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Elementary students restore, reclaim neighbourhood park PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 30 May 2019 18:35

by oak bay news

nalt

 

 

Students from Janet Langston’s Grade 3 and 4 class at Margaret Jenkins elementary celebrate the school’s efforts to remove invasive species from Trafalgar Park (below King George Terrace). The park was covered in gorse and blackberry and wild flowers and roses are now thriving. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

 
Elementary students restore, reclaim neighbourhood park
Margaret Jenkins students 2.5 years into restoration
 
 
 
 
The reclamation of Trafalgar Park continues but to anyone who has visited in the past three years, the removal of invasive species has revealed a landscape unseen for decades.
 
And the work has been done by a pair of Margarets.
 
Well known Uplands Park advocate and volunteer Margaret Lidkea helped lead a program for nearby Margaret Jenkins elementary school students. Lidkea provides the know-how and the students provide the muscle.
 
 
 
The park was covered with rows of entrenched blackberry and gorse.
 
The students prove their knowledge by munching on a piece of Miner’s lettuce growing next to the six-feet-tall wild roses in Trafalgar.
 
“We gave them clippers, saws, and shears, and they’ve done the work,” Lidkea said. “It’s amazing,”
 
READ MORE: Student work sessions clear Trafalgar Park
 
Vice-principal Janet Langston’s Grade 3-4 class is one of the classes that makes regular trips to Trafalgar to remove invasives.
 
Last year Langston took it to the next level as the school received a grant from the TD Friends of the Environment, to purchase over $2,000 worth of native plants. The native species were planted in the fall to help prevent invasvies from returning and restore the pre-colonial ecosystem.
 
“Students have also been removing English ivy especially along the lower trail and under the native crabapple trees,” Lidkea said. “The camas responded with many purple-blue blooms.”
 
 
 
(Inset photo: Margaret Jenkins students swarm Trafalgar Park in 2017 to remove the invasive gorse.)
 
They also planted grasses on the upper slopes to prevent erosion now that the heavily invasive Himalayan blackberry and gorse have been removed.
 
READ ALSO: Friends of Uplands Park leader honoured at Government House
 
Granted, the stubborn invasives still crop up, which is why Margaret Jenkins students will continue to be relied upon to remove gorse blossoms and other plants which crop up due to a remaining seed bank of invasives embedded on the Trafalgar slopes.
 
Last year Margaret Jenkins also earned one of the Staple’s top 10 Superpower Your School awards for their ecological efforts.
 
Staples gave the school $20,000 in new technology and the Trafalgar Park work was a major project that contributed to the win, Lidkea said.
 
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Invoke the Precautionary Principle, no Highway through the Sooke Hills Wilderness PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 24 February 2019 10:05

 

by Joan Russow

Global Compliance Research Project

 

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from Sooke Mirror

 

In 1992, when there was a NDP Government, I received the following from Freedom of information;

In a document obtained through the Freedom of information Act there was evidence of the Provincial cabinet endorsement for the ratification of the Biodiversity and Climate Change Conventions:

..."The Province endorsed the ratification. We agreed with Canada to ratify it. There was provincial endorsement. The move to endorse the Conventions was made by John Cashore, the then B.C. Minister of Environment" Cashore then went to Cabinet, sought their support and endorsement of the ratification and then stated that the Cabinet had approved the Conventions to the CCME meeting

 

Through the endorsement, the BCT NDP government agreed to the precautionary principle as expressed in the UN Framework convention on Climate change and the convention on Biological Diversity. (obtained through freedom of information ,1992)

Last Updated on Sunday, 24 February 2019 10:30
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Cancel Site C, build gas plants, wind power: C.D. Howe PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 04 February 2019 14:35
 
Ratepayers better off if dams are cancelled, replaced with natural gas, wind, study says
By Nelson Bennett | January 17, 2019, 4:12pm
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/WhctKJVJfqMQHLxqMwgNWxPppgvLMXKXHsMWPxKhMqlGcvlRqRrDjfChJMRWCLGdGmdwtBg
 
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A powerhouse buttress at Site C dam. | BC Hydro
Cancelling multi-billion dollar hydro-electric dam projects like Site C in B.C. and Muskrat Falls in Labrador and providing power with natural gas and wind power would still be cheaper in the long-run, even with billions in sunk costs that governments and ratepayers would have to absorb.
 
That’s the conclusion of a study released January 17 for the C.D. Howe Institute.
 
Author A.J. Goulding says in his report that cost overruns at three large-scale Canadian hydro-electric dam projects should prompt governments to consider halting the projects, or at least stand as a lesson for other governments contemplating future large-scale hydro projects.
 
Goulding’s analysis finds the levelized costs of the $10.7 billion Site C dam and the $8.7 billion Keeysak project in Manitoba may exceed the cost of power that could be provided through combined cycle natural gas turbine (CCGT) power plants, even with the sunk costs of cancelling the projects, and even with a $50 per tonne carbon tax.
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223 international scientists urge B.C. to protect provincial rainforests PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 27 January 2019 17:28
 
'There are certain places that are so biologically rare and important'
Matt Humphrey · CBC News · Posted: Jun 28, 2018 8:00 AM PT | Last Updated: June 28, 2018
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/rain-forest-gone-1.4724448
 
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B.C. is known for its towering trees and temperate rain forests, but an international group of scientists is warning that without urgent protection, those forests are at risk of disappearing.
 
A total of 223 scientists from nine countries have signed a letter urging the provincial government to take immediate action to protect B.C.'s remaining temperate rain forests.
 
"There are certain places that are so biologically rare and important," said Dominick DellaSala, the chief scientist at the Geos Institute in Oregon who helped organize the letter.
 
"The B.C. rainforests are among those rare places."
 
NDP blamed for failing to save Vancouver Island old-growth giants from logging
DellaSala said both the province's coastal rainforests and rainforests further inland are dissimilar to anywhere else on the planet. Both play important roles in the preservation of biodiversity and the battle against climate change, he said.
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'It blows my mind': How B.C. destroys a key natural wildfire defence every year PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 18 November 2018 21:02

Provincial rules require spraying of fire-resistant aspen trees to make way for valuable conifers

 

PLEASE SIGN PETITION 

 

https://www.change.org/p/government-of-british-columbia-stop-spraying-bc-forests-with-herbicide-to-kill-trees-like-poplar-that-wildlife-need?recruiter=728416211&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition

 

Bethany Lindsay · CBC News · Posted: Nov 17, 2018 8:00 AM PT | Last Updated: November 17

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/it-blows-my-mind-how-b-c-destroys-a-key-natural-wildfire-defence-every-year-1.4907358

 

Aspen trees naturally flourish after a wildfire, but they're also less vulnerable to flames than coniferous trees. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)

Last year, 12,812 hectares of B.C. forest was sprayed with the herbicide glyphosate. It's an annual event — a mass extermination of broadleaf trees mandated by the province.

The eradication of trees like aspen and birch on regenerating forest stands is meant to make room for more commercially valuable conifer species like pine and Douglas fir.

 

But experts say it also removes one of the best natural defences we have against wildfire, at a time when our warming climate is helping make large, destructive fires more and more common.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 November 2018 09:11
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Drought in northern and central B.C. has officials worried PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 17 October 2018 08:23

B.C. lands ministry is asking for voluntary reductions in water use so fracking can continue.

The Canadian Press · Posted: Oct 10, 2018 10:35 AM PT | Last Updated: October 10

 

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 November 2018 23:00
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Ministers say salmon not being restored in Fraser River PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 09 October 2018 07:13
 
 
Open this photo in gallery:The Canadian Press
Commissioner Bruce Cohen addresses the media regarding the findings of the Cohen Commission into declining salmon on the Fraser River during a news conference in Vancouver on Oct. 31, 2012.
 
JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS
 
MARK HUME
VANCOUVER
PUBLISHED MAY 21, 2014
UPDATED MAY 12, 2018
 
 
 
Almost none of the 75 recommendations B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cohen made on how to restore sockeye stocks in the Fraser River have been acted on by Ottawa, two federal ministers indicate.
 
Critics have long accused the government of failing to follow up on the $26-million Cohen Commission report in a meaningful way.
 
But it wasn't until Liberal MP Lawrence MacAulay recently asked detailed questions about which recommendations were adopted that the government verified the extent of its actions.
 
In written replies earlier this month, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq states most of the Cohen recommendations "are directed solely" at the department of Fisheries and Oceans and only 10 were aimed at her ministry. Of those, seven were accepted and three, dealing with marine spills and pollution monitoring responsibilities, were rejected.
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Why Californians are worried about the Trans Mountain pipeline PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 02 October 2018 10:32

Oilsands exports are headed to the Bay Area, where protests are already gearing up

Posts by James Wilt"

 

Canadians might imagine Burnaby as the main site of protest against the Trans Mountain oil pipeline and tanker project, the Vancouver suburb marked as it is by dozens of peaceful demonstrations, arrests and  in recent years.

Last Updated on Monday, 08 October 2018 19:14
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B.C. pension fund manager pouring billions of public workers’ retirement dollars into fossil fuels, report finds PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 26 June 2018 08:46
B.C. pension fund manager pouring billions of public workers’ retirement dollars into fossil fuels, report finds
By JENNY PENGStarMetro Vancouver
https://www.thestar.com/vancouver/2018/06/25/bc-investment-management-corporation-still-betting-on-fossil-fuels.htmlMon., June 25, 2018
 
A new report outlines how many pension plans from B.C.’s public sector are invested in the fossil fuel industry through the B.C. Investment Management Corporation.
 
VANCOUVER—Policy analysts and researchers are calling out a large, but low-profile, pension fund manager for pooling billions of dollars worth of public workers’ retirement plans into the fossil fuel industry.
 
 
The findings come in a report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and University of Victoria, which examines where British Columbian public servant pension funds are invested.
 
 
An examination of the B.C. Investment Management Corporation’s investment portfolio, the fourth largest such fund manager in Canada, found it invested $3 billion in the top 200 public fossil fuel companies.
 
The BCI oversees pensions funds for 500,000 people through 11 provincial government plans, including WorkSafe BC and the teachers’ pension plan.
 
Critics say investing in oil and gas hinders Canada’s ability to meet its Paris Agreement commitments signed in April 2016, which seeks to limit the rise in Earth’s average temperature to 2 C.
 
“You see the BCI calling themselves ‘responsible investors’ throughout much of their publications but we find that really, in the context of climate change, this is absolutely misinformation,” said Zoë Yunker, University of Victoria graduate and co-author of the report released Monday.
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DEFENDING OUR OCEANS PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 05 April 2018 11:19

DEFENDING OUR OCEANS

 

By Murray Rankin, MP. Victoria

First published in Oak Bay News, April 4

Image result for images of the salish sea

http://www.orcanetwork.org/nathist/salishorcas1.html

 

Article continued

Spanning three oceans, Canada’s coastline is the longest in the world. Sadly, our oceans are increasingly threatened by rising temperatures, acidification and pollution. The impacts on humans, wildlife and the environment could be disastrous. 

 

The University of Victoria’s  Ocean NetworksCanada monitorsthe country’s coaststo gather real-time data for scientific research.  This research helps communities, governments and industries make informed, evidence-based decisions to promotebetter ocean management, disaster mitigation and environmental protection.

 

While we know that human activity has already caused significant changes in our oceans, important questions remain unanswered. How will marine ecosystems respond to increasing ocean acidification? How does the depletion of oxygen in coastal waters affect ecosystem services? What are the long-term effects of marine plastic pollution? These are of the questions Canadians need to address. Thankfully, organizations like ONC are working to answer them.

 

One concern right here at home is plastic pollution. A recent report by UVic's Environmental Law Centre revealed that there are over 3,000 particles of plastics per cubic metre of seawater in the Strait of Georgia.  It’s estimated that 90 percent of seabirds have plastic in their stomachs. Research like this has a big impact. In 2015, one of my NDP colleagues, Brian Masse, introduced a motion to ban harmful plastic microbeads in consumer products. I'm pleased to say that after years of effort that ban will go into effect on July 1 this year.

 

Plastic microbeads are just one of many pollutants that find their way into our oceans, but they're a good example of how scientific research and evidence-based decision making can yield progress.

 

Unfortunately, a larger threat is looming. Despite the risks and against public opposition, thePrime Ministeris still championing theKinder MorganTrans Mountain oil  pipeline and tanker project as being in the “national interest.” I fail to see how it can be in the national interest to retain the Harper government's emissions targets, refuse to adequately consider the project's upstream and downstream impacts, and dismiss the environmental and economic disaster that our coast would suffer in the wake of a major spill from a bitumen tanker.

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 April 2018 11:45
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