Letters to the Editor


Fundraising for The Hermitage Covenant

Dear Friends of Nature, as you may know, Charles Brandt is a deeply respected member of the Comox Valley’s conservation community as well as a spiritual leader. He is acknowledged for his important contributions to the protection and recovery of the both the Tsolum River and the Oyster River. He is also the first ordained Catholic priest-hermit in two centuries and has dedicated the latter half of his life to quiet contemplation about spiritual ecology: the spiritual inter-connections between humans and non-human life on this planet.

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It May Be Dark Out There, But There Is a Future For Journalism

Hi Catherine. In many ways, 2018 was a brutal year for journalism, as Time rightly highlighted in selecting journalists murdered or imprisoned, or “guardians of the war on truth” as they called them, for its 2018 Person of the Year cover. There were moments this year when it felt like we were alone swimming against a tide of ugly discourse, and barely keeping afloat. What chance did our little newsroom have to build a better kind of journalism when the whole world seemed to be moving in the opposite direction?

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God is in Everything: My Reflections on a Conversation with Father Charles Brandt

There are many ways to live one’s life. One of the less traveled, but more transformative paths, is that of contemplation. Last week, I met a unique and interesting man, who embodies this life choice, Father Charles Brandt. As I write these words, it is also the 50th anniversary of Thomas Merton’s passing, which took place on December 10th, 1968. Merton was not only a prolific author and influential thinker; his journey was this era’s modern version of the contemplative lifestyle.

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Gift Twice at Local Shops

There is something very special about the stores, shops and boutiques around the 4th, 5th and 6th Street of downtown Courtenay, as well as the ones on and around the main streets of Comox and Cumberland. Now is the season when we must all make our last-minute shopping choices. For many, the budgets may be a deciding factor. This year, I would like you to revisit this mindset and open your wallet and your heart to the unique qualities of the local shop owners and their staff.

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Site C Dam Not a Done Deal

“There can be no lasting reconciliation while Indigenous peoples’ rights are being trampled on, diminished and frozen in the past. There can be no trust in your government while the words you say to the public ring false in the court rooms.” Grand Chief Stewart Philip. Eleven years ago, UNDRIP (The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) was endorsed by many states, including Canada. Governments have a responsibility to respect, protect and fulfill these rights.

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The Lows and Highs of Grassroots Initiatives

Two things happened very recently that illustrate the lows and highs of grassroots efforts like the campaign to change BC’s electoral system. The first thing that happened was the release of an Angus Reid poll taken in September. The poll asked voters in BC how they intend to mark their ballots when it comes to voting on the referendum about electoral reform. According to the poll, about 60% of voters are pretty evenly split in their support of either the current electoral system or proportional representation (Pro Rep).

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Lungs of the Earth Vigil

The makers of the recently released film, The Anthropocene Project, and many others, are calling for a moratorium on logging old-growth forests in BC. Here are two facts on deforestation and climate change: BC’s rainforests store more than 13 times our annual greenhouse gas emissions and yet Vancouver Island’s temperate rainforests are being cut down at three times the rate of tropical rainforests worldwide.

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Refuting the Thinking of the No Side

There have seen so many articles coming from the No Proportional Representation (PR) side of the debate on the referendum, in the mainline press, and I find it quite disturbing. I want to draw attention to this article from the Fraser Institute, The Impact of Proportional Representation on British Columbia’s Legislation and Voters.

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