a letter

26 June 2020

Provincial Agricultural Land Commission

 

&

Hon. Lana Popham

Minister of Agriculture

 

 

Hi! I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe or recovering well.

 

My name is Allegra Sloman and I’m a science fiction writer, musician and blogger/essayist, living on Coast Salish land in Burnaby. I believe that fertile, well-watered land that is put aside by the Province of B.C. for agricultural purposes should stay that way.

 

Earlier this month I learned from Cedar Isle Farms that a small chunk of land in Agassiz, (the ‘Teacup Properties’,) which has been earmarked for residential growth for almost twenty years, may be removed from the ALR, since there is tremendous housing pressure on the entire lower mainland. This is in part thanks to the naïve / corrupt succession of provincial governments, which, ably assisted by the Harper Government and the absence of any credible federal investigative oversight, enabled a multi-billion dollar property bubble to develop hereabouts.  Of course there are many, less provocative, reasons why building-lot land is scarce and expensive in Agassiz and why the city government would want more of it. 

 

In 1948, Agassiz, indeed the very part of Agassiz which concerns us today, was underwater for a month, during what is referred to as a ‘century’ flood of the Fraser River.

 

If residential land is flooded, especially for that period of time, all the houses must be razed or remediated at extortionate cost. If farmland is flooded, next spring you plant again. Farming is the appropriate use for this land, if we’re using a risk/reward model.

 

Given the climate instability staring us all in the face, is it possible that anyone charged with making the decision to build on this land may be subject to legal action for knowingly allowing residential or business construction? We can expect that ‘century flood’ any year now. It is a reasonable thing to both foresee and wish to mitigate.

 

Was the permission of the local Sts’ailes people to change the use of the land from reserved to development asked? 

 

Until these and other questions around food scarcity and sovereignty are answered, I believe that changing the land use is unwise.

 

Best regards,

Nothing but beauty today

Australia by watersheds. IS IT NOT GLORIOUS? also truncated, I can’t find a nicer copy, but so purty.

AND NOW, my THIRSTIEST pic AND mah gOB what a frame, what a frame

Yes, this is TV actor and activist Misha Collins, and he posted the pic so I’m assuming that he was okay with the earth being knocked slightly off its orbit as half a million screeching fangirls (and a fair few fanboys) collapsed to the ground like Victoria maidens.

He was in foreign climes building a school or some such damned thing like the humble gorgeous angelic creature he is, thus the rustic bathing facilities.

Love his Instagram posts, he’s consistently artsy, compassionate, funny and just a little bit wacky.

Katie and Alex, 2015

I watched the most recent Emma and cried like a you know what at the end of it. Bill Nighy’s ensembles looked like they were going to achieve sentience and start cavorting about on their own.

Today’s astropix KICKS ASS. I won’t post the link because there won’t be one until tomorrow but you are in for a full on space science eyegasm.

I looked up four words this morning and I did not know their meanings – normally I’m just confirming, but this morning was a disaster. I’m thinking I need to look up a lot of words I think I awready know. Self-assessment is beautiful.

 

 

Meeping

I meeped at Chipper for a while yesterday and she expertly diagnosed my problem and helped me get back on the rails. I’ve been sessile for a couple of days but I’ll be back to writing today. For background, coming up on 2nd anniversary of breaking my arm and losing the shop, so that’s probably feeding into the other issues.

I have a strong cup of coffee beside me and Jeff’s making more.

PLUTO FLYBY!!!! SO HAPPY.

I finally went on a trip through the Stargate with Jack O’Neill last night.  Woke up with a big smile on my face, with his strictures ringing in my ears.

LATER

Buster just climbed the dead tree in the back yard.  I could barely see him through the blinds.  Wilde kittye!!!

Truth and reconciliation

A few recommendations of my own:

 

Read the 94 recommendations.

Which of these recommendations can you action in your own life?

In your church?

At your workplace?

At home?

In your buying habits?

Do you know where the nearest Friendship Centre is?  Locate it.

Do you know what languages the First Nations in your area speak?

If you have internet access, research and follow a First Nations activist on social media.

Visit your local library and borrow and read books by First Nations authors which can be fiction, poetry, memoir, non-fiction, academic.

Donate money to a First Nations cause.

Read the Indian Act.

If you have access, watch a youtube video google “youtube testimony residential schools”.

Go to a powwow.  Dance your ass off.

Purchase and display art by aboriginal artists.

Examine your speech for racist terms and expunge them.

Listen to First Nations music.

Learn how to say hello, goodbye, please and thank you in a local First Nations language.

Support First Nations people by attending peaceful protests.

Learn the traditional territorial boundaries of First Nations people.

Read about the laws, traditions and spiritual beliefs of First Nations people in your area.

If you have school aged children, ensure that they learn age appropriate materials about the residential schools.

Reporting from the front – Marilyn Medén

Hi, friends, and some relatives.  This is what I did today. (Thursday November 29th)

Up Burnaby Mountain to The Protest

 

Just go! I thought as I tried to find information about where to go, how much walking, what to expect.  Just show support by arriving … somewhere.  But Burnaby Mountain covers a large area, and if I went up it the way I knew, up to SFU, the only satisfaction I might have would be that I tried.  Not much support for the protest against Kinder Morgan.

After much trial and error I found a mapPark near Curtis and Ayrshire, and just head UP, and UP, on a paved walkway, across Burnaby Mountain Parkway, and UP a little further to an information tent where you are told where the action is.

I saw Karl Perrin [of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver] at the tent.  I had heard he was arrested the day before.  Was he out already?

The drilling had moved, and the gathering was now down a very steep deeply muddy path, slippery, winding, intersected by thick roots and unexpected holes.  People said it took 10 to 15 minutes to get to the gathering.  It took me at least 30 minutes of hanging on to branches, tree trunks, people. The demographic was young.  A guy tore a dead tree limb from the ground and handed it to me for a walking stick. Everyone wanted to help.

I could hear drumming: the First Nation presence.  Speakers. Singing of an adaptation of We Shall Overcome. 

Sliding, slipping, holding on, I reached a place where I could see the yellow ribbon.  To go past that meant arrest.  Gentle arrest it seemed.  The police were friendly.

Someone was speaking.  She was telling of her arrest the day before.  The police carried her to a van.  Solidarity Notes had been singing, and some of them were arrested at the same time.  There was singing in the van.  Singing again in the room they were taken to, and yet again in individual cells.  Kraft dinner was provided.  She signed a statement. I gather that at that point they were released, with trial was set for January 12th.  That was it.  I could have done that!  But what would the arrest mean?  Would one then be a “person of interest”?  Well, if I could interpret it as interest in not having oil pipelines, in avoiding oil, that would be all right with me.

I headed back up the trail.  Home to wash my mud soaked shoes and pants.  Home to warm up.

 

Marilyn

 

 

PLEASE NOTE COPYRIGHT FOR THE ABOVE POST BELONGS TO MARILYN MEDEN

The why is the (territory) so ….. meme, for Canuckistan

Why is BC so expensive?
Why is the Yukon so sparsely populated?
Why are the Northwest Territories not a province?
Why is Alberta so cold?
Why is Nunavut so unpopulated?
Why is Saskatchewan so cold?
Why is Manitoba so cold?
Why is Ontario insurance so expensive?
Why is Quebec so corrupt?
Why is New Brunswick so poor?
Why is Nova Scotia so poor?
Why is PEI or Prince Edward Island not part of this meme at all as far as I can tell?
Why is Newfoundland so foggy?

Now that was amusing. Your google search results may vary….

Roundup

Gotta love the Germans: circumcision declared child abuse/harm to child.

There’s a fine line between narcissism and self esteem.  What facebook is good for.

Don’t even get my brother started on dark matter/energy.

Now that mOm is watching SG1…..

Yes, wish I had some.

Fire up some way cool google search techniques.

Peaceful

I really like this neighbourhood.

The crows didn’t cooperate yesterday.

Prime Minister Harper has just announced that Highway 11 between Saskatoon and Prince Albert is going to be twinned.  I’ve been up that highway to go here.

Keith slept over.  He really is one of my favorite people, and I love him more all the time.  It’s just the way he says things that gets me, the way he is so solemn and yet so cheerful at the same time, like a very secular monk.

Katie says she is coming with me to Grandma’s next weekend.  Whether this will happen I have no clue, but I’m going whether she does or not. She is still doing well in school but sometimes when she mentions Daxus I get a trifle annoyed and have to look the other way, metaphorically.  I don’t have any beef with Daxus currently.  The last time I saw him, he took one look at my face, gave me a hug, and took his leave of Katie thus allowing us to do girly things (actually I was consulting Katie about a personal matter.  It’s great when your kids are old enough to consult…)

I don’t want to waken the boys, but I don’t want to have breakfast too late because I’m off to a nice restaurant for lunch today with the Dunnetteers.  I am so looking forward to it, and Keith is going too!  I get to show him off, te he.

Today, pay rent, a quick tidy of the room, clean out the fridge (gah!) and other than that nothing but frivol and frolic.