Category Archives: Sustainability

Remove the Broughton Archipelago’s Open-Net Fish Farms

By Roy L Hales

Marine Harvest did not have the consent of local First Nations,  when they set up an open net fish farm off Swanson Island farm thirty-one-years ago.  They did not need it, with a Social Credit government ruling British Columbia. Only this is 2017, the courts recognize aboriginal title, and Premier John Horgan is more conscious of First Nation’s concerns. At the invitation of Chief Bob Chamberlain of Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation, Horgan and three of his top cabinet ministers visited Alert Bay. They met with forty Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl) leaders, who demanded Horgan remove the Broughton Archipelago’s open net fish farms.

Continue reading Remove the Broughton Archipelago’s Open-Net Fish Farms

The West Coast’s Epidemic Wildfires

By Roy L Hales

As British Columbia reels from the worst fire season in its recorded history, it is easy to look upon this as a local problem. Only much of Oregon is wrapped in smoke, there are reports of ash falling like snow in some Washington cities (photo at top of page) and two days ago a state of emergency was declared in Los Angeles. What is causing  the West Coast’s epidemic wildfires?

Continue reading The West Coast’s Epidemic Wildfires

Canada Is 1.7 Degrees Warmer Than In 1948

By Roy L Hales

Average global temperatures keep rising. While 2016 is the warmest year on record, the previous record was set in 2015 and, before that, 2014.  A new joint report from Health Canada and the Science Media Centre of Canada (SMCC) puts this into perspective.  Canada is 1.7 degrees warmer than in 1948.

Continue reading Canada Is 1.7 Degrees Warmer Than In 1948

Fun with Firewood

By Roy L Hales

Firewood is a vital source of heat energy on Cortes Island. Some think of it as our secret sin. There may be more environmentally conscious people here than any other part of British Columbia, per capita, yet we use a more carbon producing energy source than coal. This is the season when we cut and stack it for the coming winter. It’s also time to have fun with firewood.

Continue reading Fun with Firewood

How The Changing Climate Affects Sea Level Rise

By Roy L Hales

Sea levels are already rising. One tends to think of impacts in the Third World but, between 1969 and 2010, Prince Edward Island lost 20 square kilometres. According to Dr. Adam Fenech,  Director of the Climate Lab at the University of Prince Edward Island, close to a thousand PEI homes, 17 lighthouses (one of which is already half in the water) and a number of wind turbines could be lost by 2100. A new webinar from the Science Media Centre of Canada discussed an important factor not included in this calculation. The changing climate affects sea level rise.

Continue reading How The Changing Climate Affects Sea Level Rise

Trump Wants A New Climate Deal

By Roy L Hales

Though often been portrayed as a climate change denier, the President made no reference to climate when he explained the reasons for America’s withdrawal from the agreement reached at Paris in 2015. Rather, it seems Donald Trump wants a new climate deal.
Continue reading Trump Wants A New Climate Deal

What Should You Do When Encountering Downed Power Lines?

By Roy L Hales

Ever wondered what to do in an emergency situation? Cortes Island’s Emergency Preparedness and Awareness Fair was an excellent venue  to ask the experts.  At the BC Hydro booth, I asked, Hannah Wilson and Katherine Macdonald, “What should you do when encountering downed power lines?”

Continue reading What Should You Do When Encountering Downed Power Lines?

How Often Does Cortes Island Need Emergency Services?

By Roy L Hales

Though the population doubles or triples during the summer months, there are less than a thousand people on Cortes throughout the year. The RCMP come from off island, but we have a medical clinic, ambulance and a relatively large volunteer fire department (with firehalls at Mansons Landing and Whaletown). So, at the Cortes Island Preparedness and Awareness weekend, I asked the local Fire Chief how often does Cortes Island need emergency services?

Continue reading How Often Does Cortes Island Need Emergency Services?

British Columbia’s Fight For Sustainable Logging

By Roy L Hales

When Island Timberlands arrived in 2012, they found Cortes island residents waiting behind a blockade. The Vancouver Observer sent a young film maker to cover the story, but Daniel Pierce found more than just another clash between a logging company and local environmentalists. He is still documenting British Columbia’s fight for sustainable logging.
Continue reading British Columbia’s Fight For Sustainable Logging

Sampling A Slice Of Nature At Cliff Gilker Park

By Roy L Hales

There is a little spot of Eden just outside of Gibsons. A 7-kilometre-long network of trails guides visitors along Roberts Creek and through the old growth forest. Sampling a slice of nature at Cliff Gilker Park can be an afternoon’s experience, or a short relaxing walk.

Continue reading Sampling A Slice Of Nature At Cliff Gilker Park