken out about the killings of Nicaraguan students (see this post).

Sadly, a significant bloc in the current Canadian <solidarity> movement remains mired in a 1980s Cold War mindset which mistakenly casts protestors as US or CIA puppets intent on a coup, and the Sandinista government as the valiant socialist victims of a capitalist conspiracy against them. They perceive events in Nicaragua and elsewhere in the world (Ukraine, Syria, Iran) through the dogmatic lens of <regime change>. Their silence betrays the values of solidarity, democracy and human rights. In the case of the beatings of female political prisoners, this silence ignores extreme sexist violence.

Common Frontiers is “a multi-sectoral working group which confronts, and proposes an alternative to, the social, environmental and economic effects of economic integration in the Americas.” This sounds like a coalition in favour of universal human rights and democracy, right?

No, their solidarity seems to depend on political affinities. In spite of the high level of state repression in Nicaragua since April (well documented by Amnesty International* [“Shoot to Kill: Nicaragua’s Strategy to Repress Protest” in English here; reportaje en español aquí, about students here and more recently here en español aquí]  and other human rights organizations), Common Frontiers has not made one single public statement denouncing extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention, torture, disappearance, the loss of freedom of assembly, or media censorship on the part of the Ortega-Murillo regime.

Why have they not protested the Ortega-Murillo regime’s inter-oceanic canal project that poses threats to the environment as well as to peasant, indigenous and Afro-caribbean people?
[worth reading watching the video narrated by Gioconda Belli – even for non-Spanish speakers.]

Are they neo-Stalinists or <Machista-leninistas>?
[This is a better pun in Spanish than English – a jab leveled at defenders of the Ortega-Murillo regime by internationalist left wing feminists.]

The silence of Common Frontiers in the face of well-documented human rights abuses gives the impression that state-sanctioned murder, torture, disappearance and arbitrary detention may be crimes in some countries, but not in Nicaragua. However, it’s likely that few of their member groups have an accurate picture of the actual situation in Nicaragua, and that a small number of gate keepers at Common Frontiers have been spinning their own version of events that echo the Ortega-Murillo regime’s propaganda.

The fluency (or lack of fluency) in Spanish of the representatives of various unions and organizations who make up Common Frontiers may be another factor in their awareness (or lack) of critical analysis of Nicaragua in the international Spanish press. This in turn may lead to tacit support of Common Frontiers’ position – or avoidance of a position – on Nicaragua.

Even though state forces, paramilitaries and armed pro-government gangs have killed over 500 people since April, 2018, news about Nicaragua is almost entirely absent on the Common Frontiers Facebook page. The one article about Nicaragua that they posted on September 29 is selective, poorly researched and offers a feeble defense of the Ortega-Murillo regime. The author attempts to discredit Amnesty International’s spring report on Nicaragua, but offers no substantial evidence, apart from a link to an Orteguista critique posted by pseudo-journalist and conspiracy theorist, Max Blumenthal.

NACLA has published many other articles about Nicaragua over the years which Common Frontiers has not shared since April when state repression skyrocketed, for example:

Strange Bedfellows: The Aleman-Ortega Pact (September 25, 2007) by Alejandro Bendana
Nicaragua: A View from the Left (July 25, 2018) by Jeffrey L. Gould

In Nicaragua, the Latest Zombie Megaproject – The Interoceanic Grand Canal is a threat to the environment and to the Nicaraguan people (May 20, 2016) by Jennifer Goett

A Tale of Two Dictatorships/ Un Cuento de Dos Dictaduras (August 15, 2018) by Laura Blume
Deciphering the Nicaraguan Student Uprising/ Descifrando el levantamiento estudiantil nicaragüense (June 15, 2018) by Lori Hanson and Miguel Gomez

[Canadian Lori Hanson has spent 35 years building solidarity connections in Nicaragua and wrote this piece in late August about the impact of repression on health care: Side Effects: Persecution of Health Workers in Nicaragua .]

Those who persist in describing the Ortega-Murillo regime as socialist and progressive have not been paying attention to their actual fiscal policies. The Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt critiques them here [en español aquí] as has Envío which has been publishing solid research and analysis from the University of Central America in Managua for decades. Here’s a recent example of their perspective:
“A cornered regime is shooting at a mounting civic revolution.”

In fact, hundreds of articles about Nicaragua have been published in Spanish, English and other languages since April. Many of them denounce state violence in Nicaragua and the refusal of certain left wing sectors to call for an end to the human rights abuses of the Ortega-Murillo regime. Here is an unsorted sampling from my bookmarks folder.

Common Frontiers uncritically posts links to material from the US-based Alliance for Global Justice (AGJ), which openly supports the Sandinista regime and believes in the US conspiracy theory, regime change and an attempted coup instead of recognizing a legitimate, diverse, grassroots quest by hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans for their basic human rights.

Solidarity by definition can never be selective. It’s time for the member organizations of Common Frontiers to evaluate its position on Nicaragua. I believe that if the members examine the evidence, they will ask Common Frontiers to speak on their behalf in support of democracy and human rights in Nicaragua.

If you belong to one of these Common Frontier member groups, and if you support universal human rights, please ask your organization to make its own independent assessment of the situation in Nicaragua, and to call upon Common Frontiers to speak out about the violence of the Ortega-Murillo regime.

We can also write Common Frontiers Canada directly at:
26 Willow Tree Street
Maple, Ontario L6A 2S2
Tel 416-522-8615

Oxfam Canada has projects in Nicaragua and their mission is to build lasting solutions to poverty and injustice with a focus on improving the lives and promoting the rights of women and girls. We can ask Oxfam to protest the abuse of imprisoned women and girls. Contact them via

39 McArthur Avenue
Ottawa, ON, K1L 8L7
Tel: +1 (613) 237-5236
Toll Free: 1-800-GO-OXFAM
Fax: +1 (613) 237-0524
General Inquiries:

CoDevelopment Canada supports projects in Nicaragua, including Movimiento Elena Cuadra whose leader Sandra Ramos has been critical of the Nicaraguan government. CoDev finally made this statement after eight months of repression, which is a positive step, but they not taken taken steps to mobilize their base. We can ask them to do so, and to protest the mistreatment of political prisoners and the violations of human rights. Contact them via

260 – 2747 East Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC V5K 1Z8
(604) 708-1495
Fax: (604) 708-1497
Twitter: @CoDevCanada
Facebook: /CoDevCanada

Or if you are a member of CoDEV’s Canadian partners and supporters among these unions and organizations, please contact them.

I encourage friends to follow the FB page of Iniciativa Nicaragüense de Defensoras DDHH de las Mujeres (Nicaraguan Initiative for the Defense of Women). You don’t need to speak or read Spanish to understand many of their posts or memes. A Mexican interview with one of their members is here. An excellent summary of the role of Nica feminists in the resistance to the Ortega-Murillo regime is here.

Here is a small gallery of photos, memes and graphics from the ongoing efforts of Nicaraguan women to free themselves and their country from violence and repression.

These women deserve moral, diplomatic, economic and political support from Canadians, especially from organizations and individuals that espouse solidarity with Latin America.

#SOSNicaragua Canada

*Full disclosure: I was the Central America Special Action Coordinator for Amnesty International’s anglophone groups in Canada from 1979-81.

Nicaragua, Nicaragüita

Why do I post so much news about Nicaragua?

Nicaragua and its people played a significant role in my life, in Claire’s, and for many of our friends. We made some wonderful, life-long friends there and learned a lot about the wider world. Thousands of internacionalistas went to Nicaragua to volunteer or to work with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) after the Sandinista revolution overthrew the brutal, corrupt Somoza regime in 1979.

Delegations from Canadian unions, teachers, farmers, health care workers and left wing organizations visited Nicaragua, organized exchanges between our countries, sister communities, and set up speaking tours around BC and other provinces. The BC Teachers Federation, BC Federation of Labour, Trade Union Group, Oxfam, CUSO, Tools for Peace – these and many more were involved in myriad ways. Many drew inspiration from the Friereian national literacy campaign, the role of women in the revolution, and the influence of liberation theology.

In the 1980s, Canadian musicians such as Bruce Cockburn and Nancy White recorded original songs inspired by the Nicaraguan revolution. Chris Brooks reported often from Nicaragua on CBC Radio’s Sunday Morning program.

Gene Hackman, Ed Harris and Nick Nolte starred in Under Fire, a film about the assassination of inspired by the murder of ABC reporter Bill Stewart and his translator Juan Espinoza by Somoza’s National Guard. Salman Rushdie visited Nicaragua and wrote The Jaguar Smile; in 1985 Mario Vargas Llosa wrote the essay Nicaragua at the Crossroads about his time there (New York Times Magazine). US actor Martin Sheen visited; Peter, Paul & Mary toured. The Clash produced their Sandinista album. Nicaragua was a magnet.

Claire’s involvement began in the late 1970s when she helped establish a Nicaragua Solidarity Committee in Vancouver. I was Amnesty International’s Central America Special Action Coordinator for anglophone Canadian groups from 1979-1981 during the worst chapters of the Guatemalan genocide. The civil war in El Salvador was peaking and demonstrations, benefit concerts and fundraising took place continually in Vancouver where we lived.

[That Panzos ceremony was one of the ways I met Claire, because she was the Ad Hoc band’s contact that month for loaning their PA system!]

In Nicaragua, new literature, visual art, theatre and music burst forth. Jackson Brown produced the volcanto album called Si Buscabas (If You Were Looking) by Duo Guardabarranco, a brother-sister duo, Katia and Salvador Cardenal. They went on tour with Salvador Bustos who had just put out his Tragaluz (Skylight) album, performing at gatherings such as the Vancouver Folk Music Festival.

In 1985, Claire was invited to design postage stamps at TELCOR Filatelia in Managua and after 9 months, with the help of family, co-workers, many friends and groups, we had raised enough money to cover return airfare and a budget of $100USD/month to cover our food and rent for a year. Guardabarranco played a benefit concert for us at La Quena in East Vancouver with Salvador Bustos. Imagine, three Nicaraguans helping raise money for two Canadians! A profound level of generosity of spirit.

Within a few months of our arrival in Managua in October, 1985, I began teaching a paper making class at the national art school, Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas. Our goal was to identify local plant fibres that might make decent papers during a time of scarcity because of the US embargo. Pita cactus fibre (used for hats, mats and tapestries), plantain bark and the long leaves at the base of pineapples were the best. Claire designed two series of stamps: Latin American Writers (in conjunction with the National Libraries Campaign) and Butterflies of the World. She also created various designs for cards, posters, etc.

We spent an intense, but rich and rewarding year there. Nicaraguans were incredibly warm and generous towards us, with acquaintances and co-workers inviting us into their homes and including us in excursions and social gatherings. Our dear friend Liliana introduced me to Nicaraguan literature such as Sergio Ramírez’s Charles Atlas También Muere (Charles Atlas Dies, Too), and taught me how to make nacatamales. We received so much more than we could give through our own work.

For a couple of weeks we picked coffee near Matagalpa as part of a brigade from the Ministry of Culture (we weren’t very good pickers). In our last months, we hitched onto a couple of tours of Canadian unions and other groups which enabled us to see more of the country.

Upon our return, Claire created a series of paintings and collages that Tools For Peace printed in two fundraising calendars, and CoDev printed as cards. Most of her originals sold, but we kept a few, such as Wedding in Santo Domingo.

The 1980s were a time of ferment and hope. As well as the brutal dictator, Somoza, the Shah of Iran had been overthrown and Zimbabwe was free, though repression in those countries lay not far ahead – as yet out of sight. Nicaragua seemed like a beacon at the time. Footage of this 1983 concert in Managua conveys some of the energy and optimism of the era:

“y ahora que ya sos libre Nicaragüita, yo te quiero mucho más” translates as
“and now that you are free, dear Nicaragua, I love you so much more.”
What a beautiful song to a country and its people.

A line in Yo soy de un pueblo sencillo (“I am from a simple town” or “I am from a simple people/country”) says “Juntos somos un volcán” (“together we are a volcano”) which became the slogan of many marches this summer. Claire created two images from this phrase which I digitized this summer in the blue and white colours of the Nicaraguan flag:

But I’m getting ahead of the story. Back in the 1980s, Carlos Mejía Godoy wrote many other revolutionary songs, including “Vivirás Monimbó” (Monimbó, you will live/survive) about the heroic resistance of that indigenous neighbourhood of Masaya as seen in this video montage of music with historical scenes from the insurrection in 1978-79.

In 1990 we returned for the month of April to visit and stay with friends during the transfer of power from the Sandinista government to the UNO opposition coalition that had won the February election. Times were tense.

Transfer of power from the Sandinista government to the UNO opposition coalition, Managua, April, 1990.

In 2007, Daniel Ortega regained power after making deals with the conservative Catholic hierarchy and the corrupt right wing businessman, Arnoldo Alemán. He sold out feminists and began a process of undermining the autonomy of various institutions to consolidate his power, including changing the constitution to allow his wife, Rosario Murillo to become his Vice President, and to extend his terms of office. He embarked on a destructive interoceanic canal project in cahoots with a Chinese businessman which campesinos, indigenous and Afro-Caribbean people have been resisting and meeting violent repression. (Spanish language report from Amnesty here.)

In April, 2018, after years of increasing corruption and authoritarian measures, the Ortega-Murillo regime responded to protests with lethal force; see also this update, this  report from Amnesty International and this Urgent Action concerning a wave of student arrests. Sandinista police, paramilitaries and armed gangs have killed several hundred Nicaraguans, many of them young people, including minors and an infant. Thousands have been injured, hundreds subject to arbitrary detention and there are many reports of torture. Thousands of people have fled the country. Last week the government took steps to completely criminalize all forms of protest.

However, people have lost their fear and continue to resist. They have replaced the old Sandinista slogan, Patria Libre o Morir (“Free Country or Death”) which is the acronym for plomo, the word for “lead” which implies bullets, with Patria Libre y Vivir (“Free Country and Life”). Demonstrations continue to take place throughout Nicaragua and around the world. Many former comandantes, revolutionaries, artists, musicians and writers have left the Sandinista party since 1990. Those who are not in exile have been in the streets with the people.

Carlos Mejía and his brother, Luis Enrique, have written new songs in solidarity with the people resisting state repression in Monimbó and other locations, with students and madres vandálicas (“Vandal Mothers” pokes fun at Daniel Ortega’s wife, Vice-President Rosario Murillo, who has tried to dismiss protestors as a handful of criminals).

Former Sandinista Minister of Culture, Ernesto Cardenal, dedicated his recent award of the international Mario Benedetti prize to the Nicaraguan people. Former Sandinista Vice-President, Sergio Ramírez, dedicated his award of the Cervantes prize “to the memory of the Nicaraguans recently killed on the streets while demanding justice and democracy, and to the thousands of young people still fighting with no other weapons than their ideals so that Nicaragua once again becomes a Republic.”

Sadly, some unions, churches, NGOs and individuals who were strong supporters of Nicaragua in the 1980s have not paid attention to the steady degradation of Sandinismo into Orteguismo since 1990. Perhaps they have not noticed the number of brilliant thinkers who have quit or been driven from the Sandinista party. Perhaps they still believe that the Ortega-Murillo regime is somehow “progressive” or they have fallen for the pseudo-journalism and propaganda of sources such as Max Blumenthal and TeleSUR who frame the repression as an excusable response to a “soft coup” financed by the CIA. The regime operates extensive disinformation networks, as well as fake social media profiles to harangue and threaten opposition activists inside and outside the country.

They probably haven’t read Indefensible – Democracy, Counterrevolution, and the Rhetoric of Anti-Imperialism by Rohini Hensman or What Went Wrong? The Nicaraguan Revolution: A Marxist Analysis by Dan La Botz. They face ridicule in Spanish-speaking media and social media as the “Jurassic Left”, the “Rancid Left” and – from young left-wing feminsts – as machistas-leninistas (macho-Leninists)(better in Spanish!).

Claire and I have started to “repurpose” some of the art we made after our year in Nicaragua, in solidarity with the friends we love so much more because they yearn to be free and continue to fight for that right. Here’s a video of repurposing a silkscreen portrait of Daniel Ortega; audio in Spanish.

Many friends have responded to our call for solidarity, by signing this declaration. The Canadian Federation of Students recently issued this letter:

Hopefully more organizations, especially those with historic relationships with Nicaragua, will speak out as well. In the meantime, Canadians can contact The Right Honourable Chrystia Freeland, MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6
Fax: 613-996-9607

cc: The Hon. Hélène Laverdière, MP
Fax: 613-995-8461

The Hon. Erin O’Toole, MP
Fax: 613-992-2794

…to ask that Canada demand that the Nicaraguan government immediately disband its paramilitaries and guarantee basic human rights such as freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and safety of person.

There are other recommended actions in this Amnesty report. To learn more, you can visit various Facebook pages such as Sos Nicaragua Global -English, Stand with Nicaragua, and news sites that monitor Nicaraguan affairs such as 100% Noticias (on the web) and the venerable Envío that has been publishing since 1981. The Group of Independent Interdisciplinary Experts issued this comprehensive, damning report in the fall.

Lori Hanson, a Canadian health care worker and educator with long, deep ties to Nicaragua, wrote Side Effects: Persecution of Health Workers in Nicaragua in late August, and with Miguel Gomez in June, wrote Deciphering the Nicaraguan Student Uprising for the North American Congress on Latin America. Dr Mary Ellsberg published A Massacre, Not a Coup: A Response to Misinformation on Nicaragua in August. Niú Review published an excellent photo essay after 100 days of the uprising. The young feminist “Comandante Macha” speaks from exile here. These links represent a tiny sampling of coverage and analysis of what has been taking place there.

The young leaders, feminists and environmentalists, the campesinos, indigenous and Afro-Caribbean activists are inspiring solidarity around the world with their courage, vision and smiles. Today, a large group bravely gathered in Managua, most with no face masks to protect their identities in front of live video to announce the formation of Unidad Nacional Azul Y Blanco (Blue & White National Unity).

We believe that Nicaraguans will eventually free themselves. These days, anyone can lend a hand in many ways, no matter where they live.

Solidarity with Nicaraguan political prisoners, Wells, BC Canada, Lhtako Dené Territory, September, 2018.

#SOSNicaragua ¡Nicaragua vencerá! (Nicaragua will win)

A Paddle from the Peace

The faces of betrayal & bullshit.

On December 11, 2017, Premier John Horgan and his government announced that they were continuing the Site C dam in spite of all the evidence against it. In spite of the expert testimony against it, in spite of the voices of people in Treaty 8 Territory and the Peace River valley, and hundreds of NDP & union members and supporters who urged the government to stop the dam. Although Treaty 8 was signed in 1899, and the Premier said in 2016, “You cannot mitigate alienating people from their traditional actions which is fishing, which you will not be able to do after the dam.” The Premier even used the word “Reconciliation” in his speech in a disgraceful display of hypocrisy. Prior to the 2017 election, he and many in his cabinet had pledged in public, in print and in the legislature to stop Site C. Then they turned 180 degrees.

Photo of me & Claire at the Paddle for the Peace by Matt Prevost, Alaska Highway News.

The government has yet to provide credible answers for its decision and excludes the Site C decision from its lists of the triumphs of its first year in power – as if nothing happened. In response to their breach of trust, I chopped up a paddle I had used on the Halfway River and Peace River (as well as many times on the Bowron Lakes circuit) on the winter solstice.

I then constructed “caskets” for the paddle pieces, using Chinese plywood (thinking of the attempted takeover of Aecon Construction by the China Communications Construction Company). I printed the logo of the BC Building Trades unions on the base plates, since these mostly US-based unions lobbied heavily in favour of Site C. On the sides I printed a paddle with glow-in-the-dark ink to embody its spirit.

An NDP coroplast election sign I kept after the May, 2017 election (in which I put up signs for the Cariboo North candidate and scrutineered) provided material for six lids printed with quotes from Premier Horgan and Ministers Heyman, Popham, Dix, Mungall and Fraser before the election. I wired marettes that matched the NDP orange  into the lids as handles, and routered rabbets in the boxes so they would sit flush.

I lined each coffin with shredded Canadian money, since our government has no qualms about wasting billions of dollars for power we don’t need and for which it has no market. They were on display at the Site C Summit in Victoria in late January, 2018, after which I took them to the steps of the BC Legislature for a photo shoot.

Then the coffins made their way to Arlene and Ken Boon at their farm at Bear Flat. Ground Zero of the Site C dam.

With their usual grace and good humour, they cremated the coffins on a beautiful day late in the spring with the sun sparkling on the snow. Here are some clips courtesy of Arlene and Ken:
receiving & unpacking the coffins,
stacking the coffins in the burn bin,
cremation with stakes in background,
panoramic cremation, and
mounting the lids with quotes on the bird feeder.
Still shots follow here (all photos courtesy of Arlene Boon):

Rather than burn the plastic lids, they mounted them to a tall bird feeder where the words of Premier Horgan and his Ministers – George Heyman, Lana Popham, Michelle Mungall, Adrian Dix and Scott Fraser – remain on display as a record of their betrayal of the people of Treaty 8, the Peace River valley and all of BC (we’ll all pay for this boondoggle).

T-shirts I printed to raise funds for T8’s legal defense.

The above words in Cree and in Dane-zaa remain true and I trust will guide us in the months and years ahead, regardless of the actions of the government and BC Hydro. Thanks to Art Napoleon for the Cree translation and Verena Hofmann & Treaty 8 Tribal Association for the Dane-zaa text. Thanks to Ian Crawford for photodocumentation and shipping support. Also thanks to Arlene and Ken Boon for their photos, videos and unparalled hospitality.

Is the NDP on crack, FFS?!

“There is a crack, a crack in everything … ” (and in Old Fort, too.)


Why, oh why would the BC NDP government listen to the paid lobbyists, carpetbaggers and dam-whisperers of the US-based BC Building Trades unions and their pals who want BC Hydro’s Site C boondoggle to continue, contrary to the most credible evidence presented to the BC Utilities Commission?

Do they not remember what happened in 1975 when Dave Barrett ordered union workers back to work and then called a snap election? Enough union workers stayed home that Barrett lost his own seat, not just the election. And now, NDP supporters have the option of voting Green if they feel betrayed by the party. Such is the case with Site C.

On very short notice, hundreds of union and/or party members and volunteers have signed a statement of Peace River Solidarity. Here are just some of their messages to Premier John Horgan:

Note: names have been omitted for the sake of privacy until permissions are granted.

I quite understand John Horgan reluctance to lay off so many people working on Site C dam. But there is no point in short term ‘make work’ projects that just deepen an already tragic mistake, Any such decision to scrap Site C could be aligned with a massive retraining and transfer of workers to BC government and industry partnership led utility scale solar and wind electric generating plants that will set up workers for a long term prosperous future of energy generation.

Please add me as a signatory to the letter to put an end to Site C Dam. I have been an NDP member, and continue to actively support my NDP MLA (Gord Johns) and MP (Ronna Rae Leonard). As well, I was born in Peace River country and feel strongly that the serious legal, environmental and food security implications render this ill-conceived project a significant detriment to the wellbeing of First Nations, BC citizens and the environment.

I ALWAYS vote NDP and have been an NDP member in the Cariboo North Riding in the past. Lapsed membership is irrelevant – we always vote NDP. Unless Site C goes ahead. Then we would vote Green instead.

 Have always supported the NDP. Site C will be a game changer for me if they approve.

 Voted for NDP, never again if Site C goes ahead; Prince George Mackenzie riding

It is our pleasure to support you and all the others who oppose the continuation of this project which bypassed the BCUC regulations, is over budget and behind schedule. The citizens of B.C. Have been lied to about this project. We need the farmland as we have little in B.C. And we need to respect First Nations who should have been properly consulted. All the best to you in reaching a successful resolution,

I would like to point out to the trades unions pushing for the continued construction of this project that there are more long term/permanent jobs in alternative energy, and that facilities with solar, wind, tide and geothermal power do less damage, and can be built closer to the end users.

Campaign worker and donor in multiple campaigns over five decades

I am in favour of termination of the Cite C Dam Project, including the rehabilitation of the site. I am an NDP member and a retired teacher. It is past time for all levels of government to commit to the implementation of renewable energy sources such as tidal, wind and solar.

Power BC is a better alternative to Site C

It is clear that the Site C dam was a disaster from the get go. Just stop it. The cost of energy continues to drop, and there will be no way to recoup the financial losses within Hydro’s original mandate as a publicly owned utility for the people of BC. Hire the workers to recover the site, Save the arable land, which is beyond price into the future – and unfortunately please suck it up and spend the government money to  recover our utility for the citizens. The BC Lib/Socred approach of near-bankrupting publicly owned infrastructure to create an argument to sell it off to their friends in the private sector is shameful (as they did with BC Rail, and take a look at what they been doing with ICBC, Hydro, and single tier health care to undermine them all). I wish we could sue every last MLA in the party to recover everything they have cost us.

don’t waste more money on this outdated tech. don’t be pressured to take on this mistake- you will then own it and the disaster that follows

Please don’t take us down this road, I have not seen a single argument that convinces me it is not a terrible direction. Let’s be the future we want to see.

As an elder of WMFN, I find it appalling that Treaty rights and promises, protected in the Canadian constitution are not even considered in the supreme court of Canada. That, in itself, should be made law! All Canadian laws should be used, not just whatever the Canadian government wants to recognize for their purposes. The is genocide continued in the most grievous.

if you build it this will forever be your legacy to BC. Not one that will make us proud

This is your chance to show real leadership!

This is a critical issue to those of us, like me, who have voted NDP their entire adult lives but are increasingly concerned about the party’s stand on environmental issues. In the last campaign we were assured that the NDP would let the sound judgment of the BCUC guide the decision on Site C. It’s time to keep that promise.

Just because Christy Clark left behind this mess doesn’t mean the BCNDP has to be left with it. Please scrap Site C, for the good of all British Columbians, and future generations.

PowerBC is a vision I can get behind. That is what I voted for.  I voted against SiteC because I believe the PowerBC vision is the right direction for BC. We need a new vision for Energy provision is BC. Not the old technology of dams that will become stranded assets as the disruption of the energy revolution becomes reality.

POWER BC NOT SITE C Preserve precious farmland & respect ingenious rights to their culture and homeland.

Site C is a moneyless & bottomless pit. It will be biggest loss ALR farmland in BC history and biggest boondoggle any taxpayer financed project.

There is $2billion currently invested, and an estimated $2billion required for remediation.  The remediation will create jobs and stimulate the economy, so it should not be considered as money down the drain.  Don’t build Christy’s vanity project and stick your party and the people of BC with the economic, cultural and ecological loss that Site C has created.

You will lose my vote and contributions by allowing Site C to be completed.

Site C can go two ways, cancel it and lay all blame on the Liberal grafters who promoted it, or continue it and have the NDP blamed for its catastrophic failure. Don’t accept it please.

Please do not approve the Site C Dam. It is not required for power. The farmland is essential. It is too expensive. It is not recommended by experts, studies. I will no longer support the NDP if your government approves this dam against the experts’ recommendations. Then I will know that the lobbyists persuaded your government to complete an unnecessary dam, to employ union workers. Not because it is needed. Thank you.

Follow thru on promises I voted for.

Please don’t sell out to big business or big union interests.  Mother Nature and future generations will remember you for doing the right thing to protect Indigenous rights and the environment.

BC does not need the Site C dam, do the only rational thing and cancel it now before we end up like Muskrat Falls in NFLD Labrador.

I want to see Power BC rather than Site C

We don’t need SiteC . It was a payoff to donors of the Liberals, and we CERTAINLY don’t need to spend 12 billion dollars for a white elephant that we don’t need.Kill SiteC.

Please stop SiteC, it will drown BC in debt for generations

John, you created such a sense of hope and purpose with your Power BC platform. It has the potential to revitalize BC’s economy in a truly innovative way. Now is the time to implement Power BC – starting with ending the Site C boondoggle and redirecting money and jobs in ways that will truly create a clean energy economy.

Please do not go through with building of site C dam. We do not need it. I can honestly say that if it is built, I will not be voting NDP the next election or anytime after. I have only voted NDP all my life both provincially & federally but am not opposed to voting other or not voting at all

Please cancel Site C and employ workers in remediation and alternative energy. Union member and NDP supporter for 40 years.

When I traveled through the Site C area in late July 2010, the first thought that went through my head was that the BC Liberals were so determined to flood out any signs of First Nations presence in order to foil future land claims in preparation for forcing pipelines and mining operations throughout their lands.  Please….Do not cave into pressure from the unions.  The only jobs that are going to be created are for the Malaysian workers with Peteronas, for starters.  I am withdrawing my union membership from CLAC 501 as they work for the corporations and not their members.  Please respect First Nations rights and traditional territories, listen to the people and we settlers to their lands.  Please, for the sake of the citizens of BC “Stop Site C”!

Site C is a march backwards. Let’s move forward together.

If you want to win the next election, listen to your voters and cancel Site C immediately.  Better to lose $4B than waste $12B to complete and stiff taxpayers.

You know there is a practical way to move forward on energy, environment, first nations relations, farmland, and climate. It’s not Site C.

Stop Site C. Save the land for food production. Respect the Indigenous people. Site C is not a solution for Climate Change.

Stop C. It’s terrible for BC. Don’t be strong armed. Be bold and innovative and create new sources of energy that preserve our environment.

Don’t let Muskrat Falls boondoggle happen in BC. Stop the Site C dam.

As a union member and dedicated NDP campaign volunteer, I have never thought it wise, just, or beneficial for  Site C to proceed.

We must absolutely end Site C project. For First Nations, the environment, farming, and the economy. I trusted in you to do the right thing. Please cancel the project.

To Mr. Horgan and Cabinet Members:  Please adopt the positive and progressive position of NO SITE C DAM.  This would mark a commitment to Truth and Reconciliation by acknowledging Treaty 8 rights.  It would be a major step in a province-wide plan to  develop food sustainability by protecting the arable agricultural lands of the Peace River Valley.  It would maintain the habitat of the wildlife of the Peace.  Lastly, it would be the start of true investment in green energy projects.

Please cancel the site C dam project. It will saddle future generations with huge debt, trample treaty rights and destroy farmland. Instead, be VISIONARY. Lead the way in green energy. Thank you.

The BCUC report has shown a portfolio of alternative energy strategies will cost less, carry less risk and create more jobs than Site C. Please cancel Site C – the electricity it will produce is not needed and the cost to future generations will be enormous.

Please cancel plans for the Site C Dam. The energy is not needed. The project would flood fertile agricultural land that we will need to grow food for BC’s expanding population. The jobs that are created by the construction of the dam are mostly short term jobs and do not warrant the huge destruction that the Site C Dam would mean for the valley. Also, First Nations have rights to this land – we should not flood it without their permission. Thank you for listening.

I am very concerned that despite the findings of the BCUC, that the Site C Dam project may yet go ahead. I feel very sad and disheartened at this possibility as I was thoroughly convinced during the election campaign, and especially after having read Power BC pamphlet, that, although it was right for the project to go through a review by the BCUC, that the ultimate preference for the NDP was for the discontinuation of the project and to move BC into a more forward looking future. From my readings of the BCUC report, there is nothing that can convince me that it is a good thing for British Columbians to move forward on. We need to move forward in a different way. We know that there is a huge loss that will be incurred by the cancellation, but we also know that in the long run, it will cost less to cancel the dam and to use the money saved from the cancellation to cleaner, greener, more egalitarian, more modern society. What I don’t see discussed much besides the money and the jobs–which we know will be replaced by better, more long-term jobs, are: First Nations Rights–are we finally going to walk the walk or keep on talking the talk while treading roughshod over treaty rights like our Federal Liberal Leader? Are you going to take the jobs, homes, livelihoods of ranchers and farmers into consideration? How about food security for British Columbians? Are you going to let such fertile, alluvial soil be drowned? Food grown on this land can feed one million people. In this day of Climate Change and decrease in food security, are you willing to risk the lives of British Columbians? We all know that the rivers that feed California, which is our current main source of fresh food, are drying up. Several areas have already suffered from drought and it will only get worse. Do you think they will keep on sending food to Canada when Americans need the food? And, we need to consider the environment and the wildlife corridors that especially the ungulates depend on to live. The First Nations Peoples who were displaced in the 1960’s by the WAC Bennett Dam, still haven’t recovered. Do you want to risk more of that. And, while I was at the Paddle for the Peace in July of 2016, I also learned that the murder and disappearance of Indigenous women is closely tied to fossil fuel extraction and the building of mega projects. For me, I feel that it is imperative that the benefits of a project greatly outnumber the suffering and negative consequences that they may bring. To me, the negative consequences and suffering caused by the continuation of the construction of Site C greatly outweigh any benefit there may be. Please put a stop to Site C.

Site C is a billion dollar mistake. Redundant before it’s finished.

Dear Premier, We were thrilled that you were elected, replacing Christy Clarke.  Please CANCEL this terrible dam.  There are other jobs that can be created for union members in the north.  DON’T ALLOW THIS GIGANTIC MISTAKE TO HAPPEN !   Cancelling this is a Big part of why alot of us voted for you.  And to end the disastrous practice of fracking.

One of the two reasons I voted NDP was to stop site C dam. Agricultural land and potable water are essential to life. All the rest is gravy. Please find a way to invest the remainder of the money in sustainable energy development and training for workers instead of throwing more money into a Liberal boondoggle that the majority of BCers are against. Thank you.

You and the NDP must stop this corrupt, destructive waste of resources.  The NDP will never recover if you betray us.

Site C is a very bad idea for all British Columbians.  Do not be swayed by the Unions lobbying you and advocating for Site C – theirs is a short term self serving position that benefits only them and only for the short term.

I will never vote NDP again if this goes through.

Please place B.C. at the forefront of the renewable energy revolution and stop this destructive, extraordinarily expensive and unnecessary project

The Peace river valley is a gorgeous, abundant home to many beings. Leave it alone. Use the money you would waste on Site C on education, environmental justice and food security. Respect First Nations!

Honourable sir (and I believe you to be honourable) I rejoiced in your election success because it held the hope that the Site C project would be given a fair review at last, and that government ears would hear the wisdom of the nations who hold claim to Peace River lands. Thank you for giving due consideration to this decision, but please remember: technological, non-indigenous society has its own wisdom. “Small is beautiful” applies here. The Site C project offers seductive capacity to oil shale profiteers, who work only at a huge scale. If our cities and highways need more power for homes and electric vehicles than Hydro can now supply, let’s put the power generation facilities close to them. And let’s not forget the observation of futurists like Jeremy Rifkin, who points out that every electric vehicle is a power depot in a distributed system — and therefore a source of much greater emergency power security than a huge dam. In general, distributed generation is more secure than a system that can be utterly destroyed by organized malice as the Twin Towers were. Please, yes, stand by the wisdom of  your generation, your people, and First Nations spokespeople who oppose the continuation of this project.

John, Do what you know is right, don’t cave to big business pressure, if you do, you kiss my vote goodbye.

There is clearly enough evidence to allow you to make the right decision regarding Site C.  Please honour your commitment to protecting the environment and respecting First Nations rights.

The Site C dam was approved by Christy Clark and the BC Liberal government in December of 2014 without a review by the BC Utilities Commission, whose job it is to evaluate if energy projects are in the best interest of British Columbians. In August 2017, the new BC NDP government referred Site C to the BCUC. We now have their final report, and soon the BC government will decide the fate of the Site C dam project. With all the conflicting views being presented in the media, it’s no wonder that British Columbians may be confused about the basic facts surrounding the questions: do we need the energy and are we spending $10-12 billion of BC taxpayers’ money on the right project? Please shut this project down. We need to protect agricultural land now more than ever

Build smaller projects such as geothermal, or add turbines to the existing infrastructure.

Protect the future farms of North America. With water shortages California has an uncertain future. With climate change the Peace provides security. Hydro is old tech, invest in the future not the past. Tks.

Site C is an environmental disaster and tramps on First Nations rights. It is also an economic disaster saddling BCians with huge debt w/little or no return. Alternatives are already cheaper than this boondoogle

Don’t define your legacy by continuing this BC Liberal boondoggle. Implement the BC NDP’s forward-thinking PowerBC program instead!

Don’t saddle BC and our youth with massive debt for the unnecessary Site C dam.  Your Power BC election platform clearly outlines how retrofitting public buildings and homes, energy conservation, updating current hydro facilities and development of renewable energy sources would provide the electricity needed and many more jobs for BC at a much lower cost than this Liberal boondoggle.  I have been an NDP member, supporter and volunteer for 45 years I am counting on you to Stop Site C and implement these platform policies.  If you don’t I will feel betrayed and have to leave the party.

The PowerBC plan that you announced prior to the election was inspiring and that gave me confidence that the NDP was poised to take leadership. The NDP offered a bold vision appropriate for the 21st Century and a powerful (pun intended) alternative to Site C. Please honour that courageous promise.

Please don’t repeat serving the big unions and big business before the needs of all the rest of the population

The cost of Site C is insane, especially to produce unneeded electricity.  Agricultural land should not be flooded, BC Hydro quite obviously didn’t study the site carefully enough as an earth dam with the kind of soil in that area is already and will continued to cost well above estimates.  Please cancel this project.

Stick to your guns.  Do not allow the Site C Dam to continue, for all the reasons you eloquently articulated during the campaign and before.  The review has strengthened that position.

Please follow through your campaign undertaking to drop Site C in favour of the BC Jobs and Energy Plan discussed during the election, contingent ONLY on findings of the BCUC. Those findings were as unambiguous as it is possible in this imperfect world.

The most crucial argument against Site C is that it will flood some of the most fertile agricultural land in the province and would be the largest withdrawal from the Agricultural Land Reserve in B.C. history. In the future, food security is likely to be one of the most serious issues we will face.   Of course, the natural habitat and the wildlife that it supports, the sacred First Nations’ sites and the rights of the Treaty 8 First Nations to hunt and fish on their territorial lands, the large amount of methane that will be released once the valley is flooded contributing to our greenhouse gas emissions and the fact that it will cost taxpayers more than $10 billion for energy that is not needed and will have to be sold at a loss are only some of the negative effects of this project. B.C. Hydro is already carrying massive debt so we can expect hydro rates to soar.  That is a great deal of taxpayer money and a significant start could be made on developing renewable energy in B.C. which would create more jobs than Site C over a longer term.  The fact that this project was not reviewed by the BCUC before it was approved by the previous Liberal government as it should have been has cost taxpayers $2 billion or so already and will cost more for site remediation but this cannot be considered completely wasted money.  It provided jobs to, what does Hydro say?, 1,100 people and will continue to provide jobs for remediation if locals are hired which they should be.  For the rest, it is a cautionary tale.  Don’t make political decisions like this one with taxpayer dollars.  If the project were to go forward, it would only be reinforcing this kind of bad behaviour by politicians.

You know the arguments as well as I do. If the NDP Government approves Site C I will not be able to support this party come next election

Stop site C Mr. Horgan, we are counting on you.

Stop site c – redeploy labour to sustainable energy and repurposing Riverview for a BC Mental Health Centre.  Please don’t flood farmland and destroy the Peace River Valley!

Do the right thing and shut down Site C! This Liberal boondoggle can be avoided, it just takes courage. The time for reconciliation is now, support the Treaty 8 First Nations opposed to this project. This project is wrong for so many reasons: cost, unnecessary power production, and the destruction of agricultural land and critical wildlife habitat. Stand up to the trade unions and let them know make work projects need to be in the best interest of British Columbians and this one isn’t!

Stop Site C or you are as bad or worse than the liberals

Respecting First Nations is essential in this time of reconciliation and the agreement by the Federal Government to support the private members bill with regards to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. Also, food security should be one of your most important areas to be a leader not just provincially but globally.Food security

Don’t let them bully you. We don’t need Site C dam. We don’t need to destroy that beautiful valley for power that will be obsolete in the future. We will support you on this decision.

The economics of Site C make absolutely no sense. We must not burden my generation or my children’s with this crippling, underwater business case.

I vote NDP because I place more value on sustainability, community, reconciliation. Site C is a force for destruction of these values and goals; please don’t be the agent of destruction.

Dear Premier, I was so excited when you were elected premier and we finally again had an NDP government, this time with the backing of the Green Party. What a celebration we had! During the election I had seen you speak on Site C, among other things; I had read the pamphlet Power BC which lays out many arguments for better alternatives to Site C; I believed your vision for a better, greener British Columbia. I was pleased that Site C was to be reviewed by the BCUC and hopeful for an outcome that would give a strong indication as to whether the project would be of benefit to British Columbians or not. I felt optimistic that the project would end up getting cancelled. The review was completed and from what I’ve read, I see no indication of the BCUC deeming the project to be of benefit to British Columbians. Once again, I felt optimistic about the cancellation. But, there now seems to be a lot of pressure to keep Site C going for the sake of keeping the current (impermanent) construction jobs. I understand the difficulty; it is hard to lose one’s job and I certainly feel compassion for anyone who is about to lose their job. Yet, I know from personal experience that most jobs, especially in construction, come to an end. And, BC currently has a low unemployment rate as well as a need for construction workers. So while the jobs at Site C are impermanent, if Site C does get built, what will be permanent are a lot of the effects it will have: the permanent damage caused to the Peace River Valley; the land, the people, wildlife, traditional ways of life,etc. It will cause the permanent disappearance of fertile farmland that could feed up to one million British Columbians. What is also permanent is the end of a way of life of farmers and ranchers whose families have lived there for generations. There will be permanent destruction of ancestral sites, lands used for hunting and gathering, for maintaining the cultural and traditional practices of the Indigenous peoples who have lived on this land long before the arrival of European settlers. Wildlife corridors on which wildlife depend for their survival will be permanent. This could lead to the extinction of some species. Extinction is PERMANENT. The Peace River itself will be permanently altered. We live in a time of climate change. The world around us is changing rapidly. We humans, are supposed to be caretakers of the land. I believe that it is our responsibility to preserve what we can for generations to come. Please, find the courage within yourself to stand up for your ethics, your vision for the future. Please encourage those party members who are wavering to listen. Say “NO” to Site C.

Don’t put my generation into massive debt and impact our relationship with Treaty 8 Nations for power we don’t need.

Cancel site C is the beginning of a better future for BC under NDP.

Cancel Site C, preserve agricultural land, implement the excellent Power BC plan you campaigned on.  I know there will be blowback but there are many like me who will stand behind you.

Have the courage to stop the dam.

I voted for you and not for Site C.

Stand firm on NDP principles.

Do the right thing and cancel this albatross.

A big part of the reason I voted NDP in the last election was to halt Site C.  It is a bad idea, and future generations will thank you for cancelling it.

Site C is an albatross and my kids and grandkids will pay for this boondoggle for the rest of their natural lives.  Save the agricultural areas, First Nations rights and environment.  I have been an NDP supporter my whole life, since the days of Dave Barrett.  Part of the reason for me voting NDP this last election, was because of this issue.  Stop Site C….the “jobs” are short term, and many of the workers are from out of BC.

I have been a life-long NDP supporter but if the NDP goes through with Site C, I will never vote NDP in my lifetime. Mr.Horgan, if you go through with the Site C dam, you will sink the NDP in BC for good.

Dear John  We do not Need Site C, simple as that, the workers will have jobs cleaning up the mess and working on projects within BC that we NEED We Need Future FOOD security  Think about the story of The GrassHopper and The Ant, let’s not be “Grasshoppers knocking on the doors of Mexico and the US for our future Northern BC and Canada food supplies  We have built power, sitting idle or waiting to be upgraded, that more than cover the amount of power Site C would have generated  We, as adults (however listening to BC Gov’t question periods I am wondering if half the house is “Adults” or not?) we are supposed to leave this earth a better place for future generations  Our time here is very brief, but the damages we create everyday are far reaching, beyond the time we spend here. We can leave this place in better shape and to set an example for future generations we should as our duty, We can farm around a windmill on our farm fields if we have to. If, in 75 years we feel wind power doesn’t serve us well, we can take down a windmil, blast out the cement foot and continue farming. However, should YOUR Government not be Brave enough to halt the BC Liberal’s White Elephant, in its tracks as Social Credit Premier, Bill Bennett, was Brave enough to do in the 1980s, and our Farmland is flooded and sloughed into the Methane producing Reservoir, In 75 years we future generations, won’t have that riverside and river bottom land to farm anymore. That is a very long reaching Legacy for YOU and the gov’t you lead, that will not be quickly forgotten  As well, there are the 200+ lives on the Old Fort Subdivision, and beyond further downstream, that could be lost should this Dam fail as predicted by many reports  The internet is forever and VERY unforgiving and you and your party will be to blame for cost overruns, decommissioning costs and deaths of wildlife in the reservoir and human lives should the proposed dam breach. Those things alone should make the smart decision to terminate fairly easy.  Stop Site C today  Let’s move into the 21st century of power generating and conserving ideas.

If Site C goes through I WILL quit the party.

Please cancel this project. It would not only be environmentally and economically disastrous it will give the Greens on our Island a cudgel for the next election.

Don’t. You will hurt the NDP, you will hurt Unions, you will hurt people and you will hurt the planet. I will never vote NDP again.

This is a hard decision but one that must be made. You have demonstrated the leadership skills and attributes that you possess.  Please provide the leadership this province needs and cancel Site C!!!!

John, the answer here is clear for a dozen reasons. Just do the right thing.

Site C is the worst idea for a plethora of reasons. Nobody with a brain wants it.

Stopping site C is the right thing to do. You know full well how the Liberals decided to give this away to their corporate sponsors in the Natural Gas industry.

I voted NDP, but I’m not happy with this, at all.

If you approve Site C it will be the biggest mistake we have made in this province in this century.

Young people interested in the world are green. Your stand on Site C may well be the difference between attracting/keeping that support, and losing it. They do pay attention.

As a long-time NDP member and stalwart supporter with close ties to the union movement, I would like you to cancel Site C. At the same time as you axe this Liberal folly, please announce new jobs for those workers displaced by the cancellation. Perhaps they can find employment remediating the damage already done, or retrofitting buildings, or building the infrastructure you promised (schools, hospitals, care homes for our elders), or converting traditional energy into geo-thermal, solar, wind. Isn’t there a bridge near Fort St. John that needs to be built. Use the talent in your cabinet to come up with ways to shut down Site C AND create jobs. In closing, it pains me to say it, but if your government does not cancel Site C, I will not be able to see my way clear to vote NDP in the next election, or perhaps ever. The Green Party will have proved to be closer to my values.

Don’t continue Christy Clarks’ dirty work.

Listen to the people who elected you and keep the promises you made during that election. Big money is at the root of this project and the people and environment with be the ones who pay for their greed. End this project NOW!

I realize fully it’s a difficult decision, but I think it’s time to call it off.

It’s your turn to protect BC, its residents and natural beauty… as well as the future grandchildren… stop Site Christy.

Cancel Site C. As a life long member and as a Union member we fought against this be for the last time we were the ruling party. The day of modern union politics can not be allowed to prevail.

Please do not betray your supporters over this issue. We want you to remain in power to fulfill your promises.

I know you’re between a rock and a hard place.  I think cancelling it is your best option.

I am member, donor, volunteer AND union member. Please do not approve this! We voted for change and we want you to remain in power to enact good legislation after these many years of bad government.

I will campaign incessantly against the NDP forever if you approve the Site C.

Learn from Muskrat Falls NL. Stop Site C now before it is too late.

British Columbia and the NDP are at an historical crossroads and you are in a key position to steer our economy towards a low carbon, diverse renewable energy future or to anchor our economy to the past. Site C will be an unmitigated disaster, for our economy, for jobs, for the environment and for the future of the NDP as a viable political organization. If we look to the future and ensure that we retrofit our existing stock of residential, commercial and industrial buildings for greater energy efficiency; require all new construction to adhere to higher energy efficiency standards, develop our enormous solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, biomass and other diversified low carbon energy technologies, electrify our personal and commercial transportation networks, when combined with comprehensive training programs, we can virtually eliminate unemployment, we can build a much broader tax base to fund quality public services and we can make a serious contribution to counteracting climate change in our time. If on the other hand, we go ahead with Site C, or try against First Nations and public outrage, we will saddle BC with an enormous debt that can never be paid off from the value of the electricity generated, we will squeeze out the possibility of making forward looking investments in low carbon renewable energy, we will produce relatively few jobs, we will destroy valuable agricultural lands and we will condemn the BC NDP to second or perhaps third party status for years to come. Don’t do it. Say no to Site C. Say yes to a comprehensive program of energy conservation, low carbon energy technologies and make BC a major actor in combating climate change.

Cancel Site C great Christmas Present for all BC & The Environment and future of Power BC.


Globalization irony

Claire Kujundzic and I produce practically everything in our gallery right here. This winter, we designed and silkscreened neck tubes and paid a friend to cut and sew them. We printed “Fair Made” on them. For some other items, we thought we’d add “Made In Canada” stickers to the labels, so imagine our chagrin to find these…

Stickers purchased at a Dollar Store in Quesnel, BC Canada.

Purchased at a Dollar Store in Quesnel, BC Canada.


Closeup: the fine print.