by Yule Heibel on June 5, 2003

Incredible, but true: early June and the mercury is hitting the low 30s (Celsius; that’s 90 degrees Fahrenheit) for days in a row here. Very different. Went on a field trip to the Ocean Sciences Institute with my kids et alia, homeschoolers who work with S.I.D.E.S. It’s not just hot here, it’s dangerous and exciting: fault lines. Have discovered Monday Magazine online (vs. print), and learned that brilliant-beautiful (she really is something) Briony Penn has “been given an official nod from the prestigious Canadian Environment Awards, a national initiative of the federal government and Canadian Geographic. Federal environment minister David Anderson presented Penn with a Silver Award for Environmental Learning in Toronto on June 2. She was chosen, along with a few dozen others, to be honoured for her work in raising environmental awareness in her communities.” I don’t like David Anderson that much: he ignored my letter to him complaining about the fact that Victoria — eco-tourism magnet — pumps raw sewage into the ocean. But just because Anderson handed out the award doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take a look at Penn’s columns in Monday, Wildside, for more. It’s environmental writing at its best: immediate, engaging, local, and hence empowering.


Goyo June 11, 2003 at 12:58 pm


Anderson never says anything about grave pollution problems of concern to
citizens in his own bailiwick.
He is silent on the recent harbour porpoise deaths after US Navy sonar
excerciseskilled a number of the creatures whose carcasses were washed up on local
island beaches.
He is silent on the long-standing problem of nuclear-armed and
nucelar-powered vessels plying Juna de Fuca and Georgia Straits in contravention of provincial law, all the way up to Nanoose, where they test torpedoes and are known
to pollute the marine ecology by dumping numerous documented toxic chemicals.
So it comes as no surprise to me that he does not respond to your concerns
about the pumping of raw sewage. But ‘brava’ for trying! He will no doubt tell
you that this is a matter for the CRD (non-elected) government bureaucrats to
deal with as they have done for so many years…by waiting for the problem to
become so noxious and toxic that even the stunned locals finally realize that
they will have to fork out big bucks for the proper treatment facilities. It all
boils down to a problem of lack of accountability, and lack of political courage
and will.


Yule Heibel June 12, 2003 at 2:58 am

Since Victoria wants to sell itself as the jumping off point for Island eco-tourism adventures, pumping raw sewage into the ocean is as fitting as the double-decker buses that tour the Scenic Route, belching pure diesel fumes all the way. It amazes me that the city has no restrictions or codes regarding car exhaust emissions, nor is there anything province-wide in place. Sometimes it all seems like a big Keystone Kops scenario: pratfalls and bluster, with the tides and the winds ostensibly keeping all the big bad things away from the little island children. Time to grow up.

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